Here are some fun facts about The Odd Couple
The Odd Couple is a sitcom which aired from 1970 to 1975 on the ABC television network. The story is based on a 1965 play written by Neil Simon, which was followed by the production of a 1968 film starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon.
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In the film, The Odd Couple begins with Felix attempting to commit suicide by jumping out of the window of his 9th floor apartment in Manhattan. He is distraught over his divorce, which was a result of tensions between him and his wife Gloria. These tensions were caused by his consistent neurotic behavior
The TV Show
The Odd Couple TV show had a lighter beginning. Felix was thrown out of his apartment by his irate wife and subsequently showed up at the front door of his friend Oscar Madison. Despite their striking personality differences, Oscar took him in. The rest is TV history
“Don’t point that finger at me unless you intend to use it” – Oscar Madison
The “Password” Episode
The Odd Couple episode “The Password” was voted #5 in TV Guide’s “Top 100 Episodes in Television History”. This episode features Felix and Oscar appearing on the hit TV game show “Password”
“I’m a neurotic nut, buy YOU’RE CRAZY” – Felix Unger
After Tony Randall was hired to portray Felix Unger, he lobbied heavily to get Mickey Rooney hired for the role of Oscar Madison. Producer Gary Marshall wanted Jack Klugman and we don’t need to say who got their way
“Getting a clear picture on channel 2 is not my idea of Whoopee” – Oscar Madison
Other Cast Members
Officer Murray Greshler – played by Al Molinaro, who we also fondly remember as “AL” in the hit comedy series “Happy Days”
Myrna Turner – Oscar Madison’s wacky secretary played by Penny Marshall (producer Gary Marshall’s sister)
Mimi Greshler – Murray Greshler’s wife on the show, played by the wonderful character actress Alice Ghostly
Gloria Unger – Felix’s wife who was portrayed by Janis Hansen
Blanche Madison – Oscar’s on-screen ex-wife, who was ironically Jack Klugman’s wife in real life!
Monica Evans and Carole Shelley as Gwendolyn and Cecily (The Pidgeon Sisters). Both actresses were in The Odd Couple stage play and film and reprized their roles in the TV series
Felix Ungar: “In other words, you’re throwin’ me out?”
Oscar Madison: “Not in other words. Those are the perfect ones!”
The Odd Couple Trivia
- During the years Jack Klugman’s popularity was exploding due to his work on the TV show Quincy, Cannon Copiers hired him to do a number of commercials promoting their product. Minolta countered this marketing by hiring Tony Randall to spotlight their wares. The battle of the copy machines ensued!
- While The Odd Couple TV show was on summertime break, Klugman and Randall also performed their roles in several Broadway versions of the The Odd Couple
- Felix and Oscar reunited again in the 1993 television movie “The Odd Couple – Together Again”, which received mixed reviews. By this time, Jack Klugman had lost a vocal chord to cancer and writers decided to incorporate this premise into the story-line
- in 1975, ABC decided to produce a cartoon version of the show entitled “The Oddball Couple” It ran for two years and was subsequently canceled.
- Another remake of The Odd Couple aired on CBS in 2015 starring Matthew Perry from the hit show “Friends”. This remake lasted two years before being canned
- Dean Martin was originally considered for the role of Felix and Mickey Rooney was considered for the role of Oscar
- Jack Klugman And Tony Randall were hired to promote the board game YATZEE. Their tagline was “You play your way — I’ll play mine,”
- Despite it’s enormous popularity and longevity in reruns, The Odd Couple teetered on the edge of cancellation after every annual ratings report came out. In 1975, it was all over.
- Neil Simon’s 1965 stage version of The Odd couple starred Walter Matthau (Oscar) and Art Carney (Felix)
- – Despite being a hit television show, The Odd Couple actually originated as a play by Neil Simon in 1965, and was later adapted into a film in 1968 before becoming a TV series in 1970.
- – Tony Randall and Jack Klugman starred in a total of five different television shows together, including The Odd Couple.
- – The famous “ping pong table” episode of The Odd Couple was actually a parody of the classic film “Casablanca”.
- – Jack Klugman’s character, Oscar Madison, had a great love for sports, and was often seen wearing sports jerseys and talking about baseball.
- – The role of Felix Ungar was originally offered to Art Carney, but he turned it down.
- – The show won two Emmy Awards during its run, including one for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1971.
- – The show’s theme song, “Overture to The Odd Couple”, was composed by Neal Hefti and is still recognized as an iconic television theme.
- – The premise of The Odd Couple was so popular that it has been adapted into various other forms of media over the years, including a Broadway musical and an animated series.
- – Jack Klugman’s performance as Oscar Madison was so beloved by fans that he was asked to reprise the role in a revival of the series in 1983, which ran for another two seasons.