“Gee whizz, I’d just like to tell you how excited I am to meet you. You see, my wife, Mrs Columbo, she’s a big fan of yours. I can’t wait to get home and let her know you’re reading my, errrr, my whatchamacallit… my blog…”
I’d like to think that the real Lieutenant Columbo would have something similar to say to the above if he had ever been able to join the blogosphere. He was always so delightfully bemused by ‘cutting edge’ technologies after all, and we’ve seen many of them over the years, including the VCR! The Fax Machine! Digital watches! Pagers! Car phones! The list goes on…
The internet was in its relative infancy when the final episode of Columbo aired in 2003. Quite what the Lieutenant would make of the social media age is a story that may now never be told. But his army of fans have taken to it, and that’s really the genesis of this blog.
I’m a long-time Columbo fan having very fond memories of the show from my childhood. Now in my mid-30s, the show remains an integral part of my life. I don’t care much for getting into ‘new shows’. Whenever I have time to sit in front of a TV it’s generally to watch Peter Falk in action. And his characterisation of Lieutenant Columbo, to me, has still never been matched in TV history. He brought a warmth and charm to the role I just don’t think anyone else in the world could have achieved.
It was the sad death of Peter Falk on 23 June 2011 that really switched me on to the possibility of using social media as a means of paying tribute to the character, and also making new connections with like-minded fans across the world. Most of my real friends didn’t really care much about the show. My wife is a fan, but, you know, we can’t just talk about Columbo all day long, so I set up the @Columbophile account on Twitter. What a boon! I’ve come across hundreds of fans, including a core nucleus of aficionados who dig the show as much as I do. We even live tweet a different episode every month, with dozens of participants from all over the world using the oft-trending #ColumboTV hashtag! What would the Lieutenant make of it…?
For me, the best part of it all is to have played a part in growing the online Columbo community and facilitating interactions between fans across the world, many of whom I now consider firm friends, regardless of whether I’ve met them in the flesh or not. It’s very rewarding.
So, yeah, I’ve been doing that for a few years, also branching out into Instagram in 2013. And while I’ve often thought about putting my Columbo thoughts in writing in a wordier way not possible on Twitter, time restraints have held me back. However, during a recent exchange with a good Twitter friend Gary Whitta when he suggested that someone should write an article about the top 10 Columbo ‘gotchas’, I knew that time was now.
So here I am, putting virtual pencil to virtual notepad at last! This intro blog won’t win any prizes, but there’s no end of Columbo content to write about. I’ll be chronicling my favourite episodes, moments and characters; charting the fashions and music of the era; plus reviewing every episode (in due course). I don’t pretend to be a great critic like Dale Kingston, or a hotshot writer like Jim Ferris, but hopefully readers will appreciate my simple devotion to the show, and understand my desire to keep the memory of the good Lieutenant – and the delightful Peter Falk – alive.
Thanks for reading.