The Pitfalls Of J’Accuse!:
Plagiarism & The Art Of The Smear
Copyright © by Dan Schneider, 6/28/03

  A few days ago I happened to check an old email address of mine. I do so once a month just in case some emails of interest show up. Luckily there were a few that had been spam-filtered but retained. Unfortunately they were barely legible as they had been reduced to mainly that Wingding type font & only about a 1/3 of each email’s text was readable. There were no addresses, either, so I could not reply to any of the emails. While most was, indeed, spam, there were 2 bizarre emails- possibly from the same person, & I do not know how recent they were. Given their state I suspect they were filtered out for carrying some virus or bot. 1 just had a heading re: my Gilligan’s Island/The Odd Couple essay, but there was no text, & the 2nd was definitely about The Odd Couple bit. From what I could gather, this individual gave no name, save for pb & claimed I’d plagiarized my TOC essay from the website of a woman named Jaclyn. Specifically it seemed to claim I stole character descriptions & some other show info.
  Now, given Cosmoetica’s history of being attacked for its stances against all the BS in the literary world it’s no surprise that this psychotic would try to send a virus thinking I had stolen something from him/her(?). I have had a constant barrage of threats- death threats, threats of being blackballed in the publishing industry, legal threats, false claims of libel, slander, & racism, etc. So, I guess, it’s no surprise that in their ever-increasingly frustrating attempts to shut down the site that Cosmo’s enemies would now try the despicable act of claiming I was a plagiarist. After all, I even have a home page link to Plagiarist.com- there’s the proof! At least that’s what old pb must be thinking since the claims I plagiarized my essay are ludicrous. To prove so I will do a side-by-side analysis of the TOC portion of the essay & the source I supposedly plagiarized.
  I wrote the essay in question back in late October-early November of last year, so- as of this writing it’s about 9-10 months ago, so I have not faultless recollection of all the sites I scoured for info- but for the GI portion of the essay I did credit the 2 sites by Bob Denver & Dawn Wells, as well as the book by Sherwood Schwartz. I did so in the body of the essay, when I mention whatever was culled from whatever source because I prefer that direct link, rather than the confusing & pretentious footnotes most writers use. As for the TOC portion I scoured several search engines &- literally- 40-50 websites then available which had info on the show. All- to my knowledge- were fansites, no official sites by any of the actors, nor by the studio that produced the show. Within the body of this portion of the essay I explicitly stated that I culled show info from many fansites, & made no secret of the fact. So where the plagiarism charge comes from I do not know. How can 1 plagiarize when 1 makes no claims for originality?
  Here’s the word’s definition- which I took from  http://www.m-w.com/dictionary.htm (I cite to avoid legal hassles from Merriam-Webster’s!):

Main Entry: pla·gia·rize
Pronunciation: 'plA-j&-"rIz also -jE-&-
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): -rized; -riz·ing
Etymology: plagiary
Date: 1716
transitive senses : to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source
intransitive senses : to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

  By this, or any other definition I am not guilty of plagiarism since the parts I copied & pasted from a # of TOC fansites I readily admitted to, & those other parts, which are my opinions alone, are clearly not plagiarized- & I’ll prove it. So why would this pb character want to cause trouble & besmirch me? Who knows? Probably I rejected some poems of theirs or criticized some poetaster their bosom keeps warm. Whenever someone cannot fairly win an argument they stoop to name-calling & foul play- see my recent tiff with pouty Jack Foley. Or perhaps pb is jealous because I revealed insights in to the show he/she did not get? Or perhaps pb is just a typical Internet loony tune (that term is not copyrighted by Warner Bros.)! Another important point to note is that facts or information is not plagiarizable, otherwise only the 1st site that gave out information on any subject would be able to do so. It’s not what you say, but how you say it that constitutes theft of product. & the truth is that these dozens of TOC fansites literally had verbatim (or near it) information- so why accuse me, unless there’s more to this agenda? & how can I- not an expert in this particular field (merely a fan looking to rhapsodize about a great TV show from his youth)- be expected to sort out which website was the originator of the information- even were information plagiarizable? & shouldn’t this internecine war between TOC wackos really be fought amongst themselves- leaving a neophyte like me out of it? These facts are the major reason I did not single out any particular TOC fansite since all could make legitimate claims to being plagiarized by me- & each other! My solution was to flat out credit the information from being from a # of TOC fansites.
  So, here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna literally reprint my TOC portion of the essay with the claimed plagiarized texts run directly under them, with each page they were taken from cited. The website by a Jaclyn has this URL: http://odd_couple.tripod.com. This seems to be, according to most search engines, 1 of the 4 or 5 most popular TOC fansites, & I do recall it was 1 of the 7 or 8 main sites I used after trolling through 40-50 ancillary sites. Again, these sites all give nearly the same information, & the actual opinions expressed on Jaclyn’s site, & the others, are not anything like those I expressed. My original essay (http://www.cosmoetica.com/B79-DES41.htm#The%20Odd%20Couple) is indented, as is the text from the Jaclyn TOC site is italicized, & my interpolated comments in bold red! Read on, with intelligence & an open mind:

