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Larry King Live
The 'Odd Couple' ReunitesAired March 23, 2001 - 9:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Tonight, they clicked as the Odd Couple, a classic TV sitcom, but would you believe it was not a ratings hit until reruns?
We've got a bicoastal reunion with two great actors and very good buddies. In New York, Tony Randall, in Los Angeles, Jack Klugman, and they're next, on LARRY KING LIVE.
I'm in New York tonight, and what a great pleasure it is to have our special guests, two old friends, the co-stars of TV's "The Odd Couple." It ran from 1970 to '75. Here in New York is Tony Randall. He won an Emmy as best actor in comedy for his portrayal of Felix Unger and he's founder of the National Actor's Theatre in New York.
Their next presentation is the stage version of "Judgment At Nuremberg." It opens, officially, Monday night.
And in Los Angeles, Jack Klugman, the co-star of "The Odd Couple.:" He won two Emmys for best actor in a comedy in 1971 and '73, and he's also on the board of directors of the National Actor's Theatre.
You two have continued friendship, right, Tony?
TONY RANDALL, ACTOR: Oh, yeah, yeah.
KING: Goes on and on.
JACK KLUGMAN, ACTOR: He (UNINTELLIGIBLE) also mention...
KING: What else...
KLUGMAN: that he is a father of two children, and the oldest is four years old, bless his heart.
KING: We are getting to that. Tony, your children are like mine, they're 14 months apart.
RANDALL: That's right.
KING: How old, now?
RANDALL: My little girl will be four in April, and my little boy will be three in June.
KING: And how old are you?
RANDALL: I'm glad you asked.
KING: No, come on, it's an amazing story.
RANDALL: I'm 81. Oh, my word did I say it.
KING: And you never had children?
RANDALL: Never before, no.
KING: OK, what is it like, before we move to "The Odd Couple," what is it like -- and I think we have some film you took at home last night -- what is it like, at 81. I'm 67 and I've got a 2-year-old and a 10-month-old. You're 81.
RANDALL: Nothing in life is the equal of it. And it's as if this is what I was waiting for all my life.
KING: Are you sprightly? Can you stay with them?
RANDALL: Oh, yeah.
KING: There they are. Tell us who this is.
RANDALL: The little girl is playing the violin. The little boy is trying to play his guitar, but he plays is backwards. I took this in the kitchen last night.
KING: Are they both daddy people?
RANDALL: Oh, yes, oh, yes.
KING: Jack, do you know these children?
KLUGMAN: Yes, very, very much. I love them. They are beautiful and good kids. Personally I think you're both crazy to have kids so young. But you are wonderful people. He gets more joy out of those kids than anything I've ever seen in my life.
KING: Now, we'll ask about you, Jack. They look great, they look great, Tony.
RANDALL: The little girl is Julia. The little boy is Jefferson.
KING: Julia and Jefferson.
RANDALL: Julia Laurette and Jefferson Salvini.
KING: Where did you get that from?
RANDALL: Laurette, Julia was my mother, Laurette, it was Laurette Taylor, the best actor I saw. And Jefferson was Joseph Jefferson, 19th century actor. And Salvini was Tomazo Salvini, great Italian tragedian of the 19th century.
KING: Only him, right, Klugman.
KLUGMAN: I got David and Adam out of the Bible, they're Jewish, that's it.
KING: Jack, how are you? We hear your voice, sometimes it sounds better than other times. What's the current status?
KLUGMAN: Well, yesterday when I spoke to you, I had just been on a plane coming home and hadn't used it in a while. I have to do these violent vocal exercises to get it kind of oiled up and moving. But I just did a play in Florida. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Didn't miss a performance. Did that for two months with rehearsals and everything, then last year I did "Death Of A Salesman." Didn't miss a performance. It doesn't get prettier, it just gets stronger, the more I talk. But prettier, but as Tony says, I never sounded like Richard Burton anyway, so it's not too bad. I'm very lucky.
KING: For the benefit of those watching, what is the condition? What do you have?
I had cancer of the larynx from smoking. I should have listened to Tony years ago, and they removed my right vocal chord. And what -- it's now just a stump, a little piece of scar tissue. See, your chords meet in the middle when you talk, but this is now stationary. So I got this muscle, this chord, I have to get it strong enough to go over there and hit that stump, which is what I've been doing, and it works like a dream.
KING: Did you used to tell him not to smoke.
KING: Tony, did you use to tell him? Because you are the most anti-smoking person I ever knew?
RANDALL: I think that's true. I think I'm responsible for some of the anti smoking laws, as a matter of fact. I didn't allow smoking on the set. But he would...
KING: You knew he smoked?
RANDALL: He would smoke off the set.
KING: Did you try to tell him not to?
RANDALL: Try to tell jack anything.
KING: Never worked.
RANDALL: No, no!
