Columbo (1971–2003)
12 user 4 critic

Caution: Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health 

Lt. Columbo investigates a self-proclaimed security expert turned crime show host for the murder of a rival with incriminating evidence of pornography.



(created by), (created by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Maxine Jarrett (as Penny Johnson)
Henry Santos
Marie Chambers ...
Sergeant Lewis
Patricia Allison ...
Jack Tate ...
Barbara Baylor
Michael Russo ...
Duke Dimarco


Wade Anders is the host of a popular television show. Budd Clarke was the one who was originally suppose to be the host of the show but Anders did a hatchet job on him and got it. Clarke discovers that Anders once did a porno movie with an underage actress and is threatening to expose this unless Anders resigns thus paving the way for him to take over the show that he believes is rightfully his. Anders then doctors some cigarettes and replaces chain smoker Clarke's and Clarke smokes them and dies. Anders then steals the evidence that Clarke had on him. Columbo then comes in to investigate and discover a few inconsistencies. Written by <>

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TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 February 1991 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was the second time that George Hamilton played a murderer in Columbo (1971). He previously played a murderous psychiatrist in Columbo: A Deadly State of Mind (1975). See more »


When Wade Anders goes into the office at the beginning of the movie to set up the crime, the clock on the wall indicates 7:25 p.m. After letting 4 cigarettes burn down (among a few other tasks), he leaves after about 10 minutes. However, the clock now shows 10:55 p.m., which would mean he had been there there for over 3 hours. See more »


Columbo: My niece's green thumb couldn't make hedges grow that fast.
See more »


References America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Perfectly serviceable instalment
21 June 2016 | by See all my reviews

A fun entry in the 1990s series of revamped Columbo TV movies, this features George Hamilton playing the villain for the second time in the series (the first was 1975's A DEADLY STATE OF MIND). Hamilton has never been the world's greatest actor, but he's a solid fit for this 1990s-feeling piece, which has a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of light comedy to see it through.

Hamilton plays the presenter of a big crime TV show (think the BBC's CRIME WATCH) who discovers to his displeasure that a rival has uncovered a dirty secret from his past. He kills the guy by poisoning his cigarette, and Columbo is soon on the case. One of the annoying things about this episode is the slow, drawn-out way that Columbo describes the clues and the like to the audience; he actually seems quite slow-witted, and was never like this in the old episodes.

Still, the mystery is a good one, and there's an ingenious climax. Plus, I find the comedy in this latter episodes to be as strong as ever, with the interlude in the dog parlour a highlight. CAUTION: MURDER CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH is a perfectly serviceable entry in the Columbo TV series.

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