The Odd Couple


  Now, on to the other neglected classic- whereas GI was Absurdism’s tv treasure, The Odd Couple was its modern sophisticated turning point, debuting on 9/24/70 & ending 7/4/75. I started watching it during the 2nd season of its network run, but have seen all the episodes many a time in reruns. TOC was 1 of the 1st- if not the 1st- sitcoms to effectively rely on its own internal mythos to sustain laughs. 1 need not be aware of the tenor of the times to enjoy it, & it was not wholly dependent on the absurdism of GI, nor the slapstick of I Love Lucy or The Honeymooners, nor be attuned to the political climate of the day- like The Monkees or Get Smart. It was crisp smart dialogue between the 2 main characters that drove this show. TOC was an early example of the sophisticated, well-written, character-driven sitcoms that dominated the 1970s. But it was an anomaly in that while it was transcendent of its era while still being relevant- dealing with issues like the generation gap, singles’ sex lives, working class people & their problems, aging, loneliness, & divorce in a very adult & funny manner. Were the show to debut nowadays it would undoubtedly be laced with snide sexual innuendos & relentless gay jokes. It was also- like MASH, which followed 2 years later- 1 of the early successful tv sitcoms based on material from another medium, in its case the Broadway play & film. Critically acclaimed during its network run, the show did not receive its due of popular recognition until syndication. A few years ago the sitcom Seinfeld was lauded, on its ending, for being a show that did not indulge in the faux warmth & moralism of many post-1980s sitcoms- despite its relentless steals from The Abbott & Costello Show of ½ a century before. TOC used much of that same zeitgeist decades before Seinfeld, yet its characters were truly likable, although only to their audience- neither Oscar nor Felix ever learned to appreciate each other’s good qualities- at least they never let it show to each other. There were no end-of-show soulful talks, no forced hugs or speechifying- just the eternal conflict between slob & priss. Even in the last episode, after Felix leaves, Oscar does not wax poetic about his pal- he just joys in his freedom from the neat freak.


  There is nothing so far that is even remotely like another’s writing.

  As with GI, however, the basic setup of the show was reiterated in the show’s opening for the 1st few seasons. This is an important point to recall because TOC is noted for being 1 of those shows that had many ‘continuity errors’ from show to show. Yet, if the opening monologue’s set up is to be taken as a fresh entrée in to the TOC universe, then it does not really matter about the inconsistencies. Here’s the basic intro (narrated by William Woodson), which went through some minor modifications through the years:


  On November 13th, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence. That request came from his wife. Deep down, he knew she was right, but he also knew that someday he would return to her. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his childhood friend, Oscar Madison. Sometime earlier, Madison's wife had thrown him out, requesting that he never return. Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?    

  This was accompanied by Neal Hefti’s trademark jazzy theme song, & its distinctive piano opening. Hefti had become hot in the tv score biz when a few years earlier his theme to the Batman tv series became a radio hit.

  Again, these are all facts about the show that can be gotten from many fansites, & the show’s opening is not subject to copyright infringement- at least not in a critical/review piece like this- see Cosmo’s home page for Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Code.

  TOC was never a Top 10 hit in the way of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, or the powerhouse All In The Family, but it was a consistent Top 40 show, despite bouncing around the ABC schedule. During its 5 year run the show aired in 6 different slots! Here’s a breakdown via EST: From September, 1970 to January, 1971, it aired on Thursday nights at 9:30. From January, 1971 to June, 1973, it aired on Friday nights at 9:30. From June, 1973 to January, 1974, it aired on Friday nights at 8:30. From January, 1974 to September, 1974, it aired on Friday nights at 9:30. From September, 1974 to January, 1975, it aired on Thursday nights at 8:00. From January, 1975 to July, 1975, it aired on Friday nights at 9:30.
  Important to note is that the tv show slowly evolved away from the play’s & movie’s premises. Especially after the 2nd season started filming in front of a live audience. I’ll address some of the differences in the separate TOC universes later. But, now, a bit of the characters that made TOC such a great show.

  All readily available info online. But now we come to the character descriptions I supposedly stole. All the character descriptions by Jaclyn are found at http://odd_couple.tripod.com/character.html.

Felix Unger

  Felix (Tony Randall) is a commercial photographer [portraits a specialty is his business’s catchphrase] who is also an anal retentive neat freak. He lives for cleanliness- this is what kyboshed his marriage. He’s also a hypochondriac whose unstable temperament often leads him to start ‘honking’ his nose when he’s upset. He also has spinal problems, & would probably be seeing both a therapist & a chiropractor in today’s world. But this was the 1960s era. His catchphrase, used to rebuke his pal, is “Oscar, Oscar, Oscar”. He also loves the opera, & fine cuisine. These are characteristics not in Neil Simon’s original characterization, but molded to suit TR’s wishes.


Felix Unger


Felix is a commercial photographer (portraits a specialty) and a neurotic neat freak. He can always be counted on to constantly clean the apartment, often to Oscar's dismay. Felix seems to be able to drive anybody crazy just by living with them (including not only Oscar, but also Gloria, Murray, Vinnie, and the Pigeon Sisters). He is a hypochondriac who always has a stash of vitamins and medications nearby. Whenever he gets upset, his sinuses clog up, and he starts "honking." And when Felix gets really upset, his back is liable to go out. Felix loves going to the opera, and is a connoisseur of fine wines.


  Okay, let’s look at the pieces. Some vague similarities- but then we’re talking about the same character. But the sentence structure is dissimilar, & I am much more in tune with the sociopolitical than Jaclyn is. I mention the actor who played Felix, how his habits led him to his divorce, his catchphrase, & how Tony Randall changed the character from the original play’s version. Jaclyn merely mentions Felix is in to vitamins & medications- a redundant point since we both call him a hypochondriac. Clearly this is not plagiarism. My characterization, & writing, is not nearly as generic as Jaclyn’s. pb is not doing so well, is he/she?


Oscar Madison


  Oscar (Jack Klugman) is a sportswriter for the New York Herald (a fictive tabloid). He is the archetypal sloppy male. He is also well-known in the fictive New York- as this allowed for TOC to bring in celebrity guest stars on the premise that Oscar hobnobbed with them. TOC made better use of these cameos than any show I can think of. Among the invited were football star Deacon Jones (in a memorable episode where he & Oscar filmed a shaving cream commercial), Howard Cosell, Bobby Riggs & Billie Jean King (in the memorable Felix in Bondage episode), David Steinberg (the Little Orphan Annie song- recall?), Dick Cavett, Monty Hall, & Rob Reiner- as his then-wife Penny Marshall’s (the Myrna Turner character) love interest. Oscar loves cigars, horse racing, gambling of all sorts, & just tossing off his clothes wherever. These latter traits were also molded to fit JK’s own persona.


