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Public service announcement: Columbophile whereabouts

I’ve not simply been lying down on the job, I promise!

My dear friends, how are you? I do hope this finds you well and that you’re not gnashing your teeth too firmly about my recent lack of updates.

I thank those of you who have been in touch via email to check on my whereabouts (I will reply when I get the chance), and also to the many of you who have generously donated to the upkeep of this site over the Christmas / New Year period. It is and always shall be appreciated.

However, I must come clean and let you know that I’m hopelessly adrift on Columbo content creation at the present time – a fact that is unlikely to change in the next few weeks. Here in Oz, we’re in the main school summer holidays, with all the associated time burdens they bring. Some of you may also be aware that I live in a very remote location, putting travel times into days rather than hours when getting from A to B to see family and friends.

We’ve been lashed by unseasonal storms, making travel extra difficult if even possible, and my son is soon to be heading to boarding school for the first time (more than 1000 miles from where we live), adding further complications, not to mention emotional upheaval. On top of that, I recently discovered by chance that I require surgery, which will need to be factored into my year’s timetable. When that time comes, I shall, of course, hope to avoid any dissolving suture entanglements.

Don’t worry – I won’t let this chap get anywhere near my innards!

So there we have it, folks. It’s a tricky situation but I hope it won’t keep me tied down for too much longer. As I’ve said many times, I’d rather not do something than do it poorly, so I won’t be rushing through the long-overdue Columbo Goes to College review for fear of it falling below expected standards.

I’ll hope to be back posting regularly in February, although I can’t promise I’ll ever get back to the levels of output enjoyed over the past two years, when I was averaging more than one new post per week.

Thanks for your patience and good wishes, and I’ll hope to virtually see you all here again soon. In the interim, keep out of mischief and don’t do anything Mrs Columbo wouldn’t do…


Hopefully we’ll get to hang out again real soon!

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61 thoughts on “Public service announcement: Columbophile whereabouts

  1. The Columbophile book is the Bible to me and this site is the net equivalent!

    Thank you for everything you do for the site. Its very much appreciated.

    I’m at the stage where I’m looking in the background at extras and items rather than watching our hero.
    Its timeless our Columbo and will always be there!

    Thanks again.

    Steve

     
  2. Just found you. I lovvvve Columbo streaming it all day everyday, no really, even if the sound is off I’m watching it. I love your content, I bought he’s book the other day. Well glad you came back

     
  3. Miss ya but hang in and take care of biz. We’ve got lots to chew on for the duration. Be well and stay safe, friend!

     
  4. Bruce Kirby Dead
    From the Hollywood Reporter, 1/26/21:

    “Bruce Kirby, the veteran character actor perhaps best known for portraying the gullible Sgt. George Kramer on the long-running NBC series Columbo, has died. He was 95.
    Kirby, who excelled at playing authority figures during his more than five decades in show business, died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his son, John, reported.

    On Columbo, his unimaginative Sgt. Kramer constantly fell for for the killer’s alibi, accepted clues at face value and thought Peter Falk’s character was nuts. Kirby appeared in nine episodes of the show spanning more than two decades.”

    I’m going to push back a bit on this description of Kirby’s portrayal of Sgt. Kramer. Kramer may have been sometimes skeptical and pushed Columbo to explain his reasoning, but calling him “gullible” and thinking the lieutenant was “nuts” seems to me an exaggeration. Kirby did well playing the stolid counterpoint in the investigation, allowing Columbo to play his theories off someone. (Perhaps Columbo did get a bit under his skin in “By Dawn’s Early Light”).

    And let’s also note that Kirby not only played Kramer on the show. In another role, he fixed TVs pretty well in “Make Me a Perfect Murder”, too.
    RIP

     
  5. Thanks for the update CP. No rush, you’ve already given us a lot to discuss, and it won’t hurt to eke out the last few episodes.

     
  6. Take care of what you need to, and don’t rush. The wait will make your next article that much better…..Best of luck.

     
  7. All the best Columbophile, and no rush, take your time. Trust the upcoming life issues go well and best to you son also starting in boarding-school. Certainly an emotional time.
    I’m in south-eastern Australia an hour out from from Melbourne. I first watched Columbo on TV in the 1980’s and bought all the DVDs (one by one) 10 – 12 years ago. I still watch them…

     
  8. Thank you for all of your reviews and features, and best of luck. Looking forward to more updates when the ship has been righted again.

     
  9. Hey buddy. You stay well and sort yourself and your family. Don’t worry. We’ll all be here when you get back. All the best and take care. Steve.

