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Tony Randall and Jack Klugman Chat on Nick at Nite Online

June 4, 1997

 

NickEmcee:  Thanks for joining Nick at Nite Online tonight with our special guests Jack Klugman (JACKLUGMAN) and Tony Randall (TonyRndll) from "The Odd Couple"!

NickEmcee:  And, don''t forget to watch "The Odd Couple...On Ice" marathon with Jack Klugman & Tony Randall on Nick at Nite all week long!

JACKLUGMAN:  I''m excited about everyone still caring about THE ODD COUPLE.  And I appreciate it.

TonyRndll:  Hello to the intelligencing world!!!  Let us hope your questions are intelligent!

 

Question:  Jack and Tony:  What is your favorite job -- a part in the movies.... or live on stage (theatre)?

JACKLUGMAN:  Live onstage is very much more enjoyable.  I love to play with the audience for immediate reaction.  That''s why I loved doing THE ODD COUPLE.  We had a live audience there.  It was just like doing a play.

TonyRndll: My answer is... the latter... and, Hello Jack!

JACKLUGMAN: Hi Tony!

 

Question:  what will my son do this summer?

JACKLUGMAN: Get a job!  Get out of the house and get a job!

 

Question:  Any chance of an "Odd Couple" reunion show on television soon?

JACKLUGMAN:  We did one a couple of years ago.  And it''s going to be shown again this summer.

JACKLUGMAN: The reason people didn''t see it is because it was on opposite the first time Mrs. Bobbitt was on "The Barbara Walters Show" talking about how she cut off his... you know what.  ;-)

JACKLUGMAN: Now you should watch it!

 

Question:  Guys, when you started the Odd Couple did you find it hard to follow Walter Matheau and Jack Lemmon?  Jack SWM

TonyRndll: No problem for me.

JACKLUGMAN: No, I replaced Walter Mattheau in New York on the stage.  So, I knew all about THE ODD COUPLE.

 

Question:  How Long have both of you been friends?

JACKLUGMAN: I''ve known Tony since 1956... but we started to become friends in 1970.

JACKLUGMAN: And we''re better friends now than we were then.

TonyRndll: These questions are so trivial... It''s hard to summon a yawn... we''ve been friends for a LONG time!

 

Question:  Tony Randall, I loved you in those Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies,
 any good stories from those films?

TonyRndll: No.

 

Question:  Who was your favorite guest star?

JACKLUGMAN:  Oh, we had so many.

JACKLUGMAN:  My favorite was Howard Cossell. And we became very good friends.

JACKLUGMAN: Edward Villvla... I''m not sure if that''s the correct spelling but he was a great dancer.  And Monty Hall.  Betty White.

JACKLUGMAN: I have too many favorites.

TonyRndll: These questions are insulting in their banality and boredom.  If they don''t have better questions maybe they should be watching Star Trek.

 

NickEmcee:  Tony, anything you would like to talk about?  We would love to hear from you! : )

TonyRndll: I would like to talk about... the need for a Government subsidy for the arts.  I started the National Actor''s theatre because of the absence of such a thing in the country.  In every other country, the intellelectual centerpiece of the country is the theatre... such as in France.

TonyRndll: If people only understood both the practical and educational value of the arts they wouldn''t argue about the nationalization of the arts.

 

Question:  Jack, will there be a "Quincy" reunion?

JACKLUGMAN: I would love to do one.  But as popular as it is all over the world... Universal doesn''t seem interested.

JACKLUGMAN: There are so many stories about injustices that I would like to do.  Especially about the harmfulness of smoking tobacco.

JACKLUGMAN: There are so many episodes of QUINCY that I am proud of.  The show on orphan drugs had legislation passed after I appeared in front of a congressional committee.

JACKLUGMAN: So, that made me very proud.

 

Question:  how did you both really get along?  was it fun doing the odd couple together?

TonyRndll: Fine.

JACKLUGMAN: It was truly a labor of love.

JACKLUGMAN: We worked hard but we created a great deal and laughed a lot.  We were fortunate to have three of the best comedy writers in the business... Garry Marshall, Jerry Belson, and Harvey Miller.

 

Question:  Jack, do you enjoy horseracing, in real life, as in the show?

JACKLUGMAN: Two hours ago I got home from the race track.  4 o'' clock, I got home from the race track.

JACKLUGMAN: I LOVE IT!!!

JACKLUGMAN: I have a couple of two-year olds and a yearling that I hope will win the Kentucky Derby.  Because I am not going to die until I win it.

 

Question:  Tony how is the new baby?

TonyRndll: Fine!!!

JACKLUGMAN: She is beautiful.... Julia Laurette Randall.

JACKLUGMAN: She''s georgous!

TonyRndll: I agree with Jack!

JACKLUGMAN: I knew he would agree. ;-)

 

Question:  Jack... loved you in the "Twilight Zone" episodes, how was it doing those?

