As we reach the end of the podcast’s run, we come upon “Uneasy Lies the Crown,” a rarely-mentioned late entry in the series. Steven Bochco recycles a 1970s script, in which a dentist/gambling addict tries to frame his wife for the murder of her famous actor lover. It’s actually not a bad murder scheme, and some of the performances are good, but hey, 90s Columbo, you know? Returning guest Tilt Araiza (The Sitcom Club) is here to discuss the episode, why on earth people do fanfiction and how a potential Columbo revival could possibly go wrong.
What do you do when you’re the host of a wildly popular crime show and a rival finds evidence of your past career in “party films”? Well, if you’re George Hamilton in “Caution: Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health,” you kill the guy with spiked cigarettes and hope no one notices. Well, Lt. Columbo notices. Aaron Bleyaert (Conan, How to Lose Weight in Four Easy Steps), our very own foul-mouthed Charles Grodin, returns to the podcast to gloat over how utterly not-good this episode is. Honestly, though, we do start get to some awfully good points about 25 minutes in. We swear.
In “Lovely But Lethal,” Vera Miles is Viveca Scott, a cosmetics magnate who needs a miracle product to keep her company from going under. When researcher Martin Sheen is discovered taking the formula to the competition, she murders him with the most deadly weapon known to mankind – a microscope. Throw in an alkie chemist, some Vincent Price, a little Bruce Kirby and oh, hey, another killing (this time, by poisoned cigarette) and no amount of foundation can cover up the blemishes of subterfuge and murder. Maybe Columbo’s some sort of cold cream of justice? Sure, let’s go with that. Elle Collins (Into It) helps Jon and RJ sort the whole thing out.
Restaurant critic, bunco artist, murderer- Paul Gerard (Louis Jourdan) is a triple threat! Chef Allan McPherson (picnichfx.com) joins us to discuss season seven’s “Murder Under Glass,” a tale of extortion, free meals and the deadly fugu. Also: Alan Alda’s half-brother, fancy cooking, Mako and Night Goliaths.
Here’s Allan’s review of “Murder Under Glass” that got this whole episode going.
Oh hey! We’d like you to tell us which actors and actresses you think would have been good villains on 70s and 90s Columbo episodes. Go ahead and leave them in the comments or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
In the episode “Swan Song,” gospel singer Johnny Cash murders Ida Lupino. Can Lt. Columbo prove it? RJ, Jon and guest Leonard Pierce dive deep, going through the whole episode. It’s a pilot, so be gentle.