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December 12

December 12, 1952 – The Goofy Short Film How to Be a Detective is Released to Theaters


“Every large city offers a wealth of opportunities for a good private detective. The requirements for such a job are quite simple: item number one, he needs office space.”

On December 12, 1952, the Goofy short film How to Be a Detective was released to theaters. It was directed by Jack Kinney, with story by Dick Kinney and Brice Mack.

The short begins with a city at night, with several crimes being committed in one building. One small spot at the top of the building has an “Office to Let” sign, which is soon taken away and replaced with a sign for Johnny Eyeball, Private Eye. Johnny (portrayed by Goofy), has his reading of a Mickey Mouse comic interrupted by a mysterious woman who requests him to “find Al.” She pays him $100, and the police chief appears, telling Johnny to leave the case to the police. A shady weasel approaches Johnny with a gun soon after, and threatens him. Johnny then heads to Al’s Joint, disguised as an old man, but is quickly recognized.

Johnny finds himself "sleeping with the fishes," but is soon pulled out by the police chief

Johnny finds himself “sleeping with the fishes,” but is soon pulled out by the police chief

When Johnny enters the bar, he asks the bartender for information on Al, bribing him with a dollar. The bartender drugs Johnny’s drink with “goof balls,” and Johnny soon finds himself in the bottom of the river wearing cement boots. The chief pulls Johnny out of the river and warns him again to let the police handle this case. Johnny then heads to the Chronicle’s files, but falls down an elevator shaft. He is then kicked out of the morgue, and tries to call the police. Everyone is on the Al case, and they follow a mysterious car in taxis from “Al’s Taxi,” but end up in various dangerous situations, including dodging trains and getting squished between two trucks. The chase continues for a while, which includes gunplay, when all three cars end up crashing into a hay bale. As the weasel, the woman, Johnny, and the police chief pop out of the hay, the woman takes the chief, who is the mysterious Al Muldoon they’ve all been searching for, by the ear and drags him into the nearby building of the Justice of the Peace, who happens to be the weasel. Johnny shrugs, and says simply that this case proves that crime doesn’t pay.


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