Newsday’s Neil Best finds Jordano Spiro’s portrayal of a Cubs beat reporter on TBS’ dopey “My Boys” utterly unrealistic, her character not quite measuring up to “the best of the bunch”, Jack Klugman’s Oscar Madison.
Klugman has done it all in acting, but by far the role he is asked about most is Madison.
“It’s amazing,” he said, his voice still raspy from throat cancer surgery in 1989. “Quincy was on nearly twice as long.”
Not that he minds. He loves the character and the fact so many baby boomers recall it fondly.
“Oscar Madison is a carefree kind of a guy, and if you have a choice to live your life free of care, that’s the best way to live,” he said.
Klugman always related to Madison and to sports. He grew up poor in Philadelphia, where he rooted for the pennant-winning Athletics of 1929-31.
Like Madison, he said he is “messy but not dirty. I shower. And I love women and I love to gamble. It’s why I think I fit into that role.”
On the show, he got to hang out with athletes such as Deacon Jones. In real life, he admired writers such as Jimmy Cannon and Jim Murray.
Klugman said he enjoyed the performance on “Everybody Loves Raymond” of Peter Boyle, who died Tuesday and who in the mid-1960s played Madison in the theatrical version of “The Odd Couple.”
Overall, though, he “didn’t care too much” for the show. He thought the humor was repetitive and that the Raymond Barone character “was a dolt.”