     
  10. Good Evening

    (Can’t find your name!) Please don’t worry about your lack of communication. It only makes us look forward even more to your Columbo comments!

    The main thing is that you come through your health problems with great success.

    Regards Richard Hollier

     
    • Dear Columbophile, Best wishes ….. I really enjoy the website and all the news and views from you, especially your recent “best moments” poll collaboration. Hopefully you will want and be able to continue at some point in the future even if it’s less frequent. But for now please look after yourself and your family. All the very best…

       
  11. Best wishes and many thanks for all you do for us, and here’s hoping that the road smooths out quickly!

    Oh, there’s just one more thing…

     
  12. No need to apologize…Wish you well for you upcoming surgery. I look forward to your return in February. My husband and I are huge Columbo fans. Every Saturday and Sunday night is Columbo Time. Keep up the good work and we appreciate any time you can give. We’ll be here waiting when you get back.

     
  13. Columbophile and Columbo episodes have helped me get through the pandemic thus far.
    I cannot thank you enough for your posts and listening to your reader’s requests.
    I love these comments and agree that you need to take as much time off as needed.
    Thank you for just CARING. It is rare to see that in this world anymore.

     
  14. Ohhh, that pesky intrusion of real life! Echoing sentiments here, but you have nothing to apologize for, although your effort to update us is appreciated. I’m going to assume that I’m not the only one who enjoys revisiting your reviews, often to complement a recent (umpteenth) viewing of an episode, so the least we can do is be patient after you’ve provided hours of enjoyment and sometimes much-needed distraction. I’ve been anticipating your review of “Columbo Goes to College” for quite some time, so it’d only be reasonable to hope that it’d be an enjoyable experience for you and not be written under duress. Take care!

     
  15. Mickeba said it well for me too (no apologies needed) but it does demonstrate the consideration (and affection ?) you have for your follower!. We’ll be wishing you well and an expeditious recovery when it comes to that time.

    Maybe the Followers could think of some topics (and give their voices on it) for awhile in order to help carry the load!

    For example: How did the Followers discover Columbo, what was the first episode they remember? And why did they become hooked?

    Or something along those lines!!

    We used to run the Fan Club Cafe, and I can appreciate the HOURS it took to keep quality material in front of the Readers!

    Stay safe!

     
    • thank you for echoing my sentiment. I discovered Columbo in ’72 during the NBC run. My parents watched all the Mystery Movie shows and as a 10 year old, I felt so adult getting to watch Columbo, McMillan, McCloud and Banacek, and a few others. The shows were so well done and hold up nearly 50 years later. The opening sequence with the man and the flashlight, with that red cloud background stays with me today. The first episode I remember watching was “Dagger of the Mind” on Thanksgiving weekend, 1972. I watch it every Sunday night of Thanksgiving week now in commemoration. I love the episode for the London atmosphere, Richard Basehart and Honor Blackmon. I know it’s not the strongest entry in the series and is very poorly rated by most on this site, and that’s fine. I get the criticisms, but for me, “Dagger” is a wonderful episode and jumpstarted my love of this great program. My wife and I watch the original run in consecutive order, one episode every Saturday night, with two exceptions. The bullfighting episode and “Commodore.” My love of Columbo began Thanksgiving week, 1972.

       
      • Mickeba, thank you for helping to support my theory that the first Columbo we each remember watching always earns a special place on our individual lists of favorite episodes.

         
      • Yes, that NBC Mystery Movie series was a great collection. And let fans discover their own favorites of the series to continue with. Between 2015 & 2017 MeTV (in the USA) ran it, and because it was rotating, lasted quite awhile so you were not seeing repeats of one thing too often. It was on during the earliest of overnight hours too, which made it fun for night owls. And people getting off work late. In this day, they should show it in the Sunday night time zone to reattract viewers.

        My parents also watched because they controlled the TV viewing! I remember the episode in London (is that the one that had to do with the Umbrella?). If so, very suspenseful. I also enjoyed the one featuring the TV Chef (apologies for not knowing all the titles). The one I like least is Commodore and best is Troubled Water.

        Am also a fan of production value and loved the location shooting for the exteriors, the camera work, all the set design details (everything usually had a purpose). And of course a string of TV Stars like Conrad, Martin, Van Dyke, Culp, all who were either favorites of the time, or just coming off their own very successful series. And made nice transitions.

        Am thinking how popular that rotating collection would be during the weekdays now, taking one hour away from the Westerns to give viewers a break!

        Thanks for responding to the suggested fill-in topic. Hope other readers here will share as well. This is a great community of very thoughtful opinions and observations! Always a pleasure!

