Columbo (1971–2003)
35 user 3 critic

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.



, (created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 March 1976 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The yacht identified in the episode as belonging to Charles Clay is in fact the Dittmar Donaldson-designed 85-foot superyacht Mojo, built in 1969 and owned by Los Angeles businessman Frank Muller. Over the decades, Mojo has played host to many celebrities, including Michael Jackson (for the ceremonial scattering of Barry White's ashes), as well as Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Stiller, and members of the band 311. She was also a favorite of US President Richard Nixon, who sailed on Mojo no less than two dozen times.

Perhaps her most notorious celebrity guests, however, were George C. Scott and his wife, Trish Van Devere. Having paid US$10,000 to charter Mojo for ten days in late January, 1978, and keen to be underway to Pebble Beach for the Crosby Pro-Am Golf Tournament, Scott encouraged the yacht's captain Norm Catton to exit Morro Bay harbor into heavy 20-foot seas against the advice of both Harbor Patrol and the Coast Guard. Mojo was overwhelmed by a massive breaker, shattering the wheelhouse windows and injuring both the captain and Van Devere, and causing damage totaling US$85,000 (~US$310,000 in 2016 dollars).

Following the incident, Mojo was rebuilt and lengthened to 100 feet. A subsequent refit in the 1990s changed her styling almost unrecognizably, but she remains in service to this day with Hornblower Cruises & Events in her long-time home of Newport Beach, CA. See more »


As Columbo wraps up his phone call with Ensign O'Connor aboard Charles Clay's yacht, three people can be seen on the adjacent yacht "Cameo", peering through the windows in the background. They're clearly not extras, since they stare at the camera nearly constantly, only occasionally turning to discuss what they're seeing with each other. See more »


Kittering, Esq.: A sad story, enough to make you weep.
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Terrible pacing made me lose interest in this mystery
23 June 2001 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

The Columbo formula was thrown out the window here. Unfortunately, so was the pacing. The result is one of the most boring entries of the series -- complete with a Columbo who seems to be making fun of himself half of the time. At the end, since Columbo didn't seem to care that much about catching the killer, I lost interest too.

39 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Was getting divorced THAT big a deal? lorraine1232
Lovely but Lethal...... popweasel-125-514813
Lady in Waiting goof? nmrj
Columbo's Family sternfan88
I Just Binge Watched Columbo spin73
Who did not deserve to be murdered? dinandwoesthof
Discuss Last Salute to the Commodore (1976) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: