Yoohoo! Mr Franklin! Here’s an end-of-year update…

It’s time for our annual Christmas tete-a-tete

G’day gang, and season’s greetings to you all at the end of what has been a trying year at Columbophile HQ.

On the good news front, my tiny daughter’s chemotherapy treatment is now complete after 8 long months. On the downside, she’s unexpectedly back in hospital as I write this with a bad fever and requires some blood transfusions to boost her weakened constitution. We’re hopeful she’ll be out (and cheery) before Christmas, as the poor lamb is overdue some lucky breaks.

Despite being able to publish only 16 posts this year (including this one) – as opposed to a mammoth 58 in 2020 – the blog has remained a hotbed of visitor activity, with nearly 3,000,000 hits over the last 12 months (a site record). Many new viewers continue to discover the charms of the good Lieutenant and find their way here to satisfy a craving to debate the series with like-minded fans. Meanwhile, the hardy regulars within the Columbophile community have done sterling work in keeping comments to the blog pouring in. I doff my cap to you all.

As for what’s next? Well, I’ve started writing the Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star review, but it’s some way short of completion so don’t expect that before 2022. I will be back in the January to chronicle the many Columbo stars we lost in 2021 and I hope to return to something of a sense of normality on the blog within the first quarter of next year once we’re all finally able to return home.

My sincere thanks once again for all the support shown for the Columbophile clan this year and I do hope a cracking holiday season awaits us all. Until we meet again, bonjour and Bon Snax!

Bon Snax: the Christmas treat for Columbo fans

Recommended reading for Columbo fans

Yo-ho-ho from this jolly lot…
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53 thoughts on “Yoohoo! Mr Franklin! Here’s an end-of-year update…

    • Happy new year 2022! Be well, be safe! Columbo marathon now on Cozi Tv- at 8 am EST now- Prescription: Murder. Ransom for a Dead Man follows @ 10 am EST, and more episodes continue later.

      Best regards, best wishes to all!

  1. Happy new year’s, everyone! Praying your daughter gets better, Columbophile. Remember the Columbo marathon on Cozi tv this Saturday January 1st at 8 am EST- Ransom for a Dead Man airs at 10 am. It also airs on Sunday January 2nd at 5:30 am EST…. Awesome!

    Best regards,

    Ed from Florida

    • Ed, it’s even better than that! At 7 am Eastern, prior to Ransom For A Dead Man, COZI is showing Prescription: Murder. It’s easy to miss when you look at the published schedule because it’s not marked as “Columbo.”

      • It’s awesome, Stendhal- 🙋🏻‍♂️Thank you-I think they (Cozi) updated it yesterday- it didn’t show “Prescription” before- but the more, the merrier! As long as they show “Ransom”, I’m good. Own the DVD and it’s available online – like IMDB, for free- but always like to watch it on tv. More screenshots….Also Sundance channel is airing Ransom @ 5:30 am EST…on Sunday 👏 Thank you!
        Be well, be safe, everyone!

        Hope your daughter and family are fine, Columbophile.🙏

        Best regards,

        Ed from Florida 😀

  2. Best wishes for your daughter’s continued good health. Since you mentioned “Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star,” I’d like to sneak in how much I loved the character of the housekeeper vacuuming who tells Columbo, “Don’t make a mess.” Later she tells him, “Man, I’m glad I ain’t married to you.”

    • A nice episode ruined by a ludicrous alibi and by the culprit ‘s partner apparently getting a traffic ticket at a fixed hour wearing a mask reprodhcing the culorit’s face without any explanation.

      • Trish: “You borrowed my car and sent me on that research assignment” and “I’ve been trying to figure out why”? Are we supposed to believe that Creighton sent her to Pasadena in his car, wearing a mask with his face on it, told her to speed past a traffic camera at a certain time, and SHE NEVER ASKED WHY?

          • Indeed! Or when he was “undercover” in the wretched “Undercover”, dressed as something out of “Guys and Dolls.” However, to be fair, neither scene involved a tuba.

