“How Peter Falk Made Columbo Iconic.”

by Little Miss Attila on June 24, 2011

Goodbye, Peter Falk.

Lee Goldberg, in The Wall Street Journal, tells us why this guy was so very different:

Before Peter Falk came along with his iconic portrayal of Lt. Columbo, TV detectives were never people like us. For the most part, they were a smug and self-assured bunch, comfortable in their mental, moral, and physical attributes and their obvious superiority over not only the bad guys, but everybody else, too.

They were smooth and elegant, like Gene Barry’s millionaire homicide cop Amos Burke, or stalwart do-gooders like Jack Webb’s by-the-book Joe Friday, or handsome tough guys like Burt Reynolds’s Dan August. We watched them because they were better versions of ourselves, wish-fulfillment caricatures who didn’t have our imperfections, our doubts, our anxieties. They weren’t so much characters as they were a means of escape from our dreary lives.

But we watched…no, we adored…Peter Falk’s Columbo because he was us: an everyman, working class, messy, and imperfect, dealing with the physical and domestic woes we know so well, and constantly underestimated by wealthier, better-educated people as a result.

Yes, Columbo was brilliant, as outrageously so as Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes. But thanks to Falk’s humanity and humor, his pitch-perfect performance and shrewd choices, he made Columbo more than a character to us and much more than a collection of colorful quirks. He made him a living, breathing person.

More of my own thoughts here.

{ 1 trackback }

Conservative arguments for gay equality — Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian
June 25, 2011 at 12:55 am

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve June 24, 2011 at 8:51 pm

He will be missed! Godspeed!!

Common Cents


ponce June 24, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I clicked on the link and got this:

This website is temporarily unavailable. Please check back later.
Unfortunately there were no suitable nodes available to serve this request.



Darrell June 25, 2011 at 3:09 am

How interesting!
The link worked fine for me.

Perhaps the universe is conspiring to get you, ponce.
And it’s about time.
Better stay off the internet for awhile.
And don’t cross streets. Big cities have traffic computers, you know. . .


Obi's Sister June 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm

“As you wish…..”


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: