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The Muppets go noir, and everyone else does too

October 17, 2008 |  5:18 pm

Muppets_1017

The Muppets are going noir. An article in the Hollywood Reporter says that the Jim Henson company is moving forward with " 'The Happytime Murders,' a comedic film noir murder mystery" that is intended for grown-ups. "The pic will be populated by a mix of human characters and puppets in the Henson style of irreverence and parody,"  Variety reports. "Story centers on a puppet detective forced to solve a string of murders around the Happytime Gang, the cast of a popular children's show." I always thought the trench-coat clad Kermit looked a little Philip Marlowe-ish — and frankly, I can't wait.

No need to wait for the 13th episode of the podcast CrimeWAV, live now: in it, author Cornelia Read reads her story "Hungry Enough." The story just won the 2008 Shamus Award, it was announced at Bouchercon and is included in the collection "A Hell of a Woman: An Anthology of Female Noir."

Even if authors who aren't writing noir are fond of it. Laird Hunt ("The Exquisite") says some of his past work has had elements of noir, but he's kind of all over the place, genre-wise. "I'm pretty far from being preoccupied with noir," he tells Kelly Spitzer, "though I almost always love to read it."

Some noir authors are bold enough to embrace crime. A few appear to be trying to pick a bicycle lock in this photo taken outside Philadelphia's reading/discussion series, Noir at the Bar.

We promise not to steal anything when, next week, Jacket Copy takes its last look at "Nobody Move," the noir novella by Denis Johnson that's been serialized in Playboy. Its fourth and final episode is on stands now; you can catch up with our archived discussion here.

— Carolyn Kellogg

Photo of Muppet toys posed in a slightly sordid urban environment (poor Fozzie, hitting the bottle) by looking_glass via Flickr.

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