Season 3 Episode 3

Candidate for Crime

Aired Unknown Nov 04, 1973 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

Candidate for Crime
A Senate Candidate running for office, kills his campaign manager, by making it look like he was the target for the killers bullet.

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  • Spoilers

    This Columbo episode is one of the best episodes of this popular long running series. It is based on a California Senate campaign. I loved to watch this one to see Katey Sagal as the candidate's secretary, years before her Married with Children fame. I enjoy watching Joanna Linville's performance as the drunken candidate's wife. Columbo is at his greatest in these classic episodes. The plot is well written and sensible to understanding the motives and actions of the murder. One of the best scenes is when Columbo goes to an exclusive tailor in Beverly Hills and ask about buying a suit. They recommend Sears or some mainstream department store. After all, Columbo can't afford a tailor made suit on a detective's salary.

Peter Falk

Peter Falk

Lieutenant Columbo (no first name)

Jackie Cooper

Jackie Cooper

Nelson Hayward

Guest Star

Ken Swofford

Ken Swofford

Harry Stone

Guest Star

Joanne Linville

Joanne Linville

Victoria Hayward

Guest Star

Vito Scotti

Vito Scotti

Mr. Chadwick

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Nelson Hayward: I've been calling the papers. I called your commissioner's office from Fresno. But what's being done, Lieutenant?
      Columbo: Uh.
      Hayward: Sit down, sit down.
      Columbo: So far, sir, we don't have a thing.
      Hayward: Oh, that's disheartening.
      Columbo: Officially, that is.
      Hayward: And unofficially?
      Columbo: Unofficially we don't have anything either.

    • Hayward: Why, Lieutenant, are you considering a change in wardrobe?
      Columbo: Oh no, no. Oh, well, every once in a while I think of getting a new coat. There's no rush on that, sir. There's still a lot of wear in this fella.
      Hayward: Looks very functional.
      Columbo: Thank you.

    • (Columbo is at Hayward's swanky Beverly Hills tailor ordering a jacket)
      Columbo: What I mean is, would it, uh, fit...
      Mr. Chadwick: Would it fit your personality?
      Columbo: My style, is what I'm...
      Mr. Chadwick: Personality? Style?
      Columbo: Right.
      Mr. Chadwick: Oh, yes, yes, yes.
      Columbo: You're sure?
      Mr. Chadwick: Guaranteed you'll be most satisfied.
      Columbo: Cause I want to look-- I'm going to an affair, you see.
      Mr. Chadwick: Splendid, an affair!
      Columbo: Yeah, my wife, she's in a bowling league. They're having this dinner dance. It's an annual thing. You know, $17.50 a couple. I want to look good.

    • Columbo: Would you believe it, the first thing I did this morning when I left your campaign headquarters, I run right over to your tailor's.
      Hayward: (laughing) I'm sure he was delighted. He loves a challenge.
      Columbo: What do you mean, sir?
      Hayward: Nothing. It's a small joke.

    • Columbo: I dug this bullet out of that wall three hours before you said that somebody fired it at you three minutes ago. (Long pause) You're under arrest, sir.

  • NOTES (3)

    • 95 minutes long.

    • This episode's director, Boris Sagal, cast his 19-year-old daughter Katey (credited as Katie) in the role of Hayward's campaign headquarters secretary. She is barely recognizable as the now famous Katey Sagal, star of TV's Married With Children and 8 Simple Rules, but her voice is unmistakable.

    • Actor Vito Scotti appears _six_ times in Columbo series: ep. 19 "Any Old Port in a Storm" (Maitre d'), ep. 20 "Candidate for Crime" (Mr. Chadwick, a taylor), ep. 24 "Swan Song" (Mr. Grindell); ep. 27 "Negative Reaction" (Thomas Dolan, a drunk), ep. 34 "Identity Crisis" (Salvatore Defonte), and ep. 50 "Murder, a Self Portrait" (Vito).


    • Columbo's dentist goes on at some length about the fact that although he, an Italian, is a dentist, and Columbo, also an italian, is a police detective, the moment someone hears you're Italian, they think you're in the Mafia. These remarks were undoubtedly brought on by the incredible success of the motion picture The Godfather which had just come out the year before (1972).