  3. Gratitude that your daughter is better, and prayers for her swift and complete recovery. Many prayers for peace for your whole family.

    Thank you so much for Columbophile. The show and your blog are my only dependable comforts during Covid.

  4. Merry Christmas, everyone! Glad to hear your daughter is doing better, Columbophile! 🙏
    Great news! next Saturday January 1st – New Year’s- a Columbo marathon on Cozi Tv! Awesomeness…. The NBC years- finally….Starting at 10 am EST with the most awesome of episodes- Ransom for a Dead Man! 👩🏻‍🦰👓📺👍
    Ed the Florida librarian 📕

  5. Merry Christmas CP! Thank you for all the fun connections you’ve given us Columbo lovers across the globe. I hope Santa grants your holiday wishes in full.

  6. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and yours…..Ahhhh Columbo and The Murder of a Rock Star….. a fun later years episode with Dabney Coleman who was great as a fellow Detective in the 70’s and a really good murderer in this episode. He and Falk were good friends and in January 2022 Coleman will be 90 years old……Awesome.

  7. Just saw a Cozi ad, Columbo is back on Cozi starting on New Year’s Eve with a marathon all day! All Columbos, old and new, and they say Cozi is the new home for all Columbos.

    So Glad to see Cozi got back the old ones. They basically swapped with MeTV in summer ’20, when MeTv got the old ones after having only the new ones for years and vice-versa for Cozi.

      • Yay! It’s wonderful that Columbo will now be seen on Cozi. They are a great alternative to MeTV, especially since they also show classic shows like Emergency and Quincy. And with this marathon coming up, what an awesome way to celebrate 2022. Happy New Year!

  8. Glad to hear your little girl has completed her chemo. My elderly father has just been discharged by the oncologist so I know how stressful it is to have a loved one diagnosed with cancer.

  9. Best wishes to your daughter and family. You bring joy to us through your writings- thank you and looking forward to 2022!

    • Happy Holidays to CP and all Columbo fans worldwide! In the immortal words of our fave rumpled detective: “Oh, I’m sorry there is no such thing as a perfect murder. That’s just an illusion.”

  10. CP, the Columbophile community is buoyed with the update that there is improvement and optimism regarding your daughter and family. I hope that, in a rough year, you have found at least some things to be thankful for.

    As 2021 comes to a close, I wanted to make sure that CP and the Columbophile faithful were aware of a Columbo book published this past July, “Columbo: A Rhetoric of Inquiry for Resistant Responders” by Christyne Berzsenyi, Associate Professor of English at Penn State Wilkes-Barre. As you can no doubt tell from the title, it’s positioning itself as an “academic” work about our favorite Lieutenant.

    I bring this up because it includes quotes and references to our host CP (described by the author as “the mysterious blog writer”) and several of his blog postings. The book even includes some reader comments (if you are HARRYSBOY, Itsspideyman, or Craverguy, then congrats, you are now referenced in a scholarly work).

    The book itself has some noteworthy concepts, as seen through the lens of academia. Berzsenyi traces Columbo’s style of questioning suspects back to Greek rhetorical interaction, as advanced by Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato. If you have an open mind to dabbling in the arcane – sophrosyne, phantasia, Hybris, ambipathy, elenchus, aporia – it’s an interesting read. In particular, I was intrigued by just how closely the Columbo character is modelled after Dostoevsky’s Inspector Petrovich of “Crime and Punishment”. Many Columbo fans are already aware of this connection, but Berzsenyi digs into specifics about Petrovich’s interrogation methods that most casual students of Columbo’s history are unaware of, unless you yourself have actually read “Crime and Punishment” (Spoiler: I have not!). There are striking parallels.

    All this would make Berzsenyi a fascinating dinner guest to trade ideas with. Sadly, her own writing style is so stilted and clunky as to make the actual book a slog to navigate. Her professorial perspective seems to demand that most every noun be immediately preceded by multiple adjectives, which may not sound like the worst thing in the world, but trust me, it’s repetitive and mentally exhausting after the first, say, 20 times you see it.

