The CLASSIC CORONERS™ are Ashley Jane Carruthers & Rosalie Kicks
“Dissecting films of our favorite dead guys and gals from the bygone era.”
For this edition of Classic Coroners™, Doctor Ashley Jane Carruthers and The Old Sport, Rosalie Kicks dusted off their Columbo Coats™ and set out to unbury the casket of the late great Peter Falk.
Of corpse, many are familiar with the cigar smoking, Peugeot convertible driving, tan trench coat wearing detective Columbo character that was so famously played by Peter Falk. Admittedly, we wish he wore a trench coat (AKA a Colombo Coat™) always, but Pete is great no matter what. But hey…did you know that he once wore a houndstooth blazer and that he wasn’t just a detective he was a spy too?!
In the 1979 flick, The In-Laws, Peter Falk (Vince) and his co-star Alan Arkin (Shel) are set to become in-laws. However, before they are family they end up fast friends when they experience a wild escapade filled with covert operations, gun chases through New York City, and mysterious phone calls compliments of Vince. Peter plays CIA agent, Vince who self-describes as, “compact, low to the ground, sturdy” – which in his opinion makes the perfect characteristics of a spy.
Falk is our kind of spy. James Bond – more like James Blah – furrrrr real, that guy don’t impress us much. The gadgets and cars and women and explosions are just overdone to death…especially in today’s flicks. Gimmie FALK runnin’ SERPERTINE to dodge enemy fire. Gimmie FALK drivin’ some Chrysler backwards down the road like a total maniac. Gimme FALK wearing a houndstooth blazer in a diner talking about pea soup, or donning a chef’s hat and apron that says “I’m Loaded With Options” on it. Gimme FALK heading to Scranton, PA by way of Central America. Gimme FALK pullin’ a fast one on his own agency by pocketing some of the cash himself, and sharing it with his family.
It’s not that Peter Falk has a star quality, really. He just seems like a genuine guy that the cameras couldn’t help but follow around, just waiting to see what he was going to do next. Pete's deadpan delivery is legendary. He has a familial charisma that makes us wish he were our uncle. This is why he is so good at playing characters like Vince, who may seem like they are slightly clueless or missing something, but they always have a lot going on in their heads that eventually becomes apparent. We believe Vince, because we believe Peter Falk. When watching The In-Laws, it makes you wonder if some of the scenes were improvised. Maybe, the director was too afraid to yell “cut” cause who knows what Peter is gonna do next?
Peter is one of the greats. But he's not just a comedic actor. He can break yer heart too. A totally unique actor. A good New York boy; he's the kind of guy we’d like to drink whiskey and play poker with. In fact, if we were at a poker game and we see a James Bond type – we are onto you, buddy. Don’t use yer lines on us, they won’t work. We want to hang with the FALK. If we saw Peter Falk at a poker game – buddy, we are buying that guy a drink and we’re catching a baseball game tomorrow too.
CATCHING A BALLGAME WITH UNCLE VINCE
A Classic Coroners Escapade of Mayhem & Mystery
Speaking of baseball games...your cinematic coroners experienced quite an odd day out at the ballgame recently.
OK. Maybe it happened. Maybe it didn't. Nevertheless, it is hard to argue that it didn't when you wake up clutching a Philly Phanatic stuffed novelty toy donning a Columbo Coat™ in your hands. The sewer green synthetic fibers is the truth in your hands. It is the proof that you did attend a baseball game with the legendary chap PETER FALK.
Rosalie Kicks: After you read this, you will probably think I am absolutely bananas. That I am off my rocker. Just writing these words gives me chills. But I am here to tell you old sport, Peter Falk was not a figment of my imagination. It was not a dream. When I opened my front door, there, standing right in front of me was my movie pal of the north, Dr. Ashley Jane Carruthers and Columbo. And if that was not sensational enough, they had Phillies tickets! There was so much to celebrate: Ashley Jane! Baseball! Peter Falk with his Columbo Coat™! There was barely time to grab my baseball cap if we were going to make first pitch so frankly, I didn't worry about the logistics like: how did a person from Canada and the late great Peter Falk arrive on my doorstep. It didn't matter. I was going to hang out with Columbo and Ashley Jane. Well, at least that is what I thought. Instead, Mr. Falk insisted we call him Vince (his character from The In-Laws), our Uncle Vince.
Ashley Jane: Uncle Vince was excited to be taking us to the game. The Phillies were playing the Blue Jays so the day was bound to include beer, peanuts, and some good-natured banter, which is to be expected. However, it took us soooo dang long to get to Citizens Bank Park. I didn't realize that Philly still had so many payphones, but we learned this quickly because Peter...er...Vince, stopped at every single one for very mysterious phone calls. At first, we thought he was just being a goon, but these were some intense calls. Very private. Lots of exaggerated gestures. We wondered what they could possibly be about? Why so many? Why doesn't this dude have a cell phone? Can you imagine Peter Falk with a cellphone? Nah, me neither. So, I started to do my bit where I pretend I'm reading, but I'm really just eavesdropping (my go to airport move). I think I heard something about the Guacamole Act of 1917 and giant beaked baby-stealing tsetse flies - but....nahhh. That didn't make sense. Was he speaking in code? Was he just trying to be funny? Make no mistake - Falk is a down to earth loveable guy. But he has a lot more going on in that head of his than he lets on.
Rosalie Kicks: Despite all the elusiveness from Uncle Vince, it was a rad day at the game. Except for maybe when Ashley Jane and Uncle Vince started going at it with the ump. It all started with a heckle and ended with Uncle Vince taking out his glass eye, handing it to the ump and stating, “Here, I think you might need this.” Apparently, this type of behavior gets you a one-way ticket to the exit door. Oh, well. Of corpse, this day will always bring me to smile. I will look back fondly on these precious moments: sharing peanuts and a beer with my Uncle Vince, waving a Phils pennant with my dear movie pal Dr. Ashley Jane Carruthers, and hearing Uncle Vince ask the Phanatic if he originated from the gutter.