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Tony Randall: Firsts, Lasts, and Greats

by Legacy Staff

Tony Randall was one of the entertainment world’s favorite stars.

Tony Randall (1920 – 2004) was one of the entertainment world’s favorite stars. Beyond his star turns on television, 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 was David Letterman’s talk-show guest 70 times. Randall was often seen gracing game shows like “What’s My Line?,” “Password,” and “The Hollywood Squares,” and 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.”

Randall 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 Randall’s guest spots, but maybe what we love him best for is the iconic sitcom, “The Odd Couple.” Randall played fussy Felix perfectly opposite Jack Klugman’s Oscar for five seasons — with 114 episodes, it was his longest-running gig, narrowly squeaking by his many “Tonight Show” appearances.

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