Cat food magnate Felix Randolph is killed by his pet tiger. The grounds-keeper is arrested but Houston thinks the killer is one of four ex-wives, who accuse each other and cannot lay claim to the estate until the murder is solved.


(as Mike Vejar)




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Episode complete credited cast:
Lee Horsley ...
Penny Santon ...
Buddy Young
Felix Randolph
Lauren Calder
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lori Butler ...
Bikini Model
Paula Friel ...
Evening Dress Model
Paula Jones ...
Secretary (as Paula Jean Jones)


A cat food magnate who keeps some exotic cats as pets, is killed by his pet tiger. Later his four ex-wives hire to Houston to find out what happened. It seems the man believed that one of them is trying to kill him, so until it's resolved, none of them can lay a claim to his estate. One of them tells Houston that she thinks one of his exes is the one so he goes to see that one who lays the blame on another. When he goes to see her she blames the other one. At the same time, the man's grounds keeper who took care of his pets, is arrested under suspicion of killing the man and Houston doesn't think he did it. Written by

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

9 January 1983 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Hugh Hefner P.I. Visits Hollywood Squares?
14 August 2011 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Millionaire cat food company owner Felix Randolph (Werner Klemperer) is mauled to death by his pet tiger who has been let out of its cage. His four ex-wives, each of whom he suspected were trying to kill him, hire Houston. Unless the real killer is found his will stipulates that his pet cats will inherit his entire fortune.

In the spirit of murder mystery novels the victim is a hated person (this one treats cats better than people) a lot of the other guest stars wanted dead for a variety of different reasons maximizing the suspense up until the end. The victim is also killed in an offbeat way all to lighten the mood of what should be something tragic.

Another ironic murder mystery with a tongue-in-cheek tone in a first season episode along with Houston as a kind of Hugh Hefner P.I. sniffing around women and treading his spurs on chic environs. The campiness here even has our hero warding off a potential assailant with a branding iron.

Sitcom casting again too. You have Zsa Zsa who was on many of the most scatterbrained shows in TV history including F-Troop, Gilligan's Island, Supertrain etc and Sonny Bono is playing her martial arts expert bodyguard. You also have Colonel Klink as the murder victim. The scene near the end where the suspects are all assembled looks like Hollywood Squares.

This is one of the goofiest episodes of the entire series. But it lampoons itself, the wealthy and the celebrity class so well it somehow works as a biting satire of detective shows and famous people ripe for a send-up. Numerous episodes during the first season tried the same thing but failed.

There does seem to be this recurring theme of women on the show except for C.J. being presented as flighty morons with loose morals or hapless victims who couldn't tie their own shoelaces. The only ones that might be good enough to rope Houston and marry him aside from C.J. are usually decades older than him.

Houston is also nearly hit by a moving vehicle (both a truck and a car this time) again that tries to run him down. My guess would be that Lee Horsley's stand-in specialized in that kind of stunt but they just did it to death on this show.

Barbie Benton portrays one of the ex-wives - a no-talent singer/actress whose career has been paid for by her rich husband. It is both a thinly-veiled version of Pia Zadora as well as Ms.Benton herself.

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