Odd Couple Oddities

Gillian Anderson, who stared in the X-Files, was probably getting sick of her co-star David Duchoveny making all the news with his sex addiction and divorce.

Well, the 40-year-old actress had a baby boy the other day. She named the child Felix. Not necessarily the name that would come to mind if I was naming a son.

She had a son with a previous husband, that she named Piper. But, it's the name of her second son with this current guy, that probably influenced the name Felix, that she gave to her third son.

Her second son is named Oscar. Yep, that's right. Felix and Oscar.

Those are the names of the main characters in The Odd Couple, Neil Simons play from the mid-60s, that became the great movie with Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau (and later the TV series).

Both Lemmon and Mathau died within a year of each other. And, recently, another person associated with that movie passed away.

Neal Hefti, whose name might not be recognizable, but his theme song was. He played trumpet, and became an arranger and composer for movie themes. And, he did that opening theme to The Odd Couple, and the more popular Batman. Believe it or not, the Batman theme actually charted, becoming a Top 40 hit and winning him a Grammy in 1966.

His lesser known compositions were in movies Harlow and Barefoot in the Park.

The 85-year-old had worked with some of the biggest names of the big band era, and died just 18 days before his 86th birthday.


That's stupid. Felix and Oscar. It makes me cringe when I read about celebrities who inflict their kids with these obvious cries for MORE attention. As if they don't get enough just being a celebrity. Oh, no, I have to name my kid after a fruit or The Odd Couple guys. Just so the world knows how special they are, being my kid and all. What about John? Or Dave?

"A name is free, it is something that everyone has, so if you are a celebrity, you are going to have to work that much harder to set yourself apart as a person with a specialized knowledge or a rarefied taste," said Pamela Redmond Satran, who has written baby-name books with Linda Rosenkrantz, including "Beyond Jennifer and Jason" (St. Martin's). She said a competitive impulse among stars seems to account for the recent bonanza of unlikely baby names. "In a weird way, it's like anorexia" in Hollywood, Ms. Satran said. "Anyone can be thin. The famous have to be thinner."

HEY! Anorexia! Now THAT is a great Hollywood baby name. You saw it here first.

My sister used to play lead trumpet in a stage band. One of the songs they played was The Odd Couple theme. Such a cool song, but nothing compared to Batman. Pow! Blam! Splat! dadadadadadadadada. Batman! All day long that will be playing in my head. Thanks a lot.

As we all know, actors are not the brightest candles on the birthday cake of life.

Besides some names just being asinine, they can also have farther reaching implications than most realize.

There was a 15 year study by Leif Nelson at UCSD and Joseph Simmons from Yale, that showed a correlation between first names and GPA in students. The kids with a name starting with an 'A' or 'B' received higher grades (on average) than those with a first name starting with 'C' or 'D'.

You can read about it here if interested.... http://www.physorg.com/news114263153.html

My name starts with an 'A', and I did do very well in school, though you may not think so with the comments I make : )

I think Felix is screwed!

See...the difference between trumpet players (or people related to them), and me; they get the song stuck in their head. I get lines from the movie stuck in my head. When Mathau is yelling at Lemmon saying "Stop leaving notes on my pillow! And, you signed them 'F-U'. It took me two weeks to figure out that 'F-U' meant Felix Unger!"

I have a brother named Lewis, and when I was 8-years-old, I was walking home from school and a neighbor said "Your parents should've named you Clark." I asked why, and was told "look it up." This, was obviously in the days before Google! Damn kids have it so easy these days.

But, I think David Alan Grier (one of the funniest guys around), has a daughter he named Anorexakeisha.

Regarding the Batman theme...I have to tell this story. It's a moment I'm proud of.

When I worked in radio, a Batman cartoon came out on Fox. They advertised with us, but wanted our morning team to produce/write a commercial for it. The Batman movie had been out for a year or so. I came up with the idea of us standing around, talking about why the movie didn't have a Robin in it.

I then had Kevin (my co-host) say "Well, play that theme song backwards. Ya know, they used to play Beatles songs backwards to see if Paul McCartney was alive, and heavy metal songs, to see if you were a satanist."

And, as we played the song backwards (which, surprisingly, sounds almost the same as when it's played forward)...you hear a voice say "I buried Robin."

Now, for those that don't know...one of the Beatles songs says "I buried Paul," when played backwards. Or, so the rumor goes. Lennon said that what he said was "Cranberry Sauce." I believe it's a tune of Magical Mystery Tour.

Man...guys did a lot of drugs in the 60s.

