- Appearances by Tony Randall and Jack Klugmann on The Mike Douglas Show
- Audio commentary by Farry Marshall, Jerry Belson, Carole Shelley and Jack Klugman on select episodes
- Audio intros by Garry Marshall
- Gag reel
- Jack Klugman's 1971 Emmy® Award win footage
- Jack Klugman's book tour home videos
- Original TV promos
- Tony & Jack on stage in "The Odd Couple" (1993 stage play)
The television series The Odd Couple, starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, was one of the great missing sitcoms on DVD -- so much so that some enterprising pirates had bootleg DVD-R packages out of the entire run of the series, transferred from cut, faded 16mm. Now it's arrived for real -- the complete first season on five discs, transferred from uncut, beautiful 35mm preservation materials, and accompanied by a nice body of bonus materials. The latter kick right off on disc one with a Tony Randall appearance from The Mike Doulgas Show before the premiere of the series, and TWO different commentary tracks on the pilot episode, which became the opening show of the series, entitled "The Laundry Orgy" -- producer/writers Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson do one track together, which is disorganized but ultimately informative; and Carole Shelley, who played Gwendolyn Pigdeon in the original play, and in the Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau as well as the first season of the series, does the other. Her commentary track is worth the price of the DVD set, just for her reminiscences of the play and the movie, and her comparisons between Art Carney, Jack Lemmon and Tony Randall in the role of Felix, and Walter Matthau and Jack Klugman as Oscar. Jack Klugman provides the commentary for the episode "It's All Over Now, Baby Bird", and after a slow start he starts rattling off reminiscences about Randall -- he is extremely generous to his late acting partner, and once his memory kicks in he just doesn't stop in the recollections about their way of working together. He and Marshall and Belson all agree that, unlike most sitcoms of the period, there were amazingly few alterations made between the script and what was seen on the screen; Klugman, Marshall, and Belson also all draw a distinction between the series' one-camera shows, limited to the first two seasons, and the subsequent three-camera shows, which were done in front of a live audience -- it's as though, for the actors, the real series didn't begin until they went to three-camera shooting.
The episodes look sensational, with deep, rich color and detail in the full-screen (1.33-to-1) image, and there are scenes in each episode that have not been seen since the shows went into syndication in the 1970's and were edited to allow for more commercial time. The chaptering is generous and consistent within the 30-minute sitcom format, and the menus on each disc are quick to open and easy to use. In addition to Randall and Klugman talk show appearances from the period around the series' premiere, there are also excerpts of the two of them doing the original play, on stage, in 1993; footage of Klugman on a book tour, and spoken introductions by Garry Marshall for the episodes.
Cast & Crew
Tony Randall - Felix Unger
Jack Klugman - Oscar Madison
Carol Shelly - Gwendolyn Pigeon
James Millhollin - Humus
Ken Swofford - Cop