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The Odd Couple

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MT OddCouple

Mulch as Oscar Madison and Dr. Phil van Neuter as Felix Ungar.

The Odd Couple is a play, written by Neil Simon, about two divorced men who live together. Making its Broadway debut in 1965, the show chronicles Felix Ungar (spelled "Unger" in the television sitcom), an extremely neat, neurotic, and soon to be divorcee, and his best friend, Oscar Madison, an extremely messy, carefree, recently divorced sports writer.

The play was later adapted into a movie in 1968 (which was followed by a sequel, The Odd Couple II, in 1998), a television series from 1970-1975 (which was followed by a made-for-TV reunion movie, The Odd Couple: Together Again), and later spoofed as an animated series The Oddball Couple. The New Odd Couple, with an African American cast, debuted in 1982. A 1985 Broadway revival featured female versions of the main characters, with the lead characters becoming Olive Madison and Florence Ungar.

References

  • The commercial for "Johnny Fiama's Pasta Playhouse", seen in episode 208 of Muppets Tonight, advertised a performance of The Odd Couple, featuring Dr. Phil van Neuter as Felix Ungar and Mulch as Oscar Madison.
  • In Episode 3891 of Sesame Street, Oscar the Grouch was visited by an old friend, Felix the Grouch, who by then turned out to be a grouch who actually likes to clean. This was an obvious reference to The Odd Couple, with both characters having the names of the main characters and one being neat while the other is sloppy. However, despite both characters being messy, it should be noted that Oscar the Grouch was not named after Oscar Madison.
  • A Sesamestreet.org playlist about Ernie is advertised as "The Odder Couple: Ernie and Bert."

Muppet Mentions

  • In The Odd Couple episode "Surprise, Surprise!" while Felix's daughter is waiting for her birthday party to begin, Oscar suggests that she watch Sesame Street.

Connections

  • Bruce Bilson directed several episodes of the original series.
  • Albert Brooks played Rudy in two episodes of the original television series.
  • Art Carney played Felix Ungar in the original stage production.
  • Roy Clark guest starred in the original series episode "The Roy Clark Show."
  • Paul Dooley originated Speed in the Broadway production.
  • Brad Garrett played Murray in the 2005 stage revival, and briefly filled in for Nathan Lane as Oscar Madison.
  • Pat Hingle played Oscar Madison during the original Broadway run.
  • Bruce Kirby played Zelnick in The Odd Couple: Together Again (TV movie).
  • David Ketchum played multiple characters on the original TV series.
  • Nathan Lane portrayed Oscar Madison in the 2005 stage revival.
  • Jenny O'Hara played Sylvie in the 1985 all female Broadway production.
  • Penny Marshall played Myrna Turner in the later seasons of the 1970-1975 television series.
  • Rita Moreno played Olive Madison in the 1985 female Broadway production.
  • Tony Randall played Felix Unger on the 1970-1975 television series.
  • Tony Shalhoub played one of the Costazuela brothers in the 1985 female Broadway production.
  • Jessica Stone played Cecily Pigeon in the 2005 Broadway revival.
  • Sally Struthers played Florence Ungar in the 1985 female Broadway production.
  • Lisa Waltz played Hannah Ungar in The Odd Couple II.
  • Paul Williams guest starred in the original series episode "The Paul Williams Show."
  • Louis Zorich was the standby for Walter Matthau in the original Broadway production.
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