I disagree about the driving scene in Negative Reaction. I can't stand it. I always thought it was unfunny and unrealistic slapstick. And what possible reason would Columbo have to be "playing dumb" for the driving instructor?
And if he wasn't "playing dumb," I find it hard to believe that such an observant and meticulous policeman like Columbo would drive like an idiot endangering himself and others. Columbo might be sloppy in some respects, but he is not a menace.
The driving scene in "Mureder with too many notes", cracks me up. Billy Connolly, being driven home by Columbo at 10 miles an hour. Even an old guy on a bike gives them a toot them as he whizzes past.
I think the driving scene was funny, in and of itself, but I agree with E that it was over the top for Columbo.
He is depicted, however, in other episodes as somewhat careless on the road.
Yeah, like when he crashes into the police car in Make Me A Perfect Murder and has to wear the neck brace. And someone says to him "Good Luck, Lieutenant" (Referring to good luck in catching the murder of Mr. McAndrews), and Columbo replies, "Don't worry, it will be off soon." Meaning the neck brace.
^yeah that was a good moment fred!
another time Columbo has an accident is in A Matter of Honor...but I don't think that one was his fault.
Yes, there are some other references to Columbo's carelessness while driving. But his driving in "Negative Reaction" wasn't careless, it was reckless.
I thought it nwas funny when columbo was with eve babcock and she thought he was a 'client.' then the real client shows up, and he says, "By the way, my name is Lt. Columbo and I'm with the los angeles police department."
I think a funny one is the scene in "Murder in Malibu" where Columbo and his colleague are "examining" the panties on the mannequin in the lingerie shop and they suddenly notice that all of the ladies in the shop are staring at them with disgusted looks on their faces.
And in "Dead Weight," where Hollister makes our hero seasick and says he can't understand how someone named Columbo isn't more at home on the water. And Columbo says, "It must have been another branch of the family, sir!"