Created by Dashiell Hammett
"He's walking into that drugstore...he's stepping onto the scales...(SNICK! CLICK!) Weight: 237 pounds...Fortune: Danger! Whoooo is it? The...Fat Man!"
That's BRAD RUNYON, played to perfection by the subterranean bass-voiced J. Scott Smart, who actually outweighed his character by over thirty pounds. Dashiel Hammett created Brad Runyon, the Fat Man, specifically for radio and even wrote a few scripts to help "set" the series. Runyon, known as The Fat Man, was a tough, at times world-weary private eye, based, perhaps, on Hammett's Continental Op. He worked out of an office manned by the obligatory secretary, in this case Lila North.
Evidently, there was also an Australian version of this show, which was broadcast in the 1940's, which didn't star J. Scott Smart. The quest continues....
And in 1951, the was even a film, simply entitled The Fat Man, starring Smart, along with Jayne Meadows, Rock Hudson and circus clown Emmett Kelly, wherein the investigation of a dentist's murder leads Runyon to a circus showdown.
Hammett is best known for creating Sam Spade, the archetypical private detective in The Maltese Falcon, and Nick and Nora Charles, the husband and wife sleuths from the Thin Man movies.
It's not quite clear, though, how much Hammett helped "develop" the series, or whether he just lent his name to the proceedings, for a cut of the take. He confessed, in the Martha's Vineyard Gazette of September 6, 1949, that "My sole duty in regard to these programs (presumably he was also referring to The Thin Man and Sam Spade series) is to look in the mail for a check once a week. I don't even listen to them. If I did, I'd complain about how they were being handled, and then I'd fall into the trap of being asked to come down and help. I don't want to have anything to do with the radio. It's a dizzy world--makes the movies seem highly intellectual."
- "The Nineteenth Pearl" (January 21, 1946)
- "The Black Angel" (November 26, 1946)
- "A Window for Murder" (October 3, 1947)
- "Murder Wins the Draw" (April 1, 1949)
- "Murder Plays Hide and Seek"
- "Order for Murder" (1950)
- "The Nightmare Murder" (January 17, 1951).
- "Murder Plays the Horses"
- "Murder Runs a Want Ad"
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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