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Guy Noir

February 10, 2014 | 7 Comments

To the Host:
Is your P.I. Guy Noir based on any one person or just the 1940s movie stereotype?

Bill Bourquin
Yorba Linda, CA

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Guy was my first real dramatic role on the show, closely followed by Lefty the cowboy songwriter, and he was based on a vague memory of old detective movies I saw when I was a babysitter back in the Fifties, which was my only chance to see TV, my parents being opposed to it on grounds of immorality. So I only got glimpses of those stereotypes, the guy in the porkpie hat who talked out of the corner of his mouth and was able to deck somebody with a poke in the snoot when he needed to. In Guy's first season, the episodes were strictly formulaic. Guy's friend Pete, played by Walter Bobbie, came to the Acme Building and the two men got into an argument over some trivial issue and shot each other and died long lingering articulate deaths. The next week they did the same thing. This was when Walter, who I'd seen star in Guys And Dolls on Broadway, was temporarily out of work, before he directed Chicago and became rich and famous. Guy went on to meet his sweetie, Sugar, and his bartender pal Jimmy at the Five Spot, and open his charge account at Danny's Deli where they are always out of whatever Guy tries to order. Guy has not solved many crimes but he has located some lost pets and given some good advice and he has had his heart broken by dozens of tall beautiful women.


7 Comments


Guy's A Doll

Guy's inspired by others
And surely he's got his own druthers
But he's a man with a tale
And his fans never fail
And daughters might even take him to their mothers!


Love Guy Noir. I get excited when I hear the intro. Your show is the highlight of my week. I never miss.my husband introduced me to it on a trip to upper Michigan. Been listening ever since


Met you, well.....your show, in 1982 while living in a brownstone in Central Square, Cambridge, Mass. Law school seemed to fly by after the first "and all the children are above average". Like many, it is hard to describe, without emoting, your importance to my daily hash tag life. I know I should prepare for existence without you and yours, but it is a big gulp. Peace and love Garrison.


Garrison,

Thank you for bringing the show to all of us during the years. The show has brought joy to my life for many years.

My question: Guy has a long life of his own. If movie, a short TV series and/or a stage play were made, who would you cast to play Guy? In all three roles.

Regards,
Angela


Some of us had guessed that Guy Noir might have been inspired by Boston Blackie, a fictional detective whom I understand had his roots in silent movies but by the time of my childhood (I'm a couple of years older than Garrison and also scarred by a childhood infatuation with radio) was a figure in '40s and '50s radio and TV drama series ("Noir," "Blackie,: get it?).
In any event, he's outrageously enjoyable -- keep it up.
Sid Hurlburt, Reston, Va. -- a listener for more than 35 years


APHC -The Movie, directed by Robert Altman (2006), starred Kevin Kline as Guy Noir and John C. Reilly as Lefty.

http://www.prettygoodgoods.org/products/5097-a-prairie-home-companion-the-movie


I seem to remember Richard Muenz on the show about that time, too. Wasn't he a regular character in Noir, too?

I've always thought it would be fun to have "Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian" to need the services of Guy Noir sometime. Maybe even an impetuous fling?

And, about the hat: I think it was a fedora, not a porkpie. Buster Keaton was famous for wearing a porkpie in the silent era, and by the time Sam Spade and Phillip Marlow came along, fedoras were more in fashion.

As I recall Boston Blackie, he was a reformed jewel thief turned amateur detective. I don't recall anyone ever hiring him. He seemed to be more of a vigilante.

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