One is neat, one is a slob. Both are divorced and need a place to stay. That's how fussy photographer Felix Unger and sloppy sportswriter Oscar Madison end up sharing a New York City apartment. The arguments are endless but funny; it's like watching your parents fight.Written by
Jack Klugman was nominated for an Emmy Award for Odd Couple several times as well as for Quincy, several years later. But he only won for Odd Couple. See more »
In the opening credits for the entire series, the type of luggage Felix is carrying changes.
When he is indoors (leaving his apartment or arriving at Oscar's) he is carrying a white suitcase. But when he is walking outside he is not carrying the white suitcase. See more »
Great comedic concept from Neil Simon—the slob and the neat freak, two divorced men living together in a small Manhattan apartment. But it's really Klugman and Randall that make the premise work so well—their chemistry is simply superb. Klugman seems a natural for Oscar the slob, with his sour expression and grouchy manner. Then there's Randall as Felix, with his no-fat body and absurdly picky manner. You just know he never played with mud pies or put on dirty socks.
It's amazing the writers get so many hilarious variations on the same theme—Felix carrying on with his finicky obsessions to an annoying degree. He just can't seem to help himself. At the same time, we can't help sympathizing with poor Oscar who retaliates by turning his bedroom into a city dump. Actually actor Randall pulls off a really difficult trick: he manages to make Felix annoying without being dislikable. Any hint of the latter and the show would have fallen flat.
And who can forget the superb supporting cast, especially hawk-nosed Al Molinaro as Murray, the New York City policeMAN. He fits amiably right in with whatever the shenanigans might be, maybe too amiably for a cop. Then there're the rest of the poker playing characters, plus the girls led by Klugman's real life wife Brett and Father Knows Best's Elinor Donahue. Since nearly all the hijinks occur in the small apartment, the writers have their work cut out for them, and rise to the occasion they do, with only an occasional misfire. My favorite parts are when some poor put-upon old lady gets enough of Felix's extremes and swats him with her purse—he always looks so surprised, like he can't figure out why. Anyway, it's one of the best character-based comedies of the 70's or any TV decade.
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