Thursday, April 5, 2018


"Identical cousin" is one of those terms which has currency in Toobworld, but is not as readily acceptable in other fictional universes (nor in the Trueniverse.)  I've written about the term in the past and use it often to justify theories of relateeveety in which two otherwise unconnected roles could be connected if only because they were played by the same actor.

The term was established by 'The Patty Duke Show' to splain away why first cousins Patty and Cathy Lane looked exactly the same.  But Toobworld Central has expanded the definition of "Identical Cousin" to be a euphemistic slang term for an illegitimate half brother or sister.  Usually these siblings don't even know of the existence of each other.  They were the accidental results of pregnancies during affairs, bigamy cases, and sometimes even rape.  (Soap Operas have been around since the dawn of the television age and eventually spread to prime-time, with medical dramas, cop shows, and even sitcoms.  So they've had a lot of influence on plot-lines.)

This is not the case with our original identical cousins, however.  The fathers of Patty and Cathy - Martin and Kenneth Lane - were identical twins, the real deal.  (However, it could be they were the result of an affair between their mother and their father's brother, Uncle Jed Lane.)

Last week's theory of relateeveety was about Judge Drew Mayfield ('Dynasty') who was the first cousin of Dr. Barry Mayfield ('Columbo').  Definitely NOT identical cousins.  

And as it turns out, Drew Mayfield had an identical cousin in another 'Columbo' episode who was actually his illegitimate half-brother.  At some time back in the late 1930s, Drew Mayfield's father traveled to Los Angeles from Colorado on business  While there, he met and fell in love with his client's wife, with whom he had a son.  The boy was given his mother's last name (as she was already married to another) and he was passed off as her husband's heir.

The family name was Danziger.  And his "father" gave him the first name of Jason.  

Jason Danziger grew up a genius, with an IQ that qualified him for membership in the Sigma Society chapter of Los Angeles.  He was tangentially involved in the Bertie Hastings murder investigation at the Sigmans' club, but his theories about the gun used in the murder were (gently) discredited by the investigating detective, Lieutenant Frank Columbo.

As smart as he was, Jason Danziger never knew that he had an "identical cousin" in Colorado.  But he did have an actual cousin who also met Lt. Columbo... at sea.  Not that he knew of him either.


Lt. Columbo takes a trip to Acapulco, but finds himself on a new case when a used car dealer named Hayden Danziger commits murder on the cruise ship.

As was the case with Drew and Barry Mayfield, the fathers of Hayden and Jason Danziger were brothers in Los Angeles.  And Drew Mayfield never knew he had an "identical cousin" and through him another cousin who was a murderer brought down by Lt. Columbo of the LAPD.

  • 'Columbo' - "Troubled Waters"
  • 'Columbo' - "The Bye Bye Sky-High IQ Murder Case"
  • 'Dynasty' - "The Trial" & "The Verdict"
  • 'The Patty Duke Show' - "A Visit From Uncle Jed"

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