    Columbo fans will be quick to highlight several episode errors, not a good look for someone laying claim to an expert opinion. Personally, I can forgive an academic brain fart like crediting Julie Andrews instead of Julie Harris as being in “Any Old Port in a Storm” (although it’s fun to imagine Mary Poppins bothering Adrian Carsini). But when Berzsenyi tells us that in “Requiem For a Falling Star”, “Nora puts an explosive device in the blackmailer’s car,” the author opens herself up to scrutiny that perhaps not all her academic research here is as spot-on as assumed.

    The book’s title is something of a scholarly come-on, as that topic has to share space with other chapters, some informative (Columbo’s place in TV detective and fictional investigative history) and some that fizzle (his attitudes toward women and the Equal Rights Movement). For me, the biggest fault is that only occasional, offhand connections are made to the actual psychological concepts that Columbo uses as part of what Dr. Ray Flemming and Leslie Williams would call his “bag of tricks”. (To be fair, I’ve become rather obsessed myself with how closely Columbo’s tactics align with real-life psychology). I see this as a giant missed opportunity by Berzsenyi.

    The book is a pricey $40 paperback on Amazon. But I purchased and read it so you don’t have to! If you have limited funds for Columbo books this holiday season, put your money into David Koenig’s “Shooting Columbo”.

    Again, CP, best wishes for your daughter and family in the weeks ahead, and I know that I speak for all in looking forward to your regular contributions when the time is right.

    • Thanks for that Glenn, that’s really interesting. How strange she tackled Columbo in that way!? I think I’d pretty well agree with your opinion of it from what you say – I don’t think I’ll read it. I’ve read Plato (love it) in the past and yes I can see some similarity to Socrates style of questioning. His (Socrates) simple questions mostly just required a yes or no answer – but just from that you might soon be caught out and shown for what you really are.

    • I should clarify that although I was disappointed with Berzsenyi’s communication skills, she does have ideas of merit, particularly in her breakdown of Columbo’s “rhetorical inquiry”. Berzsenyi identifies several modes of questioning and irritating villains, and while their Greek origins are discussed thoroughly, the through-lines to psychology aren’t strongly explored.

      The references to CP and the Columbophile blog are primarily used in her chapter about the Columbo killers (CP’s “Top 10 Most Sympathetic…”), as she examines audience-villain relationships. She also briefly discusses a possible reboot citing CP’s “Reasons For and Against….”, concluding that “many fans are hoping for it.” (uh, I would have thrown the word “cautiously” in there).

      2020-21 saw many online writings about Columbo, with CP and the blog receiving several mentions and heightened visibility. Further references in an academic work like Berzsenyi’s can hopefully give CP some positivity in an otherwise challenging year.

      • Thanks Glenn,
        I’ve heard it said that (Plato) Socrates used “dialectic” in his questioning style and those in high places who he questioned used “rhetoric” in their speeches and answers. They are quite different and it would seem to me Columbo is more in the dialectic style…
        (Dialectic: Any formal system of reasoning that arrives at the truth by the exchange of logical arguments)

      • Rod, the old “It’s all Greek to me” gag may apply here, but let me take a swing at your query.

        Berzsenyi says, “rhetoric is the study and practice of learning what aspects and tactics make interaction and communication most effective…..[including] persuasion as a point-of-view.”

        Rhetoric is persuasion, such as in speeches, as you noted. Rhetoric might include using dialectical logic, but it certainly doesn’t have to, as we know from political speeches and punditry – any means of persuasion is fair game, including deception.

        A dialectic interplay assumes that each party in the conversation is in an honest space for that dialogue to arrive at a truth or answer. Rhetorical interplay doesn’t assume that at all, as it’s a persuasion exercise, not a logic exercise. In Columbo episodes, the killer clearly isn’t being honest and definitely doesn’t want to arrive at the truth. On the flip side, Columbo isn’t being totally honest either. He’s leaning into a facade of being the ineffectual inspector so the killer will let his/her guard down and give answers that will unwittingly lead to that truth.

