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Jack Klugman Chat on Nick at Nite Online

June 4, 1996

 

OnlineHost:  Copyright 1996 Nick at Nite;  licensed to America Online, Inc.

OnlineHost:  Nick at Nite is proud to welcome "The Odd Couple" to its line-up of  TV shows. In honor of this fabulous new addition to the network, Nick at Nite Online brings you the stars of "The Odd Couple," Tony Randall and Jack Klugman  live, answering your oddest Q''s until 9:45 pm ET. Thanks for joining us!

OnlineHost:  Mr. Randall regrets that he cannot be here this evening.

AOLiveMC1:  Welcome to America Online, Jack Klugman.  Mr. Klugman would you like to say something in opening?

JackKlugmn:  Hi, well of course it''s great to be here.  And I glad that I am representing Nick at Nite.  Because I consider Nick at Nite home for any quality TV show from the golden age of television on.

AOLiveMC1:  We have lots of questions for you. Let''s get right to them.

Question:  Do Jack and Tony plan to do Odd Couple again on stage ?

JackKlugmn:  As a matter of fact, I''m leaving this Thursday with Tony Randall for London to do "The Odd Couple" for four months.  I''m looking forward to it.

Question:  To both Jack and Tony, what was your most memorable episode and why?

JackKlugmn:  Well, there are a few that I found memorable or ones that I liked the most one was The Password Show, and one was Two Monks and we had to take the vow of silence.  Garry Marshall wrote and directed that one and it''s one of my
favorite shows.

Question:  How did Penny Marshall get a part in the show?  Any family connections?

JackKlugmn:  Tony Marshall was the producer and he was the father of Garry Marshall who was the executive producer and Penny Marshall was Garry''s sister. She played my secretary.  There was a lot of nepotism going on in The Odd Couple my son played me as a young boy.

Question:  How close was the character you played to your real self?

JackKlugmn:  Too close for comfort.  If you could see my condominium right now, you would say "Oscar Madison lives here."  I''m messy.  I''m not dirty.  I shower a lot.  Let''s say, I like being comfortable.

Question:  What is your favorite Quincy episode???

JackKlugmn:  I guess my favorite Quincy episode on Tourette''s  Syndrome because I appeared before the Congressional committee and testified on behalf of the Orphan Drug Bill and I''m proud to say that we helped to get it passed.  It helped a lot of people who had illnesses for which no cure was being sought.  And the passage of the bill made it financially wise for the pharmaceutical companies to do research to find a cure for those Orphan diseases.

Question:  Any funny or embarrassing backstage stuff on the set of "The Odd Couple?"

JackKlugmn:  Sometimes when Tony Randall, who is very, very dedicated to everybody giving their best performance they can well, when he feels that morale was a little low he surprised us all by streaking naked through the set.  And it worked we gave one of our better performances.

Question:  Did Murray the Cop get upset with having his "big" nose made fun of on every episode?

JackKlugmn:  No, because his big nose was a reality and one of the reasons why he was hired.  Al Morinaro is a marvelous actor and a very good sport.  After all, I didn''t mind them making fun of my messiness.

NickEmcee:  For those of you who have just joined us.  Tony Randall was detained in New Jersey and will not be with us tonight.  He sends his regrets.

Question:  What was Quincy''s first name?

JackKlugmn:  There was no first name so we got a lot of publicity out of it.  Sometimes they said his first name was Doctor because everyone calls him that.  And others say that his first initial was R but I never remembered showing my business card with it.

Question:  Hi, I love The Odd Couple. Do you know what happened to Pamelyn Ferdin, the child actress who played Felix'' daughter? She was almost everywhere on TV in the 60''s & 70''s.

JackKlugmn:  No, I have no idea what happened to her.  There are so many people who I lost track of and she was one of them.

Question:  Did the two of you enjoy working together as much as we all loved watching you?  Was it really work, or was it lots of fun?

JackKlugmn:  Well, it was always work but we love playing together that is why we still go out after 30 years.  Tony is so giving.  Between the two of us, we have over 100 years experience as an actor.  Can you imagine that?  I''d rather work with Tony that anyone else I can think of.  I feel that I know him better than anyone else.

Question:  What TV shows do you like to watch currently?

JackKlugmn:  I love Seinfeld -- I love Mad About You.  I''m not much into the dramas.  But I did into Picket Fences because it got into important topics, the way Quincy did, the way Lou Grant did.  I''m not interested in Cops & Robbers shows and the language that they use today.  I guess I''m old fashioned.  Why not.  I''m old.

Question:  Tony Randall once said that wherever you guys are working, one of the stage hands is always a bookie. Is this true?

JackKlugmn:  <Laughing>  Well, yeah  it kinda works out that way.  It''s convenient for me because I still have some racehorses this Sunday, I have a horse running in Hollywood Park.  So I have to find a bookie in London to take my bet.

Question:  Do you keep in touch with "The Pigeon Sisters?"

JackKlugmn:  There were so many Pigeon Sisters.  The Original Pigeon Sisters.  One of the actresses I see occasionally.  The other one went back to London.

Question:  Mr. Klugman could you please settle a bet between my sister and I weren''t you in four "Twilight Zone" episodes?

