R.I.P. Jack Klugman (Oscar as Scrooge)


Jack Klugman (born 1922) died yesterday. He was unique in being one of two Method actors I associate primarily with comedy (Gene Wilder is the other. I might have included Mike Nichols as well, but he stopped acting in about 1961!).

My association of Klugman with comedy though is mostly a product of timing. People a little older than me watched him for over a decade in live dramas during TV’s golden age, and people a little bit younger than me think of him primarily as the hypertense, inappropriately sleuthing/ crusading coroner Quincy, M.E. (1976-1983).

Coincidentally, Klugman worked a lot with Rod Serling (whose birthday it is and whom we just wrote about here) a lot during the 1950s and early 60s. He recounts the experience here (cut his voice some slack; he was operated in for throat cancer in 1989:

And of course, I connect Klugman with comedy because of his stint as Oscar Madison on The Odd Couple (1970-1975), on which he was hilarious. It’s hard to make anger funny, but Klugman always managed to do it, usually by letting us see the character’s heart emerge a few seconds after every outburst. In honor of the season, here he is (as Oscar/Scrooge) with co-star Tony Randall in the inevitable “Christmas Carol” episode of The Odd Couple. Merry Christmas!


One Response to “R.I.P. Jack Klugman (Oscar as Scrooge)”

  1. Jack Klugman is best known as Oscar Madison. Now, they are together again with Tony Randall, as Felix Unger.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: