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40th Annual Basset Hound Club Picnic

In Murder, a Self Portrait, artist Max Barsini (Patrick Bauchau) has kind of an odd arrangement- he shares a beachside house with his second wife (Shera Danese) and his model/mistress, all while his first wife (Fionnula Flanagan) lives right next door. When the original Mrs. Barsini announces she’s moving out to be with her former therapist, the artist fears she’ll be take a deep, dark secret along to her new digs- Max’s murder of an art dealer decades ago. Deciding he can’t trust her to keep quiet, he kills her on the beach and throws her body in the water to fake a drowning. When Columbo’s assigned to the case, he has to endure lengthy portrait sessions and multiple black-and-white dream sequences to get closer to proving Barsini’s added murder to his palette. Joining to discuss the episode, along with page three murders, hate quadrangles and trinity structure, is podcaster (Hold My Order Terrible Dresser) and writer (We Are the Mutants), Michael Grasso


  1. Chana Masaledar Chana Masaledar

    I think the “Italian trying to sound like English” video Michael mentioned is called “Prisencolinensinainciusol.”

    (Don’t ask me! Just go to YouTube and search for that, uh, string of text.)

    • RJ RJ

      There was even a version with a confused Will Smith!

  2. TJ Meier TJ Meier

    One never tires of the passive/aggressive needling of crank listeners you guys sweeten the ‘casts with in your codas. Keep it up.

    I always remember the guy who played Max as Christopher Walken’s suave henchman in “A View to a Kill” and the one mistress as Pee Wee Herman’s love interest—not [sic]—in “Big Top Pee Wee.”

    • VonWenk VonWenk

      I tend to think of Bauchau as Sydney on The Pretender. Maybe it’s an age thing, but I tend to associate Fionnula Flanagan with The McCahans: How the West Was Won.

      “Murder: A Self-Portrait” was the first of the new Columbo episodes I saw. As I remember, it was broadcast on a Saturday, but I think the ABC Mystery Movie was broadcast on Mondays, rotating Columbo, Kojak, B.L. Stryker, and Gideon Oliver during season one and Columbo, Kojak, B.L. Stryker, and Christine Cornell during season two.

  3. Robert Robert

    What’s up with the audio of RJ’s voice? It sounds like it’s auto-tuned or otherwise pitch-corrected. Am I the only one who’s a little bit amazed by this?

    • RJ RJ

      I may have been less drunk than usual?

      • Jon Morris Jon Morris

        “RJ” is short for “T-Pain”

  4. Robert Robert

    Ha ha, but no! It’s something in the audio set-up. It’s been bothering me for many episodes before, if I’m honest.. Do you use Skype for the recording?

    • Jon Morris Jon Morris

      We do use Skype — I heard what you’re talking about near the end of the Conspirators episode. It was unusual, and I recall having heard it before, but I’ve never thought to check out the causes…thanks for the heads up …

  5. perletwo perletwo

    Thanks to Murder A Self Portrait, when I finally got around to visit San Francisco, I had to order cioppino, just to see. And then I had to learn to make it. (Not such a cheap, whatever’s-handy dish when you’re not living at the shore, unfortunately.)

    • perletwo perletwo

      Oh, and yes, there is an ending of Clue where they all did it. “But if you want to know who killed Mr. Boddy? I did. In the hall. With the revolver.”

  6. Dylan Dylan

    Kind of surprised nobody apparently caught on to RJ’s parody/reference to The Modern Lovers’ “Pablo Picasso” in the episode summary.

  7. Just watching this episode now and the murderer ticks all of Columbo’s ” I know it’s you – clues” the first time they meet
    1. He gives him an alibi without being asked
    2. He argogantly says he’s an artist not a painter
    3. He compliments Columbo when he says they see the world the same and offers to paint him
    4. He doesn’t react to Columbo being from homoside for an accidental murder
    5. He doesn’t offer the obvious answer to the simple question of why would a person only take out one contact lense-she was interrupted dumb arse!
    6. He shows little to no saddness, while her current lover recasting correctly, admitting he doesn’t now what to do and offering his help to Columbo.

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