Friday, December 28, 2012

Jack Klugman on how he and Tony Randall gaybaited ABC execs; Randall on how one Odd Couple gay-censored script became his favorite episode

Jack Klugman intro to first video below:
You're going to see Tony and me hugging and kissing a lot. We did this to irritate the network executives. You see, they thought two guys living together... people will think we're gay, and in those days it would bring the ratings down. That's why they brought in the Pigeon Sisters and that stupid beginning about how our wives left us. Today, you cannot have a successful series unless you have a gay person on it.

@5:47, Tony Randall to Jack Klugman, in his underwear: "Don't let your thing show like that!"
@5:56, a series of clips showing Klugman and Randall gay-baiting ABC and Paramount;
@6:04, Tony Randall to Klugman: "Wanna have some F-U-N?
@6:54, a spit-take exchange between Tony Randall and Al Molinaro (in front of a studio audience):
Randall: I understand your wife is pregnant.
Al: I understand you've been fooling around with her.
Randall: Oh, I heard it was Oscar.
Al: I thought Oscar was a fag.
Randall: No, I heard that you were.
Al: I thought you'd never ask.

Randall on casting Jack Klugman as Oscar Madison: "We were sitting in the office of an agent named Milton Goldman, and we were racking our brains to think of who in the world could do it [Jack Klugman initially turned down the role]. We didn't have anyone and we were due to shoot, and he said, 'I've got it! Shelley Winters!' That's what you go into show business for — the laughs... Finally they convinced Jack to do it.

Matt Rousch @0:08 of second video: I'd like to focus on a few individual episodes of the Odd Couple that stand out, one being the episode "Fear of Flying" because it seems like there were some changes required by the network...
Randall: Yes. That happened twice. We had very good script. It began with me by happenstance finding something on Oscar's desk, an article in his typewriter he was working on. He was working on 'Homosexuality in Sports'  and I misunderstood it and thought it was a confessional and I said "Gee, you'd think if either one of us was, it would be me." ...That whole show was never made. You couldn't touch that subject. So, in the 'Fear of Flying' — which is my favorite of all the episodes; it was the funniest, I think — we end up taking a chartered flight. It turns out the chartered flight is a gay group, a chartered plane. They wouldn't let us do that.
     So at the last minute Gary [Marshall] rewrote it. Gary under pressure is unbeatable. He made them a parachute jumping club... It was responsible for, I think, the funniest joke I've ever come up with, because that was my line, I don't mind telling you. Before they jump, I go to the bathroom. And when I come back, the plane's empty. We never could get the line out. I just kept looking around. The line was: 'Weren't there a lot of people here?' The audience was laughing so hard you couldn't say the line.

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