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Quid Quo Pro


In “A Friend in Deed,” (dir. Ben Gazzara!) Richard Kiley is an LA police commissioner who helps a pal cover up the murder of his wife. Then, on top of it, Kiley tries to crisscross-Strangers-on-A-Train the guy into helping with the murder of his wife! Not cool. How does Columbo manage the case when he suspects the boss’ boss’ boss? Pretty well, actually. Author and critic Ron Hogan (, The Stewardess Is Flying the Plane!: American Films of the 1970s) talks about what is an awfully good episode and our odd meta theories (Did you know that television is an organism? It’s true, ask your pastor!). Plus, Jon & RJ address a recent serious item.


  1. Chana Masaledar Chana Masaledar

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet (obviously), but before it was posted, I said to myself “If this one isn’t titled ‘Quid Quo Pro’, then I have grievously misjudged the hosts.”

  2. “Robert Culp, we’ll get to him.”

    Jon, You were born to “rap” Columbo episode summaries over the Fresh Prince Theme.

  3. Chana Masaledar Chana Masaledar

    Great work as usual. The Fresh Prince summary was very funny, and I really appreciated all the insights about the episode.

    I was struck by how very, very 70s Hugh Caldwell was. This was especially obvious when he was in the dive bar with his ridiculous sunglasses and his Dry Look hairstyle. He wasn’t doing a very good job of blending in with the bums.

    Incidentally, I just watched Roger Corman’s Gunslinger a couple of days ago, so I was very surprised to hear Jon mention it.

  4. Laura Laura

    Another Richard Kiley role I wanted to mention: he appears in “The Blackboard Jungle” as a hapless math teacher who not only gets the shit kicked out of him by a group thugs whose leader is Vic Morrow, but he also has his entire collection of rare swing records smashed to bits before his eyes by, among other people, Jamie Farr and Paul Mazursky. I like to think that character was radicalized by the experience and not only moved from teaching to police work but became to total sociopath in the process.

  5. JRC JRC

    This is probably my fav’ episode of the podcast so far. It was a good ep of the show, that gave a lot to talk about, the digressions were fun and still connected back to Columbo, the guest also knew and loved the show–having lots of specific info to share gave it a very dense feel–please have him back!
    RJ’s interruptions were pointed and controlled, and John’s theory of Columbo as a immune agent in the “tv body” was amazing and entertaining–Morrison would approve I bet.
    I’ve liked almost everything about JOMT, but I’d love more like this one please!

  6. dtsjr dtsjr

    The muzak playing in the jewelry story is a song titled “The End of a Love Affair.” I laughed.

  7. 3D 3D

    I feel like the reason that he is so eager to help Caldwell, is because he already wants to kill his own wife, and he wants Caldwell to owe him, so that he can leverage him to be an accomplice in that crime.

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