While a role in a successful show like Friends is usually a once-in-a-lifetime event in the life of an actor, that doesn’t mean you can’t have other famous roles. Matthew Perry seems to have found his next TV hit in CBS’ The Odd Couple, a comedy about two middle aged divorced men sharing an apartment. Perry has now revealed that he basically willed the sophomore show into being.
I was driving in my car one day and I thought, ‘They should remake the Odd Couple.’ We don’t like to think about this, but it’s been 45 years since the original TV show was on, so it’s been a long time. I was a huge fan of the movie and the TV show, and I thought, ‘They should remake The Odd Couple, I should play Oscar Madison, and it should happen at CBS.’ And it all just happened.
Matthew Perry made an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and told the host that a simple, passing thought while driving happened to turn into his next TV gig. And Colbert is right, Perry does make this whole Hollywood thing sound incredibly easy. But, seeing as how Perry helped develop the show for modern television audiences and also executive produces the program while starring in it, he actually did a little bit more than just get a cool idea; Perry got a cool idea and then ran to the finish line with it.
This new iteration of The Odd Couple debuted in February of 2015, and Matthew Perry is right about it being a long time since the show was on the air. The original TV show aired on ABC from 1970 to 1975, while the movie that preceded that show came out in 1968, and the Neil Simon stage play that started it all was from 1965. The property was so popular that it even inspired a Saturday morning cartoon.
Aside from Friends, Matthew Perry has had, as can be expected, a few missed shots when it comes to getting another TV show up and running. Not to say that he’s unworthy of another TV hit, but when you play a character for 10 years, as he did with Chandler on Friends, it can be hard to get audiences to accept you as a different character. His major television roles since that mega-hit ended were in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Mr. Sunshine and Go On. You can take a look at his interview with Stephen Colbert below.
Season 2 of The Odd Couple premieres Thursday, April 7 at 8:30 P.M. EST.