KLUGMAN: You should have seen outside the door to the set. You know, there would be 40,000 butts, people would hold the door open, smoking, watching for Tony to tell them not to smoke, then they'd put it out and go in, so everybody was smoking outside. They wouldn't listen to him.
Boy, am I sorry.
KING: Yes, you ought to be.
How did you two get this part? All right we all know the "The Odd Couple" was written originally, the Neil Simon play. It starred Walter Matthau and Art Carney. The film starred Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon. How did the television show come together, Tony?
RANDALL: I'm damned if I know, I really don't. Garry Marshall was at Paramount, and came to see me and asked me to do it. That's all I knew.
KING: You liked it right away? Let's do it?
RANDALL: No, I had to be talked into it. And then we had to find an Oscar.
KING: So, you were first, they hired you first.
KING: Jack, how did you get it?
KLUGMAN: Let me tell you, now I replaced Walter Matthau on Broadway years before we ever did this. So. when Garry Marshall called me, I thought he'd seen me do it on Broadway and that's why he wanted me. He said, "No, I never saw you." I said, "So why did you want me?" He said, "Well, I saw you in 'Gypsy' and Ethel Merman was singing to you, and she was spitting all over you. And I said, 'You know, that's a good actor, he's not showing that she's spitting all over him,'" That's why he hired me."
KING: And the amazing thing about that show is it wasn't a hit, right?
RANDALL: "The Odd Couple?"
RANDALL: We were on for five years, and we were in the bottom 10 for five years.
KING: Why did they keep you on?
RANDALL: There was a guy named Marty Starger (ph) at the network, and he liked us and he kept us on. KING: On ABC, right?
KLUGMAN: It was also cheap.
RANDALL: There aren't people like that around anymore.
KLUGMAN: It was also very, very cheap.
KLUGMAN: I mean, we couldn't ask for a raise because they'd fire us, and we had the whole thing, the whole show, license and everything, was $125,000 a show. The kids on "Friends" make more in three days, each one, than we made in five years of doing "The Odd Couple." That's why they kept us on cheap.
RANDALL: And certainly more than Neil Simon made. He didn't make anything.
KING: He sold it off, right?
RANDALL: He didn't realize when he sold the rights to Paramount to make the movie, that he was selling the television rights.
KING: The hit became in reruns, right?
RANDALL: And Jack always predicted it. He said someday we'll be back in reruns and they'll find out how good we are.
KING: And it's still running. We'll take a break. We'll be right back with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. Can't do better than that.
Tomorrow night, Graydon Carter will be with us, the editor of "Vanity Fair" to discuss the Oscars and Monday night exclusive, Bobby Knight the new head coach of Texas Tech and David Schmidly, the president of Texas Tech will be with us live. We'll be right back with Randall-Klugman. Later, your phone calls, don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE ODD COUPLE")
RANDALL: Oh, I feel faint.
KLUGMAN: We're still on the ground.
RANDALL: Why, why are we still on the ground?
KLUGMAN: Because that's where we start from, then we go up in the air. When we get to Houston we go on the ground again, just the way the Wright brothers planned it.
RANDALL: More sarcasm, huh?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the captain speaking.
RANDALL: That's the captain, he's speaking to me. Yes? UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I'm sorry, but we'll be delayed on the ground for an indefinite period.
RANDALL: Why? Why? Why?
What channel is he on? I'm getting Victor Borgen, get off! Where's the emergency exit. Where? Look at that! Look at size of that woman!
If she got stuck in the emergency door, we'd all be dead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE ODD COUPLE")
RANDALL: How did you sleep last night?
KLUGMAN: Great, how did you sleep?
RANDALL: Slept beautifully. It's just I had to get up every hour for my spasm.
KLUGMAN: Oh, OK, OK, here we go. Let me know if this hurts, will you? Because I don't know what the heck I'm doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Was it as much fun doing it, Tony, as it appeared there?
RANDALL: Yes, yeah. Especially working with Jack. It sounds as if I'm saying the right thing, but it's true.
But acting has always been fun for me. I'd rather act than do almost anything else.
KING: Did you -- Jack, was this a natural simpatico between the two of you? It just happened?
KLUGMAN: Oh yeah, it happened so beautifully. Like, we had maybe five pages would remain -- from Monday when we read the script -- five pages would remain by Friday by the time we did it.
If for instance, he had to teach me manners, it would be Tony teaches Jack manners, and it would be four blank pages, and then we'd improvise. And he's the best improviser in the world. He taught me how to improvise. People when they improvise, they talk, talk, trying to fill time. He would provoke -- I had to teach him football, right? He knows it, he watches sports all the time. But instead of -- I said, all right, now get down, so he came next to me. So, I said we're not the Raquettes, come over here. And then he put his face right here, and I said, I don't want to dance with you. So he would provoke you into saying something funny. That's true improvisation. It was wonderful. I had a great time. I learned a lot.
KING: Was it natural for you too, you and him?
RANDALL: It just clicked.
KING: It just clicked?
RANDALL: That doesn't always happen.
