THE ODDBALL COUPLEOriginal Medium: TV animation
Produced by: DePatie-Freleng
First Appeared: 1975
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In the 1970s, it was common for defunct TV shows to be reborn as Saturday morning cartoons. It happened to Star Trek, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy These were every bit as worthy of treatment as toons, as the average live-action film adapted
into "Movie Classics" by Dell Comics, but some of them, such as Gilligan's Planet and Partridge Family 2200 AD, were at least slightly more than animated retreads. The same year the first TV series based on Neil Simon's The Odd Couple went off the air, ABC launched a cartoon series obviously swiped from it, but with characters of different species.
The neat character (corresponding to Felix Unger) was Spiffy, a cat. Spiffy was also polite and well organized. The messy one (like Oscar Madison) was a dog named Fleabag. Fleabag was inconsiderate of others and chaotic in his personal habits. The differences extended to the house and car they shared — the house was half mansion and half shack; and the car was half cherry and half rattletrap. But the office they shared as reporters was less extreme; and their mutual secretary, Goldie, was relatively normal.
Fleabag was voiced by Paul Winchell, who also did the voices of Marmaduke, Zummi Gummi and more. Spiffy's voice was Frank Nelson, who also did Uncle Dudley (no relation) in Dinky Dog (no relation). Goldie was Joan Gerber, who was also heard in Duck Dodgers, Tiny Toon Adventures and elsewhere. Other voices heard there include Frank Welker (Dynomutt), Don Messick (Boo-Boo Bear) and Bob Holt (Hoot Kloot). The show was produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (The Pink Panther, Here Comes the Grump). It began Sept. 5, 1975 on ABC.
The Oddball Couple wasn't a big hit on Saturday mornings, but it did last two seasons. Today, when people think of the many spin-offs and knock-offs of The Odd Couple, this show is not one of those that come to mind.