JACKLUGMAN: Oh, it was a class act!  Rod Serling was joy to work for... and with.  Nobody has done more TWILIGHT ZONE''s than I.

JACKLUGMAN: Burgess Meredith and I did four a piece.  That''s the most.

JACKLUGMAN: My favorite was the one with Jonathan Winters and a game of pool.

 

Question:  If you were on an island w/ only 3 foods what would you take?

JACKLUGMAN: Pasta, Ice Cream... and... Goldenberg''s Peanut Chews.

 

Question:  I found a copy of The Odd Couple Sings...is it worth the $2.00 I paid for it? "You''re So Vain" is wonderful!!  Any plans for another album??

JACKLUGMAN: Tony, you didn''t answer the food question.

JACKLUGMAN: They bought that?!??

TonyRndll: The food would be breakfast! Orange juice, eggs, sausages (and coffee).

JACKLUGMAN: People wouldn''t even take it for nothing!

JACKLUGMAN: But it''s becoming a collector''s item because nobody believes that a person with a voice like a loud snore... could make an album.

TonyRndll: Goldenbergs!  You must live near a vending machine and a lifetime supply of nickels.

TonyRndll: And it helps to be from Philadelphia!  Which is where Jack is from!

JACKLUGMAN: Nickels?!?  The only thing you get for a nickel is a penny!

JACKLUGMAN: Right.  You''re right there.

TonyRndll: He he he!

 

Question:  What do you guys think about the salaries being paid to movie stars today?

JACKLUGMAN: Well... god bless them.

JACKLUGMAN: But, Tony do you realize that the people on SEINFELD will make more... in one show than we made in FIVE years.

JACKLUGMAN: And, they deserve whatever they can get.

TonyRndll: They are not out of line... you must never for a moment confuse what they are doing as anything more than commerce.  This is the business... whoever can get the most... deserves it!

JACKLUGMAN: Absolutely!

 

Question:  Mr. Klugman did you like being dirty and messy and a slob on Odd Couple??? or did you want to be more like felix?

JACKLUGMAN: Boy, don''t let Tony hear that question.

JACKLUGMAN: I am messy, not dirty.  Just messy.

JACKLUGMAN: If you could see my apartment now you would know why I was so good at playing Oscar.

TonyRndll: Uh huh!

 

Question:  Did you ever think that "The Odd Couple" would have such a following when you filmed the first few episodes?

TonyRndll: No, I didn''t, but Jack did!

TonyRndll: We never had a good rating while we were on.  Jack said that we would come back to win in reruns...

JACKLUGMAN: I knew that with experience that Tony and I had... plus our three brilliant writers... and how hard we worked every single night...

TonyRndll: and he was 100% right!

JACKLUGMAN: I knew that it had to be a good show.

JACKLUGMAN: And especially when I heard that live audience laugh so hard.

 

Question:  Do you watch the reruns??? (on Nick at Nite)

TonyRndll: Yes, I do!

TonyRndll: ...but with considerable pain...

TonyRndll: because they are so wildly successful... and so widely watched... and we''re not receiving a penny.

JACKLUGMAN: If I remember, not often really.

JACKLUGMAN: I didn''t appreciate my voice until I hear it now.

TonyRndll: Jack: What do you think of my answer?

JACKLUGMAN: LOL!!! (To Tony)

 

Question:  What kind of input, if any, did Neil Simon have on the television series?

JACKLUGMAN: NONE!  He never liked the series until it brought his daughter some recognition.

JACKLUGMAN: While she was in school her friends would see it and tell her the next day... how much they liked it.

JACKLUGMAN: But he never cared for it... I don''t know why.  He thought... "how many clean and dirty jokes are there?"

JACKLUGMAN: He underestimated Tony and me.

TonyRndll: Jack said it all.

 

Question:  Tony have you met with Newt Gingrich about any NEA funding?

TonyRndll: No.

 

Question:  Are you surprised at the staying power the show has had over the years? (Even though comedic styles have changed so much, the Odd Couple remains one of the funniest shows ever....)

JACKLUGMAN: I am pleased and delighted that it lasted this long.

JACKLUGMAN: But we only dealt with classic comedy situations.  We didn''t take advantage of the new freedoms such as showing your butt... or doing an entire show about titilating sex.

JACKLUGMAN: Which was allowed when we started.  We were interested only... in classical comic situations.

TonyRndll: Yes... I''m surprised at the success.

 

Question:  Do you feel modern comics go too far?

JACKLUGMAN: I don''t know too far with what?

JACKLUGMAN: I like Paul Reiser.  I love Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt.  I think they''re both real and funny.

JACKLUGMAN: That''s my favorite.

TonyRndll: Um... That''s an interesting question...

TonyRndll: It''s a question of pride.  Any real comic will not take the easy route of "dropping their pants"

JACKLUGMAN: He''s right.

TonyRndll: Usually it was the lesser comics that did the dirty stuff.

JACKLUGMAN: Not today.

 

Question:  How do you feel about The Odd Couple on Ice Marathon?  Do you like the skating big heads???

