Video of the Week: “Dead Weight”

UPDATE 09.17.15: And it’s gone! I guess we should be thankful…

OK folks. This week’s video is a prime example of how not to present a video online. As today is the birthday anniversary of the late great Peter Falk, I was hoping to share one of the three episodes of Columbo in which Timothy appears. I found this one on YouTube. It’s “Dead Weight,” first broadcast on October 27, 1971 and the second of Tim’s two outings as chili-slinger Bert. Now, I realize that YouTube constantly gets on people’s cases about uploading copyrighted material. But does that explain the annoying frame around the actual video, the fact that the sound is notably and gratingly slowed down, or the fact that the same episode plays twice in a row? All of these things render the video basically unwatchable, at least to my mind. I’ll let you make your own decision on that.

Until we get an official dedicated Columbo channel on YouTube, or maybe Hulu or someplace picks it up, this looks like the best we have to work with as far as the internet goes. It’s a damn shame, really.

Pic of the Day: “Ransom for a Dead Man” revisited

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).

Ransom for a Dead Man

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.

Pic of the Day: “Dead Weight” revisited

We wrap up the work week with another look at Bert, affable owner of Bert’s Diner and creator of  Lt. Columbo’s (Peter Falk) favorite chili. The Columbo episode “Dead Weight,” first airing on October 27, 1971, was Bert’s second and final appearance in the series. Timothy himself appeared on the show one more time, in “Fade In to Murder” (10.10.76).

Dead Weight - 1971

Directing “Dead Weight” was Jack Smight, an old friend and college chum of Tim’s Bayou (1957) co-star Peter Graves. He became a successful television and feature film director, helming such notable films as Harper (1966), The Secret War of Harry Frigg (1968) (both with Paul Newman), and The Illustrated Man (1969) with Rod Steiger.

Pic of the Day: “Dead Weight” revisited

Today we return with Lt. Columbo to Bert’s diner for a bowl of his signature chili, as seen in “Dead Weight,” the episode of Columbo that first aired on October 27, 1971. This was the second of Timothy’s three appearances on the series, always as the proprietor of an eating establishment.

Dead Weight - 1971

Where else could you get a complete meat loaf dinner for $1.25 on special? That was pretty cheap even for 1971.

Pic of the Day: “Dead Weight” revisited

Yikes, better late than never! Our pic for what is left of today (sorry about that, folks) is another look at Bert, the affable purveyor of the best chili in town, from the Columbo episode “Dead Weight.” It was first broadcast on October 27, 1971.

Dead Weight - 1971

Timothy and Peter Falk were not the only John Cassavetes alumni to appear in this episode. The great Val Avery is also here, but unfortunately the three of them do not share any screen time together. Bert definitely deserved his own series, I must say.