Oscar Madison


Oscar is a sports columnist for the New York Herald, which makes him a semi-celebrity, and has allowed him to appear on tv with such celebrities as Howard Cosell, David Steinberg, Dick Cavett, and Monty Hall. When Felix's wife Gloria threw him out of the house, he invited Felix to stay in his apartment - a decision he has regretted ever since. Oscar is a slob, and likes being that way. Felix can't stand the sight of his bedroom, because the regular decor includes clothes all over the floor and on his bed, food that is several days old, and cigar butts. He is often seen with a blue baseball cap on his head and a cigar in his mouth. He loves to bet on horseraces, which has gotten him into trouble on more than one occasion, when he bet using money that belonged to other people (like Felix).


  As with the Felix description alot of the same things are covered. But, I never mention Felix’s ex-wife, I talk alot more of guest stars, & with more depth, mention specific episodes, &- again- my writing is flat-out better prose. 0 for 2 for pb.


Murray Greshler


  Murray (Al Molinaro- later Al in Happy Days) is an obese, balding, & dumb Jewish NYC flatfoot. He is the butt of good-natured jokes by the others, often for his large schnozz. Originally he was just 1 of the boys’ poker pals, but he gained in prominence & was featured in several episodes, especially 1 memorable courtroom episode where he tried to arrest the boys for their weekly poker game, despite his own participation.


Murray Greshler


In the first season, Murray was just one of Oscar and Felix's poker buddies, but he gained more prominence after the first season, when the other side characters were eliminated. Murray is a New York City cop, and is seldom seen out of uniform on the show. His large nose is often the focus of many jokes. Murray has often walked off his beat to play a hand of poker or just hang out at Oscar's apartment.


  Again, I mention the actor’s name, a specific episode, his later career, that he’s a Jew, & aside from the character’s name & the word prominence there is nothing remotely similar about these descriptions- stylewise.


Myrna Turner


  Myrna (Penny Marshall) is Oscar's plain Jane secretary at the New York Herald. She is a minor character whose traits include a grating & nasal Bronx accent, & the worst laugh in tv history- excepting for Welcome Back, Kotter’s Arnold Horshack.


Myrna Turner


Myrna is Oscar's secretary at the New York Herald. She always refers to Oscar and Felix as "Mr. Madison" and "Mr. Unger." She quit her job in episode 93, when she married her boyfriend, Sheldn.


  I describe the character & make no reference to an episode, as well as name the actress. This is getting silly now.


Miriam Welby


  Miriam (Elinor Donahue) is Felix's sometimes girlfriend & neighbor in their apartment house. Her character was never really developed & was dropped from later episodes. An interesting point of humorous debate revolves around the fact that ED’s character’s father in Father Knows Best was played by Robert Young, who later starred in the 1960s & 70s teledrama Marcus Welby, M.D. Was ED’s TOC character also the daughter of that doctor? The show never makes clear whether this was a coincidence or running in-joke.


Miriam Welby


Miriam lives upstairs from Oscar and Felix, and is Felix's semi-steady girlfriend during the latter half of the series. (I say "semi-steady" because Felix dated other women in some later episodes.) She often goes with Felix to the opera, and seems better able to put up with Felix's neuroses than Oscar.


  Note how my description is more in-depth & details a point of TV trivia- 1 that I thought of as a child & which a few other sites touch on, but which Jaclyn’s site makes no mention of.


Dr. Nancy Cunningham


  Nancy (Joan Hotchkis) was Oscar’s girlfriend early in the series- her high point being the classic ‘Hocaloma’ episode where the trio vacation in the Caribbean. As with Miriam, little was made of her character & she & Oscar split up.


Dr. Nancy Cunningham


When Felix got sick and called a doctor, he and Oscar were surprised when this attractive woman doctor made the house call. Oscar asked her out, and she and Oscar dated during the first and second seasons.


  Again, I mention the actress & describe a classic episode.


The Pigeon Sisters


  Holdovers from the play & film, this duo of wacky British sisters never made it past the 1st season. Gwendolyn & Cecily Pigeon (Carol Shelly & Monica Evans) met Oscar when the three of them were stuck in an elevator- in the original play. They live upstairs from the boys & they all double dated a few times; yet both sisters prefer Felix.


The Pigeon Sisters


Gwendolyn and Cecily Pigeon met Oscar when the three of them were stuck in an elevator together (according to the movie). These two British sisters live upstairs from Oscar and Felix, and the four of them double dated a few times during the first season. Both of them are very sympathetic toward Felix, and are always ready to defend him against Oscar in an argument.


  This description of mine actually contains a little less info- save that I mention the actresses’ names!


Gloria Unger


  Gloria (Janis Hansen) is Felix's gorgeous ex-wife (a former Playboy bunny). He has never gotten over her & none of his female companions ever matches up to her. She divorced him over his neuroses, although she still loves him. In the last episode she takes him back.


Gloria Unger


Gloria is Felix's ex-wife, whom he spends almost the whole series pining over. Gloria divorced him on the grounds of pestiness, and even though it's clear that she still has feelings for him, she can't stand living with him. He was always insanely jealous, and unwittingly made her feel inadequate, by re-cooking her meals, and telling her how to set the table and do the laundry.


  Not even remotely similar stylewise.


Blanche Madison


  Played by JK’s real life ex-wife Brett Somers, Blanche is Oscar's ex-wife, & lives in California. Some classic episodes revolve around her & Oscar. Although they love each other (Oscar once interrupts her re-marriage even though it means Oscar’s dreaded alimony payments- in which he is always late on- would end) they know they are not right for each other. In another memorable episode Blanche sends Oscar a hilarious singing telegram threatening to jail him if he doesn’t pay his alimony on time. Blanche was probably the most well-developed female character on the show, owing, in large part, no doubt, to the real life chemistry between Brett Somers & JK.


