Anyone who has watched Columbo (everyone should; it’s on Netflix instant streaming), knows that he talks about his wife a lot. She never actually shows up in the series, but she is still a constant presence known only through the Leiutenant’s references to her. But, if you pay attention, you start to realize that Mrs. Columbo is actually a really cool person, who is actually more interesting than some other female characters who DO appear on screen (I’m looking at you, Dawn).
So, in tribute to this elusive lady, here are five reasons why Mrs. Columbo is cool¹:
1. She’s super smart
When Columbo was solving the murder at the Mensa group, the murderer gave him a limited information puzzle to solve to test his IQ. According to Columbo, he couldn’t solve it, but Mrs. Columbo could. Also, Columbo talks to her about his cases and she’s given him the solution in several instances.
2. She has a ton of interests and talents
Mrs. Columbo is a connesseiur of classical music (her favorite song is from Madame Butterfly) as well as rock music that she plays when her neices come over. She paints, plays the piano, reads voraciously, gardens, dances, sings, bowls, and got an accounting degree at night school. After hearing all of the things Mrs. Columbo gets up to, I wonder if she hasn’t also invented a time machine to fit it all in.
3. She has more life skills than her husband
Columbo is pretty bumbling when he’s not actively working a case, but Mrs. Columbo is much more on the ball. For instance, she finds their room on a cruise ship just fine, and then has to advise the Lieutenant on how to get there when he turns up on the wrong level.
4. She’s a dog lover
Columbo’s dog – accurately named Dog – is probably the most depressed-looking basset hound in the world. He even demoralized the other students at dog obedience school! But Mrs. Columbo clearly loves him as much as Mr. Columbo because she walks him five times a day, orders a complete pedicure package for him at the groomer, and lets Dog watch TV because it makes him happy.
5. She chose a great guy to marry
Mrs. Columbo’s relationship with her husband is perhaps one of the sweetest on TV, even though we never see them together. Columbo loves to talk about his wife, but never gripes about her nagging him like other TV husbands (even today). He doesn’t mind doing all the cooking and grocery shopping, gets along wellwith Mrs. Columbo’s family, and relishes Mrs. Columbo’s varied hobbies. In return, Mrs. Columbo helps him solve crime and puts up with having all her favorite celebrities put in jail for murder.
So here’s to you, Mrs. Columbo. I hope you’re off in TV history learning to skateboard.
¹This entire post assumes that Columbo never lies about Mrs. Columbo, which I think is a pretty good bet. The quotes about Mrs. Columbo are collected on this site.