         
        • There were very good entries of that series that people will never see because they only ran 4 episodes of them. Lanigan’s Rabbi, Snoop Sisters, Cool Million, Tenafly, McCoy, to name a few. Quincy started out as a Mystery Movie series but was converted to a 1 hour weekly show and went on for 7 seasons. Snoop Sisters for some reason was released on dvd and is available. It’s really unfortunate because there was some great television in there. NBC should release a box set of the entire Mystery Movie Collection. I’d buy it.

           
  16. Our expectations are solely a product of your excellence. The quality and quantity of your output is the only reason we readers thirst for more. But we are not a heartless lot. Life must take precedence even over Columbo.

    I echo Debbie’s offer to help ease your burden — although, from past experience, I know that you are as assiduous with guest columns as you are with your own. So a guest column cannot proceed if you are otherwise engaged.

    One other thought: Whatever happened to the “Forum” section of the website? This section allowed us readers to carry on the discussion of various topics in your absence. I know you were required to update your website (at some cost) to permit the Forum; perhaps this created an annual additional cost that could not be maintained. But the Forum would keep us occupied, and out of your hair, while you tend to your health and your family.

     
  17. First and most importantly, I’m relieved that CP is safe and well. All Columbophile fans wish you the best!

    In the interest of continuing Columbo discussions and confirming that CP’s blog has a worldwide interest, perhaps folks could share what part of the planet they are from. I know that I am curious whenever I see a timestamp on the comments that definitely does not align with my time zone. I’m from the Eastern part of the U.S., and watched Columbo as a teenager when it was originally airing as part of the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie. So yes, its Classic Columbo for me, by a wide wide margin.

    I believe the worldwide pandemic and lockdowns of 2020 had a side effect of generating increased interest in Columbo, as binge-watching became more widespread and people discovered (or rediscovered) how the show could provide some solace in a challenging year. For this reason, an unusually large number of pop culture articles were written in the US in 2020 and elsewhere about the show, and I would like to think that this helped boost Columbophile’s blog popularity.

    To share some reading in light of CP’s hiatus, I’ve compiled a number of these articles. Bon appetit! (I tried to post this blog entry earlier and it would not accept, I’m guessing because I provided the URL links too. So I just used the article titles this time, and you can do a google search for them online.)

    Rediscovering “Columbo” in 2020 | The New Yorker

    Comfort Viewing: 3 Reasons I Love ‘Columbo’ (NY Times, but may have firewall, so try outline.com)

    My Splendid Isolation: Bridget Christie – ‘Columbo has seen me through puberty, childbirth and the start of a global pandemic’ (telegraph.co.uk)

    7 Reasons COLUMBO Should Be Your Next Binge Watch – Nerdist

    Columbo: A Class of His Own | Bright Wall/Dark Room

    One More Thing: ‘Columbo’ Is The Hero We Need (filmschoolrejects.com)

    And Another Thing: The Beauty of Columbo? The Lack of Mystery. (nashvillescene.com)

    And, finally, an article from 1973 when Columbo was starting to make waves in the U.S., written by Jeff Greenfield, who subsequently went on to made a bigger name for himself on American TV as a pundit and critic:
    Columba Knows the Butler Didn’t Do It – The New York Times (nytimes.com or try their archives)

     
    • Oopsies, forgot this one, which also mentions the blog you’re reading right now:
      Chicago Tribune – TV Shows that Calm Your Nerves (Columbo and Murder She Wrote Offer a Temporary Balm)

       
    • Located on the Pacific Coast, USA.

      Nice comment, plus the work going into collecting and sharing those resources!!

       
  18. There were often long gaps between Columbo episodes, so I guess it’s fitting that we’re getting a gap between your episode reviews. I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

     
  19. Thanks for the update. I really enjoy your column. I binge watch all my Columbo dvds every 4 to 5 years and reading your review afterwards always adds to my enjoyment. Take care and good luck with your surgery.

     
  20. Thanks for the update and insights. Everything you do on the site is appreciated, and I get what you’re saying abut wanting to do it right. Good luck with the surgery!

     
  21. Thank you for the update. You take care of YOU! We will be here when you decide it’s time to return. Good luck with your son & the upcoming surgery, on yourself! Sending well wishes & prayers your way CP!