RANDALL: It doesn't even happen always with good actors.
KING: You could put two good actors and put them together, and it doesn't necessarily mean it will work, right?
RANDALL: That's right, that's right.
KING: So, there has to be a natural chemistry?
RANDALL: A spark. You can't explain, you can't predict it.
KLUGMAN: But you also, if I may say, you both got to want the same thing, which is the best show you can put on. See, I mean, we were not interested in billing or in stardom. We wanted this to be the best show we could. And we never had any of that, I should get more, he should get more. We never, ever had that kind of argument, never. We may have discussed what's funny to him, what's funny to me, and we'd work it out. But it was wonderful that way. There was no jealousy.
RANDALL: Nothing personal, no.
KING: And it still shows on Nick at Nite, right? Nick at Nite every night...
RANDALL: Every night, yeah. It's on TV Land.
KING: How did you know, Jack, that it would be a hit in rerun?
KLUGMAN: Well, you didn't have to be a rocket scientist. We had hundreds of people watching the show, and they would fall down! Now, I had done the play, and I got as many laughs when I did it on television as when I did the play.
I said, but these people are loving it! And they would come back and say, what's the greatest thing we've seen? But we would then, we'd go and would be in the bottom 10. We'd be like 58th, 54th. But I knew that they just couldn't find us, that's all.
KING: And when they did, they did, right? Now, were you surprised?
RANDALL: Completely, yes.
KING: That it reversed?
RANDALL: Yes, yes. Jack has always been able to call it. Jack has street smarts, Jack can meet anybody and size them up immediately. He knows if he likes them or doesn't like them. He knows if the guy is honest or not honest. He knows if the guy is phony or not.
I think everybody is great. I have no street smarts whatsoever. Anybody can fool me.
KING: You did the play, right? The two of you did in many areas.
RANDALL: Oh yes.
KING: I saw you do "The Sunshine Boys." When you did the play, did you improvise or stay script?
RANDALL: Verbatim. Not one word of improvisation in the play.
KING: Because it's a Neil Simon -- because the play...
RANDALL: Any play, any play, you must respect the author.
KING: You never changed?
RANDALL: No, no. You could follow the script and you would see that every single word was in place.
KING: Was that -- would you agree, Jack, someone said that that may be the best comedy ever written?
KLUGMAN: It is the best comedy -- American comedy ever written. I did it in London, and they don't care for American comedies, and they got the best reviews that a comedy had gotten in 40 years. They said the ticket would be as hot as Olivier's "Othello." We were sold out for a year. Everybody came to see it.
The play -- it's brilliant. It's -- the way the exposition, even the exposition is funny. The first line in the play is a laugh. The guy's dealing the cards very slowly, and this guy moves the money, and he says: "Tell me, is this your first time on the river boat?" The other guy deals.
And the audience is laughing at the beginning.
KING: That's one of the great lines in history, right? "I'm home, dear," opening the second act. RANDALL: No, it's -- "I'm home, dear," that's right. But there is no question it's the finest American comedy written.
KING: And speaking of the boys on stage, as we go to break, here they are, on stage, in "The Odd Couple."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE ODD COUPLE")
KLUGMAN: Stay out of there!
RANDALL: Don't you tell me where to stay out of! I pay $490 a month rent here!
KLUGMAN: That was off-season. Starting tomorrow, it's $1,000 a day.
RANDALL: Oh, really? Really?
RANDALL: Look, fine. Now, I paid up through today. Now, I'm going to...
RANDALL: ... bedroom
KLUGMAN: I'm warning you!
RANDALL: You just watch yourself! You watch yourself!
KLUGMAN: You want to live here? If you want to live here, I don't want to see you, I don't want to hear you, and I don't want to smell your cooking! Now, get that spaghetti off my poker table! What the hell is so funny?
RANDALL: It's not spaghetti, it's linguine!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "QUINCY, M.E.")
KLUGMAN: Gentlemen, you are about to enter the most fascinating sphere of police work, the world of forensic medicine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: And, of course, the fabulous opening to "Quincy," one of the most successful -- both these guys have had amazing careers. Look at Tony Randall's career of movies with Rock Hudson and Doris Day, "Pillow Talk", "Lover, Come Back", "Send Me No Flowers," he -- and in "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" director Frank Tashlin said about Tony Randall: "Directing him is like playing a Stradivarius violin." Klugman was active in the golden age of live television drama. He has also appeared in "12 Angry Men," "Days of Wine and Roses," "The Detective" with Frank Sinatra, "Goodbye, Columbus" -- you two have extraordinary careers individually. But you will admit, Tony, you will forever be linked. RANDALL: Oh, yes.
KING: When one says one name, we will think the other name as well?
Are you as comfortable, always been as comfortable in comedy, Jack?
KLUGMAN: I'm -- you know, it's like a butcher. He knows how to cut pork, he knows how to cut beef, he knows how to cut veal. I mean, you got to do it all.
