->''"Now one time it comes on Christmas, and in fact it is the evening before Christmas, and I am in Good Time Charley Bernstein's little speakeasy in West Forty-seventh Street, wishing Charley a Merry Christmas and having a few hot Tom and Jerrys with him."''

Damon Runyon (1880 1946) is an American journalist and author, best known for his short stories about the colorful gamblers, gangsters and hustlers of UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity in the early part of the twentieth century. His stories are narrated in the first person by an anonymous narrator with a distinctive slang-laced style [[PresentTenseNarrative that avoids past and future tense]].

Notable adaptations of Runyon stories include:

* ''Theatre/GuysAndDolls''
* ''Film/LadyForADay''
* ''Film/LittleMissMarker'', an early hit for ShirleyTemple.

!!Damon Runyon's stories provide examples of:

* BigEater: Nicely-Nicely Jones in "A Piece of Pie".
-->He is a horse player by trade, and eating is really just a hobby, but he is undoubtedly a wonderful eater even when he is not hungry.
* TheButlerDidIt: Parodied in "What, No Butler?"
* DelusionsOfEloquence: The theme of mooks talking over their heads is a mainstay.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Runyon's characters are criminals, but there are lines they will not cross.
* FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator: The anonymous narrator (or narrators -- when he is so anonymous, who can tell?).
* LaserGuidedKarma: In "Dancing Dan's Christmas", Dancing Dan decides on a whim to borrow a drunken MallSanta's outfit and deliver Christmas cheer to some poverty-stricken persons of his acquaintance. This whim saves his life.
* LoadBearingHero: The title character in "Earthquake".
* PresentTenseNarrative
* PrincessForADay: Apple Annie in "Madame La Gimp".