I'm not exactly sure why it is, but Columbo was sort of a rare treat in my household. Maybe it's because the show was so long, and was on so late. In any event, I loved staying up to watch Peter Falk's trench-coat wearing detective spin circles of logic around anyone who dared commit a murder in his town.
It was like watching a magic show, to watch Columbo solve his cases. Endearingly absent-minded -- at least as far as a suspect was concerned -- he would disarm his opponents with a sort of puzzled charm, just enough to annoy them or lull them into making a mistake. And then came that moment. That moment you always knew was coming. Columbo would start to walk away, and then pause, scratch his head, and turn back around, his ever-present notebook at the ready.
"Just one more thing..." he would say. And you knew he had 'em.
Columbo was a special kind of character, and only a certain kind of actor could do him justice. Peter Falk was that man, and though he's been an integral part of many youthful favorites (The Princess Bride comes to mind), I will always see him with a cigar perched in his knuckles, his rumpled jacket and lopsided grin belying the intelligence in his eyes, mid-turn and ready to spring his trap.
"Oh. Just one more thing."
RIP Peter Falk 1927-2011