Yes, we talked about “Now You See Him” way back on our seventh show, but we felt it was worth revisiting with a more, shall we say, open-minded guest. The episode features Jack Cassidy creeping it up as a creep magician/ex-Nazi SS officer who kills the creep magic club owner who’s blackmailing him over his evil past. Also- Columbo has a new coat! Robert Loggia’s in charge of the kitchen! There’s a hidden Hollywood legend! Lots of other stuff we never got to when we tried talking about the episode with that first guy! Since it’s the world of
magic illusion, we brought back our resident expert, Leigh Beadon (techdirt.com), to discuss.
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I feel a need to clarify one thing here 🙂 I made it sound like the Magic Castle is a club looked down on by magicians – it’s very much not. I was saying they’d probably still look down on the fictional club from this episode (or at least admit it’s hideous) but the Castle is a widely respected club among magicians (and, in fairness, nowhere *near* as cornball as this place – plus a place where a lot of the *actual* best magicians in the world perform).
If you watch carefully when Jack Cassidy does the flower vase appearing on the table trick, during the first magic sequence, you can see the woman sitting on the right actually put the vase on the table while he has the red cloth up.
Nice work, everyone. “Now You See Him” really deserved a do-over, and I’m glad you were able to do one.
Upon reflection, it does seem likely that there was more that the producers wanted to include (the subplot about the daughter and her love interest). Maybe some of that was cut out to keep the episode down to 90 minutes. I also think someone knew that this script had real potential: the network spent the money to use the song “Charade” (by Henry Mancini, who also composed the NBC Mystery Movie theme), and they also hired Bernardo Segall to write a score for the episode that incorporates “Charade” at crucial moments.
Maybe the cheesiness of the magic act couldn’t have been avoided. Presumably their magic consultant wouldn’t want to reveal the secrets of a really impressive trick, so they chose one that can be figured out by a ten-year-old who has read a couple of books about stage magic. And as I commented on the earlier podcast, “It’s entertaining for the TV audience to see a cheesy magic act from backstage, where it’s clearly just show business.”
Funny opening and closing, too.
P.S. I don’t read Columbo’s treatment of Sgt. Wilson as dislike; more like exasperation. Wilson is supposed to help out, but Columbo ends up having to do all the heavy lifting anyway.
Sgt. Wilson is too goofy and earnest to be actively disliked. If he were a friend of the killer instead of the detective, he’d be That Poor Bastard.
Maybe it’s just that Wilson is one of the few people to treat Columbo with some deference and respect, and he has no idea how to handle it
That is a damn good read of the situation, I like that.
I just wish I’d thought of it *before* we recorded 🙂
Well done fellas… Funny make-good on a podcast I called unlistenable in this space when it was released.
Fun listen this time around.
Just watched this again last night after the pod. In many ways, a mirror to the last episode discussed “The Most Crucial Game”; lots of great Columbo moments, a great baddy, but this time a great motive and a great clue; it’s the detail in between that’s a bit ‘meh’ (i.e. the reality of the magic). But still very enjoyable.
Who would play a modern day Jack Cassidy?
Hm, that’s a good question. I’d instinctively suggest Paul F.Tompkins, but that’s sort-of the default casting for any sort of character role … I’mo think about it a bit more…
Kind of happened!
That was… I’m not even sure what to say. Thanks for linking it.
Thank you everyone! Really enjoyed. To use psychological lingo to describe a do-over, it was wonderful “corrective emotional experience.”
Thank you!! As someone who had to turn off the last version of this podcast after 10 minutes, I’m really looking forward to listening to the new version!!
I really like the little acting bits at the beginning and end of this episode.
Just finished podcast. If happened, I would definitely be a Mike Lally podcast listener. So interesting found this link to website interview of son. Will post below.
So funny about the shrimp cocktail mention. Think it may be an east coast or Jewish thing perhaps. As a east coast Jewish person myself – who may or may not have been enjoying a shrimp cocktail that I got while shopping at Wegmans during the weekend – just when the podcast may have been uploaded – shrimp holds a favorite place in heart. Growing up kosher – shellfish is kind of a forbidden delicacy as an adult. It kind of stays with you even when older – if still kosher or not. I kind of took the Jessie Jerome character to be Jewish. He seemed like the kind of guy who would think, “synagogue, shmynagogue – I am rich and I am eating the damn shrimp!” Sorry if post is offensive to anyone – just my own mental ramblings. Thanks.
Love the “reboot” of this episode….does this mean that you’ll reboot the other, new Columbo episode that you did with the same….less-than-open-minded person?
And given the nature of that new Columbo episode, I would encourage you not to….but it’s your call.
Oh god no, not at all, whew.
Yeah, I think once is quite enough for “Caution: Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health.”
In an unrelated note, I was watching an episode of Law & Order and was wondering why the distinguished defense attorney looked so familiar, when it dawned on me that it was Bob Dishy, twenty-odd years older than in “Now You See Him,” and not playing second banana. Good old Bob Dishy.
One of the real pleasures of watching Columbo is re-acquainting myself with so many talented supporting players of the 1970s.
Did Nu-America lock you guys up or something?
I think we’re going to have to wait until 2017 for a new podcast. There was a similar hiatus at the end of last year.
Haha, yeah Allan, we’re moving the podcast to Gitmo.
Holiday season had the podcast’s better half hopping at work and flitting about the country like the social butterfly that he is. We’re recording some new episodes in early December, and I promise we won’t leave you bereft in December …
That is a relief! Looking forward to it
Just wanted to mention that apparently Columbo is leaving Netflix as of January 1. I’ll also note that Amazon is currently selling the complete series of DVDs for around $75 if anyone is inclined to purchase them.
And of course am eagerly awaiting new episodes! Been (re-) watching some episodes during the break, and it just ain’t the same without hearing you guys discuss. Best wishes for a great holiday season, guys!
Nice do over for sure, one of my top favourite episodes.
The last crazy one, honestly you guest was so over the top I thought for sure you guys were just pulling a joke on everyone. I couldn’t stop laughing.