Why Did Columbo Wear a Raincoat?

Rest on the Sabbath day–whichever day you recognize as the Sabbath–and be at peace. The Lord will fight for us.

So I lay down my sword for a day, and to demonstrate my peaceful intentions, write about Columbo, of all things.

Peter Falk’s humble detective, placatory body-language and all, was a huge hit in the 1970s. In fact, it was an international hit. We watched some episodes on Amazon Prime. For some reason, I didn’t see that much of Columbo when it was fresh and new on TV.

Well, it’s still fresh and new, and watching it 40 years later, I feel like I haven’t missed a thing. We’ve ordered several seasons’ worth of episodes for our library.

By comparison with what we have today, it’s hard to believe American TV ever generated anything as good as Columbo. But that’s what you get when you’ve got a great star who’s really into his role, guests stars who are esteemed professional actors, great scripts, original music by top composers, and spectacular sets.

Not only that: but the plot of any Columbo episode is a fairy tale as old as man himself. Big-shot villain, smart, rich, powerful, good-looking, thinks he can do anything he pleases, even murder–and this little guy in a shabby raincoat brings him down. Yeah! Give me more of that!

Just don’t ask me why Columbo wears a raincoat all the time (and I do mean all the time), when he lives in Los Angeles. Maybe it’s to clue us in that this prosaic little cop with his crummy car and his ridiculous raincoat… is not a human being at all, but rather an avenging angel who does the job that Nemesis and the Furies used to do in pagan mythology.

Whoa! Did I just figure something out? Betcha I did.

Let Us Give Thanks

Father in heaven, we are grateful to you that none of our fellow citizens was killed in that showdown in Nevada, this past week. We are a long way from knowing the true story of the incident, but we do know that no blood has been shed.

O Lord, who has given us our freedoms–which we make such poor use of, to our shame–guard our freedoms for us from those who would take them away. Amen.

3 comments on “Why Did Columbo Wear a Raincoat?

    1. Hi, Ellen! Where’ve you been? How’s it going? I’ve been wondering what’s up with you.

      Somehow, when Columbo was on TV, I hardly ever had a chance to watch it; I don’t remember why. So these episodes have been a real treat for me.

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