Her reward was a pair of funky glasses. I have been training her to apply the Columbo technique to investigations regarding abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the elderly and disabled. My reward was two fancy hair clips-representing style! We make a great investigation team!
Columbo is an American crime fiction TV series, starring Peter Falk as Lieutenant Columbo, a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The show popularized the inverted detective story format; almost every episode began by showing the commission of the crime and the perpetrator. The character first appeared in a 1960 episode of the television anthology series The Chevy Mystery Show. This was adapted into a stage play, and a TV-movie based on the play was broadcast in 1968 as the pilot for a series. The series itself aired regularly from 1971 to 1978, and sporadically from 1989 to 2003.
Columbo is a scruffy looking cop that is usually underestimated by the murderer and his fellow cops. Despite his appearance, he solves all of his cases managing to come up with the hard evidence he needs in order to get an indictment. What might be considered the most entertaining part of the show would be the awkward interactions between Columbo and the suspect. When the other cops ask if he noticed the obvious evidence, Columbo is too busy looking at small clues that many people wouldn't notice. He enjoys having the murderers answer strange questions that they hadn't thought about the answers to.
He is compulsive about little details. Little things keep him awake at night and he likes to bounce ideas off his wife. They have an unknown number of children, and a basset hound named Dog.
He hates guns and almost never carries one. He has such low confidence in his ability to pass a routine departmental marksmanship test that in the episode Forgotten Lady he convinces a fellow officer to take the test for him, saying he himself could never hit the target.
He prefers to drive his trademark dirty 1959 Peugeot 403 convertible (which is equipped with a police radio), rather than an official LAPD car while on duty. He rarely visits the Police Department in downtown Los Angeles, and in fact some members of the Department havenever seen him there, a criticism to which he responds in the episode Forgotten Lady by commenting, "That's rarely where the murders take place!"
His reputation among his superiors tends to vary from person to person. Some regard him with poorly-hidden distaste, put off by his apparently slipshod techniques. Yet he is often specifically assigned to high-profile cases that require the Department's most skilled investigator. He is uniformly respected and defended by people who have worked with him to the conclusion of a case.
His trademark costume (raincoat over salmon-colored jacket and pants, with bone-colored dress shirt and green rayon tie) never varies from case to case or year to year. When "on duty" he is never seen without it, except in rare cases when circumstances (such as a formal event) require alternate attire. He takes his "uniform" so seriously that when a murder was committed while he was enjoying a Mexican cruise with his wife, Columbo changed out of his cruisewear and wore his familiar suit exclusively until the case was solved.
He's prone to airsickness and seasickness, and he can't swim — though he has been known to row a boat. He is squeamish, and doesn't like hospitals or autopsies, or even looking at photographs of 'messy' murders. He's also afraid of heights. "To tell you the truth," he explained to an FAA investigator who offered him a job, "I don't even like being this tall." In another episode when asked with his name he would be at home on a boat, he responded, "It must have been another branch of the family."
He is not good with numbers. He likes cooking, limericks, Westerns, Italian opera, Strauss waltzes, golf (which he is very good at), classical music, bowling, and American football on television. He also plays the tuba. He is a self-proclaimed expert at tuning-in TV sets. In 1972, he earned $11,000 a year. He is extremely stingy and for his 25th wedding anniversary, rather than buying his wife silver he considered taking her camping. His parents and his grandfather are dead.
His favorite food is chili with crackers ("It's the crackers that make the dish", he comments in "Ransom for a Dead Man"), which he eats at a greasy spoon. In early episodes (served by Burt) and in later episodes (served by Barney himself) he gets his chili at the famous -- and very real -- Barney's Beanery. In later episodes he is found eating chili at various different places, but he is a "regular" at each chili spot that we see him patronize, and is familiar to the staff, with whom he often chews over a case.
He also eats raisins and candy, which he has been known to carry in his pocket and offer round — especially at uncomfortable moments during one of his unassuming interrogations.
He also loves coffee and drinks it black. He rarely drinks alcohol but has been known to have the occasional beer, or a glass of wine or spirits, and isn't above sharing one last drink with someone he's about to put away.