Great actor and one of my favorite killers of the whole series.
But my favorite moment actually is when he is portraying the stern, no-frills, pompous lawyer Jordan Rowe in Columbo Goes to College. Especially when he tells Columbo "It's perfectly obvious you don't know which end is up; that's not an insult, it's a statement of fact". Something to that effect. Great actor.
One scene he did that always struck me was when he dumps the body out of the trunk in Death Lends a Hand and the way he so callously and nonchalantly steps over the body like he’s just stepping over a pot hole. He kind has a similar callousness in Double Exposure after he puts the gun back in his office and casually walks past the body back to the theatre. Perfect Culp cockiness! Always loved when he was the killer!
As for dialogue, in The Most Crucial Game when he says to Columbo ‘your wife has my sympathy’ or something to that affect.
Ending of Double Exposure, culminating with his cackle. The shift in character is brilliant. "You used a subliminal cut", aghast with lip-quivering realization of tightening his own noose -- and then one last flash of cocky self-importance in declaring his role in solving the crime he committed. And Columbo's right there with the tide-turning action of pulling the slides from his pocket with a deft precision that contrasts starkly to the perpetual, characteristic rain-coat patting and fumbling. Peak stuff.
I absolutely love the scene on the golf course between Doctor Bart and Columbo. The cat and mouse nature of the exchange between the two with Kepple making mistakes with his shots as Columbo unsettles him then the pay off line about Columbo not spoiling his game, coming after Kepple moves his ball away from the tree because "no one will ever know".
Now this may sound dumb, but the way he says Vic to Victor Norris cracks me up all the time. He comes out of his office, and sees Victor taking the drink and right before he shoots him he yells "Vic" and then bang and then he nonchalantly walked right over past the body like nothing had happened.
I love the finale of ...GAME.
" I don't know any Miss Rogo. Rorgorski..."
Check out his reactions to Chuck McCann when he tries to blackmail Kepple in EXPOSURE!
As far as serious ones, there's the set of lines starting with "It was an accident, Arthur."
There are several funny ones, especially in the last scene of "The Most Crucial Game."
"For a moment there I thought I struck a nerve."
"No, Columbo, you struck out."
"Columbo, what is it?!"
He says that line like the straight man in a comedy, which of course is partly what he is.
And that look he gives when Columbo says "They're over there, sir."
Driving back to the stadium in the Most Crucial Game after comitting the murder, he helps himself to a Ding a Ling Ice Lolly!
Yeah, that’s a nice touch actually😂
Speaking of ding-a-ling how about the poor kid that was running up to the truck and wanted an ice cream and he just pulled away and kept rolling rolling!!
Culp chewing out the employee in Death Lends a Hand who is being a bit too forthcoming about the workings of the agency. The way Culp spits out every word distinctly and with volume - ugh, I feel my own stomach tightening as much as probably that poor guy's.
How about when COLUMBO makes the mistake of asking him " Are you Mr. Kepple?" To which he curtly replies...
" No. Actually it's DOCTOR Kepple"