Neil Simon’s classic comedy, The Odd Couple, comes back on TV this weekend
Mathew Perry (as Oscar Madison)
Why was The Odd Couple a project you wanted to develop?
The Odd Couple is written by Neil Simon, but we are doing a new version of it here. I think I wanted to do a job where I wouldn’t have to shave and wouldn’t have to clean up, or make my hair look nice. So I thought, hey, I will do The Odd Couple.
What’s the most enjoyable part about playing Oscar Madison?
It’s a dream come true because he is a mess. So, I don’t have to wear hair and make-up and I just sort of show up. And he’s a complete slob, but he’s got a good heart.
What is it like working with Thomas Lennon?
We are completely opposite people and we get along great. It’s a slightly exaggerated form of it onscreen, but off-screen he is sort of like Felix, too. He carries around Purell and wears a tie all the time and other stuff that I don’t do.
Thomas Lennon (as Felix Unger)
What do you like most about the series?
I think we’ve really brought something new to the story. And I will say this as a person who’s been in comedy my whole life pretty much. The one thing I don’t think people are expecting is how funny this new one is. It’s been very, very funny. And I’m pretty cynical, but it’s been — every script of this new The Odd Couple has made me laugh hard. And then they’ve been executed really well. So, I’m hopeful obviously that people will take to it. But I know that it’s been the most fun I’ve ever had on a TV show and I’ve been doing TV shows since I was 22.
Why is the role of Felix Unger a good fit for you?
In a way I feel like I’ve been preparing my entire life to play Felix Unger. And I wasn’t quite aware of it, but I was becoming more and more compulsive. I was practising a lot of yoga, and I was practising the cello.
How would you describe your take on the classic character of Unger?
I am not trying to pay homage to any of them. I feel like I am — I probably am tipping my hat most to Tony Randall (who plays Unger in the ’70s version of the series) who is obviously a big influence for me — but then I’m also trying to add some other aspects of my own personality.
Premieres December 18. 8.30 pm. Monday to Friday. On Star World
and Star World HD.
— Team Indulge