Blanche Madison


Blanche is Oscar's ex-wife, who lives in California, and only makes a few appearances on the show. Oscar is always hoping that Blanche will get married so that he will stop having to make alimony payments, which he is forever behind in. (Once, Blanche sent him a singing telegram threatening to get him sent to jail if he didn't pay up.) Unlike Felix and Gloria, these two clearly have no desire to get back together.


  This is the closest thing to being a similar description, but again, I go in to more detail & we are describing the traits of a minor character, who has only several ‘moments’ on the show! Information- again- is not copyrightable!


Speed, Vinny, & Roy


  This trio was prominent in season 1, but rarely showed up after that, as the poker angle decreased. Speed (Garry Wahlberg) is an even worse gambler than Oscar, & is ashamed that his real name is Homer Deegan. Vinny Barella (Larry Gelman) is a plump bespectacled little nebbish with little personality, while Roy (Ryan McDonald) is Oscar’s bespectacled accountant & also rather bland.




Speed is one of Oscar and Felix's poker buddies, and the most compulsive gambler of the group. In "Murray the Fink" (31) we find out that his real name is Homer Deegan.



Vinnie Barella is another of the poker buddies, and a rather mild-mannered person.



Roy is yet another poker buddy, and he is also Oscar's accountant.


  This is the most obvious place where our descriptions differ- even to the spelling of Vinny’s name, since I lump the trio together, & make no mention of a specific episode.


Edna Unger


  Edna is Felix’s daughter, played 1st by Pamelyn Ferdin (the redhead) who later voiced the Charlotte’s Web film & many other cartoons. The role later was portrayed Doney Oatman (the blond), after puberty struck. A noted episode had Edna falling for 1970s musical schlockmeister Paul Williams. The character at 1st disdained Oscar, but as she grew up, rebelled against Felix & saw Oscar as really cool.


Edna Unger


Edna is Felix's daughter, played by two actresses, first by Pamelyn Ferdin (the brunette) and then by Doney Oatman (the blond). In the first two episodes she appeared in, Edna didn't seem to care much for her "Uncle Oscar," and was a bit like her father. She shuddered at the sight of Oscar's room and exclaimed, "How can you live like this?!" She even used Felix's phrase "Oscar, Oscar, Oscar." In her later episodes, she regarded Oscar with a sense of awe and amusement, and seemed to think he was much cooler than her father.


  Again, some vague similarities, but this minor character only starred in a few episodes- 1 of which I mention. Jaclyn prattles on of other minutiae.


Leonard Unger


  Leonard is Felix's son, & Edna’s little brother. He was played by Willie Aames (of later Eight Is Enough & Charles In Charge infamy), & then by Leif Garrett (of even worse late 1970s pinup teenybopper infamy). His character was never developed as much as Edna’s was.


Leonard Unger


Leonard is Felix's son, played first by Willie Aames, and then by Leif Garrett. He likes playing sports, and Oscar is the coach of his football team. While Leonard isn't much like his father, he did honk in one episode when he was upset.


  As with the other descriptions, some vague similarities, but I throw in a lot more personal observations that Jaclyn probably wasn’t even aware of.


  Now that we’ve got the basics down, let me briefly run down some of the major reasons the show has endured- the arguments over the show’s relation to the play & film, & some of the continuity errors I mentioned previously. 1st, the show vs, the play & film.
the movie & the show were based on the play, produced by different folk, & as such, should be seen as interpretations of the original play- not dependent upon it or each other. The movie & play were written by Neil Simon & almost solely under his aegis. The tv show was producer Garry Marshall’s baby- he bought the rights from Simon. Thus, as in Baz Luhrman’s recent filmic retake on Romeo & Juliet, fidelity is not needed. The following points are culled from a # of online TOC fan sites, & given in no particular order nor importance:


  In the original essay I did not use the larger font, but I here do to emphasize that I clearly stated that the points below were not mine, but taken from some other sites- of which Jaclyn’s was 1. Again, I have no way of knowing which site originated this information- & again, info is not plagiarizable to begin with!

***In the film Felix is a tv newswriter; in the tv series he’s a commercial photographer.
*** In the film Felix spells his last name Ungar; in the series it is Unger.
***In a later telefilm Felix’s daughter is Hannah; in the series it’s Edna.
*** In the film Oscar has 2 kids; in the series he has none.
***In the film Felix’s wife is Frances; in the series it’s Gloria. Blanche is Oscar’s ex in both film & series.
***In the film Felix’s wife throws him out in July; in the series he was tossed on November 13.
***In the film Felix’s brother lives in Buffalo & is a doctor; in the series his brother lives in Buffalo, but runs a bubble gum company.
***At the end of the film Oscar throws Felix out of his apartment; in the show Felix is still living there.
***In the film the boys have dated the Pigeon sisters regularly, but in the series opening episode they appear to be dating them for the 1st time. But this is SOP in tv shows made from films, as the 1st episodes often recap the film’s basic premises.
***In the film only Oscar is divorced, Felix is merely separated; in the series both men are divorcees.
***Both the film & series inspired later sequels which were totally at odds with the others’ universes- with factoids too diverse to digress in to. The point, though, is that there were clearly 2 TOC mythos’s going. 

  Now, here is the text from a page (http://odd_couple.tripod.com/nitpick.html) of Jaclyn’s that has similar points. Of course there are similarities! & I do not deny hers was 1 of 6 or 7 major sites that regurged many of the same factoids. I credited the sites as a group BUT specifically refrained from stating where the info was gleaned from for fear of being accused of favoritism. Yet, again- INFORMATION IS NOT PLAGIARIZABLE ANYWAY! This point must be pounded in to the mind!