        In the “Negative Reaction” gotcha, Paul Galesko wants to hide his guilt, but Columbo plays the role of the idiot to get that truth. Other gotchas – like the step-by-step chain of deduction explaining Rumford’s cider-viewing in “By The Dawn’s Early Light” – may use more logic to learn the answer.

        I hope that helps, Rod. And to anyone who had Discussion of Greek Philosophy on your 2021 Columbophile bingo card, Rod and I just took care of that for you, you’re welcome!

        • That’s excellent Glenn. I was thinking to put it more bluntly – there’s a lot of ego in rhetoric; whereas in dialectic both want to get to the truth (as you said) with little or no personal boasting.

  11. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Much respect to you for running such an awesome site. And many good thoughts to you as you help your daughter in her fight. Looking forward to reading more good news and more blogs from you in 2022.

  12. I’m glad to hear that your daughter is through with chemotherapy, though she’s back in the hospital. I hope she’ll recover soon. Having your child go through that is such a scary, helpless feeling.

  13. Thanks for you Xmas greetings with columbo surrounded by the murderers except for G Corbett. Why is that poor woman in that category?

  14. Thank you for sharing the update. You and your family have been in our prayers and we, too, hope she will be home for Christmas. I spent a long ago Christmas in the hospital myself – the staff was great, but all I really wanted was to be home with my family, so I empathize. Here’s wishing you all a healthy and happy 2022. Sending much love.

  15. God Bless your daughter that she’s able to enjoy the Christmas season. You are a blessing in my life and keep levity and joy in my heart year-round.

  16. Dear CP,
    My sincere and heartfelt wishes to you and your family for a much happier year in 2022! And for your dear daughter’s recovery and return to good health, too! Thank you for all of the amazing work you’ve done in making this site so much fun and so informative!

  17. And the Season’s greetings for you as well, most of all the very best wishes for 2022: may it be a much better year for you and your daughter than this very distressing 2021 has been.
    To quote the Dutch poet Lucebert (in translation): “All that is to be treasured, is helpless.” Since becoming a father myself, ever so recently, I can see how that’s true. When my little girl is in pain, it’s killing me, and she is nowhere near anything so serious as a chemotherapy treatment.
    So, for what it’s worth, we’re thinking about you over here. Sending you all the best from the Netherlands,

  18. Prayers for your family and your little one especially. Thanks for the update. Sending Archibald sized hugs.

  19. thank you for the update CP! we’re all sending good vibes to you and your daughter. i hope your holiday season is a good one – you both deserve it after something of a harrowing year. hang in there! 🎄 🎁 ☃️

  20. Good to hear from you! I’m so glad to hear your daughter is out of chemo and I’m sorry she’s in the hospital now. All hopes and prayers to all of you that she’s able to be home for Christmas. Thank you for keeping us updated!

  21. Many many thanks for your fun and informative Columbo blog. With all your family struggles, you’ve always managed to keep us entertained and interested in our favorite topic. Most importantly, here’s wishing the New Year finds your daughter in excellent health. That’s what we all want for you and your family. Best wishes from Florida, USA.~ A longtime reader.

  22. Thanks for keeping us Columbophiles going even when such important things are happening in your own life. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  23. What a year you & your beautiful daughter have had…sending love & every good wish for her healing & recovery & return back home to her family. God bless! & thank you for all your witty, wise Columbo coverage. Here’s to smooth days ahead! ☮️❤️

  24. Great news. Despite my annoyance at your ‘Caution’ review – I do miss you deeply. LOL!!

    Seriously, I’m glad things seem to be improving for your daughter. Try and have a great festive period

  25. Thanks for the update CP – many wishes to you and especially your daughter – look forward to the next review in 2022!

  26. I know what it is to have child go through chemo. May the Lord be with you and your family at this difficult time. Thanks for Columbophile. I own the he whole Columbia series and it is fun to continue watching these shows


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