Y’all are going to think I am crazy….crazier, that is.
I stumbled upon the original Mike Hammer TV show from circa 1957. The Mickey Spillane tough guy is played by done other that…DARREN MCGAVIN! Yep, same dude who play Kolchak the Night Stalker and the grumbly dad in Christmas Story.
And guess what? He ROCKS it.
More of you are likely family with the Stacy Keach version of Hammer from the 1980’s. I liked that show quite a bit. But McGavin is actually my favorite Hammer, now. How can the diminutive actor pull it off? Pure bravado and badassery. He nails it completely. Attitude, humor etc. Not exactly up to modern standards for women’s social issues due to the general media trends at the time to have every woman on camera for eye candy, but…it WAS the 50’s so don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. The show is great for all the smoking while doing EVERYTHING and chasing everything in a skirt including confused Scotsmen.
I think there are 79 episodes of 30 minutes each. That was only 2 year’s worth, believe it or not…they worked their butts off as far as writing and production went. One of the principle writers was the famous Frank Kane who was masterful and engineering the 30 minutes mysteries into entertaining drama. Kane also was the author behind the Johnny Liddell detective character and wrote 30 books and 400 odd short stories.
Anyway, there are a few episodes available for free on youtube or you can get the entire series used for about 20 bucks on amazon.com…worth every cent.