JACKLUGMAN: Just to finish the last answer... Everything seems to go today.  What is dirty?  Language?  Physicality?  You don''t have to choose the right words anymore.

JACKLUGMAN: Now to answer the next question... I don''t know what it''s about!  I don''t know what the concept means.

JACKLUGMAN: But I would like to have OSCAR''s head for my apartment.

TonyRndll: I think the heads are awfully clever... I''m not qualified to judge the skating, though.

JACKLUGMAN: What is the symbolism?  What does the ice have to do with "The Odd Couple"?

TonyRndll: They explained it to me... But it''s beyond my intellectual capacity!

JACKLUGMAN: They explained it to you?!  Explain it to me.

TonyRndll: It''s impossible.

JACKLUGMAN: Oh, okay.  LOL!!!

 

Question:  Lenny Bruce did dirty stuff.  Would you consider him a lesser comic?

JACKLUGMAN: NO!  He did not do dirty stuff.  His language was not for sensationlism.  It was to explain the hypocracy that existed at that time.  It was not arbitrary.

JACKLUGMAN: What he was trying to explain could not be made clear with the use of any other words.  Where as today... the words are used just to get a reaction.

TonyRndll: Lenny Bruce was a different case... he was a agent provacateur... he was deliberate... he was challenging the establishment!

TonyRndll: This was a deliberate use of the most offensive matter he could produce in order to provoke a response.

 

Question:  If you could have one wish what would it be?

JACKLUGMAN: That my grandchild will be born healthy... I''ve been waiting for 5 days.

TonyRndll: That people would stop killing each other.

 

Question:  If you guys really met on jury duty, then how come the opening statement says "He appeared at the home of his childhood friend Oscar Madison"?

JACKLUGMAN: Unfortunately we have about four or five shows that show us meeting in different situations.  Once he was a dentist in the gangster... or accountant... they met in the army.

JACKLUGMAN: We were not true to that.  It wasn''t a joke.  If it was convienient to find a way for them to meet, we did it.

TonyRndll: Foolish consistency is the hob-goblin of little minds.

JACKLUGMAN: LOL!

 

Question:  What were some of the funny moments that never made the final cut?

JACKLUGMAN: Oh... most of them made the final cut because we didn''t do anything really off-color.

JACKLUGMAN: But there were certain lines that made me laugh so they would be -- the camera -- would be on somebody else because I couldn''t stop laughing.

JACKLUGMAN: But we didn''t derive any pleasure from doing off-color stuff.  And that''s whether we were on camera or off.

JACKLUGMAN: We took it very seriously.

TonyRndll: Whenever Jack would blow a line, I would say... "You stupid [idiot]"

TonyRndll: We had a whole reel of those outtakes.  We played it at xmas parties, but no one has ever seen it but us!

JACKLUGMAN: Yeah.

 

Question:  It was brave of Tony to do "Love, Sydney" back then.  Any comments on the recent "Ellen" outing?

JACKLUGMAN: I don''t know why it was such a big deal... Everybody should be allowed to be what they are.

JACKLUGMAN: There should be no closets anywhere.

JACKLUGMAN: They should be banished.

TonyRndll: It was a triumph of hype.  To think that they got Time magazine and the New York Times... It makes one question... the daring of doing it we simply DID it on "Love, Sydney."

JACKLUGMAN: LOVE, SYDNEY was not appreciated for both it''s humor and it''s innovativeness.

 

Question:  What was your favorite episode of "The Odd Couple"?

JACKLUGMAN: I have a lot of favorites... fortunately.

JACKLUGMAN: But my favorite is PASSWORD.

JACKLUGMAN: And strangely enough because Tony was EXCEPTIONALLY BRILLIANT on that show.

JACKLUGMAN: Everybody knows that Lincoln loved mayonnaise.

TonyRndll: I like all of the shows where Jack and I were just together... That was the joy of acting and the joy of friendship.

TonyRndll: The pleasure of working with that wonderful man has never been repeated in my life.

JACKLUGMAN: Ditto.

 

Question:  All good things must come to an end... :(  Any closing comments from Jack & Tony?

TonyRndll: I''m very happy with "The Gin Game"... the current production of the Actor''s Theatre...

JACKLUGMAN: (it''s a wonderful wonderful show and Julie Harris should''ve gotten the Tony.)

TonyRndll: Thank you Jack.

JACKLUGMAN: You''re welcome.  Give Julia and Heather BIG BIG KISSES from Peggy and me.

TonyRndll: We''re sending them RIGHT BACK!

JACKLUGMAN: I''m glad that THE ODD COUPLE shows fell into the hands of Nick at Nite.  They really have brought it back to life.

JACKLUGMAN: Thank you Nick at Nite.

NickEmcee:  Thanks for joining us tonight!!!!!

NickEmcee:  Don''t forget to watch "The Odd Couple... On Ice" marathon on Nick at Nite all week long!

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