1. In "The Jury Story" (4) Oscar and Felix tell the Pigeon sisters how they met on a jury seven years before, which would have been 1963. But in "Oscar the Model" (8) Felix says that he has known Oscar for 15 years, which would have been since 1955. Then in the show opening for the second season, a narrator says that the two were "childhood friends."*   In "Speak for Yourself" (40) Oscar tells Murray that he met Felix in the early 1950s.
*In some of the later show openings, the word "childhood" was removed from the narrator's speech.

2. "This is the Army, Mrs. Madison" (77) is a flashback to when Oscar and Felix were in the army together. Also, in "Fat Farm," Oscar mentions being in the army with Felix. In "The Odd Couple Meet Their Host" (35) Oscar mentions an award Felix won in the army in World War II, implying that he knew Felix then. But in "The Roy Clark Show" (109) an old army buddy of Oscar's comes to visit. If Felix was in the army with Oscar, he should have known the army buddy too. And in "Laugh, Clown, Laugh" (113) Felix tells Oscar that he knew Richard Dawson in the army. If Oscar was in the army with Felix, he should have known Richard Dawson too. Also, "Let's Make a Deal" (67) implies that Oscar and Felix were not in the army together. "Partner's Investment" (43) also implies this.

3. In "Laugh, Clown, Laugh" (113), Felix tells Oscar that he was stationed in England while in the army, and later in Greenland. But a flashback in "Partner's Investment" (43) shows him in Guadacanal. In another episode, Felix mentions being at Anzio. And in yet another episode, Felix mentions having picked up girls in occupied France. Either it's an inconsistency, or Felix did a heck of a lot of traveling while in the army! Also, "This is the Army, Mrs. Madison" (77) shows both Oscar and Felix in Abnerville, Connecticut when they were in the army. In another episode, it is mentioned that Oscar was in Okinawa in the army.

4. In "I Do, I Don't" (7) Oscar says that Blanche scheduled their wedding at the same time as a baseball game that he wanted to see. In "Scrooge Gets an Oscar" (12) Vinnie says (and Oscar confirms) says that the two of them were married on Christmas day. In "This is the Army, Mrs. Madison" (77) a flashback takes us back to when Oscar and Blanche were married while he was in the army. If the wedding took place during a ball game, it is not mentioned, and it certainly does not seem to be Christmas day.

5. In "The Odd Couples" (54) Oscar and Blanche are looking at their wedding photo, and Oscar remarks that he never returned the tuxedo. But in "This is the Army, Mrs. Madison" (77) we see that because Oscar married Blanche while he was in the army, he wore his army uniform at the ceremony, not a tuxedo. Also, Oscar had get back to camp in time for inspection, and rushed off before any pictures were taken. So Blanche had her picture taken with Felix, as a gag.

6. In "The Odd Couples" (54) we find out that Oscar never told his mother that he and Blanche were divorced. But in "The Oddyssey Couple" (68) Oscar mentions that his mother has been bugging him to get a new girlfriend ever since the day he became divorced.

7. In "Vocal Girl Makes Good" (87) Oscar celebrates his 40th birthday, which would mean that he was born in 1933. But in "Our Fathers" (102) a flashback shows us that Oscar and Felix were both children during prohibition (which was from 1919 to 1933) which meant that both of them were born sometime during the 1920s. Also, Oscar couldn't have known Felix in World War II ["The Odd Couple Meet their Host" (35)] if he was born in 1933 because he would have been too young to be in the army. And according to the script of the original play, Oscar was 43. So, if he was 43 at the start of the series, he should have been 46 in "Vocal Girl Makes Good." (Note: Jack Klugman was born in 1922, making him 51 during "Vocal Girl Makes Good.")

8. In "The Insomniacs" (90) Felix tells Myrna that he can't take sleeping pills because they don't work on him. But in "The Ides of April" (63) he takes a sleeping pill, and it seems to work fine.

9. In "This is the Army, Mrs. Madison (77) Felix tells Oscar that he was allergic to stuffed animals as a kid, so he never had any. But in "The Insomniacs" (90) Felix tries to overcome his insomnia by sleeping with a teddy bear that he'd had as a kid. (Of course, since he had kept the teddy bear in its original cellophane wrapping, his allergies wouldn't have mattered, but it doesn't negate the fact that Felix said that he hadn't had any stuffed animals.)

10. In "The Subway Story" (100) Oscar says that he has lived in New York City all his life. But in "Oscar's Birthday" (57) he says that he was born in Philadelphia, and then in "Our Fathers" (102) a flashback shows us that both Felix and Oscar lived in Chicago when they were children. (Of course, since Felix was the one telling the story in the flashback, it could be possible that Oscar just didn't remember having lived in Chicago when he was very young.)

11. According to the original play, Oscar was the first of the two to get divorced (he had been divorced for 6 months). While Oscar, Murray, Vinnie, Speed and Roy were playing poker, Felix came to the apartment, having just been thrown out by his wife, and not knowing where else to go. This is even mentioned by Murray in "Gloria Moves In" (71), and by Vinnie in "Where's Grandpa?" (42). But in "The Odd Holiday" (75) a flashback tells about a vacation that Oscar and Felix went on with their wives, during which Gloria told Felix that she wanted a divorce. This contradicts the entire premise of the play in which Oscar, who was already divorced, invited Felix to stay with him, because he couldn't stand living alone. (How could Oscar have invited Felix to live with him if he was still married to Blanche?!)

12. In "I Do, I Don't" (7) Felix tells Oscar that he has never been a best man before. But in "This is the Army, Mrs. Madison" (77) we see through a flashback that Felix was the best man at Oscar and Blanche's wedding.

13. In "Speak For Yourself" (40) a flashback from the early 1950s shows Oscar introducing Felix to Gloria. But in "Gloria, Hallelujah" (48) Oscar says that he has known Gloria for 10 years (which would be since the early 1960s).

