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Tony Randall (1920-2004)

So long, Tony. Tony Randall did played many roles in his acting career, and in life, but to me he will always be Felix Unger. I still know every episode by heart and to this day, even though I have not seen the show in years, I can hear Felix's sinus attack in my head. While I identified with Oscar (being a slob and all), I enjoyed Randall's character more, just for the way he played it. Great comedy, all around. My favorite Odd Couple episode is the one where Felix sings the song "Once there was a man named Oscar" or maybe the one where Felix writes poetry, or Password... What's yours?



Oscar(Growling): "Aristophones..."

Felix: "Ridiculous!"

The Howard Cosell Episode!

"Goop melange" (which, along with a smattering of Iron Chef, pretty much defines my cooking style...)

"The witness may slink away."

I don't have a favorite episode committed to memory, I actually liked the movie better. Jack Lemmon wore the coolest blue suit in the first part of the movie (yes, I remeber weird stuff).

Anyway, back to Tony, the coolest thing I remember about him was that he could be standing still right beside a desk and jump up on top of it. I saw him do it on one of the talk shows, Carson or maybe Letterman.

Call me what you will, but I think Tony Randall's performance on the television show was a shameful effort compared to the high standard Jack Lemmon set for the character.

When they re-decorate the apartment.

"Once there was a man named Oscar,
Oscar, Oscar,

Damn, that was funny stuff. And don't forget the next stanza, about "messy Jesse."

In my book, Tony Randall was the definitive Felix. No offense intended to Lemmon-ites.

There was an episode where Felix and Oscar had to go to a seedy bar (I think it was on the waterfront), and Felix intones, ominously "I'd better bring my big spoon."

Not to change the subject, but I'm assuming you've seen in all three Rock Hudson/Doris Day movies (Lover Come Back, Pillow Talk, and Send Me No Flowers), yes? Of those three, I believe Lover Come Back is my favorite.

One of my favorites is when Felix thought his bird Albert had died. Oscar's ready to just chuck him down the garbage chute and Felix says, "Shouldn't we say something?" And Oscar opens the door to the chute and yells, "Look out below!"

And who can forget the episode where in a psychological experiment, Felix and Oscar act like the other?

As for the comparison to the movie, I don't making one is really all that fair. Let's face it. Even though Jack Lemmon's Felix was very funny, he was also extremely annoying. I think they had to get Felix to 'lighten up' a bit on the television show.

Everyone's hit upon great episodes. The episode where the horse trainer gives them tips and they keep winning at the track is a good one also. The line at the end of the "dead" Albert episode, where Felix is describing what he wants at this funeral and then asks Oscar what Oscar wants is funny; Oscar says "I wanna be there."

Password, definitely. What can I say? I'm a gameshow geek.

There are so many good episodes of the "Odd Couple", asking me to chose my favorite is really more like asking the first one I remember. So, with that qualification, I give you seven words: "Happy and peppy and bursting with love."

Joe, I love that episode!!

The airplane episode -- "I fear much fricton in the fuselage, Fredrick." Terri Garr is also particularly perky here when she threatens to punch Felix's lights out if he tries to buy any more flight insurance.

The show was one of the rare ones that actually worked better in its final four seasons in front of a studio audience than as a three-camera set-up in the first season. Amd the fact that ABC seemed to lose track of the show habitually on its schedule meant fewer network suits to butt in and ruin things.

"Once there was a man named Oscar,
Oscar, Oscar,

[with chalkboard] "Never assume."

"Now it's gahbage."

This topic brings back a ton of memories.
As my memories are never clear, I had to go look at an episode guide. Even though I am sure I saw lots of episodes 10 times each, there are plenty that I cannot remember from the short descriptions. Ones that stand out for me are:

christmas carol (ebeneezer madison)
Speed reads the scrooge part!!
cemetery plot for felix
fat farm
writer school for felix

The opera episode where oscar has to lift the "fat sack" in rehersal take after take.

"Happy and Peppy..." isn't my favorite either and, like you, Joe, is the most memorable:

1) It's the only time I've seen Jaye P. Morgan outside the Gong Show

2) I can still remember "Let's hit Hitler..."


Anything other answer is positively Aristophanes (and that has actually become a catchword in my house).

There are a couple of demented recordings of him here (along with a lot of other strange stuff).

Tony himself sings a weird version of "Nature Boy", and Jack Klugman sings "You're So Vain" with commentary from Tony.

..The one that has always stuck with me was the one where Oscar dumped a ton of garbage on Felix and turned him into a super-slob.

Tony Randall was very talented but I must confess I never liked the Odd Couple. Couldn't even stand the movie of the same name.

Nearlt every episode stands out.

  • I don't like pits, pits, pits, in my juice, juice, juice...
  • Boneless chicken? How did it walk?
  • Listen Mr. Madison; I quit.
  • I win! There it is: "Oscar Madisoy"
  • Ahhhhnnnnnnnnnnnhhhnnnnn
  • Oh-wah ta-go si-am!
  • John Byner describing Manhattan parking rules.
  • F: As a tribute to you Oscar.... (dumps out trash pail)
    O: As a tribute to you buddy, I'm going to clean it up!
    F: My efforts here were not for naught. (leaves apartment)
    O: I'm not going to clean it up....(leaves scene)
    F: (re-enters apartment) I knew he wouldn't do it.