Mike Hammer

Mike Hammer

(aka:  Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer)

Syndicated Series

30-Minute format/ black and white

Aired from January, 1958-1960 (Original air dates vary by geographic location)

78 episodes

Darren McGavin as Mike Hammer

Bart Burns as Captain Pat Chambers

First Season – 1958-59

1)    “The High Cost of Dying”
2)    “Just Around the Corner”
3)   ” Hot Hands, Cold Dice”
4)    “Death Gets A Diploma”
5)   ” So That’s Who It Was”
6)    “Dead Men Don’t Dream”
7)    “Letter Edged in Blackmail”
8)    “Death Takes An Encore”
9)    “Lead Ache”
10)    “Overdoes of Lead”
11)    “A Grave Undertaking”
12)    “A Shot in the Arm”
13)    “Stay Out of Town”
14)    “Beautiful, Blue and Deadly”
15)    “Skinned Deep”
16)    “Peace Bond”
17)    “Play Belles’ Toll”
18)    For Sale:  Deathbed – Used”
19)    “Music To Die By”
20)    “My Fair Deadly”
21)    “The New Look”
22)    “The Broken Frame”
23)    Look At the Old Man Go”
24)    “The Paper Shroud”
25)    “My Son and Heir”
26)    “Final Curtain”
27)    “A Detective Tail”
28)    “It’s An Art”
29)    “Four Blind Mice”
30)    “Scar and Garter”
31)    “No Pockets in a Shroud”
32)    “The Living Dead”
33)    “Old Folks at Home Blues”
34)    “No Business Like -”
35)    Crepe Suzette”
36)    “Letter of the Week”
37)    “That School-girl Complex”
38)    “To Bury A Friend”
39)    “Mere Maid”

Second Season – 1959-60

1)    “Accentuate the Positive”
2)    “Requiem for a Sucker”
3)    “I Ain’t Talkin'”
4)    “The Big Drop”
5)    “Aces and Eights”
6)    “Baubles, Bangles and Blood”
7)    “Husbands Are Bad Luck”
8)    “Jury of One”
9)    “Park the Body”
10)    “Tattoo Brute”
11)    “Coney Island Baby”
12)    “According to Luke”
13)    “Save Me in San Salvador”
14)    “The Last Aloha”
15)    “Swing Low, Sweet Harriet”
16)    “Another Man’s Poison”
17)    “A Haze on the Lake”
18)    “When I Am Dead, My Darling”
19)    “Stocks and Blondes”
20)    “Evidence on the Record”
21)    “Shoot Before You Look”
22)    “The Commodore”
23)    “See No Evil”
24)    “Curtains For An Angel”
25)    “Dixie Is Dead”
26)    “M Is For Murder”
27)    “Pen Pals”
28)    “Now Die In It”
29)    “Slay Upon Delivery”
30)    “Groomed To Kill”
31)    “Doll Trouble”
32)    “I Remember Sally”
33)    “Wedding Mourning”
34)    “Merchant of Menace”
35)    “Bride And Doom”
36)    “Slab-Happy”
37)    “A Mugging Evening”
38)    “Siamese Twinge”
39)    “Goodbye, Al”

(Episode guide taken from “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer,” by George Fergus at: epguides.com)


Interview with Darren McGavin:

(Taken from “Scarlet Street,” 1994, by Richard Valley)

SS:  In the ’50’s, you starred in Mike Hammer.  Was it difficult to tone down Mickey Spillane’s sex and violence?

DM:  Universal had made a contract with Spillane, and they made three pilots, one of them with Brian Keith.  They couldn’t show them because they were all too violent.  I don’t know why they called me to do the show.  I was doing a play in New York, and they called me to come out and do this series.  I read the script when I got there; I didn’t know what the hell we were doing!

“I said, ‘This is ridiculous!  I mean, you can’t take this shit seriously.’

“The producer said, “Well, yeah – we do.’

“And I said, ‘No, this is satire.  It’s gotta be satirical.’

“They said, ‘No, no, no – this is really very deadly, straight-on, dead-on serious.’

“So we started shooting.  On the second day of the second segment, when they finally had the rushes from the first one, Mr. Lou Wasserman came over to the set and said, ‘You can’t do this, Darren.’

“I said, ‘Do what?’

“And he said, ‘You can’t make fun of this material.’

“I said, ‘I’m not making fun of it; I’m just treating it in a lighter manner.’

“And he said, ‘Well, we don’t want that.  We want it serious.’

“I said, ‘Lou, I’ll tell you something.  We’re not deep into it.  We really aren’t.  You can hold these shows back and say I’m the cousin of the guy you’re gonna get to do it.'”

SS:  Really?  (laughs)

DM:  I said, ‘I wanna go home.  I got a farm in upstate New York, and I’m really very happy there.  I don’t wanna do this the way you wanna do it.  Let’s just call it quits today, and you can hire somebody else to do it.’

“He said, ‘We have a contract.

“I said, ‘We have a contract for me to say the words that are put on the paper.  I don’t want anybody telling me how to do it.’

“So he got a little upset.  After that, they left us alone, and we went ahead and made them – and they were instantly successful.  People thought they were funny.”