Mike Noonan
Created by S.J. Perelman

One of the all-time great spoofs of the entire private eye genre is S.J. Perelman's "Farewell, My Lovely Appetizer", which zeroes in on the excesses of everyone from Sam Spade to Dan Turner, and particularly Marlowe and his band of world-weary descendants.

MIKE NOONAN's the man, Irish enough to know the "difference between a gossoon and a bassoon" and tough enough to know a red herring (or a pink one) when he sees one. It's all here: the witty wordplay, the cynical secretary, the dangerous dame/client and the suspiciously-tinted sea food. The classic hardboiled parody. Hunt it down. Read it.

According to Jeff Siegel's The American Detective, humourist S.J. Perelman "always seemed to show up on the fringes of the hard-boiled crowd. He was a drinking buddy of Hammett and Lillian Hellman's." He was an unabashed fan of Dan Turner, and was responsible for an affectionate, hilarious tribute to Bellem's private skulk called "Somewhere a Roscoe..." which appeared in The New Yorker in the 1940's. He was also, evidently, a regular correspondent with Chandler at one point, even sending him a copy of "Farewell, My Lovely Appetizer."

SHORT STORY

  • "Farewell, My Lovely Appetizer" (December 16, 1944, The New Yorker; reprinted 1958, The Most of S. J. Perelman)

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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