The new What Made You Smile Today thread

fuzzygobo

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Enjoying the films with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau: two Odd Couple movies, Grumpy Old Men, Grumpier Old Men, the chemistry between the two can't be beat.
As good as Tony Randall and Jack Klugman were as the Odd Couple on tv, I think Lemmon and Matthau are just as good, if not better.
 

D'Snowth

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I find that Walter Matthau is one of those actors who is perfectly suited for playing a certain type of character - in this case, the curmudgeonly type of character (much like David Ogden Stiers excelled at the Charles Emerson Winchester type of characters who are snobby and elitist). To me, he and Jack Klugman both work really well in that Oscar role . . . but in my mind, there is but one Felix Unger, and that is Tony Randall, no contest.

I will say that when it comes to chemistry, Tony and Jack's really didn't hit its stride until the series went to multi-camera in front of an audience, and they began taking a similar approach to their work that Jim Henson and Frank Oz did whenever they did Ernie and Bert inserts; that first single-camera/laugh track-only season, they both feel so much more subdued and restricted in their respective roles (Felix is almost virtually an entirely different character). And this is odd (no pun intended) for me, as I generally have a stronger preference for more cinematic single-camera/laugh track-only sitcoms from that era.
 

fuzzygobo

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The cool thing about the Odd Couple tv show. Even though it was filmed on a Paramount stage (next door to the Brady Bunch) in Hollywood, it still screams New York. All the exterior shots help, but even without them, NewYork still comes screaming through the walls.

One great Walter Matthau film worth checking out is "Casey's Shadow". Big acting stretch for him. He plays a beer-swilling slob who likes to bet on the horses. But still a loveable guy.
 

D'Snowth

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I've heard that Tony Randall kept campaigning to have the show's production moved to New York, because he felt it would be much more beneficial for the atmosphere they were trying to capture, but to no avail. But I do know that whenever they did film on the streets in New York, it was always in a candid manner . . . you know that infamous shot of Felix trying to help the little old lady across the street? That wasn't scripted: that old lady and boy scout didn't know they were being filmed, and actually thought he was trying to attack her, which is why she hits him with her purse, and the boy scout also slugs him too.

In many of those exterior shots, if you pay attention, you can see certain people in the crowd are taking notice of what's going on, because they're staring directly into the camera with quizzical looks on their faces.

I remember there was an episode of SANFORD AND SON where Fred runs away to Vegas to avoid another earthquake back home (and Redd Foxx was, coincidentally, performing in Vegas at the time the episode was taped); there are several shots where he's in the casinos, or out on the streets, and you can see so many bystanders and other folks looking directly into the camera with these ridiculous grins on their faces that just scream, 'Look, ma! I'm on TV! I'm walking with Redd Foxx!" There was even a scene where Fred approaches a water fountain, and you can see in the background a security guard keeping people back as they try to approach Redd Foxx for pictures.
 

fuzzygobo

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Well, one guy who didn't know he'd be on tv: when Oscar was crossing the street, he starts following a young girl and almost gets run over by a green station wagon, there's a blind man on the curb with his white cane.
 

D'Snowth

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Yeah, apparently Garry Marshall took issue with that, because he thought people would focus there attention on that blind man rather than Oscar, lol.
 

fuzzygobo

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In the movie version, Oscar's poker buddy Vinnie(short bald guy with glasses) was played John Fiedler, who Disney Buffs know as the voice of Piglet.

the Odd Couple and M*A*S*H are the two shows I would've loved to play one hand with the cast. Deal me in.
 

D'Snowth

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John Fiedler appeared a few times on the series in various different roles, one of which was as the super intendent of a maximum security apartment building Felix wanted to move into. I also fondly remember him from an episode of BEWITCHED, where he played a frog who had been turned into a human, but desperately wanted to be a frog again, and kept badgering Samantha to change him back.

But have you noticed on the series, after the first couple of seasons we saw a whole lot less of Oscar's poker buddies, like Vinnie and Speed? I recently learned it was because network research turned up that viewers were finding Oscar's frequent poker games to be boring. Meanwhile, they fleshed out Murray the Cop beyond just being one of Oscar's poker buddies because the cast and crew loved working with Al Molinaro so much.
 

fuzzygobo

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The best poker game must have been, while Felix was having daughter Edna's birthday party in the living room, Oscar moved the poker game into his bedroom. I'm amazed everybody made it out of there alive.
 
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