-- Nick Danger, on a sudden plot shift,
in The Case of the Missing Yolks
Even more than the literature, classic radio eyes of the forties and fifties thrived on first person. And they did it in present tense, as in " I'm talking to you as this happens!" Pretty funny, if you think about it. Walking down the street, shouting narration like a mad man, trying to tail a suspect.
So the smart asses in Firesign Theatre had a lot of fun with this in their off-the-wall sketches featuring NICK DANGER, THIRD EYE (when two aren't enough). Nick made his debut on their second comedy LP "How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All?" There we meet Nick, old girlfriend Betty Jo Bialaski (but everyone knew her as Nancy) and diminutive Rocky Rococo.
All of Nicks's appearances on air, on record, and later, on film, spoof the conventions of those old detective radio shows -- not just the narration, but the special effects, the sponsors, the on-air host, the convuluted plots and just about anything else that wasn't nailed down, past, present or future, including TV shows, fast food, television commercials, soap operas and lawyers.
Nick proved to be quite popular, and has appeared often in firesign's long career. He showed up on vinyl a few times "The Case of the Missing Shoe" (1979) and "The Three Faces of Al" (1984) and he even had his own movie, 1983's Nick Danger in The Case of The Missing Yolks. Set in the future, the film (executive-produced by former-Monkee and Liquid Paper-heir Michael Nesmith) features Nick on the hunt for the missing children of the Yolk family. Some of the highlights along the way include Rat-in-a-Box, Lawyer's Hospital, Boobie Chew, Duck-Flavored Coffee ("it's the real decoy!"), Ol' Faithful Scotch (it comes back upon you every hour), etc. This one scores high on the Chuckle-O-Meter.
Anyone interested in other send-ups of old-time radio eyes should check out Garrison Keillor's Guy Noir."
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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