East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Pat Novak for Hire


jack webb 4A few days back I posted a silly infographic about being in a film noir.
In the comments, Bill Ziegler suggested I check out Pat Novak for Hire, a radio show from the ’40s I knew nothing about.

I checked it out. And it’s a great show.
The stories are tight and off-beat, the tone is ironic in the way old hard boiled detectives were ironic.
Lots of great one-liners.
The stars Jack Webb in the titular role, and we all know Jack Webb from Dragnet.
Pat Novak is a man for hire, an unlicensed detective, in the same vein of Travis McGee.
The sort of character that I like very much.

So, here’s a sample.

Two separate series were done – one in ’46/’47, and a later series in ’49 (with higher production values but basically the same cast). The scripts were by Richard L. Breen, that would go on to win an Oscar as the screenwriter of 1953’s Titanic.
If you’re interested, you can legally download a fair chunk of the series through the Internet Archive.

And a big thank you to Bill, for pointing me in the direction of this great show.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “Pat Novak for Hire

  1. Hey Davide, thank YOU for the tip of your storied hat. So now the news is out and trending. Karavansara readers recognize the good stuff or they wouldn’t be here in the troves of treasure to share discoveries. Jack Webb was already at the top of over-the-top with Pat Novak for Hire. Production values are great, characters remain with their voices in your memory, and isolated quotes are there for your every occasion. There is a ready reference (ordered by episode) to whet your appetite for wonder or quote need. Then you’ll want to hear all the episodes. It’s at http://patnovak.50webs.com/quotes.html


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.