For this week's Power Rankings, I rank those Martins not in order of overall preference, but in terms of how much I wish they had appeared on Murder, She Wrote. It's been more than a beaver's whisker since we've done a Murder Monday post (that was my attempt at creating a colorful Maine expression). so maybe this will tide us all over.
(Not ranked: Martins not in the game, like Martin Lawrence; plus Martins not in the game who were on Murder, She Wrote, like Martin Milner (multiple appearances as different characters); and Martins in the game who were on the series, like Barney Martin (as very Irish Timothy Hanratty).
1) Steve Martin: We are big fans of Steve here, so we mean no disrespect, but current Steve as a guest on MSW might not be a huge deal. However, pre-Only Murders, pre-banjo tours, pre-the last three-plus decades Steve Martin on the show in the late 1980s? That would be huge!
2) Andrea Martin: Angela Lansbury doesn't get enough worthy female foils on the series, but a woman of Andrea's versatility could make a real impact either as a lovable eccentric or even a villian.
3) Martin Mull: Imagine Mull as a Barth Gimble type flustering Jessica with his arrogance and smarm!
4) Martin Short: Part of me would love to see Short's manic 1980s energy in Cabot Cove, but how about something more akin to Nathan Thurm? Imagine him withering under the sharp glare of Jessica Fletcher!
5) Martin Landau: He would have made an excellent murderer. I mean that as a compliment, really. I mean, he played all kinds of scoundrels, so it's not a knock on the guy.
6) Martin Sheen: The veteran actor's intensity could have added some welcome volatility--maybe a pre-West Wing turn as a politician.
7) Billy Martin: Well, as much as I enjoy his beer commercials and his legacy as a manager in MLB, I don't really see this as the best fit. Is he gonna kick dirt on Jessica's shins when she rules against him as an umpire in the annual Cabot Cove Celebrity Softball Challe--Wait, I think I just figured it out.
8) Ross Martin: Appearing on the series was never a possibility for the co-star of Wild Wild West, who died in 1981, which hurts his ranking here, but I think he would have fit in very well.
9) Pamela Sue Martin: Maybe a glamorous socialite whose husband is killed under mysterious circumstances? We all want to see Jessica Fletcher in the world of Dynasty.
10) Dick Martin: He might have made an interesting recurring Cabot Cove resident a la John Astin, but in the 1980s, Martin was concentrating on game show appearances and directing.