Columbus Day? Forget that. Here at the TCE it’s Columbo Day. Presenting our first glimpse of Bert, confidant of Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) and the friendly chili slinger of Barney’s Beanery in the inaugural Columbo episode, “Ransom for a Dead Man”. The date was March 1, 1971. Bert got his own diner later on in the episode “Dead Weight” (10.27.71).
Barney’s Beanery really exists. It’s been a Los Angeles landmark for nearly one hundred years, favored by movie stars, rock gods and the average Joe alike. Apparently they still serve a mean bowl of chili. Heck, you can even order online now. Will wonders never cease.
Our pic for today revisits Barney’s Beanery and Bert, purveyor of the best chili in town. It’s from the very first Columbo episode, “Ransom for a Dead Man,” which debuted on March 1, 1971. Columbo (Peter Falk) knew he could always count on a bowl of Bert’s chili to help clear his brain and help him think better.
As the 1960s progressed, Timothy gained quite a bit of weight; we’re seeing him here at probably his heaviest. Throughout the 1970s and 80s he steadily slimmed down. As his health took a turn for the worse in the late 1980s, however, he began to look alarmingly thin. But his spirit remained indomitable.