The Odd Couple's Garry Marshall Tribute: Did It Move You?

The Odd Couple on Monday paid its respects to the late Garry Marshall, who not only worked as an executive consultant on the CBS remake, but portrayed Matthew Perry’s father, Walter.

Matthew Perry, Garry Marshall and Thomas Lennon in the Season 2 episode "Madison & Son"

Matthew Perry, Garry Marshall and Thomas Lennon in the Season 2 episode “Madison & Son”

In celebration of the comedy legend, who in July died at age 81 due to complications from pneumonia, the episode welcomed a bevy of stars from his previous sitcoms, including Happy Days‘ Ron Howard, Marion Ross, Anson Williams and Don Most, Mork & Mindy‘s Pam Dawber, and Laverne & Shirley‘s Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall (who is also Marshall’s sister).

The aptly titled “Taffy Days” found Oscar (Perry) looking to grant Walter’s dying wish. Per his dimwitted attorney Stanley (played by Howard, who appeared via Skype), the lifelong candyman wanted his ashes scattered in the river behind the first factory he ever operated. He also wanted estranged business partner Patty (Marshall) to be present at the time of the scattering. As revealed by Oscar, Walter and Patty hadn’t spoken in 30 years. We’d soon learn that they became estranged because of a disagreement about naming a flavor of taffy.

the-odd-couple-cindy-williamsOscar and Felix eventually embarked on a road trip in search of Patty, and along the way bumped into many of Walter’s acquaintances. Among them were Patty’s mother Edna (Ross), her sister Vivian (Williams, pictured right), bartender Arnette (Dawber) and former factory workers Clayton (Williams) and Fred (Most), who spent some of their “happiest days” (heh!) working for Walter.

They finally found Patty at the original factory, which for three decades she kept in business even after her dispute with Walter. While there, Oscar and Felix wound up getting into an argument and accidentally dumped Walter’s ashes into a food mixer. As a result, the trio were forced to empty a giant vat of taffy into the river in order to honor Walter’s last request.

Oscar, who kept his emotions in check through much of the half-hour, eventually broke down as he and Felix waited for the slow discharge of ash taffy to make its way into the river. “Dad, I’m really going to miss you,” he shared, wistfully. “I hope that wherever you are, the New York Mets are on and it’s always the ’86 World Series. I loved being your son, and I still do.”

As the episode came to a close, a title card reading “In Loving Memory of Garry Marshall” flashed across the screen, showing pictures of Marshall with both his original and most recent Odd Couples (Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, and Perry and Thomas Lennon, respectively) as the original 1970 theme song arrangement played in the background.

What did you think of The Odd Couple‘s tribute to Garry Marshall? Grade the episode via our poll, then drop your thoughts in a comment below.

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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28 Comments
  1. Mary says:

    I’m not a regular viewer of The Odd Couple, but I enjoyed their tribute.

  2. Sam says:

    I’ve enjoyed watching this show. It’s not groundbreaking and I’d be shocked if it gets another season, but tonight was class-act tv. It was a fitting tribute. This isn’t the best reboot, but it’s definitely not the worst.

  3. Katrinka says:

    I thought the episode was very touching. The little reminders of the old shows were perfect – Cindy Williams’ neck scarf, Pam Dawber in a striped shirt like Mork, Marion Ross was Mrs. D & Penny Marshall have the “P” for Patty on her coat. It was like a special wink to the fans & Mr. Marshall.

  4. TV Gord says:

    I’m speechless. It was just…so…awful.

    • dan says:

      I know! I watch this show to support Lindsay Sloane, a family friend, but usually I think its pretty bad. I expected more from the Garry Marshall tribute.

    • You’re completely correct Gord BUT if it pleased folks, perhaps it gets a pass from we the non-nostalgics with taste? As an FYI, I watched it with an addled friend and she LOVED it so my comment above and here are in honor of those aesthetic-bereft.

  5. Carla Krae says:

    Marion Ross looks fantastic – she’s 88!

  6. Gloria C says:

    I enjoyed it… but where was the Fonz? If you are going to have the Happy Days group… then he should have been in the tribute…. other than that… I thought it was a very tasteful tribute.

  7. iHeart says:

    I don’t normally say this about current day sitcoms, but this was kind of funny. I don’t know if anyone remembers the Friends Pre-series finale clip show but am I the only one who remembers that they were humming the theme to the odd couple at the end of the clip show?

  8. DonMI says:

    Except for Ron Howard and Penny, I didn’t know who any of those people were. The audience kept clapping for them, and I just guessed that they were well-known people.

    • TV Gord says:

      They were all cast members from Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley and Mork and Mindy.

      • DonMI says:

        I figured that out by the end of the show, but I’ve never really seen Happy Days or Mork and Mindy except for a clip here and there. I have seen reruns of Laverne and Shirley, but I didn’t recognize Cindy.

  9. Yaines says:

    Did anyone else catch the “Happy Glaze” pun behind Oscar, Felix and Patty when they were pouring the taffy into the river? Clever.

  10. MMD says:

    I don’t usually watch the show but it moved me and I liked all the extra nods to Garry Marshall’s earlier shows. He will be missed.

  11. Lisa Echerd says:

    I thought it was well done. This is the only show we tune into on Monday night. It is far superior to anything else CBS does on Monday’s. The 3 things preceeding it should all be cancelled. I do think Matthew Perry’s Go On on NBC was a much better show and had far more touching moments.

  12. ginar369 says:

    I don’t watch this show. But I made sure to record it on my DVR last night just for the tribute.

  13. E. D. Boddy says:

    If Robin were still around, he would have had a very touching scene in this.

  14. The deeper meaning too, Penny Marshall usually dumps her families ashes out of Lorne Michael’s office then they die

  15. Donna D says:

    Loved Anson Williams and Don Most reprising their Ralph/Potsie schtick even as new characters. I thought it was a great tribute. I was hoping to see Erin Moran too, but oh well.

  16. HAP says:

    Tribute? The show was so boring.

  17. If it made people happy, then “Hurrah!” To critique it further serves no one and nothing.

  18. Ed Vielhaber says:

    What happened Henry Winkler, Erin Moran & Scott Baio?

  19. Natalie says:

    I loved it! It was really fun to see Mindy, Potsy, Ralph, Laverne, Shirley, Richie, etc. and honor all of those great shows. I really enjoy The Odd Couple and I think it is well done.

  20. Alan Rabinowitz says:

    Very Touching. Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall should have had one scene together. Marion Ross and Pam Dawber looked great