Your Turn: User Nominations

Your Turn: Lt. Columbo

From the Columbo TV series, created by Richard Levinson and William Link
Nominated by Audrey Glickman

Columbo broke with tradition, showing the crime first, then expecting us to watch for another hour to see the detective's thought processes as he psyched out the criminals. Columbo showed an individualist, intelligent and humble, being himself regardless of the establishment.

Awkward yet smooth, he reveled in his dishevelment, using it to advantage. With an eclectic car, one suit, beloved wife, dog, and no gun, Columbo on the job was in control, an eye on the suspect and a clear goal.

Three-dimensional characters are collaborations between writers and actors. I suspect Peter Falk, a consummate actor, is as fond of Columbo as we are.

Columbo is highly intelligent, lovable, moral but nonjudgmental, and expert at what he loves. He was portrayed by a brilliant actor with wit, humor, and a deep knowledge of a character he apparently enjoyed.

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One advantage that Colombo had in being fleshed out was a number of notable and well-drawn antagonists. Patrick McGoohan's two appearances come immediately to mind.

Colombo illustrates the point that characters can really shine when they have other characters to play against.

Sent by Paul | 5:35 AM | 1-25-2008

What is he now other than a caricature for celebrity impersonators to imitate?

Sent by John Brown | 12:58 PM | 1-25-2008

Just heard the Mr. Spock piece. Fascinating! Columbo and Spock have much in common. Besides having only one name in use, each endeavors to put science above emotion, while gaining understanding of the human mind. There are many other similarities.

Sent by Audrey | 10:48 AM | 6-1-2008

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