Over the years, Columbo’s
popularity has spawned a whole host of imitators, who comprise one of the
weirdest cottage industries in show business – Columbo impersonators.
Over the years, Columbo’s popularity has spawned a whole host of imitators, who comprise one of the weirdest cottage industries in show business – Columbo impersonators.
Moving from one nightclub or shopping mall to the next, raincoats flapping and cigars smoldering, they inhabit one of the lesser-known specialties in the entertainment world.
These guys will show up at your birthday party, corporate event or bar mitzvah, in full Columbo drag, ready to entertain or annoy your guests with a barrage of Columbo’s patented style of pestering.
Here are just a few of them:
(Sorry, we can’t vouch for how long the links will last to their advertising sites)
When Ted Kerin was planning his wedding, he claimed he wanted to hire this guy to show up at the reception. Nobody is sure how serious Ted was, nor does history record his wife’s view of the plan – but the wedding went ahead without Michael Pasternak, possibly the world’s busiest Columbo imitator.
From Michael’s advertisement:
“Imagine the president of your company or association at the podium. Then imagine Lt. Columbo wandering in, lost as usual and interrupting. What follows is a program incorporating the funny anecdotes and idiosyncrasies that everyone knows about each other. Liven up your banquet, luncheon, awards dinner, or trade show — invite Lt. Columbo to turn your event into the most talked about of the year!”
Yes, just imagine.
Here’s a site with a QuickTime movie of Mike doing his Columbo – as you can see, he’s really got the moves down:
"Petaluma, CA - Christopher Linnell is a professional entertainer offering more than 150 celebrity voices and over 75 fully-costumed celebrity impersonations, ranging from such celebrities and characters as W.C. Fields and Groucho Marx to Lt. Columbo and The Church Lady, all in a variety of programs geared for corporate meetings, parties, and presentations, private parties, promotions, and audio and video presentations, to be performed live or presented on tape anywhere in the U.S. or in the world."
“Mark Gallier brings the famous Television
detective, ‘Columbo’ to life, complete with the famous 403 Peugeot
convertible and Basset Hound when required. With 15 years of experience
and a personal meeting with Peter Falk, this is a talented versatile
artist you can rely upon for commercials, personal appearances or
delivering amusing speeches at corporate events.”
In addition to doing Columbo, Sammy’s other specialty act is his Robert Deniro impression.
He also does (in alphabetical
order): Louie Armstrong, Walter Brennan, Archie & Edith Bunker, James
Cagney, Truman Capote, Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, Count Dracula, Frank
“Crazy Guggenheim” Fontaine, The Godfather, Topo Gigio, Alfred
Hitchcock, Jerry Lewis, Liberace, Jackie Mason, Dean Martin, Louie Prima,
Edward G. Robinson, James Stewart, Sylvester Stallone, and Ed Sullivan.
We’d like to see him do Columbo, interrogating “Crazy Guggenheim” and Topo Gigio.
Ken Atkinson, from Kirkfield, Ontario, Canada, is an actor who has put together a pair of murder mysteries (“Columbo I” and “Columbo II”) which he will present at your corporate event or private party
Columbo at Paris Sport Motor Show
This Columbo impersonator was a big hit at the Paris Sport Motor Show.
“Ken” – from “Imagine In Concert”
The agency doesn’t tell us Ken’s full name; we can only guess why.
“Available for Meet & Greet!”
And then there are the amateurs – people who impersonate Columbo for the sheer fun of it.
Unidentified Columbo Impersonator – Hollywood, California
This fellow can be found on the sidewalks of Los Angeles, offering to pose with you for five dollars. He seems to be enjoying himself.
Columbo “Flasher” Impersonator – Southampton, England
This sort of thing gives raincoats a bad name.
Unknown Columbo Impersonator – somewhere in the USA
The Littlest Columbo
Mitchell, from California,
wanted to be Columbo, for Halloween. It's a fake cigar and he does a great
impression of "Oh, just one more thing!"