What do you know? The second-to-last Columbo episode ever is the second-to-last one we’re covering! In “Murder with Too Many Notes,” Billy Connolly plays a past-his-prime film score composer whose protégé has secretly been the one producing the maestro’s best work lately. When the kid starts demanding some credit for his work, the composer sees no way out than to stage an untimely death for the wannabe John Williams. Author and film archivist Jenny Hammerton (Cooking with Columbo) joins us to discuss the episode, weather on our respective continents, what Columbo souvenir you’d want in your house, and so much more. Also- a contest to win Jenny’s book! Details in the episode.
Tag: Patrick McGoohan
In “By Dawn’s Early Light,” Patrick McGoohan is Colonel Lyle Rumford, overseeing a military academy whose enrollment has been steadily declining for years. When the scion of the academy’s founder announces plans to turn the institution into a co-ed prep school, the commandant sees fit to rig an antique cannon with C-4 and blow the guy to smithereens. Lt. Columbo is on the case, even bunking in with the young cadets (including a young Bruno Kirby!) and driving Rumford closer and closer to a confession. Michael Grasso (Hold My Order Terrible Dresser) is the guest.
“Last Salute to the Commodore” is an odd episode of Columbo to be sure. The titular Commodore, owner of a luxury shipbuilding firm and head of a dysfunctional family, is found dead, presumably of an accident at sea. The prime suspect is conniving son-in-law Robert Vaughn. But wait! He gets killed, too? What? This episode is a whodunnit, complete with drawing room scene? Columbo seems drunk? He has a teen sidekick? He can’t stop touching Vaughn to the point of discomfort? There are shades of Groundhog Day, The Prisoner and Arrested Development? Sure! It’s all strange and actually kind of fun. Writer Christy Blanch is onboard to try and figure out how and why.
In “Ashes to Ashes,” Patrick McGoohan is Eric Prince, Hollywood mortician to the stars, who has no problem stealing from his clients, revealing their secrets and romancing their widows. When an ex-girlfriend/gossip columnist threatens to reveal these creepy practices, he violently murders her, cremates the body and passes off the ashes as someone’s late husband. As Columbo goes after McGoohan for the last time in the series, he navigates a path strewn with surly assistants and countless character actors. Molly Eichel (The AV Club, Philadelphia Inquirer) returns to the podcast to talk about the episode, Rocky, the crematory code of conduct, Cannonball Run and the latest dish on Bob Dishy.
GOTV! Time to vote for your candidate for killer with a mustache in a 90s Columbo who’s tripped up by not finishing a tiny snack. Your clear choice is Patrick McGoohan, in “Agenda for Murder.” McGoohan (who also directs) is Oscar Finch, a criminal defense attorney and political fixer whose ambitions are put in jeopardy when a racketeer threatens to expose some past sins in exchange for a favor. Instead of a favor, the guy gets a faked suicide. Not a good IOU. Anyway, it’s a great chance to see late-era Lt. Columbo go up against one of the best villains from the 70s run. Joining the show are guests Chris Sims (Movie Fighters, War Rocket Ajax, X-Men ’92) and Matt Wilson (Movie Fighters, War Rocket Ajax, Copernicus Jones: Robot Detective).
Patrick McGoohan- actor, director, murderer. He’s a triple threat! Molly Eichel (AV Club, Philadelphia Daily News) joins Jon and RJ to talk about “Identity Crisis,” a season five episode directed by McGoohan and co-starring Leslie Nielsen (for the first 20 minutes, at least). Spies, lies, fancy houses, CIA agents, amusement parks, halter tops and class issues aplenty await.