Watch Columbo roast Frank Sinatra
Peter Falk slipped into character for this appearance on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast in 1978.
Dean Martin perfected the art of the celebrity roast. On The Dean Martin Show and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, the Rat Packer roped in his funniest friends to rib the likes of Hugh Hefner, Lucille Ball and Evel Knievel. Regular roasters like Don Rickles and Red Buttons landed expert jabs as expected, but occasionally there was the unexpected guest. On July 2, 1978, Lt. Columbo of the LAPD took the podium to poke some fun at Frank Sinatra. Not Peter Falk, Columbo. With his trademark raincoat and cigar, Columbo doesn't exactly roast the singer so much as awkwardly interact with him. It's a blast.
He asks for Sinatra to sign something for him: "You don't have to write out Lieutenant; you can put L-T-period." We learn about Columbo's in-laws, like Theresa, who worked as a hostess showing people to their stools at the Hoboken Orange Julius. Columbo also brings Frank a lasagna in a Teflon pan and instructs Ol' Blue Eyes on how to wash and return it. Speaking of Teflon, a pre-Presidential Ronald Reagan is on the panel as well. Oh, how we wish these were still around.