Columbo does have some great background, and even foreground, characters. My favorites are the people that dancing to the funky music at the pool in Any Old Port in a Storm.
And in DEAD WEIGHT.
Sometimes I think I'm the only one who isn't embarrassed by trendy early 70's characters.
Yeah, i enjoy that scene,too in 'A Friend in Deed' I recognize that actor from some of the Dirty Harry movies.
I don't know if you consider these secondary characters but in "Identity Crisis" and "Catch Me If You Can," I like the reaction Columbo has to the belly dancer's. It's amusing.
Something that slightly bothers me is when Bruce Kirby plays a background character in one episode like the lab attendant in 'Lovely but Lethal' but then plays a Police Sgt. in another episode.
I agree with you Mark, Bruce Kirby also played a television repairman in "Make Me A Perfect Murder."