     
  22. Sorry to hear about your ‘real-life’ issues Columbophile, but glad to hear you’re OK! I hope your surgery goes well later in the year. Perhaps you might consider accepting reader contributions in the meantime? I’ve been thinking of writing my own ‘top five moments’ analysis of my favourite episode, ‘A Friend in Deed’, for a while now…

     
  23. Thank you for the update. Take care of yourself and your family. Don’t feel the need to always give us a resoundingly smashing article like you always manage to do. You can also stop by and just let us know how things are going.

     
    • Well at least we know , shame i
      Thought this year would be much better but it seems its as bad as last and just to make matters worse last salute to the commodore and butterfly in shades of grey both air on 5USA
      Two stomach churners from both eras can things get any worse .

       
  24. Ahah, really liked the dissolving suture example you made, really fitting this blog ofc! Hope the surgery goes well.

     
  25. First and most importantly, I’m relieved that CP is safe and well. All Columbophile fans wish you the best!

    In the interest of continuing Columbo discussions and confirming that CP’s blog has a worldwide interest, perhaps folks could share what part of the planet they are from. I know that I am curious whenever I see a timestamp on the comments that definitely does not align with my time zone. I’m from the Eastern part of the U.S., and watched Columbo as a teenager when it was originally airing as part of the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie. So yes, its Classic Columbo for me, by a wide wide margin.

    I believe the worldwide pandemic and lockdowns of 2020 had a side effect of generating increased interest in Columbo, as binge-watching became more widespread and people discovered (or rediscovered) how the show could provide some solace in a challenging year. For this reason, an unusually large number of pop culture articles were written in the US and elsewhere about the show, and I would like to think that this helped boost Columbophile’s blog popularity. To share some reading in light of CP’s hiatus, I’ve compiled a number of these articles. Bon appetit!

    Rediscovering “Columbo” in 2020 | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/rediscovering-columbo-in-2020

    Comfort Viewing: 3 Reasons I Love ‘Columbo’ (outline.com)
    https://outline.com/pgLRb7

    My Splendid Isolation: Bridget Christie – ‘Columbo has seen me through puberty, childbirth and the start of a global pandemic’ (telegraph.co.uk)
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/comedy/comedians/splendid-isolation-bridget-christie-columbo-has-seen-puberty/

    7 Reasons COLUMBO Should Be Your Next Binge Watch – Nerdist
    https://nerdist.com/article/7-reasons-columbo-should-be-your-next-binge-watch/

    Columbo: A Class of His Own | Bright Wall/Dark Room
    https://www.brightwalldarkroom.com/2020/10/26/a-class-of-his-own-columbo/

    One More Thing: ‘Columbo’ Is The Hero We Need (filmschoolrejects.com)
    https://filmschoolrejects.com/columbo/

    And Another Thing: The Beauty of Columbo? The Lack of Mystery. (nashvillescene.com)
    https://www.nashvillescene.com/arts-culture/tv/article/21144742/and-another-thing-the-beauty-of-columbo-the-lack-of-mystery

    And, finally, an article from 1973 when Columbo was starting to make waves in the U.S., written by Jeff Greenfield, who subsequently went on to made a bigger name for himself on American TV as a pundit and critic:
    Columba Knows the Butler Didn’t Do It – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
    https://www.nytimes.com/1973/04/01/archives/columbo-knows-the-butler-didn-t-do-it.html

     
  26. Thanks for the update CP and don’t worry about any delay in your reviews – in the true spirit of Columbo your show hasn’t been cancelled, just a temporary break before a much anticipated comeback!

     
  27. Dear CP, take all the time you need. Please don’t worry about us, if not being able to read a new contribution from your pen saddens us, it’s only because you’ve been spoiling us with your content for such a long time. Besides, not doing something rather than doing something poorly is exactly the attitude Columbo would have.
    Take care of yourself and your loved ones! All the best from The Netherlands.
    David

     
  28. You go ahead and take time for YOU. I will happily wait patiently and enjoy all the great content already posted. I hope life settles into a more comfortable groove for you and yours very soon! Wishing you the best.

     
  29. I’m just glad you’re alive and kicking my dear Columbophile!!

    We’ll all be here eagerly awaiting your next instalment.

    After all, due to the pandemic, we’re not exactly having action packed social lives (indeed the social life on the ‘boat’ in ‘Troubled Waters’ looks more appealing every single day!!) so we’ll still all be here

    Take care of yourself

     
  30. Thank you for the update but really, for me, you have no need to apologize. You have a great site and the work you put in is appreciated and it’s also impressive. You care a lot about Columbo, love the show, and the discussion and input that is inspired from us, is wide ranging, thoughtful and thought provoking. We’re all living in strange and challenging times. Be safe and thank you for all you do in leading Columbophile.

     

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