The Signs That You’re a Murderer On Columbo

Irony sent this over to me because he knew it was right up my alley. His too. Hippie’s also.

We’re big fans of the old Quinn Martin production shows, mainly because they’re fun to riff on. Way before Police Squad parodied the Quinn Martin habit of naming their episodes, we were doing that.

Tonight’s Episode: Hickory, Dickory Death

Tonight’s Episode: No Shirt, No Shoes, No Head

Tonight’s Episode: Ring Around the Coffin

We have a love/hate relationship with all of those 70s shows, Quinn Martin or not. For every Rockford Files, Kojak and Streets of San Francisco there was a total crap one. (I won’t name names lest I offend anyone’s sensibilities.)

Even some shows that I liked I still make fun of. I liked Quincy, but it suffered from the same basic flaw as Columbo.

Quincy was constantly maligned in every episode as being rogue, paranoid, a real pest to the system. Yet, every week he cracked a murder. You think for once he’d earn some respect.


Columbo shows up at a murder scene and you can see patrol officers in the background covering their mouths and laughing. The guy isn’t a legend in the force? He only solves an intricate murder every week. (Even though I have always maintained that most of the time the way Columbo “gets his murderer” the evidence would never hold up in court. Why the idiots confess at the end is beyond me.)

Having said all of this, here’s a hilarious take on Columbo —>

The signs that you’re a murderer on Columbo

The Toast

-You are insufferably smug, and rude to waiters, valet staff, elevator attendants, and your own relatives.

-You are either brusque and indifferent or overly affectionate to dogs.

-You are either a highly paid psychiatrist, a world-renowned composer, a high-ranking naval officer, or a mystery novelist with a pilot’s license.

-You have offered Lieutenant Columbo a higher-paying job, an expensive glass of scotch, or a better brand of cigar than the one he is currently smoking.

-You are wearing a turtleneck under a camel-hair sportcoat.

-Columbo has asked you a serious of innocuous questions about the value of your home. You are outwardly composed while answering him, but your smile does not reach your eyes.

-If you are a woman, you dress like Margaret Dumont in a Marx Brothers film. If you are a man, you dress like Thurston Howell III.

-Your step-daughter hates you.

-You are shocked, shocked to learn that you could possibly be considered a suspect, but your shock is polite and amused and you are perfectly willing to entertain the detective’s theories as long as they don’t make you late for lunch.

-Although you are a native of Los Angeles, you speak with a flawless Mid-Atlantic accent. Your consonants could cut glass.

-You’re Jack Cassidy.

-You become 20% less genial toward the police every ten minutes.


I have some:

-You’re a massively popular pop star who sings songs that are completely out of fashion.

-You’re a genius in your field, but there’s an up and coming hot shot kid fresh out of college stealing your thunder.

-You’re a starlet about 4 years past her most smoking hot days.

-Your giant house, fancy car, fabulous wardrobe and 24 hour house staff only contributes to just how miserable you are.

-You have a lawyer on speed dial.




48 Comments on The Signs That You’re a Murderer On Columbo

  1. . . .will. was watching some columbo lately. He even quit cigars for a couple episodes, but they are sooooo predictable.

    Now Rockford. Garner made that one of the best programs on TV.

  2. The problem with ALL these series is you didn’t need to be a brain surgeon to figure out who was guilty right after the opening credits. Maybe that’s your point, I dunno.

  3. Karl Malden, best roll ever. The Hanging Tree with Gary Cooper. Anybody else notice they never play that movie any more. Gary Cooper is as bad ass as John Wayne.

  4. Columbo is the greatest tv detective there ever was. My younger 17 year old brother loves it and tries to watch every episode we come across [I’m considering getting him the series on blu ray, whatever it’s on sale again. lol.]

    Oh, and uh, just one more thing… pardon me for asking… But do you prefer Quincy over Columbo, and if so, why? 😉

  5. My favorite TV criminologist was Dan Matthews, Head of the Highway Patrol!

    In the days before computers, he’d tell his people “back at headquarters” to, “Get me the names of every left-handed guy in the state who drives a blue convertible! Move it!” Or, “Tell the lab boys to get up here and get casts of those tire tracks and find out where they came from!”

    The most impressive thing was how he shot a running suspect at 50 yards with a snub-nosed .38 fire from the hip, and it was always one-shot, one-kill.

    They don’t make coppers like they used to.

  6. Columbo is my absolute favorite 70’s crime show. I watch it every chance I get. It seems simplistic, but think about how Columbo;
    – plays dumb to engage the suspects who are raging narcissists and gains insight on how they commit crime,
    – is a seasoned cop, with lots of experience with all kinds of people/personalities.
    – brilliant, and doggedly (wink) determined to solve a crime he thinks is a solid case.
    – humane and not afraid to show his flaws. In fact, it makes him seem vulnerable, which works to his advantage. The smug criminals think they’re manipulating him when it’s the other way around.
    – an ordinary guy doing a tough job, involving life and death.

    My favorite episodes are; “A Stitch in Crime” starring Leonard Nimoy, “Negative Reaction” starring Dick Van Dyke, and “An Exercise in Fatality” starring Robert Conrad.
    Yeah, the titles are hokey and the formulaic script is simple but there’s still plenty of complexities in the stories and great actors.

  7. A bit out of the loop as there was strict prohibition on TV in my house, so I haven’t seen all the shows even if I’ve heard of them.I have a season of Rockford on DVD and love that show. I recently started watching Columbo because I saw the actor in a movie about a circus and liked him.

    My mom loves Murder She Wrote, though I have yet to see it.

  8. Nobody beat Frank Cannon chasing bad guys in his 44 ton Lincoln Continental .
    My favorite episode featured Cannon scuba diving all over the ocean in pursuit of justice (obviously a stunt guy in a rubber fat suit).
    William Conrad probably couldn’t lower himself into a sitz bath without having a coronary

  9. Ah, yes, The Rockford Files was one of the finest TV shows ever, but I digress. And speaking of further digressing about other old shows:

    TV EXECUTIVE (TO RAYMOND BURR): “Ray, baby, Perry Mason was one of the most successful TV shows ever! You’ve GOT to do another series!”
    RAYMOND BURR: “Aw, c’mon, haven’t I done enough? I’m tired now. Gimmie a break.”
    TV EXECUTIVE: “But, Ray, we’ll make a fortune! Name your price!”
    RAYMOND BURR: “It’s not about money. I’m fat and I’m exhausted.”
    TV EXECUTIVE: “OK, you win…name your terms.”
    RAYMOND BURR: “I get to shoot the whole show sitting down.”
    TV EXECUTIVE: “WHHAAAAT? That’s impossible! How are we gonna….”
    RAYMOND BURR: “Take it or leave it.”
    TV EXECUTIVE: “OK, OK…we’ll come up with something. Deal.”

    (The birth of Ironside)

  10. Tony, just finished all of Foyle’s War. I wouldn’t want to work for Michael Kitchen when he’s in a Foyle mood.
    Now on Continuum. Nobody confesses at the end of these episodes.
    Wife (and I) still like Murder She Wrote. If only to watch the hokey confessions at the end. Perry Mason, she’s not.

  11. Back when there were Broadcast Standards (that meant something), it was hard to pack a good story in less than 1 hour. At the same time, the story line had to be made simple enough for Democrats to understand and keep their attention.

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