Columbo: Why We Watch / Why it Matters

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Following is a special guest post by Paul Hughes @PoetandPriest

Why We Watch

For my wedding, I asked for and received the Columbo DVD collection. Complete to that point, it ended with the double helping of Seasons Six and Seven, and back copy text touting the guest stars like Kim Cattrall and Ed Begley, Jr. Plus a “captivating conclusion in these final episodes.”

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Columbo TV Story – by the actor in our midst

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Dean Matthews needs no introduction in Columbo fan circles on Twitter.  Known as @DastardlyDeano, he’s become one of the essentials in the monthly #ColumboTV screenings where Columbo fans the world over live-tweet to episodes every month.  Not to mention Dean is also one of the more, shall we say, passionate people I’ve encountered on Twitter.  There is no limit to his love for Columbo and his talent as you are about to see…

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Patrick McGoohan: Danger’s Man

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“There is a man who leads a life of danger.”

-Johnny Rivers, “Secret Agent Man

For fans of 1960s TV spy series, hearing the lyric quoted above always heralded the start of an hour watching the adventures of British (formerly NATO) spy John Drake.  He travelled the globe on behalf of his government, solving problems which could not be solved by ordinary means.  He was calm, cool, intelligent, and charming.  Occasionally he’d misstep, but was resourceful enough to recover and win the day.  Other times, however, he would find himself having to choose between doing what’s right and doing his duty.  As a result, he was one of the most human of the spies ever created for any media. (Take a look at the show’s original, 30-minute opening sequence here). A lot of that can be attributed to the man who portrayed him: Patrick McGoohan.  January 13th, 2013, marks the 4th anniversary of the passing of this wonderful actor.  To celebrate his life and career, Aurora has graciously allowed me the opportunity to say a few words about him, and to share my memories of this incredibly gifted performer.

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Life without The Cool Ghoul

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Zacherley, The Cool Ghoul

Growing up in the New York City television market of the 1970s, the Horror Host phenomenon was all but over.   Zacherley, the Cool Ghoul had finished his hosting duties in the mid-1960s, eventually gravitating to the FM disc jockey field.  Over at Metromedia channel 5 (WNEW-TV), voice announcer Lou Steele (“It’s 10 p.m.! Do you know where your children are?”) was The Creep.  However, that run lasted until 1973.  So, for such a huge market as The Big Apple was, and is, no other Horror Host ever graced the airwaves in NYC again.

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