Columbo Likes the Nightlife

Episode 69 – Columbo Likes the Nightlife

The sixty seventh episode of Columbo was titled Columbo Likes the Nightlife and was the final episode of the show’s final season. Columbo pursues a nightclub owner and sitcom actress when one man dies and another disappears. In this podcast Gerry and Iain consider the last ever episode of Columbo.

 

 

Welsh actor Matthew Rhys had the honour of portraying Columbo‘s final killer, as nightclub entrepreneur Justin Price. When his investor, Tony Galper (Carmine Giovinazzo), dies in an altercation with his ex-wife (and now Price’s partner)  Vanessa Farrow (Jennifer Sky), Justin and Vanessa conceal the death. Their dual motives are to avoid repercussions from Galper’s mob family and to ensure Justin’s new nightclub receives the funding Tony had arranged.

 

Unknown to them, however, tabloid hack Linwood Coben (Douglas Roberts) has been spying on Vanessa from a neighbour’s garden and has photos of them moving the body. Knowing they’ll never be free from his blackmail, Justin persuades Vanessa that the only option is for Coben to die. Justin then meets Coben and arranges to reconvene at the journalist’s office, where he brutally kills his one-time associate.

 

Julius Carry appears as Columbo’s primary LAPD support, while there is an entertaining cameo from The Sopranos actor Steve Schirripa as mob messenger Freddie. John Finnegan has a welcome cameo as Vanessa’s neighbour Sean Jarvis, while Lost star Jorge Garcia plays Justin’s doorman, Julius.

 

Director Jeffrey Reiner and writer Michael Alaimo make their only contributions to the Columbo universe with this episode.

 

If you have thoughts on any aspect of Columbo Likes the Nightlife, please share them below, or find us on Twitter at @columbopodcast.

 

The Columbo Podcast is widely available – on iTunes, Stitcher, tunein, Pocket Casts or pretty much wherever you choose to receive and manage your podcasts. If you enjoy the show it would be greatly appreciated if you consider leaving ratings and reviews on these sites – particularly iTunes – as that can make a big difference to growing the podcast’s audience.

 

Columbo Likes the Nightlife was released in 2003. It is 85 minutes long and originally aired on the ABC network. This episode is not available on Netflix, but can be found on the Season 10 or complete collection DVD box sets from Universal (all remaining episodes are considered ‘Season 10’ in the DVD collection).

 

The Columbo Podcast Team

The Columbo Podcast Team

The Columbo Podcast team develops, produces and promotes The Columbo Podcast.

  • Largo

    I really enjoy “Columbo Likes The Nightlife” for the following reasons:

    5. It’s hip and it’s happening! 👍
    4. I dig that funky beat on the soundtrack. 😎
    3. RAVE party, baby! 🎉
    2. Dancing chicks with glow sticks. 😸
    1. Jennifer Sky is a stone cold fox! 😻

    • It definitely benefits from being compared to its immediate predecessor!

      • Largo

        Hokey smokes, bro! It does indeed, eh! 🙂

  • Johnny

    I think the term you guys were reaching for was ‘Accessory’. In this case Vanessa would be an accessory after the fact.

    • I still think she could plausibly deny knowledge of murder!

      • Largo

        But Vanessa Farrow can’t deny her Amazonian strength, dude! All she has to do is just shove a man a little and they’re dead! EEGAH! 😉

      • Me too. “He said he was just going to give him the money! I never heard a thing about murder….”

        • Largo

          I totally agree, Salty! How could anyone convict a woman with such an innocent looking face? (My apologies — I know this is the third time that I’ve posted this picture on the forum, but I just can’t help myself because I love it so!)

          • Largo

            Okay — just a couple of black and white photos of Jennifer Sky that I must post and that’ll be all from me …. I promise! 🙂

  • Ian Baxter

    What a fun and enjoyable podcast.

    Nightlife is better than some we’ve seen recently and I quite enjoyed what little chemistry there was between Columbo and Price. If we’d had more scenes with the two of them it would have served this episode better, Farrow, I’m afraid, just seemed to be in the way, sorry Largo! 😉

    Ah well, having reached the end of the Columbo episodes what I’m really left with is a desire to get back into the original series and the classics that first got me hooked.

