|RUMPLED AND READY COLUMBO RETURNS!
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM HIM NOW!
Taken from - TV guide February 4th 1989
By Peter Falk with Jeff Kays
The ABC Mystery Movie, an anthology of three rotating two-hour dramas, will make its debut
on Monday, Feb. 6, at 9 AM. (ED. The first episode will star Peter Falk in Columbo.. It
will be followed by Burt Reynolds in St. Stryker and Louis Gossert Jr. in Gideon Oliver.
Check list-ings for time and channel in your area.
I went back to my hometown in upstate New York one time and found that the whole main
street was gone. I wish when I went back it would have been the same as I remembered it.
Things are always changing too fast. But Columbo isn't going to change. I liked it just
the way it was and that's how it's going to stay. Yeah, it's been more than 10 years since
the last new episode ran. The world's changed a lot since then. More guns. bombs,
missiles-they're making too much progress. We should be satisfied if we can blow up the
world in 10 minutes. Let's not get it down to eight.
Columbo comes back on the air, he's gonna be just the same as always. He's absorbed in his
job. He's just as curious. He doesn't need to shoot anybody to solve a crime. Deductive
reasoning works just fine. He asks questions. He thinks about the answers and asks more
questions-until there's that one last thing he needs to ask to solve the case. That isn't
going to change. His dog will get a little older. His car will get a little older The
raincoat will get a little older.
But that only means you get more attached to it: that doesn't mean you get rid of
it. He's got the same brain-he's not senile yet. It's not going to be the All New
Columbo" -no family, screaming kids, anything like that. Personally, I'm just as
sloppy as Columbo. but nowhere near as smart. I wish I had his curiosity-that interest in
things that we all had as kids. He says things that only a kid would say. Adults think the
same things, but they're afraid they'll sound dopey if they say it out loud. He's
questioning a suspect about a case and then suddenly asks the guy what he paid for his
shoes. It's not a ploy. He's thinking that Italian leather looks pretty good and he
wonders if he can get a pair that looks nearly the
same for half the money.
Columbo has a strange blend of innocence and shrewdness. He's thinking all the time. He
walks into a wealthy person's house and goes into the powder room. That's already a
different thing-not a bathroom. He sees a bar of soap. But its yellow and shaped like an
egg. Lemon-scented and shaped like an egg. Makes an impression on him. He remembers Ivory.
It was white. Shaped like a brick. He goes to ring for an elevator. His finger gels close
to the button, but before he touches it the button lights up. How the hell did that happen
He doesn't know but he'll find out Gotta look into that.
His stained brown raincoat, his ageing suit and shoes-he'll always wear them. Columbo has
never seen a need for different clothes. He doesn't think about it. He's got other things
on his mind. He's not a shopper, although occasionally there's that hankering for new
shoes. He doesn't mind looking rumpled because he's comfortable with himself. He knows who
he is. He likes his job and he's good at it. Columbo doesn't care what other people think
of his idiosyncrasies. Doesn't mind if people see that he keeps messages to himself on
little scraps of paper in his pockets. That's just the way he works.He is a genuinely
polite man, always polite, even to the suspects. He makes a point of apologising for
taking up their time. There's an ambiguity there whereby he pursues whoever committed the
crime like a pit bull, but then feels a certain amount of regret
that he had to catch him. Then there's a letdown that the contest is over and a
sadness that the guy who did it should have known better. There was the wine
connoisseur who killed in a moment of rage when he found out that a high-quality wine was
being cheapened. Columbo had to nail the guy because he did the crime. But he had
a lot of respect for him. They had something in common. Columbo is drawn to excellence. He
doesn't like sloppy-only in clothes.
Sometimes the suspects seem to underestimate him. They start out with an exaggerated
notion of their own power. But a lot of times, what appears to be underestimation is
actually an attempt by the bad guys to cover up their nervousness' You do away with
somebody and a badge shows up to talk to you, your heart's gonna beat a little faster, I
don't care who you are. After a while begins to dawn on them that Columbo ain't going
away. He'll outlast any of them. He's a long-distance runner.
Making sure the show would be exactly the same after a 10-year absence wasn't easy. Life
is full of surprises and I must say my mouth fell open when I heard Universal Studios,
which makes the show, sold Columbo's car. They got a couple of people to do a Columbo-like
job of tracking down the same Peugeot that had been used on the series. The upshot is the
car is back-wouldn't have been the same without it. We're going to have to update the dog.
The dog was originally the idea of director Nick Cola-santo ("Coach" on Cheers)
who said, as we were getting ready to do the first show of the second season, "I
think you should have a dog" I in my wisdom said, "No chance-gilding the lily.'
two days later, Nick brought me into a room under false pretences and there was the basset
hound, 103 years old with ears that hit the floor. Could hardly walk and he was
irresistible. I shouldn't tell tales out of school, but that dog died about three years
later. And from that point on, I was never alone in the makeup room because the new dog
was in the next chair. It took me five minutes, then we had to sit around and wait, The
new dog was young, so they had to put a lot of clown- white makeup on his face. I guess
it's true that the world has changed around Columbo in the last dec-ade. Styles of
clothes, models of cars. Now there are personal computers and no-smoking sections.
But Columbo Will keep doing things the way he's always done them.
Columbo in 1989 is not thinking about giving up cigars. He's just Thinking, 'Gee, it's
getting harder and harder to bum a match"