I always liked Peter Falk, and I loved him in two roles that at first seem quite different to each other.

I rediscovered Peter Falk in Wings of Desire. Falk played himself making a movie in Berlin and waxing philosophic on life’s paradoxes. If you haven’t seen this movie — what are you waiting for?

But I fell in love with Falk when I was a little kid, watching A Pocketful of Miracles on television with my family. My stepdad kept saying He’s got that funny eye! and laughing out loud. Cracked all the kids up. He was a real goofball in that movie, a minor goon that Falk played with gleeful enthusiasm.

For most of us, life is hard and then we die; but along the way are consolations – truly good things. The sound of a baby’s cackling laughter, the smell of lilacs in spring, a kiss from someone you love, a movie that makes you remember life is sweet.

As Peter Falk (playing Peter Falk) said in Wings of Desire, “There’s so many good things.”

Peter Falk gave us performances that added to the good things. And his character’s name in Pocketful of Miracles? Joy Boy.