14. In "Bunny is Missing Down by the Lake" (18) Felix says that his first paying photography job was for his high school, and later he started photographing for junior colleges, which is how he met Gloria. But in "Speak For Yourself" (40) a flashback shows us that Oscar introduced him to Gloria.

15. In "The Odd Couples" (54) Felix mentions that Oscar has been divorced for 3 years, which would be 1969. In "The Ides of April" (63) Felix mentions that Oscar has been paying alimony for 8 years, which means that he was divorced around 1964 or 1965. In "Cleanliness is Next to Impossible" (85) Oscar says that he has been divorced for 8 years, which by that time would be 1966. In "The Bigger They are" (105) Oscar still says that he was divorced 8 years ago, which would be 1967. So, while the writers were consistent in saying that Oscar had been divorced for 8 years, they forgot that what was 8 years in 1972 was 10 years in 1974, and 11 years in 1975.

16. "The First Baby" (56) is a flashback to when Gloria was pregnant with her and Felix's first child. Oscar is still single, so it seems that Felix was the first of the two to get married. "This is the Army, Mrs. Madison" (77) is a flashback to when Oscar and Felix were in the army, and Oscar married Blanche. Gloria is not seen or mentioned in this episode (Blanche is seen saying goodbye to Oscar as he and Felix leave for the army, but Gloria isn't there), implying that Oscar was the first to get married.

17. In the two flashback episodes just mentioned, we see Felix introducing Murray to Oscar for the first time - in both episodes. Since both episodes contradict each other, there's no way to tell which one was supposed to have happened first, but if #56 happened first, then Oscar would have already known Murray in #77, and vice versa.

18. The layout of Oscar and Felix's apartment is different in the first season than in the later seasons. This is, of course, because after the first season, a different set was used because the show started being filmed in front of a live studio audience. No explanation is ever given for the change. So apparently, according to the show, it's still the same apartment. In fact, the "new" apartment set is used in all subsequent flashback episodes, some of which take place before Oscar was first married.

The apartment is also slightly different in the episode "You Saved My Life" (41). In this episode, the two windows that are facing the direction of the audience were replaced by one large window in the middle, because a window figured prominently in the story. In the 1993 reunion tv-movie "The Odd Couple: Together Again" the set once again has the layout from the first season.

19. A few episodes (plus the Odd Couple play) mention that Oscar and Felix live on the 11th floor of their apartment building. In "Gloria, Hallelujah" (48) Oscar mentions that Miriam lives upstairs from them. But in "New York's Oddest" (91), while Oscar and Felix still live on the 11th floor, Miriam says that she lives on the 8th floor. (Of course, it's always possible that she moved.)

20. In "Speak For Yourself" (40) Gloria's maiden name is Schaefer. But in "The Odd Holiday" (75) Felix says that it is Fleener. (Coincidentally, Fleener is the last name of Felix's high school sweetheart, Mildred, who he mentions in "The New Car" (76) and who appears in "Old Flames Never Die" (112).)

21. In "Being Divorced is Never Having to Say I Do" (36) Blanche's maiden name is Jefferson, but in "This is the Army, Mrs. Madison" (77) it is Somers.

22. In the show opening, the number of Oscar and Felix's apartment building is shown to be 1049, and a few episodes mention them living at 1049 Park Avenue. But in "The New Car" (76) Felix says that he and Oscar live at 74th and Central Park West.

23. In "The Flying Felix" (86) Felix is afraid of flying in an airplane. But Felix must have flown before, such as in the flashback for "The Odd Holiday" (75) and when he was in the army (see inconsistency #3).

24. In "Password" (58) Felix says that he has a home version of the Password game in his car. But in other episodes, it is clear that he does not have a car, because he always takes a bus, subway, or taxi. And in "The New Car" (76) it is apparant that neither Oscar nor Felix have have owned a car in a long time, because they had no idea how much trouble it was. (Oscar did own a car at least once - in episode 76, he says that this is the first car he's owned since Blanche won his old one from a judge.)

25. In "The Blackout" (13) the super in Oscar and Felix's building is named Lambredi. In "Felix's First Commercial" (55) the super, still played by the same actor, is now named Harvey Faffner. In another episode, a character named Monroe Hernandez appears. Monroe is said to be the super's son, except Monroe is Puerto Rican and Lambredi/Faffner is not. Also, Oscar refers to Monroe's father (the super) as Hector.

26. In "You've Come a Long Way, Baby" (19), Felix shows his children's pictures to a baby he is watching, and he says that Leonard is 9 and Edna is 11. But in "The First Baby" (56) a flashback shows us that Edna was born first.

27. In "You Saved My Life" (41) Felix gives Oscar a big picture of him saying "Thanks!" as one of many thank you gifts for saving his life. But at the beginning of "Two on the Aisle" (106) Oscar is seen throwing darts at the same picture, and he tells his secratary that he got it as a thank you from Felix for letting him stay at his apartment when he got divorced.
28. In the opening monologue to the show, the narrator says, "Some time earlier, Madison's wife had thrown him out, requesting that he never return." This implies that Oscar left the apartment, and that his current apartment is a different one. But all flashback episodes from before and during Oscar and Blanche's marriage show the same apartment that Oscar and Felix still live in.

  As with GI’s logical inconsistencies these continuity errors are no real problem if 1 accepts that both shows are works of fiction- a simple realization. & TOC’s inconsistencies could also be seen to be a connection to the more Absurdist approach of GI. 1 of the online sites sums up the philosophy of the competing TOC cosmoses very aptly:  

  Note that I again emphasize (in larger font) that the quote below was gleaned from an online site- it may have been Jaclyn’s that quoted the episode, but the quote was on at least 2 dozen of the fansites. I also relate this point back to the Gilligan’s Island portion of the essay.


