Farewell DC, it’s been fun

17 10 2007

My time in Washington is coming to an end; all that is left now is for me to skidaddle over to the airport to abuse the duty free and overpriced coffee. If I’m feeling flush I may purchase Joe Hill‘s new collection a few days earlier than its release in the UK; if you’re wise you’ll buy it as well.

That’s an honest recommendation – I don’t know him personally (not that it would matter I only recommend what I like) – I’m just a reader that rates him. He’s awfully good. He’s going to be awfully big.

Washington has been lovely: the hotel was great, the people friendly (I can’t quite get used to the level of politeness vs London) and the weather has been up in the peachy eighties. All this is good but it does leave me a little wistful as I haven’t really been able to enjoy it because I’ve been so bloody ill – as I type this I am coughing like Doc Holiday in a Talc factory.

Still mustn’t grumble.

The conference was really interesting but if I go into too much detail I suspect I’ll lose half my audience as this is not a web analytics blog, that’s what Avinash is for. (Avinash has tons of experience in analytics and is/was the Analytics evangelist for Google, after years as a practitioner he is now a consultant in addition to being considered an industry wide expert. I’ve heard him speak numerous times now. He’s good. He’s very good. Well worth a look if you like that sort of thing.)

There have been some scarily intelligent people at this thing all of whom have been really interesting to talk to even though all I could really manage – I lost my voice – was a polite nod.

I didn’t really get much of a chance to write other than the blog but I have a lot of time to kill in the airport so who knows – maybe inspiration will strike. When it’s on I can write anywhere – I wrote a poem and two Flash pieces whilst the whole toilet debacle was going on, but when I’m blocked I’m blocked.

Columbo Villian of the Week

17 10 2007

This week’s Columbo villian of the week is the unsung star of Knight Rider, the voice of Kitt: William Daniels.


Knight Rider along with the A-Team, Street Hawk and Airwolf was part of the 80s explosion of all action, all Americana television. It also gave us The Hoff who on the face of it looks like a prime target for Columbo Villian of the week but let’s get real – the guy couldn’t stay sober long enough to kill someone let alone cross swords with our cigar chewing detective.


No the real story here is Kitt, it always was all about the car. Imagine how infuriating it must have been to have that drunken German soft rock star taking all the glory. I can see it now: the car did it, backed over him three times and it was only its failure to erase the tyre tracks – a car doesn’t have the opposable thumbs required to wipe things down – that led Columbo to the murderer.

But a car can’t kill him on its own. Who ever heard of a sentient car? That’s just silly.

The voice of Kitt was played by the regularly employed but relatively unknown William Daniels who went onto play George Feeny in Boy Meets World and he was quite frankly born to play a Columbo villian although in actuality he never appeared on the show, opting instead for Quincy. As far as I can see the largely uncredited Mr Daniels carried the whole of Knight Rider – I certainly didn’t watch it for The Hoff’s mullet – and seeing that particular individual pour all his success down his throat whilst the public give him all the glory not to mention the cash…well a man can only take so much.

The Hoff

But it wasn’t Knight Rider that pushed Daniels over the edge. No, the final straw was Baywatch, the show that relaunched The Hoff’s career, the show that The Hoff was a producer of in addition to star of and the show that didn’t throw any work Daniels’ way. Daniels was a huge part of making Kitt interesting, without Kitt there wouldn’t be Knight Rider and the Hoff wouldn’t have had a career at all. Daniels, ever the intellectual, plans an elaborate death for The Hoff involving him choking on his own chest wig as a result of a well placed squib.

It’s the perfect crime leaving an opening in the show for an aging but wise Chief Lifeguard to step into The Hoff’s shoes played by his old colleague. Now why is that detective wearing a raincoat in LA in June? And on the beach?

Of course in this instance on discovering the murderer Columbo would have no doubt shaken his hand for sparing us The Hoff’s future music offerings, a frankly horrible series of Pipex adverts and tabloid photos of The Hoff dribbling on his own shoulder. Then he would have locked him up.


Rules is rules.


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