And people say, timing. I don't know -- be honest, look to your other actor in the eye and tell him the truth. There is no timing if you are honest and you tell the truth. It's just doing it.
And I believe that -- you know, we did it, and of course, we worked hard. We worked until 11:00 every night doing this show. We rehearsed and rehearsed, and these guys, we had three of the best comedy writers in the business, we had everything going but hard work, there is no substitute for that.
And even at that time, we had about 60 years in the business between us. So -- in theater, where it counts.
KING: Tony, why do you like acting? You said you love it, why?
RANDALL: I don't know why. I've always just loved it more than anything from the time I was 12 years old. I knew I was going to be an actor. That was it.
KING: So when you would work in theater or whatever, you would look forward to 8:00?
RANDALL: I still do.
KING: That curtain going up?
KING: You want to go out?
RANDALL: I do, yes.
KING: And you are being someone else...
KING: And loving it?
KING: Can you explain it?
RANDALL: I can't.
KING: I mean, it's child-like in a sense, isn't it?
RANDALL: Oh, of course it is, yes. And maybe it's slightly neurotic in the need for attention and love and so forth. But that's not it with me, I don't think. You become -- you become obsessed with the craft, and it's all you think about.
And you read every book that's ever been written on it and you study it and study it -- it's your life.
KING: Jack, does it obsess you? Oh, you've got horse racing, so it can't obsess you?
KLUGMAN: No, no, no. Acting is my best friend, it always has been. It got me out of where I was living, made me -- got me an education. I met wonderful people, I got respect, I got identity.
And as long as I worked toward the best that I could do, it always was loyal to me. It's only when you chicken out -- I mean, I've been a coward in probably most other things in my life, but not in acting. When somebody challenged me, I blow the job rather than compromise, you know, without knowing it. So, no, I loved it, it's my best friend.
KING: By the way, we'll be talking calls for Tony Randall and Jack Klugman in a little while. If you want to get in, get in early.
Tell me about the National Actors Theater and "Judgment at Nuremberg."
RANDALL: Well, that's my baby, the National Actors Theater. About 10 years ago, I started it.
KING: Jack's on the board, right?
RANDALL: Yeah, and I haven't worked since. I haven't worked in the business.
KING: They work for less money, right?
RANDALL: They do. I don't work for any money in the National Actors Theater.
KING: But I mean, you got people working in this play for a lot less?
RANDALL: Oh, yes, indeed. "Judgment at Nuremberg" is, I think, the most important play we've put on. It's a play about the Holocaust, of course. It's a play about who's responsible. Who's responsible for these terrible crimes?
KING: And Maximillian Schell who played the defense attorney in the movie plays the judge -- the guilty judge...
RANDALL: In our play. We've got a marvelous cast, with George Grizzard, and Robert Foxworth, and Marthe Keller, Joseph Wiseman, Michael Hayden.
KING: Joseph Wiseman.
KING: How do you get all these people to work?
RANDALL: I called them up. With Joe, I had to go to his house.
KING: Jack, why do you work for less?
KLUGMAN: Because I love it, and for him, I would do anything anyway. We went on "The Odd Couple," we toured for eight weeks, we took all those salaries, all the money went for his theater.
He worked for this theater 15 years. When everybody said he could never accomplish it, it would never be done, he didn't listen to them, he put -- I can't tell you how much of his own money he put in there, plus time and effort, for no reason except he wanted to bring good theater, classic theater to America. I mean, you got to work for this kind of guy.
KING: And we're a country that doesn't support its theater?
RANDALL: Doesn't support the arts, not really.
KING: A pittance compared to others.
Our guests are Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. Last time I saw them on stage was in another terrific Neil Simon play, and here's a scene from that. We'll go to your calls in a little while, here are Klugman and Randall in "The Sunshine Boys."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE SUNSHINE BOYS")
KLUGMAN: Get away from the phone!
RANDALL: Is it my daughter?
KLUGMAN: Hello, how are you.
RANDALL: Is it my daughter? Is it her?
KLUGMAN: Can't you see I'm talking? Don't you see me on the phone with a person? For God's sake, behave like a human being, will you? Will you for five seconds?
KLUGMAN: Hello? Just a minute. It's your daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "PILLOW TALK")
RANDALL: Stop! His name isn't Rex Stetson, it's Brad Allen!
DORIS DAY, ACTRESS: I know that.
RANDALL: He's a sneaking double-crossing rat!
DAY: I know that too. Will you please take me home?
RANDALL: Of course!
DAY: Bedroom problems! At least mine can be solved in one bedroom. You couldn't solve yours in a thousand.
RANDALL: At least you could have had the decency to bring your own champagne.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What was Rock Hudson like to work with?
RANDALL: Oh, he was a doll. Wonderful fellow. We had marvelous times together. Just like Jack, we would sit around the set -- funny, he was funny guy.
KING: He was?
RANDALL: Oh, funny!
KING: Good actor?