    I know we’ve got more to come from the Columbo Podcast, but can I just say a big thanks to Gerry and Iain for running with this podcast and seeing it through. It’s been very well put together, a lot of fun, brought some fresh insights and an affectionate appreciation for this much loved show.

    Many thanks!

    • Largo

      … Farrow, I’m afraid, just seemed to be in the way …

      WHAT!??! Sweet Vanessa Farrow was definitely NOT in the way, Ian Baxter! Not allowing for a Vanessa Farrow character in this story would only mean not having a juicy role available for the beautiful and talented Jennifer Sky! I’m shocked by this attitude, Ian Baxter, and I won’t stand for it! Oh, great …. now you’ve really upset Jennifer!!! Just look — 😉

      • Ian Baxter

        They could have given Sky the role of ‘hotel maid’ then we’d all be happy 🙂

        • Largo

          Now you’re just making Jennifer mad, Ian!!! 😉

          • Ian Baxter

            Oh no! Hope she doesn’t trip me over the coffee table! 🙂

          • Largo

            Ian — I have a message from Jennifer Sky:

            “I’m going to be keeping an eye on you, Mister. So look out, bub!”

    • Thanks Ian. I have a feeling you might enjoy the next show!!

      • Ian Baxter

        Looking forward to it, I’d be gutted if after 69 top podcasts the 70th bombed 🙂

      • Largo

        Ian Baxter “might” like your next podcast? But what about the rest of us??? Are you suggesting that some of us will not like it??? Ooooh, I hope not!

        I kid, I kid! I’m sure that your Q&A podcast will be just super and I KNOW that it will be far superior to Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Jagbags. Sheesh, what a convoluted and bombastic mess that film was, eh!

        • Ian Baxter

          I’m going to see that next week, hoping that even a bombastic convoluted mess of a film will prove a little entertaining.

          • Largo

            It wasn’t as terrible as I was expecting, but it’s still a bad film. However, Gal Gadot steals the movie quite handily as Wonder Woman!

        • Also heading to see that next week, but first it’s Zootropolis this morning.

          • Largo

            Well, don’t say ol’ Largo didn’t warn ya! Also, if you choose to see BvS in IMAX 3D, be prepared to have your eardrums assaulted by Findlay Crawford’s Hans Zimmer’s thunderous music score. I suggest that you bring some earplugs. 🙂

          • Largo

            After you see BvS this weekend, be sure to cleanse your mind with Grant Morrison’s All Star Superman graphic novel collection. Here is just one panel from this graphic novel that sums up exactly who Superman really is and what is so horribly lacking in both of Snyder’s films —

    • Well said on all counts, Ian. I’ve actually only watched this episode once before, just after I bought the DVD set. I thought it was a terrible way to end the series then, but having recently the other revivals, it holds up better in comparison.

      My thanks to Gerry and Iain as well. You’ve done Columbo proud!

  • Largo

    Due to my mad hots admiration for the very lovely Jennifer Sky, I actually watched (on YouTube recently) all 28 episodes of the television series that she starred in back in 2000, which was entitled Cleopatra 2525. I really can’t recommend this show to anyone here because it’s an incredibly dopey hot mess of a science-fiction pastiche that is made for juvenile minds. Here is the IMDB summary for this goofball sci-fi series:

    “An exotic dancer, cryogenically frozen in the year 2001, is accidentally thawed out in 2525 by two female warriors who are fighting against evil robots which have taken over the world. The three join forces and try to escape the underground caverns to which humanity has been banished, meeting up with all sorts of strange creatures along the way.”

    I’m not making this stuff up — really! Now take a guess who portrayed this ‘exotic dancer’ named Cleo. Yup — Jennifer Sky played Cleopatra as a hopelessly naive girly girl who was adorable, amusing and annoying in equal measures. Gina Torres and Victoria Pratt costarred as the two aforementioned female warriors. Cleopatra 2525 was created by R.J. Stewart and Rob Tapert and it was produced by Sam Raimi and Janine Dickins. Just file Cleopatra 2525 under the ‘Why was this television series even made’ category, eh. Be seeing you!

    • Thanks Largo, for watching that and saving us the trouble!!

      • Largo

        You’re very welcome! The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one and all that, ya know. 🙂

    • Hah. I vaguely remember seeing TV ads for this back in the day. Can’t say I was ever tempted to watch it though…. I know that’s saying a lot, what with my B-Movie tastes and all….

    • Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff

      I own this box set and actually enjoy it. I’ll watch anything that has an association with Sam Raimi. I also love Gina Torres. I agree the show is super goofy, but I like it none the less. I even find myself singing “in the year 2525” from time to time. So there! 😉

      • lol

        No judgement on that from me. Largo has already noted my owning of the Secrets of Isis box set, among other B-Gems.

        • Largo

          Largo does not sit in judgment either. Largo does indeed take note of certain items and he catalogs them away for future reference. Largo appears to know a lot about nothing! 🙂

          • Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff

            I can take it!! I like weird stuff. I mean, jeez, I listen to a columbo podcast!! That says it all!!

          • Largo

            It only means that you’re a true blue Columbo fan! Yay!!! 🙂

      • Largo

        Do you mean that hit song from 1969 by Zager and Evans? Cool! 🙂

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKQfxi8V5FA

        • Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff

          Unfortunately, no. The Zager and Evans one is way cooler!! This is what gets stuck in my head….

  • Roberto

    Another fun podcast on another less-than-fun POS Columbo episode (POS here is post-original series, of course). “Columbo Likes the Nightlife” had a few good moments, but generally it was poorly written and poorly executed. But most of all, it was TOO DAMNED LOUD.

    Gerry and Iain have done an amazing job with the Columbo Podcast. While I will reserve the bulk of my comments for next week’s show, the final Columbo episode does bring a fair amount of sadness to this neck of the woods for I have thoroughly enjoyed the entire Podcast run and will miss it a great deal.

    • Thanks Roberto. Your support has been greatly appreciated and hopefully you’ll be interested in our next project!

  • Well that episode wasn’t half bad. Nice to see a welshman cast for a change. He had the look of a young Richard Burton, although obviously not the voice to match. Clearly doesn’t hold a candle to any of the original episodes, but that really goes without saying. The soundtrack wasn’t that bad and all in all it felt like a lot of modern TV detective series, so I think it could and should have gone on for a few more episodes.

    Having listened to the podcast, it’s obvious that the last couple of episodes have not been highly regarded. I have to be honest and say that I came away feeling that Falk and the team gave a pretty good account of themselves and it was a nice sign-off which clearly showed the potential for Columbo going into the future.

    And now for something completely different: I watched ‘A Woman Under The Influence’ yesterday and watched Falk give probably one of the if not the best performances of his career. There is a reason that some films get 8+ on imdb.com and I’m really glad that I took the time to watch it.

    • Kieran, the missus and I watched A Woman under the Influence awhile back for the first time and were both wowed by it as well. Great performances by both Falk and Rowlands. And speaking of completely different, I finally managed to get a hold of a copy of the Trials of O’Brien movie (it’s actually episodes 20 and 21 of the series). I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet, but it promises to be a fun ride.

      I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion of this last episode. Definitely not original-series levels of enjoyment, but not a bad way to send off the series, considering some of the others we’ve seen that could have just as easily been the series send off.

      • Thanks Salty – I’ll be checking out ‘The Trials of O’Brien’ myself now…

    • Largo

      “… all in all it felt like a lot of modern TV detective series, so I think it could and should have gone on for a few more episodes … I came away feeling that Falk and the team gave a pretty good account of themselves and it was a nice sign-off which clearly showed the potential for Columbo going into the future.”

      Very well said, Kieran! I totally agree and I also felt that the Columbo Mystery Movie series would have worked well within this ‘modern vibe’ that was so evident in “Columbo Likes The Nightlife.” I truly enjoyed Peter Falk’s performance in this particular episode. Even though the direction, the setting, the music and the murderer are quite different from what has come before, our little rumpled homicide detective hasn’t changed at all and he still gets his man (and woman) here! It’s a true shame that the short-sighted network and studio execs still stood in the way and prevented a few more Columbo Mystery Movies from being produced up until 2007. I gotta go now … I have something in my eye. :.(

  • The missus and I celebrated our last Columbo this week alongside a meal of chili and saltines (as we all know, it’s the cracker that makes the chili). Not much to say about the episode proper, as I’ve already voiced my agreement with a couple of other well-spoken opinions. It’s been a great run overall, my thanks to Gerry, Iain and the forum members. Looking forward to the next project, regardless of subject matter. 🙂

  • By the way, the missus noticed a blooper in this week’s movie. When Columbo is in the back yard with John Finnegan, he pulls back his raincoat to reveal the microphone line running from his shirt down into his pants pocket. I missed it myself, but a quick rewind and there it was. The missus’ eyes have always been sharper than mine….

