It’s not often I dedicate an entire blog post to the jottings of another, but when that writer is Columbo doyen Mark Dawidziak I will pay my dues accordingly.
Columbo afficionados will, of course, be familiar with TV critic Dawidziak’s 1989 modern classic, The Columbo Phile. For more casual fans, the book was a complete and illustrated history of the show, chronicling its origins, inception and providing commentary on every episode from 1968’s Prescription: Murder, to The Conspirators from 1978.
Dawidziak was given unprecedented access to cast and crew and the book features recollections from (amongst others) Peter Falk, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick McGoohan, Richard Kiley, Steven Bochco, William Link and Dick Levinson. Read all about the book here. I consider it my Columbo bible. Heck, it’s a book so good that it directly influenced my social media handles and the title of this blog.
“Dawidziak’s article is one that all genuine Columbophiles will want to spend quality time with.”
Still, that’s all by and by. The reason I’m writing this is to alert you all to the fact that Mr Dawidziak has returned to our favourite subject matter to pen a rather marvellous tribute to Columbo in its 50th year, which was published in The Plain Dealer – the main daily paper for Cleveland, Ohio – on 2 September 2018.
Naturally, Dawidziak’s words of Columbo wisdom deserve a much wider audience than mere city and country boundaries. So his article is one that all genuine Columbophiles will want to spend quality time with.
Of note is a delightful closing quote from Peter Falk, given to the critic some years after The Columbo Phile was published, and which summed up why actor and viewers alike had such enduring appeal.
“They like the man a lot,” Falk said of Columbo. “Columbo is a man who seems to know who he is. He’s content with himself. He’s good at his job. And he’s not preoccupied with the shallow things in life . . . I like the guy a lot.”
Right on, Pete. Right on!