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The Odd Couple (TV Series 1970–1975) Poster

(1970–1975)

Trivia

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ABC worried that viewers would assume that Felix and Oscar were homosexuals because they lived together. As a prank, Randall and Klugman would often improvise scenes with homoerotic dialogue and send them to the network. A few of these can be seen in The Odd Couple Out-Takes (2005).
Early episodes from the first season were titled "Neil Simon's The Odd Couple". Neil Simon objected to this, having nothing to do with the television series and not wanting to leave the impression left that he did, not knowing the quality of the series' scripts (he did continue to receive a "Based on the Play created by" credit). After seeing the first two seasons of the show he became a fan of the series, and even agreed to appear as himself in a cameo in one episode.
The part of Oscar's (Jack Klugman) ex-wife Blanche was played by Brett Somers, Klugman's own wife. The real-life couple were separated during the run of the show.
The show's Nielsen ratings were low and it was always near cancellation. High ratings for the reruns during the summer months, however, would help get the series renewed.
After the show was canceled, Tony Randall won an Emmy for playing Felix Unger. As he accepted his award, he said he wished he "had a job".
The original voices of Linus and Lucy from the "Peanuts" animated programs both appeared in early episodes of the series. Christopher Shea (Linus) appeared in some episodes as the across-the-hall neighbor Phillip, and Pamelyn Ferdin (Lucy) originated the role of Felix's daughter Edna.
Tony Randall continually fretted about the show's future, as it rarely drew high ratings and was always seemingly on the verge of cancellation. Jack Klugman would often tell Randall not to worry, accurately predicting the show's success and longevity upon its reruns entering into syndication.
Years after the show went off the air, Tony Randall recalled getting questions about the *true* nature of Felix and Oscar's relationship. Once, Randall and his wife took a cab from the airport to their California home. As Randall's wife walked into the house with a suitcase, the cab driver asked Tony, "Who's that lady?" Randall replied, "That's my wife." The cab driver looked surprised. "Your wife?" "Of course," said Randall. "Who did you think it was?" The cab driver shrugged. "I always thought that . . . you and Oscar were . . . you know."
Felix's children were named Leonard and Edna. Tony Randall's real middle name is Leonard, and his sister's name was Edna.
During the first season (1970-71), the show was filmed in the same apartment as the one in the 1968 movie (The Odd Couple (1968)) in single camera format with a laugh track. Beginning with the second season, however, the show was filmed in a studio in three-camera format before a live audience.
The iconic narration during the opening credits says that Felix was forced to move out of his residence on November 13. November 13 is the birthday of the show's Executive Producer Garry Marshall.
Felix and Oscar live at 74th st and Central Park West. This is mentioned in the episode where Oscar wins a car on the radio from Dick Clark. The pair actually state the address, and in the scene where they win the car is filmed outside the San Remo apartment building, which is actually located on Central Park West, between 74th and 75th streets in Manhattan. Their address is also mentioned several times as being 1049 Park Ave.
Three different stories were given as to how Felix and Oscar met and became friends. The original opening narration to the show claimed that they were childhood friends. Several times during the series, however, it was claimed they met while they were both serving in the army. One episode (a send up of the film 12 Angry Men (1957)) claimed they met while serving on the jury of a controversial murder trial (Jack Klugman, who appeared as a juror in 12 Angry Men (1957), portrayed characteristics of several characters from the film, including his own. Tony Randall portrayed the Henry Fonda character). In the third season, the word "childhood" was removed from the opening narration.
A frequent guest star was Monty Hall, who appeared as himself. Apparently, he and Oscar had been college roommates.
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The two episodes of the series that featured ABC sportscaster Howard Cosell increased the ratings of the show.
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The two actresses who played the Pigeon Sisters (Monica Evans and Carole Shelley) in the TV series starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, played the same parts in the 1968 theatrical version opposite Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon and in the original Broadway stage version.
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According to Elinor Donahue, she had trouble with her lines during her first table read with the cast. Tony Randall banged on the table and yelled at her for blowing her lines, causing her to cry. The next day, Donahue found a bouquet of flowers and an apology note from Randall. The two ended up becoming great friends.
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Art Carney and Dean Martin were considered for the part of Felix. Carney originated the role of Felix in the Broadway play.
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According to Jack Klugman, the opening narration explaining that Felix and Oscar were "two divorced men" was added to dissuade viewers from believing that the two men were homosexuals.
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Felix's father was an optometrist in Chicago. In fact, one of his father's patients was Oscar's father.
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In the show, Howard Cosell and Oscar Madison were supposed to be arch-enemies.
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Jane Dulo played Oscar's mother, then played Murray Greshler's wife, all in Season 3.
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In-joke: The last name of the Elinor Donahue character, Miriam Welby, references her connection with Robert Young. Donahue played Young's daughter on Father Knows Best (1954). At the time of "The Odd Couple", Young was starring as Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969), also on ABC.
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Mickey Rooney and Martin Balsam were considered for the part of Oscar. Tony Randall wanted Rooney to play Oscar but Garry Marshall insisted on Jack Klugman.
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In one episode, characters from the show walk down the street in New York City and encounter playwright Neil Simon. Simon wrote the play on which the show was based.
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According to the first Howard Cosell segment, Oscar's favorite meal is lasagna with french fries, and his favorite dessert is Boston cream pie.
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The address of Felix and Oscar's apartment building is 1049 Park Avenue, an actual New York City address. Scenes for the opening credits and exterior views of the building seen on the show were filmed in front of the building. Employees and residents of the building say fans still visit the location looking for Felix and Oscar, and claim that mail addressed to the characters is delivered on occasion.
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Besides Nancy Cunningham, Oscar had another girlfriend that he frequently mentioned named "Crazy Rhoda" Zimmerman. However, unlike Nancy, Rhoda was mentioned but never seen.
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Many of Felix and Oscar's personal interests were drawn from those of Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. For example, Randall was an aficionado of opera and classical music, which was incorporated into Felix. Likewise, Klugman was an avid horse-racing fan, which Oscar was portrayed to be as well.
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The name of the paper Oscar wrote for was the "New York Herald". It was, in fact, a real newspaper--sort of. Its name was actually the New York Herald-Tribune and it folded in the mid-'60s. It was founded by Horace Greeley.
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Felix and Murray played together in a band that specialized in 1930s music which was called "The Sophisticatos". In one episode, the band played country and western music and went by the name "Red River Unger and his Saddle Sores".
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Oscar's middle name was Trevor.
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Jane Dulo, who played Oscar's mother, was only five years older than Jack Klugman.
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The original Broadway production of "The Odd Couple" by Neil Simon opened at the Plymouth Theater on March 10, 1965, ran for 966 performances and was nominated for the 1965 Tony Award as Best Play.
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John Fiedler, Carole Shelley and Monica Evans are the only actors to appear in both The Odd Couple (1968) and The Odd Couple (1970).
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Almost immediately after the TV show was canceled, the cast reunited in a touring production of Neil Simon's play, The Odd Couple.
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November 13th of 1970 (the year the show started) was a Friday - Friday the 13th.
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During the opening credits you see a long shot of Oscar and Felix dancing around a Maypole. In the background appears to be the Gulf & Western building before the camera zooms in on Oscar and Felix. The show was produced by Paramount which, at the time, was a Gulf & Western Company.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

At the conclusion of the show's run, Felix remarried Gloria and moved out of the apartment.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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