  • Gummo Marx

    Glad to hear the boys aren’t going to hang up their overcoats just yet, so to speak.

  • Largo

    ATTENTION GERRY AND IAIN:

    Both of you dudes rock! I repeat — both of you absolutely rock!!! I know that this isn’t your final Columbo Podcast. But since this is the very last Columbo episode (starring Peter Falk, this is) that you’re both going to cover, I just wanted to thank you now for this incredible endeavor of yours. This podcasting effort of yours took both of you almost a whole year and a half to complete! What tremendous dedication and determination that is on display here! So it is with great pleasure and great pride that I present to you a very special award for your wonderful Columbo podcasting project: The Jennifer Sky Kissy Face Certificate Of Stupendous Achievement In The Art Of Podcasting. Thank you so much again for all of your superb Columbo podcasts, Gerry and Iain! Be seeing you! ❤️🏅🏅❤️

    • Thanks Largo!

      • Largo

        You’re very welcome! And just to be perfectly clear: in addition to the two framed certificates, you’ll both be receiving special gold medallions. Please wear them with pride amongst your fellow podcasting pals! 🙂

        • Ian Baxter

          Well this raises the question of what the headline picture will be next week?

          I had thought it could be a Peter Falk pic, perhaps with one of his awards. That way the Q&A show could take the form of a mini oscars with categories such as ‘Best Murderer’, ‘Best Episode’, ‘Best Extra’ (i.e. Margaret), ‘Best Fan’ (without the aid of subliminal cuts) etc, etc…

          But I can now also see a team shot in the studio with the guys sporting their Largo medals made from Easter Egg foil wrappers… and by team I mean Gerry, Iain and the mysterious ‘Heard yet media’ woman who shows up at the end of each podcast.

          Choices, choices 🙂

          • Margaret Williams

            “… ‘Best Extra’ (i.e. Margaret) …”

            Thank you so much for this, Ian. You’re a very sweet man! 🙂

          • Largo

            I just Googled the term ‘Heard Yet Media Woman’ and this is the first image file that popped up [see below]. Can you say, “Fascinating”? 🙂

  • Just to echo Largo, this has been a terrific ride and good mental exercise too! It feels really good to know that, not only have I watched each Columbo episode, but that I’ve also looked at each one objectively, with the help of yourselves and a number of new virtual friends. The other huge benefit is that it has introduced me to the work of John Cassavetes and re-introduced me to a number of wonderful actors too numerous to mention, but that at the top of the list feature Donald Pleasance and Patrick McGoohan. Now really looking forward to hearing what your next podcast will be. Here’s the top 5 from my wish list:

    1. Sherlock Holmes (starring Jeremy Brett)
    2. Twin Peaks
    3. The Prisoner
    4. Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)
    5. Star Trek TNG

    Bye for now,
    Kieran

    • Largo

      Oh, rapture! I love the top three titles on your wish list, Kieran! The only difference on my own wish list would be to substitute your other two picks with Jonathan Creek and Star Trek (1966-69). You see, I have all of these particular choices on DVD. Be seeing you! 🙂

    • Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff

      Awesome wish list! I love Sherlock Holmes (my college room-mate actually wept when Jeremy Brett died). The Prisoner ROCKS! Star Trek is amazing (of course). I’d also love to talk about another mystery like Rockford Files.

    • We’ll tell you on the podcast tomorrow what’s coming next. May well be something not on this list!

      • Largo

        But all of the items on our respective wish lists are supremely awesome! If it’s not one of the shows on these lists, we’re going to be a tad miffed here. Sad face! :.(

        • Ian Baxter

          The comments in the podcast around twining with ‘Trace of Murder’ hint at ‘Sledge Hammer!’… I know, I know… be patient… wait and see… find out tomorrow…

          • Largo

            Double sad face!! :.( :.(

          • To be fair, we’ve hinted at half a dozen possibilities over the weeks!

