Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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February 10, 2014 |
To the Host:
Is your P.I. Guy Noir based on any one person or just the 1940s movie stereotype?
Yorba Linda, CA
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.