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Columbo’s distinctive appearance and comical mannerisms, even when played by Peter Falk with totally natural acting style, make him something like a human cartoon – so it is quite natural that Columbo has become a source of humor and fascination for cartoonists.


Mother Goose & Grimm

(copyrighted by Grimmy, Inc.)

This comic strip, by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Mike Peters, was probably first published in newspapers on "Columbus Day".

Caption: “Columbo Discovers America”

Columbo (not a great Falk likeness, but insanely drawn): “Gee, when I tell my wife I met a real Indian Chief, she won’t believe it. Say, mind if I smoke?…”

Marmaduke (contributed by Mac Cat)

In a Sunday cartoon panel by Brad Anderson, the housewife is telling her husband about how she had some freshly baked cookies out on the counter, and when she turned around, they were gone. The husband begins theorizing like a detective, asserting that since she swears that she saw no-one enter or leave the kitchen, then the culprit must still be in the kitchen somewhere. He opens a pantry door, and the huge dog, Marmaduke, bursts out from the cabinet, smacking his chops. Later, the husband is in front of the TV saying, "I've been watching too many Columbo reruns."

Blondie (contributed by Roy Kassinger)

(copyrighted by King Features Syndicate, Inc.)

Mailman (walking away): That’s it for today…See you tomorrow. (…then, turns around)…Oh yes, just one more thing. I forgot to include these BILLS.

Dagwood: You’ve been watching “Columbo” again, haven’t you?


(copyrighted by Creators Syndicate, Inc.)

Peter: OK, Guys…I’m gonna come right out and say it: Do you believe the world is round?

Anno & Conahonty: Darn right…Bet your booties.

Peter: You’re kidding!

Anno: Not kid Peter….That flag belong to Columbo.

Peter: Columbo?

Conahonty: Anno mean “Columbus”. …Always get mixed up with Peter Falk.



The Simpsons

Homer joins the Navy Reserves and is in boot camp. He shows up for inspection wearing a novelty hat with beer-cans strapped to it -- "I lost my sailor hat."

The drill instructor, a parody of Lou Gossett, Jr, in "An Officer And A Gentleman," spots Homer's beer-drinker hat and says "What are you, a comedian?" 

Homer says, "Well, I'm no Margaret Cho,... but I do a pretty fair Columbo impression!"...and with that, Homer launches into a choking rendition of "Just one more thing."  He strains his throat trying to imitate Peter Falk's voice, breaks into a coughing fit and abruptly leaves the inspection line to get a glass of water, as the drill instructor fumes.

This bizarre and unexpected interlude can be seen on RealVideo in The Columbo Scrapbook, "Columbo Video Clips".

("The Simpsons" is copyrighted by Fox Television.)


Lieutenant Mumbly (contributed by Roy Kassinger)

"Mumbly" is a Hanna-Barbera spin-off of their early seventies show "Wacky Racers," which had featured Dick Dastardly and his dog, Muttley, as one of the racing teams. The character is a dog who speaks only in grumbles and a wheezing laugh.

When the dog got his own show in the mid-seventies, it was obviously a parody of Columbo. They changed his name to Mumbly, made him a police Lieutenant, and they put him in a raincoat.  Lieutenant Mumbly drives a Columbo style car that tends to literally fall apart when he parks it, and he continually pops-up in places that the villain doesn't expect him to be in.

"Mumbly" was a series of  seven-minute cartoons made in 1975 and packaged as part of first "The New Tom & Jerry Show", and then revamped as the "Tom & Jerry/Great Grape Ape/Mumbly Show".  Backround info on the show and an episode guide can be found at the below link

Mumbly is a cartoon dog character famous for his wheezy laugh, shown in The Mumbly Cartoon Show, and voiced by Don Messick.

("Mumbly" is copyrighted by Hanna-Barbera.)


Tiny Toon Adventures  (contributed by Roy Kassinger)

On an episode of "Tiny Toon Adventures" , a cartoon elephant is jealous of Bugs Bunny's triumph in winning an Oscar ™  for the short "Knighty Knight Bugs",  so the elephant  kidnaps the famous rabbit.  Babs and Buster Bunny both adopt Columbo personas to make the elephant confess.


This cartoon by Dwane Powell for the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer is a commentary on a local news story. The chief of security at North Carolina State University got in trouble when it was learned that he had spent huge sums on cameras, VCRs and high-tech gadgets, much of which ended up at his house. (He later explained that he took the equipment home “so it wouldn’t get stolen”.)

The cartoon shows ”Great Crime Fighters and Their Equipment”.


Sam Spade has: “Old desk, antique typewriter, pint,” etc.

Barney of Mayberry has: “One bullet”.

Lt Columbo (great drawing!) has: “Battered trench coat, finger to scratch head, quizzical look”.

NCSU Security has: “The Full Monty” -- room stuffed with cameras, TVs and giant screen. Security Chief sits at master control panel, thinking “Eat your heart out, IMAX fans.”  


Funky Winkerbean - (copyrighted by Batiuk, Inc.)

Funky and his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, Wade, are taking inspiration from “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”, the Dr Seuss book about life’s ups and downs.

Funky reads some lines from where Dr Seuss talks about the challenges of loneliness and fear, but Funky pretends he doesn’t get the point, and makes a joke of it.

Wad’s response reveals the cartoonist’s view that “Columbo” is the favorite TV show of old, eccentric, formerly drunk philosophers:

“And to think I could be at home, watching ‘Columbo’ on The Detective Channel!”

Wizard of Id, by Brant Parker and Johnny Hart 

(copyright by Creators Syndicate Inc)

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