Anyway, Fox picked our commercial as one of the five best in the U.S. and gave us leather/baseball style jackets with the batman logo. Whenever I wear it, someone offers to buy it from me. I told the kid at Barnes & Noble, that insisted I sell it "Okay, give me a hundred bucks for it." He said he'd call me, and never did!

It was at the end of Strawberry Fields (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band). It actually plays frontward. Listen at the end, it goes "ding, ding, ding, ding, I buuuurrriieed Paul". We listened to this over and over as kids, until we scratched the crap out of what would now be my Mom's collectible Beatles album.

Your commercial is very clever. Everyone remembers that period of time when the rumors of Paul dying were everywhere. Cool snippet here: The June 1970 issue of the DC Comics title Batman, written by Frank Robbins, parodied the rumour with a story entitled "Dead...Till Proven Alive", in which it is rumored that "Saul" from the band the Oliver Twists was deceased and replaced with a double. A twist ending revealed that an accident had killed every member of the Oliver Twists but Saul. The album that Robin is holding on the cover of the comic book mimics the back cover image on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

I actually went to the Batman premier here in San Diego, at that huge theater in Mission Valley, the single screen that is now an evangelical church. We got free tee-shirts, food, and were in the huge group photo and on the news. Good times, but I think I used up my fifteen minutes.

"Cranberry sauce"?!?! I want some.

There's cranberry sauce somewhere regarding the Beatles. I'm sure of it.

I remember that movie theatre. When I was a senior in high school...my girlfriend and I had grad night, and the day before, or after, we stayed at a hotel in Hotel Circle. We went to see the movie playing there, and it was Lethal Weapon. We knew nothing about it, walked in while Mel Gibson is jumping off the building handcuffed to the suicidal person. We loved it!

The last movie I remember seeing there, I believe, was called The Doctor, with William Hurt. What a great name for him to have, because it looks like it hurts him to read his lines. He's just one actor I don't care for.

Anyway...yeah, that Beatles stuff was great. Are you familiar with all the things regarding his death? On Abbey Road, him not wearing shows, the Volkswagon with the 28IF plates (he would've been 28, IF he were still alive)...Harrison dressed as a grave digger.

There was also, in Sgt. Pepper, "The one and only Billy Shears..." who was supposedly the name of some guy that won a McCartney look-alike contest.

And, in Got To Get You Into My Life, there's some lines that are supposed to be clues (I was alone/I took a ride/I didn't know what I would find there).

Don't worry about your moms album. Beatles records aren't worth much (one of the reasons why it was funny in the film THE ROCK, Nicolas Cage orders the Beatles first album, telling a co-worker it was worth thousands. Not unless it was the famous Butcher cover from Yesterday and Today, or rare for some other reason)

I do remember all that stuff. The black carnation, there were a bunch of them!

Try telling my mom that. We DESTROYED her albums, playing them on our 45 record players. She has some of the great ones. Iron Butterfly, Hendrix, lots of Beatles, of course The Stones, T-Rex, not to mention Herb Albert and the TJ Brass (Whipped Cream and Other Delights!), you name it. We received our PhDs in rock from her.

I miss the big theatres. It was fun to go to a packed movie, more of a shared experience.

It's so weird, my parents had the same record collection (minus T Rex, unfortunately). What was with them all having Herb Albert? And, the same with Peter, Paul, and Mary. Yikes! That's some horrible stuff.

Regarding the theatres...when I saw that William Hurt movie, I remember there were only 8 people or so. In a theatre like that, it seemed odd.

And, as much as I love that shared experience...when I saw Religulous, I couldn't hear Maher's next line, with the entire crowd laughing so hard. It was a bit annoying, because many times they'd be laughing at something that yes, was funny, but not warranting a one minute LOL that enables everyone else from hearing the religious leaders next line in response to Bill.

Sometimes in comedies...it doesn't matter. Although, I think about Airplane style films (ie Naked Gun, etc)...and a joke, will be followed by another line that is equally as funny, that you don't hear.

And, what bothered me about their laughs in Religulous is...often times, a joke or comment by Maher was cute, but not laugh out loud funny. And certainly not LOL for one minute funny!

Peter et al was a staple. I think it had to do with the times. Even if you were rocking out you still had to infuse your collection with some meaningful ie: crappy music. A Mighty Wind stuff. Herb Albert was hip. Martini music. Finger snappin' toe tappin' turtle-neck wearin' cool.

That's the hard part about seeing comedies. You want to have a good time, but you find yourself wishing everyone would shut up so you can hear. Control yourselves, people! The big theatre was best for dramas.

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