RANDALL: Very good actor, yes. He didn't know he was good. He didn't have much confidence.
RANDALL: No, no. He lacked confidence in his acting.
KING: How about Doris Day?
RANDALL: She's in a class by herself. She is...
KING: She's probably watching tonight, she watches this show, she doesn't appear on any shows. RANDALL: Untrained actress, did it all by instinct. And her instinct was dead center. She was always true.
KING: Jack, how good was Frank Sinatra?
KLUGMAN: Oh, he was terrific. He was another natural actor. He liked to do things right away. I remember we did a scene, and the guy said, take six, and he said, wait a minute! Take six on one of my pictures? We get the take now, or we cut the scene.
He thought the -- he liked to do it right away, but he was a joy to work with, and he was what I call a friend. I mean, I didn't see him that often, but if I got in any real trouble, that was the guy to go to. He was the best guy.
KING: Loyalty. We're going to take a break, come back. Tony has a great "Quincy" story. We're going to take your phone calls. We're with Randall and Klugman.
Bobby Knight on Monday night with David Schmidly, the president of Texas Tech. It's quite a story. We'll be right back, don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: He was born in a slum. Slums are breeding grounds for criminals. I know it and so do you. It's no secret, children from slum backgrounds are potential menaces to society.
Now, I think...
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Brother, you can say that again. The kids who crawl out of these places are real trash. I don't want any part of them, I'm telling you.
KLUGMAN: Listen, I've lived in a slum all my life.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Now, wait a minute...
KLUGMAN: Please, I've played in backyards who were filled with garbage. I mean, maybe you can still smell it on me.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Now, listen, sonny.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Come on, now, there's nothing personal about this.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Come on, fellow. He didn't mean you. Let's not be so sensitive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What a film. "12 Angry Men" with a very young Jack Klugman. Now, what's the "Quincy" story, and we'll take calls.
RANDALL: All right. I was in a restaurant, a very smart expensive restaurant. And two ladies came in, they sort of nodded to me and they went to their table, and then this woman kept waving to me. And presently, the captain came over and said, "She'd like to speak to you."
So I went over to their table, and she said that her son had died in peculiar circumstances. And this story was given out and that story, but she knew it was murder, and there was only one person in the world who could solve the mystery. And that was Quincy, and would I please give this to Jack Klugman? And she wrote it all out for me to give to him.
KING: That's successful acting.
KLUGMAN: I think of that all the time. They say, "Listen, I got a pain."
I say, "I can only help you after you die. I can tell you why you had the pain, but you got to be dead."
KING: Let's go to some calls for Randall and Klugman. You won't do better than this.
Phoenix, Arizona. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, there.
CALLER: Good evening, gentlemen. I've always been a huge fan of both of you together, both together and separately. So much of "The Odd Couple" seems to be about friendship, and how it perseveres, even despite your differences and the obstacles. And that seems to have worked in your careers and your life, especially in your reunion movie, where Felix taught Oscar to talk again.
And I was very touched by that, and I was wondering if you could tell us how much your friendship has played a part in your life and your careers, and forgive me if you've already talked about that.
KING: Good question. Tony?
RANDALL: Well, perhaps this is an odd thing to say. I've had almost no friends in my life. Very view. You count them on this many fingers, so the friendship with Jack is pretty important.
RANDALL: I don't know. I was married for 54 years. And we didn't have children, and we were sufficient to each other. And we didn't have friends. We were just a little world. And we were happy. And we had almost no social life. And my friendship with Jack just grew and it was about the only friendship I had.
KING: Do you agree "The Odd Couple" is about friendship?
RANDALL: It's about male bonding, absolutely. That's what the play's about.
KING: Jack, what kind of friend is Tony Randall to you?
KLUGMAN: He's the best. I mean, I wouldn't have been back working, He got me back to do his play. You heard how I sounded there. I sound so much better now, when I did "The Odd Couple" with him. When he called me to do it he said we could raise a million dollars in one night. And he really -- you know, he was thinking of the theater, but he came to me. I had no venue to work. I said, "Are you crazy? I can't even whisper, for God's sake."
He said, "You can do it."
And the guy, Gary Katono (ph) who was teaching me, said, "Tell him you'll do it in six months." So when I went on he was so supportive. I would have had no place to go had it not been for him.
And our friendship now is stronger than it ever was. But that's what good (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Our love, the story is love, because they want to see people. Girls, "The Golden Girls" -- shows today that are successful are about friends and loyalty. It's so important.
But we share it off as well as on. We don't see each other for a long time. But when we do, we pick up as though we had seen each other yesterday.
KING: That's what friendship is. Someone described friendship as -- "If a friend calls you in the middle of the night and says come over, you don't say why."
KLUGMAN: That's right.
KING: You come over.
CALLER: Good evening, gentlemen.
CALLER: Hi, Larry, Jack, Tony.
I have a question for you. I'd like to know how you -- what you think about today's young comedies like "Friends" or something in that gender.