JackKlugmn:  Yes! No actor has done more episodes of Twilight Zone than I did.  Except Burgess Meredith did as many.  I really admired Rod Serling and was proud that he asked me to do the show four times.  I also did a Playhouse 90 for him and it gave my career a real boost.

Question:  Jack, do you remember making The Odd Couple Sings album, do you have it, and was it fun to do?

JackKlugmn:  <Laughing>  When you talk about embarrassing things that are connected to The Odd Couple my singing tops the list now Tony can sing but I have a voice like a loud snore there were 55 musicians and when I started to sing they all looked up at one time to see if an elephant had come into the studio.  Every once in awhile, an album cover of The Odd Couple Sings shows up and I blush with embarrassment.

Question:  What was the first show business thing you ever worked on?

JackKlugmn:  The first real paying job I got was in the national touring company of Mister Roberts starring Henry Fonda in 1950. 

Question:  What are some of the "odd" jobs you had before you became an actor?

JackKlugmn:  I was, of course, a waiter, a bartender, a house painter.  I worked in a hot place that shrunk cloth.  I was a bookie.  I sold newspapers.  And I sold my blood.  And an elevator operator.  You name it and I did it.

Question:  Jack, do you still own race horses? What are their names?

JackKlugmn:  Yes, I own race horses.  One of the names is "Masterful Slew" and I have one that going to be running soon her name is "A Kin To Mod."  She should be a good horse.  I keep dreaming of winning the Kentucky Derby and I''m not going to die until I do.

Question:  Was the "Assume" episode the first reference to "Assume" making an ass of you and me?

JackKlugmn:  The writer Jerry Belsom, he was the partner of Garry Marshall, and also executive producer and he told us about a typing teacher who used that in the classroom Tony and I laughed so hard and said we had to use it on the show.

Question:  Jack, do you remember Abie at the B & H dairy luncheonette on 2nd Ave. in NYC where you used to eat pea soup?

JackKlugmn:  Oh, is that little place.  Yes!  And I loved it.  That was a long time ago.  I don''t remember Abie.  I just remember the pea soup.

Question:  Did the two of you pull tricks on one another on the set?  Give us an example, please.

JackKlugmn:  Well, I can''t say that because not really.  We had a good time rehearsing and improvising.  Tony sometimes does practical jokes but nothing that I can remember that was outstanding.

AOLiveMC1:  For late arrivals, we''re talking to Jack Klugman.

Question:  What was it like to work with Howard Cosell?  The episodes with him were some of the funniest ones.

JackKlugmn:  Let me tell you about Howard Cosell.  I know he had some kind of a crazy reputation a lot of people didn''t like him.  I loved and respected Howard Cosell.  He was one of the truest and most loyal friends I have ever had.  His problem was he could only tell the truth.  He didn''t have time for all of those fancy skirting-the-truth games.  He was funny bright as a penny.  And I miss him very, very much.

Question:  Hi To Jack Klugman,  Do you remember an optometrist in Westport, CT named Dr. Loren Sherman?

JackKlugmn:  No, because when I lived in CT, I didn''t wear glasses but I remember the sign in fact, my son David just got married in Westport two weeks ago.  He wears glasses so he probably knows Dr. Sherman.

Question:  We read once that you bought an award that Tony Randall was auctioning off and gave it to him as a gift. Can you tell us about it.

JackKlugmn:  Yes.  Tony Randall has a theater in NY called The National Actors Theater.  It''s a wonderful, wonderful theater but it''s a non-profit organization and it always needs money.  So Tony, being as dedicated as he is was willing to sell his Emmy in order to raise money for the theater but I know how hard he worked and how he deserved that Emmy and I just couldn''t see anyone else having it.

Question:  Who would you like to be stuck in an elevator with?

JackKlugmn:  Oh.  First I would have to say the love of my life, Peggy Crosby then if she''s not watching this let''s go with Sharon Stone and, uh Nicole Kidman.  But if Peggy is watching this.  I''d rather be in an elevator with Albert Einstein.

Question:  Is there a role you wish you had played, but never did?

JackKlugmn:  Yes.  I''ve always wanted to do Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman that was the dream of my life.  It was one disappointment after another.  Everytime I would get to starting it another production was starting or I would lose my voice to smoking.  And now I''m just too old to do it.

AOLiveMC1:  We have time for one more question.

Question:  What was the best day of your life?

JackKlugmn:  I had two best days of my life.  I had two sons born on two different wonderful days they keep me in touch with reality and no bologna, they have made my darkest days bright.

OnlineHost:  All good things must come to an end. Time is up for this event.

JackKlugmn:  No.  Thank you very much.  I appreciate that.

AOLiveMC1:  Jack, any closing comments for our audience?

JackKlugmn:  Yes.  This interview has gotten me in computers.  And I''m going to look into it.  I want to thank Nick at Nite for this opportunity and for all of you who are reading this.   I want to thank you for contributing to the best life any actor ever had.  I have had more loyal fans than anybody deserves.  Thank you, thank you and keep watching The Odd Couple.

NickEmcee:  Thanks Jack!

AOLiveMC1:  Thank you for an interesting and informative session, Jack Klugman.  And thank you to our audience members for being here.

OnlineHost:  Copyright 1996 Nick at Nite; licensed to America Online, Inc.