The first season of THE ODD COUPLE is now out on DVD. Included is a bonus track from series creators Garry Marshall & Jerry Belson. Jerry passed away recently and it was good to hear his voice again. In typical Belson style, he talked about wanting to do a joke where Oscar found a framed picture of Hitler with Felix. Hitler was thanking him for getting the German command so clean. Needless to say it never got in. We learn on the track that this ia a joke that Marshall-Belson had wanted to do as far back as THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, where Laura would discover a framed photo of Hitler with Rob. Can you imagine the "Ohhh Robbbb!!" from THAT scene??
I always loved THE ODD COUPLE but especially after the first season. Year one was done single camera, and all subsequent seasons were multi-camera in front of a live audience. The shows got funnier and the actors’ performances got brighter playing off a live crowd. Like Belson says on the track, "with a live audience you have to really make sure the joke is funny. With single-camera there were times you'd say 'yeah, that's fine' but you knew it wasn't."
In the debate between single camera (the current rage) vs. multi-camera there have been a few instances where a sitcom has switched from one to the other. And although multi-camera is soooo passé today, when you take the Pepsi Challenge, the multi-camera shows do tend to be the preferred choice.
I’m just saying.
A few years after THE ODD COUPLE was cancelled ABC reprised the series with Ron Glass and Demond Wilson, using some of the same scripts -- prompting a noted comedy writer to say, "If that's what they're doing, why don't they save money and just show the negatives?"
TOMORROW: Working with Tony Randall.