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Steven Spelberg

Episode Card_S01E11 (Ep 11)

Think tank head Jose Ferrer applies his brainpower to the equation of murder in “Mind Over Mayhem,” which also sees Columbo assisted by Robby the Robot. No, wait- come back here, it works, it really does. Appropriately, Alex Knapp (who writes the “Robot Overlords” weblog for Forbes) joins Jon and RJ to dissect this tale of deceit, war games, natural gas-powered cars and misunderstood boy geniuses. Also discussed- Warriors gangs. Sure, why not?


  1. Leigh Leigh

    It was actually the UK fandom that got me into Columbo, and one person in particular: Stephen Fry.

    On an episode of QI a few years ago, Columbo came up during a discussion of Socratic irony — and Fry commented that he thinks it’s the greatest television show of all time (and Frank Skinner agreed). This was enough to make me give it a shot. 67 episodes and 2 pilots later (then all that again, then at least half of it a third time) and I think I’m one of the biggest fans out there.

    Conveniently, the clip in question is here:

    • RJ RJ

      Geez, fingers crossed, if we can get that guy on the program.

      • Ant Ant

        You might also try to get Graham Linehan @glinner, writer of UK/Irish sitcoms The IT Crowd and Father Ted, inter alia. He’s also a Columbo fan, and on Twitter he recently linked to your podcast, which is how I discovered it.

  2. Chana Masaledar Chana Masaledar

    I was sure the title of this podcast episode would be “I’m a Boy Genius,” but “Steven Spelberg” is good too.

    Nice work, as usual.

    • RJ RJ

      Thank you. It was a difficult choice. I already have two candidates from “Columbo Goes to the Guillotine” (our next episode – HINT). But I’m not sure which one to use.

      • Leigh Leigh

        Oh man… I have so much to say about Columbo Goes to the Guillotine. I’m a mentalist/magician, and that episode seems to be heavily inspired by some real people and events, plus it has a lot of nice little nods to the history of mentailsm — not sure if you hit that side or not in the podcast, so I’ll hold off on the details for now. Suffice to say the guy who wrote it was also a magician, though I believe he found more success as a writer, and he brought a bunch of his knowledge to bear on the episode.

      • Ant Ant

        “I know you’re expecting cabbages”?

  3. You guys asked if Columbo mentions having kids in any other episode. I just saw this so it’s fresh in my mind: in s03e02, “Any Old Port in a Storm,” he makes dinner plans with the villain and says, “If we can get a sitter my wife’ll join us.” I’m watching the series in order so that was definitely the first time he refers to having a kid or kids. Mind over Mayhem is the second.

  4. Mark D Mark D

    Great episode and Alex Knapp was the best guest you’ve had so far. You need to have him back.
    Couple of points- I took Columbo’s behaviour at the end with Ferrer to be genuine. I think as a father himself Columbo really felt for Ferrer and I think he felt a little guilty that he had to get him like that. The couple of insults Ferrer let fly earlier were water off a duck’s back.

    I loved the little touches like when Columbo realized it was Ferrer…kind of a combination of surprise/ disappointment/ and resignation that wow!-here’s another guy who seems to have everything but has just committed murder.
    And loved the shot of Columbo sitting way at the end of the hall hunched over in a chair lighting his cigar as Ferrer rushed out ready to confess. Outplayed him completely but very humble and polite about it.

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