KING: What do you think of the modern sitcom, Tony?
RANDALL: I can't watch them.
There are some very good sitcoms.
RANDALL: Maybe there are, I can't watch them.
RANDALL: I just can't watch them, that's all.
KING: No reason? You just can't?
RANDALL: They don't seem any good to me.
KING: Even what we regard as the good ones?
RANDALL: Yes, but I'm no judge because I haven't seen enough of them.
KING: So the shows you liked were the "Taxis," the "Bilkos"...
RANDALL: "Bilko" was a good show.
KING: "Bilko" was a funny show.
Jack, what do you think of the modern-day sitcoms?
KLUGMAN: I love "Everybody Loves Raymond." I like that show.
Most of the time, it's about sex and all the new freedoms that television has, the words, and the curse words, and showing their bare bottom -- that have nothing to do with the classic comedy that we tried to do, and that shows like "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" tried to do. And, as you said, "Bilko" tried to do. These were shows that dealt with classic comedy, not with: Oh, we have new freedom, we can now say kiss my -- you know."
KLUGMAN: I don't think they're funny.
KING: What do you make of "Survivor" and this brand of television?
KLUGMAN: Give me a break.
RANDALL: I won't watch it.
KLUGMAN: Come on!
KING: You won't watch "Survivor"? RANDALL: I won't watch it. You can't...
KLUGMAN: "Survivor"! I am I survivor. I don't have to watch it.
That's terrible, that stuff.
RANDALL: No, I don't watch it.
KING: Tony Randall and Jack Klugman are our guests,
We'll be back with more phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDALL: Yes, sweetie. I'm also president of Rita Marlo Production Incorporated, Limited, sweetie.
JAYNE MANSFIELD, ACTRESS: That'll just kill him. But don't leave me out. I have to be important in my own incorporated.
RANDALL: Sorry, I seem to have omitted your screen credit -- lingo of the trade.
Yes, sweetie, I am president of Rita Marlo Productions, Incorporated, but Miss Marlo is the titular head of the company.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I hear you've been spreading a lot of money around town, Stu. Money you don't got.
KLUGMAN: What the hell you want to do a thing like that for?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Listen, I just hope you picked the right team today, Stuart. Because if I don't get that 28 Gs in my pocket before sundown, you're going to take another trip out the window. And next time, nobody holds the ankles. You got it?
KLUGMAN: I got it. I got it.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Get out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: "Two Minute Warning." Pretty good, you guys are pretty good, you know?
Atlanta, Georgia for Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, hello. CALLER: Hi.
CALLER: I just wondered if there's chance for a "Quincy" reunion.
KLUGMAN: Well, I have a two-hour show of "Quincy" that is written, ready to be shot, that is so powerful, so, I mean, it would save lives. And we can't get it on. They paid a lot of money to get this script, and we worked on it like crazy, it's a beautiful script. It's tough, it's funny, but they won't put it on. I don't know why.
KING: You mean you can't get a network to put it on?
KLUGMAN: I don't know what the problem -- CBS. Or Universal started us, they put up about 100 grand for a script. They got a beautiful script ready to shoot. I don't know what's holding it back. It's powerful.
KING: Do parts come for older actors, Tony?
RANDALL: Very few. Very few parts for older actors.
KING: Harder for older actresses, right? Or maybe both.
RANDALL: An actress is old when she's about 26.
KING: It's come to that?
RANDALL: It's come to that.
KING: Davie, Florida, hello.
CALLER: Yes, good evening, guys. Together, you two are the best in the business.
KLUGMAN: Thank you.
CALLER: And this is my question: I've seen you two in different plays together here in south Florida. Are there any plans in the near future to work together on the stage? And have either of you written a play you'd like to perform in?
KING: Neither of them are writers.
RANDALL: No, we're not writers.
KING: What about working together again?
RANDALL: If we could find a play, we'd do it tomorrow.
KLUGMAN: Yes, yes. I got a play. I want you to read that play again. Then we can do it in Florida, then bring it to New York. We had Charlie Durning, you, Dom DeLuise, and -- oh, God, he'll kill me -- someone wonderful. I forgot their name.
RANDALL: This is the way deals are made.
KLUGMAN: But four of us will do it in south Florida, and then we'll go do it in New York.
KING: Charles Durning, not bad himself,
"Judgment at Nuremberg" opens Monday for how long?
RANDALL: Well, we hope forever. Minimum eight weeks. I'd doing it in the National Actors Theater, of course, in conjunction with Earl Mac, who's given us a lot of help with it.
KING: You need the money, right?
KING: Los Angeles, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Jack, I just want to say I am the hugest fan of you. I grew up watching you. were the most likable man on television. I want to ask a quick question. The show runs so many times during the day. How do you guys do on residuals? You guys should be collecting, I hope, because it's such a brilliant show.
KING: You are multizillionaires, right?