  In ‘Your Mother Wears Army Boots’. Felix quotes this phrase by Ralph Waldo Emerson: ‘Foolish consistencies are the hobgoblin of little minds.’ The writers of the show certainly took this phrase to heart, as you can see by the vast number of inconsistencies in the show. It seems that they didn't exactly keep track of certain details of Oscar and Felix's lives, which has caused many episodes to contradict each other.


  I will give some more info, then compare it with Jaclyn’s take.

  Here are some more inconsistencies that have churned on for years:

***When did TOC actually meet? In a 1970 episode it’s claimed the boys met in 1963 (7 years ago) on a jury. Another episode that year claimed the boys were pals for 15 years; meaning they met in the mid 1950s, or so. Another episode posits the early 1950s, & the show’s opening claims they were childhood pals, although a later episode shows they met each other as kids, but had forgotten the incident!
***In 1 of the Blanche Madison episodes the boys were supposedly Army pals (during WW2?) since both men seem to be in their late 40s-early 50s during the show’s run). Other shows mention this, too, even though other shows contradict this point. Felix also claims to have served in England & Greenland, yet other episodes reveal he served in Anzio, Vichy France, & Guadalcanal. Felix Unger was either a superspy or a great fabulist! Oscar was a little less well traveled, but he seems to have served in Okinawa, & never left the States, having spent his tour in Connecticut, along with Felix!
***Speaking of Blanche, Oscar seems to be very hazy in regards to his ex. He cannot recall salient points of their union- such as their wedding day- sometimes it’s Christmas day, but also it’s claimed to have occurred during baseball season. Another time they got married while Oscar was in the Army. In another episode Oscar apparently married Blanche in a Tuxedo, because he remembers he never returned the rental suit, yet in the episode ‘This is the Army, Mrs. Madison’ Oscar married Blanche in his army uniform, then had get back to camp for inspection. Blanche had her wedding photo taken with Felix.
***How old is Oscar? In a 1973 episode Oscar turns 40, meaning he was born in 1933- but, how could he have served in WW2- when he would have been 8-12 years old? Another episode uses a flashback to show that the boys were born during prohibition (1919-1933). & both the play & film clearly state Oscar was 43, so if he was 43 at the series’ start, he should have been 46 in 1973. The real JK was born in 1922. Oscar also claims to have been a native New Yorker, yet other episodes state both Felix & Oscar were Chicago natives, & another states Oscar was a Philadelphian by birth.
***More marriage messes: In an episode called ‘The Odd Holiday’ the boys went on a vacation with their wives, during which Gloria told Felix that she wanted a divorce. Yet, this violates the entire premise of all 3 TOC universes- where Oscar was already divorced, & invited Felix to stay with him. Another Gloria paradox seems to be when Oscar introduced her to Felix- 1 episode states it was the early 1950s yet another claims Oscar knew Gloria for only about 10 years- the early 1960s. Still another episode has Felix claiming he met Gloria on a photo shoot. In a 1972 episode Felix states Oscar’s been divorced for 3 years, or since 1969. Yet in another episode he mentions Oscar’s been paying alimony for 8 years, which means that he was divorced in the mid-60s. Oscar says he’s been divorced for 8 years, as well- but at various points in the show’s 5 year run- meaning the writers were consistent in the years since divorce, but forgot that what was 8 years in 1972 was not 8 years later on. & which of the boys married 1st? 1 show flashes back to a married Felix during Gloria’s pregnancy- & Oscar is a bachelor, yet Oscar supposedly married Blanche in the Army- the 1940s? & what were the 2 ex-wives’ maiden names? Various episodes state Gloria’s was Schaefer or Fleener, while Blanche’s was Jefferson or Somers. & which of Felix’s kids is older?
***The change from Season 1 on brought some errors in continuity, as well. The apartment changed. Did the boys move to a different apartment during the summer break? If so, then why are all the flashbacks from Seasons 2-5 set in the 2nd apartment? & did they change apartment buildings. The boys’ apartment house is sometimes at 1049 Park Avenue & other times at 74th Street & Central Park West.

  Let’s now gander at some more Jaclyn info from this webpage: http://odd_couple.tripod.com/versus.html.

The Show vs. The Movie

Or: The two Universes of "The Odd Couple"  

