Vincent Van Lowe
"The girl at the Fotomat used to call me the "human tripod" — no, wait, that's something else."
From the pages of FNP for Dummies (full title - Film Noir Parodies for Dummies, $34.99 from all disreputable booksellers):
(page 62 - Constituents of noir parody: Character) "2. The morally- ambiguous protagonist - In FNP, subtlety is purged. The protagonist may be presented as morally bankrupt, comically incompetent, or sometimes both (see Van Lowe, Vinnie). Such a character will do anything for the one offering the most money and have no qualms. They wouldn't know a qualm if they fell over it, and they sure as hell can't spell it...Their personal life will follow a similar pattern...dishonorable discharge, cashiering...marked by their inability to retain the love and trust of others. They will either have had numerous, brief relationships (see Van Lowe, Brenda; Van Lowe, Masako; Villareal, Debra) or have only ever known their right hand..."
(page 65 - Constituents of noir parody: Character, cont.) "[...] often containing items such as bananas, clubs, or garden gnomes. To achieve his goal of getting access to the most high profile and lucrative cases, the protagonist may go to great lengths, oft times using less than savory methods, such as burglary, theft, etc. Consequently, the protagonist is well-acquainted with the law and local facilities of imprisonment. Humorous situations arise when..."
(page 68 - Constituents of noir parody: Character, cont.)"3b) clients, disputable. More often than not, the clientele frequenting our main detective will be shady, and willing to use him for their own sinister purposes. The protagonist will either be unaware of this due to his low intellect, or he will not care about it as long as he gets paid, due to his lacking sense of morality."
(page 68 - Constituents of noir parody: Character, cont.)"4) The White Knight. Even though the protagonist will typically be shady, morally ambiguous, and generally led by greed, there may be occasions where he acts in a surprisingly chivalrous fashion, saving damsels-in-distress without expecting a reward. Sparingly employed, this device can heighten the viewers' investment in a character who otherwise might soon become stale. Most effectively, the "White Knight" is paired with one or several more dubious elements, to keep the protagonist from turning into a bland hero. (see also: "Vinnie Van Lowe Classic")"
(page 69 - Constituents of noir parody: Character, cont.)"4) The White Knight (cont.) ...It is highly unusual, however, for white knight behavior to mark a permanent transformation and where this is presented, it is accompanied by deep suspicion as to the motives and benefits being sought. (see also: "Vinnie Van Lowe: Election Race for Sheriff of Neptune)"
(page 75 - Constituents of noir parody: Setting) "23. Style and taste - Although both rely heavily on images of violence and sex, the black, white, and grey of noir gives way to garish tastelessness in FNP...wearing the sort of attire that attracts cheap women as a badge of honor..."
(page 87 - Constitutents of noir parody: Equipment)"[...] will often be used for slapstick-heavy interludes. Heavy make-up and wigs are optional, but always encouraged. Bugs, especially in the form of writing utensils, can also be of great humorous value. Be careful though not to overuse the plot-device of so-called "spy pens" without having it pay off at some point, as that may become increasingly annoying for the viewer."
(page 93 - Constituents of noir parody: Plot) "8. The double cross - In noir, though inevitable, the betrayal comes as a surprise when played out. In FNP, it's writ large from the start. A popular variety is known as the Vinnie Van Lowe Classic, in which the intrepid investigator catches out a spouse at the behest of the spouse's nosy partner, then offers to tell the trapped partner that for double the money, he'll tell the nosy one that the partner is clean. It is something that can in itself be relied upon by others to further their own interests (see Mars, Veronica for her account of the Faith Manning kidnapping case)..."
Stop Press: The publishers are pleased to announce a new edition of FNP for Dummies, fully updated and introducing a new chapter: "The Life in the Day of a Corrupt Small Town Sheriff." Based loosely on the experiences of the infamous Vinnie Van Lowe in Neptune, the chips fall where they will when gangsters and errant daughters happily coincide to ensure the election of...available in a new, bright yellow cover on June 15th for $45.99.
All bios: 3.20 3.19 3.17 3.07 3.01 2.22 2.15 2.11 2.04 1.17
Ken Marino plays Vincent Van Lowe.