KLUGMAN: Let me tell you something. I own 28 percent of the net profits of "Quincy." It has grossed over a billion dollars. I have never seen a penny, nor will I see a penny. Somebody said, "You remember the good old days when there were only two sets of books?" They kill you. They showed me with the 90 million in the hole, still, and they've grossed over a billion dollars. They invented stealing.
KING: That's where Art Buchwald said, "According to the records, no movie ever made money.
KLUGMAN: That's right.
KING: All right.
What about "The Odd Couple," Tony? Don't you get money?
RANDALL: You don't get residuals. That's a myth. After about the fifth time around, the residuals get smaller and smaller and smaller until they're nothing.
KING: Did you make a lot of money off the reruns?
RANDALL: Yes, yes.
KING: Both of did you well in the height of its rerunning, right?
KING: Well, why would he not make money from "Quincy"?
KLUGMAN: Because they robbed me. They say they didn't make money. They got -- I sent in a tax auditor. I paid $35,000 to send him in. Universal said: "Come in." Gave them tea, cookies. You could sue them, I can sue them, takes seven years to settle. It would cost me $3.5 million I would have to lay out, and I could lose. That's what they depend on. And they settled with Jim Garner the day he went into court -- 6 1/2 years.
KING: What was that for?
RANDALL: It was for his ulcers.
KLUGMAN: They told him they were losing money.
KING: We'll be back with more of Jack Klugman and Tony Randall and more of your phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
Graydon Carter, the editor of "Vanity Fair," will be with us tomorrow night on LARRY KING WEEKEND.
Sunday night, we're going to replay Sante Kimes and Kenneth Kimes, the mother and son convicted of killing.
And Monday night, Bobby Knight, the new coach of Texas Tech, along with the president of Texas Tech, David Schmidly. That program will be live with your phone calls.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDALL: There's nothing wrong with me.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Oh, I'm sure it's just temporary, darling.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Well, of course it is.
RANDALL: Get this straight. There is a genie. His name is Fakrash. He came out of a bottle. Furthermore...
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What shall I do with this?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I suppose she's's a genie, too!
RANDALL: Yes, she is. She's' a blue gin. Mr. Fakrash is a green gin. He produced her out of a puff of smoke.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I'm sorry to have troubled you, Doctor. There's nothing wrong with him. Nothing that requires a psychiatrist!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That was Jack Klugman getting his star on Hollywood Boulevard!
As we go to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Hello.
CALLER: Good evening, gentlemen. A great show.
KING: Thank you.
CALLER: I would like to ask what -- I would like to ask Mr. Randall, what do you put your long life and your two happy marriages, what's the secret to them?
KING: I mean, look, you're a sprightly 81.
RANDALL: Yes. I don't really know. You choose your ancestors wisely, I suppose. But happy marriages, I suppose I can -- I've always been married. I was -- my first marriage, I was married 18. I was born to be married. I'm supposed to be married.
KING: So you were married for 52 years?
KING: Fifty-four. When she passed, did you think you'd marry again?
RANDALL: At the time I didn't. No, no. At the time, I just went numb. But then three years passed and nature -- it was nature.
KING: You never thought you'd have children?
RANDALL: No, no. But I am the kind of man who must have a woman.
KING: Jack, you did a lot of acting when television was live acting, right?
KLUGMAN: Oh, yeah. I started, I got 10 bucks a show. There were no union. I got 60 bucks to play a lead in "Suspense."
It was a wonderful time. Guys like Sidney Lumet and Arthur Penn -- these guys were just breaking in as directors. Bob Mulligan -- the best directors I've ever worked with.
And all the actors, you know, the Tony Franciosas and the (UNINTELLIGIBLE). We were trained for the theater, so we were perfectly suited for this. In fact, we were overqualified. And it was a wonderful time, it was exciting. Even though a lot of shows were half-hour gangster shows.
KING: I remember.
KLUGMAN: We had four days' rehearsal, and we would change things, and they allowed us freedom, and it was experimental. Oh, it was a wonderful time.
KING: Frankenheimer directed a lot of those.
RANDALL: Oh, yes.
KING: Nashville, Tennessee. Hello.
CALLER: Yes, Tony Randall was always cooking on the "Odd Couple." What kind of cook are you off the set of the show?
RANDALL: Not at all. I really don't know how to boil an egg.
KING: Were you anything like Felix?
RANDALL: No, not a bit, no.
KING: But he was like Oscar, wasn't he?
RANDALL: Sort of.
KING: Do you ever cook, Jack?
RANDALL: Jack's a good cook.
KLUGMAN: I'm a good cook. I love to cook. I lived alone. You know, Charlie Bronson and I lived in one room for two years, we paid 7 bucks a week. There were 14 rooms on the floor, one kitchen, one bath. And they had a refrigerator compartmentalized, so we would steal a piece of cheese there, a piece of food, and we would sell our blood for five bucks, and I had to learn how to cook. I made chili that would last for seven days.
KING: You lived with Charlie Bronson.
