and then, peter falk looks at me and says, “you are a fantastic journalist”

I’m happy to report that upon meeting my idol I did not collapse into a pant-shitting heap. In fact, I did quite well. He even complimented me at one point on my interviewing skills… He liked the fact that I brought up his old friend, and four-time Columbo nemesis, Patrick McGoohan, and reminded him that it had been 19 years ago this very morning that “Wings of Desire” had begun filming… I can’t tell you how cool it is to have Columbo lean across a table, put his hand on your arm, smile, and compliment you on your observation skills.

I’m also happy to report that he’s a genuinely nice guy. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I didn’t think that he’d be as open and warm as he was. (It’s always nice when your idols don’t turn out to be assholes.) I also didn’t expect him to say “fuck” and “tits” as many times as he did, but it was kind of endearing in a way.

Part of me wants to figure out how to podcast the interview, but I think I’m going to try to transcribe it instead, submitting part of it for publication in the Ann Arbor Paper, and putting the rest of it in the perpetually “upcoming” issue of Crimewave… There’s lots of shit I’d like to write about in the news today, but I think I’ll sit here and work on the transcription instead. Today is a little highlight in my life and I want to enjoy it for a while before I get sucked back into watching the Cheney cabal go down in flames.

As for today, I’d like to thank a few people for making it happen; my friend Monica for tipping me to the event, her housemate Steve (a jazz guitarist who had been hired to warm up for Columbo) for getting me in touch with the organizers of the event, and the women on the Events Committee of the Downriver Town Hall lecture series for allowing me to have a little bit of Mr. Falk’s time. It seriously couldn’t have gone any better, and I have all of them to thank for it.

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  1. mark
    Posted October 20, 2005 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    That’s a giant cup of coffee on his shirt.

  2. Dick Cheney's Extending Taint
    Posted October 20, 2005 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    That’s fantastic Mark.

    I’m so proud of you. Not many people do what it takes to meet their lifelong idols.

  3. be OH be
    Posted October 20, 2005 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Mark. Glad to hear it went so well.

    No offense, but Mr. Falk makes you look damned pasty.

  4. Posted October 20, 2005 at 9:54 pm | Permalink


  5. mark
    Posted October 20, 2005 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    I know I look like shit. I ran back in from the parking lot when I remembered that I didn’t get a photo… About 20 minutes into our interview someone came and snatched him, to take him to a luncheon where he was going to be doing Q & A, and, in the confusion, I forgot to ask for a photo… Fortunately, he’d stopped to use the bathroom after I left him, and I caught him in the hallway on his way out, before he walked back into the room where everyone was waiting. I got one shot of him, after asking his permission, and then we took this one shot together… So, it’s not like I had a camera full of shots to choose from. I’m just lucky to have this.

    The good news is, even though our interview got cut short, he gave me his number and suggested I call sometime to continue our conversation… I will… And I may try to podcast that.

  6. Brian
    Posted October 20, 2005 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Falk looks like he could still beat the shit out of someone.

  7. Monica
    Posted October 20, 2005 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Well, happy it worked so well for you. Glad to make the connection. I believe you now owe me a chance at my life-long dream. (I think I spent enough time elaborating on this on Sunday evening – no need to repeat the formula here :). Seriously, hooray for you and for Mr. Falk.

  8. DR
    Posted October 20, 2005 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Good job, Mark. It’s very exciting to you and Columbo in the same photo, even if you do look extremely nauseated in it (and happy and proud at the same time).

    Next……..Mr. Don Knotts….

  9. Posted October 21, 2005 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Mark: very exciting, congratulations! I look forward to reading the interview.

  10. Shanster
    Posted October 21, 2005 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    We’re all very proud of you.

  11. Posted October 21, 2005 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Very sweet! And very cool of you to mention Wings of Desire! Wim Wenders would be proud! ;-)

  12. Doug Skinner
    Posted October 21, 2005 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Congratulations on a fine interview! And congratulations, too, on not shitting your pants: we knew you had it in you.

  13. Posted October 21, 2005 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    congratulations, mark.

    you two really look like you’re drunk at a bar in the photo.

    Out of curiousity, did he use the words “Tit” and “Fuck” later in the sentence which began with

  14. Doug Skinner
    Posted October 21, 2005 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I suspect he used the words “tics” and “Falk,” and Mark just heard what he wanted.

  15. chris
    Posted October 21, 2005 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Just, wow! Kudos!

  16. Posted October 21, 2005 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Rockin’ dude! Can’t wait to read it . . .

  17. Julian Falk
    Posted November 9, 2005 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    I am looking for an address to write to Peter Falk to inquire about a possible family connection. I am an Attorney and family genealogist and have no ulterior motive other than to investigate a possible relationship. Julian Falk-1507 Grand Cypress lane, Nevillewood PA 15142

  18. mark
    Posted November 9, 2005 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Julian, I will make it a point to pass along your contact information when I send Mr. Falk a copy of the completed interview… If you’d like to send a more detailed note, feel free to send it to me at:

    He may not respond, but I can at least get your note his secretary.

  19. double anonymous
    Posted November 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Universal Studios head Harry Cohn when told that Falk had been cast as Columbo, instead of Bing Crosby, is rumored to have said, “For the same money, I can get an actor with two eyes!”

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