Jack Klugman

The Password to Heaven is Ridiculous

I often reflect on the how and the why I started blogging. I was extremely bored in 2005 due to the hockey lockout. Existing creative outlets that dried up forced me to look for a new one. I hadn't complained enough about the Scott Kazmir trade and my friends were getting annoyed with me.

But when I looked deeper, I saw that my childhood aspiration was to be Oscar Madison. Watching The Odd Couple taught me that people actually get paid for writing about sports. Sloppy dresser, Mets cap, loved baseball, and this character was getting paid to do all of this? I aspired to this, but more accurately I identified with this. And while I don't get paid to write about sports, I've always considered this blog my "New York Herald" column. Combined that with being a sloppy dresser and my thousands of caps (a good portion of them being Mets caps), I achieved Oscar Madison.

Jack Klugman passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 90. As my age advanced I aspired less to be the character, but I appreciated more the television life Klugman gave to Oscar Madison. Klugman was much more accomplished than just Oscar … among other things giving great performances in multiple episodes of The Twilight Zone (my personal favorite being "A Game Of Pool"), and also carving the same niche in drama as he did in comedy with Quincy M.E.

But Jack Klugman and Oscar Madison were joined at the hip, and it will be the biggest part of his legacy. The show was under appreciated in its time, reached classic status in syndication, yet strangely has become under appreciated again later in syndication life. The one where Oscar becomes a sports talk radio host is eerily ahead of its time. It's a hint of the genius of Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson, made memorable by the performances of Klugman and Tony Randall. Performances that will live forever. Or as a friend of mine put it recently: "We will always love our television legends". With any luck we will emulate them too … minus the ulcers.

Thanks for the laughs, Jack. And for wearing the Mets hat. I can only hope to complete the homage and get a salary for this.

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And of course …

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Metstradamus

About Metstradamus

I've been a Mets fan since 1976. The 1988 NLCS still bothers me infinitely more than it should. Keep reaching for the stars, and then get checked for a torn ligament.

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