Laffy Smith was a criminal who forged prescriptions as way to obtain drugs, which he then sold to dealers. He had freckles and light wavy hair. Laffy had the habit of laughing compulsively.
Laffy Encounters Dick Tracy[edit | edit source]
Laffy had worked as a janitor in a building that housed several doctors' offices. By chance, Dick Tracy encountered Laffy (who posed as a doctor) as Tracy was seeking a headache remedy. Laffy's odd behavior aroused Tracy's suspicions.
Fearing that he was near being captured, Laffy informed one of his criminal associates (Needles) that he would no longer be able to acquire the prescription pads that he had used to obtain narcotics. Needles threatened Laffy, who killed him in response.
Laffy's Ailments[edit | edit source]
Laffy then went into hiding with the help of his associate Ziggy. Laffy's habit of laughing resulted in him experiencing a case of lockjaw, with his mouth stuck open. Ziggy summoned a doctor, who had recently worked with Dick Tracy on a related matter. The doctor recognized Laffy and "treated" him by punching him in the jaw. This resulted in Laffy's mouth being stuck closed. The doctor alerted Tracy to Laffy's whereabouts. Laffy and Ziggy discovered this, and they subdued the doctor and left him for dead.
Laffy and Ziggy fled to the home of Laffy's girlfriend, Lita Lure. Tracy rescued the doctor and tracked Laffy to Lure's apartment, where Laffy was taken into custody.
The End of Laffy[edit | edit source]
Laffy was treated while in police custody, but doctors were unable to open his jaw. Consequently, he suffered serious malnutrition. Laffy's brother Kirk Smith, a war hero, came to visit him in jail. At first Laffy refused to see Kirk, believing that being associated with him would damage Kirk's heroic reputation. Tracy allowed Kirk into Laffy's room, and Laffy pretended to not know his brother.
Laffy died of starvation while in police custody; in his hand was found a newspaper clipping of the Mayor Norris reception for Lt Kirk Smith.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- There is no established familial connection between Laffy Smith and other characters named "Smith" who have appeared in the strip, such as Diet Smith.
- It is not clear what the specific cause of Laffy's physical ailments were. He jaw being stuck open seemed to be a result of a muscle spasm or bone dislocation. The subsequent problem of his jaw being stuck closed MAY have been the result of a similar disorder, but it could also have a result of a tetanus infection caused by a cut on his hand. Doctors at the police station apparently attempted to treat him with a series of injections, but these had no effect.
- Laffy's cameo in the 80th Anniversary re-telling of Tracy's first case directly contradicts the continuity of Laffy's original story. In the re-telling, Laffy acted as a go-between for Big Boy and Tracy (who was disguised as the criminal Beaky Lawson). Laffy and Tracy meet face-to-face and Tracy says, "Thanks, Laffy," indicating he knows Laffy by face and by name. In Laffy's original story, Tracy does not recognize Laffy when Laffy is posing as a doctor. This could be explained by the fact that the re-telling of Tracy's first case is coming from Sam Catchem, who was not present at the time of the original events, and could have gotten some of the details wrong.
- Similarly, in the Flashback storyline, Laffy was shown smoking a cigar. He was not depicted as a smoker in his initial appearance.
- Laffy's name was listed on the cover of IDW's The Complete Dick Tracy Vol. 8. This may seem to be an odd choice, as that volume also included the storylines of the more well-known villains 88 Keyes and Flattop Jones Sr..