Monday, August 6, 2007

The Confessions of Oscar Madisoy

Not to get all Larry King on you, but I'm greatly enjoying Tony and Me, Jack Klugman's memoir covering his longtime friendship with former Blue Jays shortstop Tony Fernandez.

Ha! Ha! Just a little joke there. I did learn something about "The Odd Couple" that I never realized before: I had always thought that the first season, the one that wasn't very funny, was shot entirely on film, then they switched to the three-camera format for the second season, when the show became the legend it is today. But according to Klugman, he and Tony Randall began agitating to videotape the show live midway through the first season, since as two seasoned theater actors they'd have much more success plying their trade in front of a live audience. And Klugman says the changeover came not between seasons but actually in time for the last nine shows of the first season.

I had never bothered getting the DVD of the first season of "The Odd Couple," since as I say it's not that good; I've been waiting for Season Two, which is to be released on August 28. But now I feel like I ought to check it out. And is "The Odd Couple" the only show in history that switched from one camera to three in the middle of a season? It's gotta be, I think.

Oh, one more thing about "The Odd Couple": In the movie, and I assume in the play, Felix's last name is spelled "Ungar" in the credits. On the TV series, it is clearly "Unger," as seen in the pre-credit sequence on the name plate of the apartment that Felix's wife threw him out of, requesting that he never return. Can any of the OPC faithful explain that one?

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