Some behind-the-scenes info

If you are a fan of classic TV, I highly recommend checking out the blog By Ken Levine. Ken has been a TV writer since the 1970s, and has written several episodes of MASH and Cheers, as well as other shows. Looking through his older posts, I found a brief post about The Odd Couple and its switch from single- to multi-camera. Not much new there, but then he followed it up with a fascinating post about working with Tony Randall when he was a staff writer for The Odd Couple. Check it out!

Visitor Mail - The Maypole Dance

Dennis asks:

Can you tell me anything about the openning credits where Felix (I think) starts dancing around a Maypole in a park somewhere?

I found the answer to this on the blog Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City, written by a couple who have a business providing tours of New York City neighborhoods. As their article explains:

Perhaps the best part of the original credits shows Felix and Oscar learning to dance at a maypole celebration on Sheep Meadow in Central Park. In the background the Century (25 Central Park West) and the old Gulf and Western building (now Trump International Hotel) loom over them.

Maypole celebrations in Central Park go back at least as far as 1909, and by 1914, the New York Times was reporting that 7,000 girls from sixty-eight public schools had come to the park to erect maypoles and dance. Indeed, maypole celebrations still take place each year in Central Park, though we're guessing nowhere near as many people show up.

All Done - Finally!

Okay, it ended up taking longer than "next weekend" to finish. But now it's all done! The pictures are back up, so on the left sidebar you can click on "Pictures from the Show" or "Other Pictures" to see them all.

Almost Done and a Little Plug...

I think I have everything back up except for the pictures, and hopefully I will have them by next weekend. While I'm posting, I'd like to give a little plug to 2 other websites I run, both blogs:

Sit Up and Cycle - I've only just started this one, but it is about bicycle commuting for regular people, wearing regular clothes, on upright bikes. I hope to include stories, photos, and tips for the non-athlete bicycle commuter.

Cooking With Food - A videoblog where I demonstrate cooking healthy recipes from scratch. No cream-of-whatever soup, no mixes, and processed foods kept to a minimum. Inspired by the writings of Michael Pollan.

Pardon Our Dust

Whew! Sorry about all this. The website was a victim of huge amounts of comment spam, which actually "broke" the database it was running on. Since I was already unhappy with the customer service of our host, GoDaddy, I decided to take this opportunity to move the site to HostGator, and get a fresh start. I'm still fixing things up, so you may find some broken links, but I hope to have everything completely up-and-running soon.

Password

Oscar and Felix's appearance on Password takes the number 1 spot in the Onion's AV Club article on 16 TV-character crossovers with real game shows.

Visitor Mail - The Apartment Switch

Ed writes:

I recently introduced my 10 & 14 yr olds to the show and they love it. My question: Why were 2 different apartment sets used on the TV show? When did they switch?

The reason for the switch was a change in filming styles. In the first season, the show was kept very much like the movie, with a set that even resembled the movie one. It was filmed with one camera, so that they would stop in between takes to change camera angles, etc.

For the second season, for whatever reason, it was decided to film with a studio audience instead of a laugh track. This required a different set, one that was more "open" to allow an audience to see everything, and also allow for more cameras so that they wouldn't have to stop so much between takes. Also, it may have been decided that the show should go off in its own direction instead of sticking closely to the movie, as shown by the removal of the Pigeon Sisters (and fewer appearances by the poker buddies) who had been in the movie.

No mention of the change was made on the show, however. Even flashbacks from earlier years took place in the "new" set, so I guess we are supposed to believe they always lived in the same apartment, the same way we are supposed to believe that Dick York and Dick Sargent are the same person. ;)

Answering visitor mail - Felix's decorative masks

I can't call it "viewer mail" since this is a website, not a tv show. I guess that makes it "visitor mail"? Anyway, a while back (sorry for the delay in getting back to you), visitor Kevin emailed me to ask:

"I am looking for a picture of Felix's room that shows the masks (African?) that hung on his wall. I was always curious about those and want to have another look. Do you have anything in your archive? or have seen anything online?"

Interesting question! I guess I never paid enough attention to the guys' rooms because I had to peruse my DVDs to refresh my memory. The masks appear on Felix's bedroom wall throughout the series, but I don't know anything about them or what their origin is. Does anyone know?

Here are some pictures from season 1:


And one from season 3:

Was the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match fixed?

The Straight Dope's column this Friday was on the Battle of the Sexes tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. This, of course, led to OC episode # 80, "The Pig Who Came to Dinner" which featured both in guest roles playing themselves. The article is good background info if you''re not familiar with the (at the time) current references to the event in this episode.

Is Don Draper an Oscar or a Felix?

The most recent episode of "Mad Men" includes an Odd Couple reference, when Don Draper''s date asks him if he''s "an Oscar or a Felix." (Don admits to being more of a Felix.)This episode took place in June 1965, and according to the Internet Broadway Database, the play premiered in March of that year. So the writers were historically accurate on that point, although "Oscar" and "Felix" wouldn't likely be recognizable names until the movie came out a few years later.

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