Well, what can one say, except that this is certainly an episode of Mrs. Columbo? In “A Riddle for Puppets,” our heroine stumbles upon a mystery involving a ventriloquist (Jay Johnson) who begins to hear voices from his dummy. When those voices lead him to stab his mentor to death, it’s up to Kate Columbo to sort of stumble across some clues and make some leaps the audience doesn’t see to bring the killer to justice, with the help of a clown dummy. Or, maybe he isn’t brought to justice? We don’t get to see that, either. The guest for this one is Abed Gheith, so we talk about a whooole lot of other things aside from this. What else? Oh, a Mrs. Columbo reboot for the CW; the Columbo-as-Antibody theory; the concept of television spinoffs; basic sitcom structure; Mama’s Family (???); the films of Jacques Tati; etc. Come on, we deserve some slack, as we’ve been here twice before. It’s about the journey.
Tag: Kate Mulgrew
So, this pilot for Mrs. Columbo, this “Word Games.” It has Kate Mulgrew. It has Robert Culp. It has Edie Adams. It has Bob Dishy. It has a host of other good people. It has the car. It has Dog. It does not have Columbo. But, it also has a great deal of unpleasantness. A great deal of missed opportunity. The whole thing is just odd and confounding, so much so that Jon and RJ actually go through an episode in chronological order FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. Historian and author Amanda Reyes (Are You In The House Alone?: A TV Movie Compendium 1964-1999) is back on the program, to help sort through the whole mess. If you’d like to see for yourself, it’s on YouTube.
Our holiday gift to you, dear listener, is this- a discussion of the Mrs. Columbo episode, “Caviar with Everything.” Gather family and friends around the mp3 player on the mantel with room-temperature egg nog and listen to New York Times bestselling author Mallory Ortberg (Texts From Jane Eyre, the-toast.net) join Jon and RJ to talk about this slice of (not-very-good) television history. Kate Mulgrew stars as Mrs. Columbo, in a spinoff in which Lt. Columbo never, ever appears, but his car and dog do. She’s a reporter who becomes embroiled in a wicked tale of spurned lovers, catering and food allergies. Also, Jon and RJ are visited by The Ghost of Christmas Future (Leonard Pierce). Truly, holiday fun for all.
If, after all of this, you want to see the episode in question- it’s on YouTube.