Columbo (1971–2003)
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Last Salute to the Commodore 

Charlie Clay runs the ship building business of his father-in-law, Commodore Swanson, who turns up murdered; Lt. Columbo is on the case.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Charles 'Charlie' Clay
Kittering, Esq.
Commodore Otis Swanson
Sergeant Theodore "Mac" Albinsky
Joanna Clay
Joshua Bryant ...
Wayne Taylor
Susan Foster ...
Lisa King
Fred Draper ...
Swanny Swanson
Coast Guard Officer
Guard (as J. P. Finnegan)
Joseph Roman ...
Shop Foreman
Hanna Hertelendy ...
Jerry Crews ...


Charlie Clay runs a ship-building business owned by his father-in-law, Commodore Otis Swanson, who is not happy with his profiteering son-in-law's shady dealings. Nor is he pleased with any of the people closest to him, including his alcoholic daughter Joanna Clay, his elderly nephew Swanny Swanson or his lawyer Kittering. Soon the Commodore is murdered, and Charlie Clay covers it up by impersonating the Commodore, taking the corpse out on the man's yawl at night and throwing the body overboard. Lt. Columbo investigates this case with the help of a veteran sergeant and a 29-year-old novice. The rumpled, redoubtable detective knows Clay covered up the crime, but his assumption that Clay committed the crime may prove premature. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

2 March 1976 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Commodore who was murdered is named Otis Swanson. In the Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Dead Ringer", the murder victim is also named Otis Swanson. Jackson Gillis is credited as the writer in that episode as well as this one. See more »


When Charles Clay drives away from Otis Swanson's house his car has wire wheels, but when he pulls up to the guard shack it has hub caps. See more »


[the lieutenant has been saddled with an apprentice]
Columbo: Now, what do I call you? Theodore?
Sergeant Theodore "Mac" Albinsky: Uh, no, sir. You call me Mac.
Columbo: Mac.
Sergeant Theodore "Mac" Albinsky: Yeah, Mac.
Columbo: And do you have any Scotch or Irish in you?
Sergeant Theodore "Mac" Albinsky: Oh, no, sir.
Columbo: All right, Mac. Welcome aboard.
See more »


Featured in Big Daddy (1999) See more »


This Old Man
Traditional English children's song/nursery rhyme.
On soundtrack in several variations at end as Columbo rows away
See more »

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User Reviews

A most unique episode of Columbo
22 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There are some very fishy things with this episode.

For one ? Notice Falk can't stop laughing.

Notice the blank stares.

Notice how he just loses it- as if in a foggy daze.

I am quite convinced the entire set did LSD for this episode.

I've never quite seen anything like this one.

I've been watching all 12 seasons - back to back and then ? This one.

Someone above mentioned Agatha Christie - It is clearly a new direction for the series. While this episode has many 'loose ends' ? They do get tied up. I'll still hold with my LSD suspicions. Somethings just are so far out there in this episode ? I don't know what else could be the answer.

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