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Tony Randall: Firsts, Lasts and Greats

Published: 5/17/2012

Before he died, eight years ago today, Tony Randall was one of the entertainment world's favorite stars. Beyond his star turns on TV, the silver screen and Broadway, he was a frequent guest on other people's shows. He appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson a record-setting 105 times, and he was David Letterman's talk-show guest 70 times. He was often seen gracing game shows like What's My Line?, Password and The Hollywood Squares. He was even honored with an animated cameo on The Simpsons – as one of only two people to finish a steakhouse's 16-pound gutbuster "Sir Loinalot."
 

Tony Randall in 1972 (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

Tony Randall in 1972 (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

 

 

It's not surprising, then, that Randall was chosen to be one of the guests on the first-ever episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brien. His deadpan dressing-down of the host is hilarious, especially given O'Brien's obvious respect for (and maybe a little fear of) Randall.

 

 


 

 

 

It's a mark of honor to be one of the first guests on a great show – and it's just as big a deal to be one of the final guests on another one. Randall guest starred during the last season of Jim Henson's The Muppet Show, on the TV classic's 100th episode.

 

 


 

 

 

We adored Tony Randall's guest spots, but maybe what we love him best for is his iconic sitcom, The Odd Couple. Randall played fussy Felix perfectly for five seasons – it was his longest-running gig, with its 114 episodes narrowly squeaking by Randall's many Tonight Show appearances.

 

 


 

 

 

Written by Linnea Crowther
 

 

 

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