For two years.
KING: Orlando, hello. Not in my notes.
CALLER: Hello there, I used to stay home and watch you every Friday night, we enjoyed it tremendously. And I'm wondering, you know, you were so perfect for the parts, or maybe they were perfect for you. I'm wondering how much input you guys had on the writing during the sessions for "The Odd Couple."
RANDALL: A great deal. KING: Yes, they let you write, right?
RANDALL: A great deal, yes, they would listen to us. We would sit in on the early sessions when we would discuss what kind of show we wanted to do. You run out of ideas after a while, when you've done 50, 60, 70 shows, and whoever has an idea, he is welcome, and they say, "Tony, you love opera, is there anything you can do in the world of opera that would make a good show? Jack, you're always with the horses, how about a show about horse racing?"
KING: And they took your input?
KLUGMAN: Not at first.
KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are very talkative when you drink. What's this all about.
RANDALL: Well, who's going to tell you the truth when he's sober? You're a very vain man your majesty, all those little jokes that you just kill the people around here with. They didn't go over so big down at that theater, did they? And how's it going with that girl? Not so hot, huh? When you haven't got the old green stuff going for you? Money, my lord, that's all they ever kissed when they kissed you, money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe you better go now.
RANDALL: Go -- I quit!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: OK, gentlemen, we have a couple of minutes left.
Tony, "Judgment at Nuremberg" opens Monday, that's your next project. You are the director of that theater. You didn't direct the play, though.
RANDALL: No, no. John Tillinger directed it. We're at the Long Acre Theater, since you asked, on 48th street.
KING: And do you look forward to doing a play of your own again, with you in it? RANDALL: If we find one, yes.
KING: So, you're not retired?
RANDALL: Oh, far from it, no.
KING: Mr. Klugman, what is next for you?
KLUGMAN: Oh, I don't know, whatever comes up. I got a few things cooking. I just -- as I said, I did "The Price," and then I just read a play, it was a very good play that I'm going to try to get Tony to do.
Before I go, I want to say to my gal's mother, Dodi, hang in there, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we're pulling for you, babe, right, so hang in there, babe. OK.
That's more important than what I'm doing.
KING: He's an amazing guy, isn't he?
RANDALL: Great guy.
KING: And do you Jack, when you speak, do you feel that do, do you hear it the way we hear it? Is it painful to talk?
KLUGMAN: No, no. The more I talk, the stronger it gets and the better it gets.
KING: I noticed that through the show. You sound better now than you did earlier.
KLUGMAN: Yes, it gets stronger. People think it hurts, it doesn't. And I've found that, in doing the play, that I just did, "The Price," that I got all the emotion, got all the laughs that were necessary -- that were in the play, even more. So I'm able. I'm very, very lucky.
I mean, for this to happen and for me to still have all the ability to express emotion, it's really wonderful, and to move my hands, the way I see my hands going up and down, like that. God, it's terrible. I'm not even Italian.
RANDALL: You see, what happens, the chords have to meet. They have to be smooth to make a good sound. His chords are rough, from the operation. So air is escaping. In the -- and that's what makes the sound you hear.
KLUGMAN: And that's all it is, exactly.
KING: It sounds like it's painful.
KING: Are you still opera devotees?
RANDALL: No. 1 in the world, yes.
KING: Do you still go every week?
RANDALL: I'd go every night if I could. It's an obsession, an addiction.
KING: Did you perform in an opera?
RANDALL: No, no. You have to have a real voice for that.
KING: Even walk on one?
RANDALL: No, no. I tried to sing opera around the house but my little girl won't let me. She hates it.
KING: You guys have both been a delight to have with us. I consider you both friends. I look forward to seeing "Judgment at Nuremberg".
Jack, you stay well. It's always great seeing you. Jack Klugman in Los Angeles.
Anthony, Tony Randall "Judgment at Nuremberg" at the Longacre Theater if you are coming to New York. It's a presentation of the National Actor's Theatre, which was founded and is run by Tony Randall.
Our guests, the original, the best, there they are, Klugman and Randall.
A sad note to end the show tonight. Rowland Evans famed newspaper columnist, longtime contributor to CNN, died today. He was 79. He'd been battling cancer since last year.
Rowly, as he was known to almost everyone, was a close friend to the Kennedy family. He was a guest on this program in July of 1999, following the untimely death of JFK, Jr. I asked about his first memories of that remarkable young man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROWLAND EVANS, NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST: My first memory when the president came down in his golf cart, white golf cart, Hyannis Port, down to his father's house. We were going out on the "Honey Pits." We were all waiting for the president.
He comes down in his white golf cart, 1963, person on one shoulder is little John. Person on another shoulder, or in his lap, is little Caroline, three or four nieces and nephews, they are all on that golf cart. President Kennedy's coming down and I know he's read my column that morning, which was a blast in the Kennedy administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Rowland Evans would have turned 80 next month. He'll be very much missed. Good night.
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