The password is “hilarious.” In The Odd Couple Felix Unger and Oscar Madison were always perfectly mismatched. The two men — one a neurotic neatnik, the other a compulsive slob — had absolutely nothing in common except a Manhattan apartment. In one of the shows standout episodes“Password,” Felix (Tony Randall) and Oscar (Jack Klugman) make the worst team since oil and water. The popular game-show host Allen Ludden is a fan of Oscar’s sports columns, and approaches him to be a celebrity panelist playing against Ludden’s real-life wife, Betty White.
Felix is ecstatic; he can be his roommate’s partner. Oscar takes some convincing — first to be on the show and then to be on it with Felix — but he finally agrees. As bad choices go, this is right up there with Lincoln’s decision to go to Ford’s Theater.
Speaking of the Great Emancipator, during one match, Felix hears the word mayonnaise and comes back with “Lincoln.” Lincoln? Lincoln? As Felix explains, it’s a well-known fact that Lincoln loved mayonnaise. The pair’s utter failure to com-municate finds its fullest, most sidesplitting expression in this sparkling episode.
“Hearing Jack and Tony talk to each other off-camera was hysterical,” recalls White. “They both barked at each other in a grumpy way. You’d think they were fighting, but it was just small talk.”
Original Broadcast: December 1, 1972