Monday, December 24, 2012

Adios, Oscar Madison

It is with sad, yet fond, remembrance that I write of the passing of Jack Klugman. For the period his show, The Odd Couple, aired, I was intrigued by the relationship two adult men could have. Based on Neil Simon's play, and subsequent film, it was one of the classic TV shows that I adored in my youth. Klugman and co-star Tony Randall (passed in 2004), were not 'pretty faces,' but actors with true talent, able to convey an identity of character. In my opinion, this is something sorely missing from entertainment, where television relies more and more on the outrageous situation and ensemble structure to garner laughs, not necessarily the characters themselves.

How much weight did Klugman's characters have? Check out this trailer for 12 Angry Men. You aren't chosen to play juror #5 without the proper chops.

Though I was never as enamored with Quincy, M.E., I still was able to enjoy the same weight of message and character as I had with The Odd Couple. Quincy was about bring to light the causes of the times, directly and with reverence.

Take some time this week and remember your favorite Klugman moments, whether from Odd Couple, Quincy, or the myriad of Twilight Zone episodes he appeared in.

Goodbye, Jack, and let's hope the average Joe laughs follow you where ever you play next.

Jack Klugman Dies in Los Angeles