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Tony Randall: Firsts, Lasts and Greats

Published: 5/17/2012
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Tony Randall in 1972 (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

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."
 

He was such a seasoned guest that he agreed to appear on the first episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 1993. Always ready with an anecdote, Randall shows off why he appeared on so many talk shows in this clip from The Tonight Show.

 

 

 

He was just as adept at charming non-humans. 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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