Jewdar Mourns Long-Awaited Odd Couple Reunion

odd couple


If, like Jewdar, you spent a lot of time watching UHF tv in the 1970’s and 80’s, you spent a lot of time watching re-runs of The Odd Couple.   As a kid, it was one of our favorite shows, and though we haven’t seen it in a while, our appreciation for it has grown, both as a show about New York City, but also as a classic example of “Jew-Lite,” since even though both Tony Randall and Jack Klugman were Jews, and those in the know certainly perceived Neil Simon’s characters as Jews, except for the occasional Christmas episode, no reference was ever made to religion or ethnicity, and the only explicitly Jewish character was their cop pal Murray Greshler (naturally, played by Italian Al Molinaro).  Still, we all knew.  Yesterday, Jack Klugman, aka, Oscar Madison, passed way at the age of 90.  Although he played many roles in career that spanned six decades, it will be as Oscar (aka, “the messy one,” aka, “the straight one”) that he will be remembered.  None of us should be surprised if after our 120 years, we find that the World To Come is a little on the messy side.



What do you think?

About The Author


The Tel Aviv-born, Milwaukee-bred Jewdar has a bachelors' from the University of Wisconsin, a Masters from NYU, and an Honorable Discharge from the US Army, where he spent two years as an infantryman in the 101st Airborne Division. He's the co-author of "The Big Book of Jewish Conspiracies", the Humor Editor of Heeb Magazine, and a watcher of TV. Smarter than most funny people, funnier than most smart people, he lives on the Lower East Side with his wife and two sons.

One Response

  1. M.L.

    I think there should be a new category added to the DSM: O.E.D. – Obsessive Ethnocentric Disorder.

    I usually don’t comment when I come across things like this online, but being a big Jack Klugman and Odd Couple fan, I felt compelled to. I understand that this site is not intended to be taken deathly seriously, but still, I find this sort of ethnocentrism distasteful.

    Is there ANYTHING you don’t look at through the prism of race and or ethnicity? The Odd Couple is a Jewish show? Gimme a break.

    It kinda really kinds me of the time, years ago, when there was a main plane crash, and I was in a car stuck in traffic listening to a really bad talk radio show with several Jewish associates. The show was hosted by a 60 plus year old Jewish woman, and she said (in reference to the crash victims listed in the newspaper) “Don’t you always look to see how many of the victims were Jews?”

    I was aghast at such a tasteless, vulgar display of raw tribalism. I was thinking to myself, “What? Actually, that a never crossed my mind.” However, the others in the car spontaneously concurred “OH YES!! that’s SO true!”

    Call me crazy, but that studio me as kinda perverse. And while obsessing on the purported ‘crypto-Jewishness’ of the Odd Couple is. Or as tasteless as scanning a lost of air crash fatalities for members of The Tribe, it still is depressing.

    There’s a lot if this sort of nuttiness on Jewish blogs online. I saw one a few weeks back that speculated that the stop motion characters on the Rankin & Bass Xmas specials were thinly veiled Jews (depicted positively), while another saw them as anti-Semitic caricatures.

    Seriously, give it a rest. I give give you permission to spend 4 hours without thinking a out ethnicity. The first half hour will be the worst, but after that it’ll be a lot easier than you imagined possible. Try it, you’ll see.


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