          • Largo

            But do I own this next series that you plan to cover on DVD? That is THE question! I apologize for being in a rather selfish mood right now. Plus, I’m rather anxious about all of this, too! D-:

          • Well, it’s possible. The next show is certainly *available* on dvd!

        • There’s a good reason for our choice! All will be revealed in 12 hours or thereby.

          • Largo

            Aye, laddie! We shall see …. we shall see …

      • Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff

        Can’t wait!!!

    • Brandon

      A Sherlock Holmes podcast like this one would be great. I recently purchased the series on blu ray and would love a companion podcast. I’d also get the added benefit of watching a few i’ve never seen, just like Iain.

      • Largo

        Once the IRS coughs up my Federal Tax refund (it’s way overdue), I’m planning on purchasing the Jeremy Brett Complete Sherlock Holmes series on blu-ray, too! 🙂

  • Margaret Williams

    I’d also like to take the time to express my gratitude here to Gerry and Iain for all of their efforts with the Columbo Podcast and this website. Despite the fact that there were a few occasions where I felt like pummeling you both with a metal chair, when it comes down to the brass tacks of the whole situation, I owe you not just some appreciation, but also my very own life. It’s true! If it weren’t for the two of you, Gerry and Iain, I would never have been brought into this realm of existence! I can’t go into any detail now, but it’s similar to what you might read in certain science-fiction novels or see in various SF films. It involves parallel universes, trans-dimensional matrices, quantum doppelgängers and a whole host of weird scientific theory and practice that borders on the unreal. Just imagine!!!

    So if it weren’t for your negative criticisms in your Ransom for a Dead Man podcast and its aftermath on the forum, Largo would not have rescued me from a place one might call The Columbo Zone. In short, its entirely due to both of you wonderful Scottish gentlemen that I stand before you now and that I’ve been interacting with so many here on this discussion forum. Thank you so much for everything, Gerry and Iain! Underneath my typical, teenage angst-ridden veneer beats a heart that loves both of you very dearly. Oh, I’m rather overwhelmed with all of these feelings and I’d better run along now. Thank you so very, very much from the bottom of my heart, Gerry and Iain! Toodles! 🙂

  • Largo

    ATTENTION GERRY AND IAIN

    A special message from Jennifer Sky and her cat, Ansel:

    “I’m really looking forward to your next podcasting project. Ansel and I would like to thank you both for all of your hard work on your great Columbo Podcasts. Please enjoy that award, Gerry and Iain — both of you have truly earned it. Take care now!” ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Largo

    This title tune was sung by Gina Torres, who also starred in this series as Helen (Hel) the team leader! But it’s too bad that Cleo never got a pair of those cool blaster gauntlets. Cleo finally ended up with stun gauntlets, but that’s just not the same! 🙁

  • Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff

    Is it Thursday yet?

    • Ian Baxter

      Ha Ha, I was just thinking the exact same! 🙂

    • Largo

      It is in Australia!!! 🙂

  • Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff

    While we’re waiting… and waiting… and waiting… has anyone talked about Wings of Desire, the 1987 movie by Wim Wenders, where Peter Falk basically plays himself? I love that movie!!

    • Largo

      Wow! That’s a film that I haven’t seen since January of 1990. I saw Wings Of Desire (1987) in the early evening after seeing two movie matinees in a row: Born On The 4th Of July (1989) and Glory (1989). After an afternoon filled with war violence, Wings Of Desire was a wonderful way to end the evening. Peter Falk was definitely a highlight in this story: his gentle nature is used to very good effect in this fantasy film.

  • Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff

    Just liked the Sledgecast FB page and added Sledge Hammer to my Hulu queue. Going to start watching as soon as possible. Can’t wait for the podcasts to start. May is my birthday month and I am looking at the start of Gerry and Iain’s next podcast as one of my top presents!! Thanks!

  • Adrian Bailey

    This episode is on 5USA right now, and just like last time I saw it, I had to google Ms Sky. It was only a year or two later that she retired from acting – was this because of her marriage? Because she was fed up of being underused? A pity whatever the reason.

    So this was the last Columbo – Falk’s tribute to himself? He deserved one, though it was a bit low-key despite the attempts at hipness. I always thought he should’ve made a Columbo version of the Murder of Roger Ackroyd – it would’ve worked very well.