The Odd Couple Team Talks Rebooting 'Iconic, Timeless' Comedy Series

The Odd Couple Poster

After spending 10 years in the role of Chandler Bing, Matthew Perry’s return to a multi-camera sitcom could have been daunting.

But the actor maintains that working on CBS’ The Odd Couple reboot has allowed him to check an item off the bucket list.

“It’s been a dream come true to play Oscar Madison,” Perry said Monday at the Television Critics’ Association winter press tour in Pasadena. “It’s been big shoes to fill, but we’re playing it differently.”

But that’s not to say Perry doesn’t get nervous, even after more than 200 episodes in front of a live audience on Friends.

“You’d think after 25 years of doing this, I wouldn’t sweat profusely if a joke doesn’t work, but I still do,” Perry confessed. “I ham it up because there’s an audience.”

Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!) will play uptight Felix Unger opposite Perry’s slobby Oscar. Even though Neil Simon’s play originally hit Broadway in 1965, executive producer Bob Daily says the show’s premise — and its central characters — are an “elastic concept.”

“The DNA of those two characters has seeped into television for the last four decades,” Daily said. “Those two characters are so iconic, they’re so timeless. It’s been 45 years, and I think it’s time for a reinterpretation for a generation that’s not familiar with The Odd Couple.”

For Perry, returning to a live sitcom — after his short-lived series Mr. Sunshine and Go On were cancelled — is an opportunity to do what he loves most.

“[Mr. Sunshine and Go On] aspired to be something different, which was cool,” Perry said. “But we’re just trying to be funny. We’re just trying to make people laugh.”

The Odd Couple bows Thursday, Feb. 19 at 8:30/7:30c.

Will you get to know The Odd Couple this winter? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Ethan says:

    I may have misread the title as “The Odd Couple Team Talks Rebooting ‘Iconic, Tired’ Comedy Series”. I’ll admit, despite liking both actors being remarkably not interested in this.

  2. Two of my favourite comic actors in a reboot of a show I loved as a kid. What’s not to love? Looking forward to this one.

  3. Tran says:

    This may be another failed series for Matthew Perry and the same goes to Thomas Lennon if he can’t bounce back from the downright horrible Sean Saves the World.

  4. Grace says:

    I sense another bomb for Matthew perry. Which is a shame because I love Thomas Lennon (or at least I loved him in Reno )

  5. Joe says:

    Loved the original when I was I kid ( have all 5 seasons on DVDs) I will check this version out ( it’s goy big shoes to fill in my eyes )

  6. Aly says:

    Truth is I will watch Matthew in anything (and I have) but I do hope this is a hit for him.

  7. Timmah says:

    This is going to fail miserably. Younger people won’t care and older people will hate that they’re remaking it.

  8. Mike says:

    I thought their chemistry was great in 17 Again

  9. Aidan Williams says:

    I’m really looking forward to this show, I am a fan of Matthew Perry and I hope this show gets renewed unlike his other great shows here’s hoping.

  10. Ally Oop says:

    I’ve never ever seen an episode of the original series. I’m not sure reruns ever played in Canada. That being said, I likely won’t watch the new series. I’m not that much into sitcoms.

  11. Babybop says:

    I will follow the Friends cast everywhere. Go On is still quoted in my family. Hoping this will be a hit for him.

  12. cj says:

    Matthew Perry is trying to hard to go against type. He would have been much better as the prissy uptight one. But he feels like he already did that on Friends. But he looks miscast as the slobby one. Thus this series will fail.

    • Mike Funk says:

      I agree C.J. Not great casting. I am a huge fan of the film and original TV Show. My sense of this “reboot” will be very distant from the original. Just off the top of my head I would cast Kevin James as Oscar, I can see him bringing a new life to the character and the show would have a chance of being successful. However, I wish everyone well wishes and success but it’s going to a tough one!

  13. James D says:

    Love Matthew Perry but I’m not sure i see him as Oscar, he always seemed like a Felix too me. I’ll give it a watch because i love both leads.

    • Steve M says:

      I agree, when I read the title of the article, I thought Matt was going to be Felix as well. I can see him playing the OCD clean one much better than a slob. I can see him nagging Oscar in my mind, over and over.

  14. DavidSask says:

    Another big bomb! I hope Matthew has money invested well with all of his stinkers!

  15. Don says:

    Saw the pilot episode recently at a screening. Not impressed with Matthew Perry as Oscar Madison.

  16. Matty says:

    I do not have high hopes for this show.

  17. dman6015 says:

    I realize actors don’t like being type-cast, but I just don’t see Perry pulling off Oscar Madison. I’m sure he’ll make a grand effort, but he’ll probably come off more as Chandler, not Oscar.

  18. topoopon says:

    Could he BE anymore miscast?

  19. bob rose says:

    Yes. i saw art carney I saw lemon I saw the ABC sitcom! Why not?