Still a Lot of Wear in This Fella

Politics. No one’s tired of that yet, right? Ha. Ha. Ha. Yeah. So, in “Candidate for Crime,” Jackie Cooper is Nelson Hayward, a US Senate candidate who’s sick and tired of his campaign manager telling him what to do. Does he fire him? Nope, it’s a literal Saturday Night Massacre, as the pol kills him in cold blood, then tries to pin it on a mob assassination attempt. Of course, Columbo doesn’t buy this angle for a minute and engages in a one-man filibuster against…. murder. JD Ryznar (Beyond Yacht Rock) returns to the program to talk about the (rather uneven) episode, Dixieland jazz, the arcane world of writing credits, and oh so much more.

7 comments on “Still a Lot of Wear in This Fella

  1. Great to have you guys back. Couple of points. First, 1974 was the year of Godfather II. In fact the movie was rel asked within a month of this episode. My point being the Mafia was hot. Here was this criminal group that was real but still mysterious. I suspect the dentist rant was a way of heading complaints off at the pass. You know, hey I am Italian and I am sick of only seeing my people portrayed as mobsters.

    Also, silencers, actually called supressers don’t work on revolvers. Too muck explosive gas escapes from the cylinders.

    Also re bet in 1974, the law and order platform was gaining popularity. A lot of people at the time didn’t realize that Archie Bunker was supposed to be the but of the joke. They agreed with him.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. My personal favourite episode, for the following reasons…

    – slap bang in the middle of the classic run of greatness (ie 71-75; drops a bit from 76 onwards)
    – Columbo is at his most Columbo in it. The tics, the clues, the insinuations, the insights…all there
    – the supporting cast are almost uniformly great (in what they need to do)
    – the villain is great (stand out? After the argument / reconcilliation with his wife, Hayward says ‘bring that secretary along’. Beautifully filmed, immediately showing his planning, cunning, and absolute lack of damns about anything and anyone but himself
    – The sting at the end is great – probably the best. Loads of witnesses, bang to rights, no arguments – Hayward is toast.
    – doesn’t out stay it’s welcome. It moves well.
    – To me, it shows up the best of Columbo the show and the formula (it’s my go-to episode if I’m in a Columbo mood)

    I can’t argue with some of the plotting faults (they’d evade the police that easily? The firecracker? etc) but when was Columbo ever about gritty realism? For sheer entertainment and Columbo-ness, for me this is the motherlode. There are far worse episodes than this….

    1. Yeah, JD is one of my favorites. JD, Abed and Richard. Leonard, too. Mallory Ortberg, of course. Um. No one else comes to mind. No one. No one at all.

  3. Nice work, as always.

    I agree with Jason Brown that this Columbo has a lot going for it. Yes, it was pretty clearly padded at times, but seeing Columbo actively investigating the crime scene despite all the people milling around: wonderful. And his first talk with Hayward is a real treat, since it’s completely obvious to the viewer that Columbo already knows who the killer is, and he barely bothers to pretend otherwise. I give it a solid B or B+.

  4. One more thing about the truly incompetent cop you mentioned. When he hangs up Heyward’s coat in the hotel room, he doesn’t notice there’s a gun in the pocket. Wouldn’t he feel the extra weight? I thought at first maybe he dismissed it, thinking the candidate had bought a gun to protect himself, but his expression never changes.

    I also liked the character of the wife. It was clear to me that she was drinking because the marriage had been loveless for along while. She was Nelson’s first victim. I felt sorry for her, though at the end of the shooting-the-commercial scene, she seemed to know that her husband was the killer-or at least that Columbo suspected him.

    Always good to listen to you guys, but yes, you did seem a bit rusty. And you didn’t bring your guest into the conversation as much as you might have.

  5. Great one guys, you did a great show as always.
    Just one correction – you actually have 11 listeners, and this faithful one always looks forward to the next episode.

Leave a Reply to Jim S Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *