This Day in Death

12.24.12: Jack Klugman, Star of The Odd Couple – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:43 am December 31, 2012

JACK_KLUGMANThough they certainly had their detractors, the singing duo of Klugman & Dog left nary a dry eye in the house during their rendition of “Strangers in the Night.”

 

Actor Jack Klugman died on Christmas Eve, but I waited til now to tell you about it so that it wouldn’t ruin your holiday, unlike that year when your white brother thought it was the perfect time to announce he’d joined the Nation of Islam, and you know he only did it to piss off your racist uncle. Just let everyone enjoy some goddamn ham before you make everything all weird, Jerry!

Klugman was best known as Oscar, the filthy, degenerate slob from the mismatched buddy television series The Odd Couple. The show was based on the Neil Simon play of the same name, which was itself based on an earlier stage play about Ayn Rand renting a flat with a reincarnated Karl Marx. That play was, of course, based on a collection of Thomas Nashe sonnets chronicling the comedic misadventures of King Edward III being forced to share his castle with a dish full of sassy Black Plague bacterium. Interestingly, those sonnets were themselves a loose adaptation of a series of cave paintings by Ook the Brave detailing a wild bison’s attempts to get along with a mild-mannered spear. I dunno, I think some of those paintings still hold up pretty well.

Never anyone’s idea of a matinee idol, Klugman remained a popular star for decades simply by playing a gruff but down-to-earth guy, his tie stained and a little loose, a cigar in hand during the days when smoking was permitted.

Klugman’s cause of death is believed to be natural causes, although it’s worth noting that he suffered from throat cancer in the 80s. The cancer had robbed him of his voice, but, amazingly, Klugman was able to teach himself how to speak again. It’s a pretty courageous feat, and I’m definitely using it as inspiration to one day go back into my bedroom after seeing that spider in there last week and running away. In retrospect it might have just been a lint ball, but this is hardly the time to be taking any chances.

 

Source: USA Today

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