apropos of nothing

That’s Detective Munch to You

Those eyes! Those lips! Those irresistibly pockmarked cheeks!Photo: Getty Images

Seasoned actor Richard Belzer has signed a deal with Simon & Schuster to release two crime novels that he describes as “a mix of Dashiell Hammett, Oscar Wilde, Lenny Bruce and Robert Altman.” The punch line? Belzer himself will be a character in the books.

The announcement should come as no surprise to Belzer’s fans, as he’s always been something of jack-of-all-trades: actor, writer (UFOs, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Believe), comedian, and even model of sorts, having appeared on the cover of the Billy Joel album Turnstiles. But a quick perusal of Belzer’s IMDb bio yielded the somewhat notable news that his Law & Order character, Detective John Munch, is the longest-running character on any American drama still on the air. What’s more, tucked into the announcement for his books is the intriguing nugget that the aforementioned Detective Munch has appeared in no less than nine different television shows — and no, they’re not all Law & Order spinoffs.

Try as we might, we can only count eight:

Law & Order
Law & Order Special Victims Unit
Sesame Street
Arrested Development
Law & Order: Trial by Jury
The Beat
Homicide: Life on the Street
The X Files

—Sara Cardace

That’s Detective Munch to You