While some people may think that "The Odd Couple" was just another tv show based on a movie, it was actually based on a play (as it says in the opening credits). The movie and the show were each based on the play, and each produced by different people (although the popularity of the movie most likely led to the development of the tv show). While the movie and play (and the 1998 sequel, "The Odd Couple 2") were written by Neil Simon, the show was largely developed and produced by Garry Marshall, with no involvement from Neil Simon. The tv show and the movie/play take place in different "universes." Some of the differences are listed below:
1. According to the movie, Oscar has at least two children, but in the show, he has no children. This is specifically stated by Felix in "The Paul Williams Story" (episode 101).
2. The spelling of Felix's last name changed slightly, from Ungar in the movie, to Unger in the show.
3. In the movie, Felix's wife is named Frances, but in the show, her name is Gloria. (In the "New Odd Couple" tv show, her name was once again Frances.) The name of Oscar's ex-wife is the same in both.
4. In the movie, Felix is a writer for the tv news, but in the show, he is a commercial photographer.
5. In the show, Felix's daughter is named Edna, but in "The Odd Couple 2" her name is Hannah.
6. The movie, which begins on the day that Felix's wife threw him out, takes place during the summer. (The script for the play specifically states July.) But according to the show opening, he was thrown out on November 13. This begs the question: Since the show debuted in September, does that mean that Felix had already been living with Oscar for the past 10 months? Probably not, because in the last episode, Felix mentions having lived with Oscar for 5 years (exactly the length of the show).
7. In the movie, Felix has a brother who lives in Buffalo, and who is a doctor. In the show, Felix mentions his brother in Buffalo several times, but in "Shuffling off to Buffalo" (88) we find out that, instead of being a doctor, he runs a bubblegum company.
8. Felix's trademark honking sound, which he made whenever he got upset, was unique to the show: the only funny sound he made in the movie was the "moose call" that cleared his sinuses.
9. Felix's often-repeated phrase "Oscar, Oscar, Oscar" was only used in the show. (However, Felix's phrase "Let it be on your head!" which was used once in the movie, was also used in the show several times.)
10. The character Murray the cop was changed a little. He was portrayed as rather dumb in the show, but in the movie, he wasn't really any dumber or smarter than the other characters.
One of the main differences is that, at the end of the movie, Oscar throws Felix out of the apartment, but in the show Felix is still living there. In the first episode, the guys prepare for a date with the Pigeon Sisters, and it appears to be their first date, even though they had already dated the Pigeon Sisters (played by the same actresses) in the movie. The events and dialog in episode number 5, "The Breakup" are almost the same as the last twenty minutes of the movie (when Felix is thrown out of Oscar's apartment, and moves in with the Pigeon Sisters). At the end of the episode, unlike the movie, Oscar eventually agrees to let Felix move back in with him.
In a way, the show is sort of like an alternate universe for "The Odd Couple," breaking away from the movie about halfway through, and going on its own separate course. Another interesting point is that Felix was never actually divorced in the movie: he was only separated. But in the first episode (which seems to have taken place during the events in the middle of the movie) Felix is already divorced.
Because the movie and the tv show take place in different "universes," their respective sequels are also in these universes. "The Odd Couple: Together Again" was a tv special which was a reunion for the show, and it originally aired in 1993. In this sequel, both Oscar and Felix are still living in New York City, and are still friends. In fact, Oscar is still living in the same apartment. Part of the story involves the fact that Oscar had one of his vocal cords removed, due to throat cancer (which is what happened to Jack Klugman in real life). The special also deals with the impending marriage of Felix's daughter Edna. Felix is still married to Gloria, since they had remarried in the last episode of the show.
"Neil Simon's The Odd Couple 2 " was a theatrical film released in 1998, which was a sequel for the original movie. It takes place 30 years after the first movie. In this sequel, Oscar has moved to Florida, and hasn't seen Felix for 17 years. When Oscar's son Bruce gets engaged to Felix's daughter Hannah, Oscar and Felix take a road-trip to California for the wedding. (This couldn't have happened in the reunion for the show, because Oscar didn't have any kids in that "universe.") Felix is, of course, still divorced from Frances - in fact, he has been married and divorced two more times. And both Frances and Blanche have gotten married to other men. This sequel continues the story of the "movie universe," so it does not involve the events of the tv show and its sequel.

  Again, there are broad similarities, as there are between the many TOC fansites. So? Does that mean there was just 1 TOC fan that did all the grunt work? No. Like me, we all put our slant on the non-plagiarizable info out there. The idea of a character description, or continuity errors (which I 1st raised in the GI portion of the essay), constituting plagiarism is laughable. But I must counter such fallacies lest the uninitiated believe such nonsense! Believe me, were I of a plagiarizing mindset I would try to rip off some great poems, not a TOC fansite! The essay continues….

  Even with all of the factual faux pas TOC was very consistent in the quality of the verbal dash between the characters, especially Oscar & Felix, who were remarkably consistent to themselves. This was long before the days of ‘Very Special’ episodes of tv shows, where characters became antithetical didacts to their personae. TOC’s writers took the approach that whatever facts were necessary for a particular episode were all that were needed.
  But TOC, as said, was not just the classic tv show- it began as the play penned by Neil Simon. It opened in the year of my birth, 1965, & was a smash comedy on Broadway. Walter Matthau was Oscar Madison & Art Carney was Felix Ungar. Simon won a Tony Award for best author, director Mike Nichols won for best director, & WM won the best actor Tony. The play is reputed to be the most produced play in community theaters since its premiere. A little known fact is that Jack Klugman- the tv Oscar- actually took over the Broadway role of Oscar after WM left the part to film a movie. In 1968 the play was made into the movie starring WM as Oscar, & Jack Lemmon as Felix. 2 years later the tv show premiered, written by Garry Marshall & Jerry Belson of The Dick Van Dyke Show fame. Originally Martin Balsam was slated to play Oscar & Art Carney would reprise his role as Felix. Carney bowed out & was replaced by Tony Randall. When Balsam also bowed out the role of Oscar was offered to Mickey Rooney, who declined. 3rd choice Jack Klugman accepted, & you know the rest. The show never finished in the top 25 in the Neilsen ratings- its highest seasonal rating was during the 1972-73 season, when it finished at #36. But TOC lasted 5 seasons & 114 episodes. But, like GI, it was in syndication that the show became a hardcore cult favorite- airing in countries around the world, & on cable channels non-stop. Its 2 leads were recognized as the premier comedy team of the day & their verbal repartee drew comparisons to Abbott & Costello. Both TR & JK won awards for their portrayals. TR won an Emmy in 1975 for Lead Actor in a Comedy, & JK won that award twice- in 1971 & 1973. & in 1974 JK won a Golden Globe in the same category.
  Yet, few know that TOC universes include more than just the canonical trio of the play, film, & classic tv series. There were other versions of the show- not unlike GI- & aside from the reunion film. The early 1980s saw a ‘black’ Odd Couple tv series called ‘The New Odd Couple’. It aired from October, 1982 until June, 1983. The show recycled mostly old classic TOC scripts & was canceled after 13 episodes. It featured Ron Glass (Detective Ron Harris of Barney Miller fame) as Felix, & Demond Wilson (Lamont Sanford from Sanford & Son) as Oscar. That same decade saw a new version of the play- an all-female version written by Neil Simon. The 2 leads were renamed Olive Madison & Florence Ungar- & the play centered on their Trivial Pursuit pals, rather than poker buddies. The new version debuted on Broadway in 1985, but did not last long. &, like GI, TOC also inspired a Saturday morning cartoon series- ‘The Oddball Couple’- which aired from September 6, 1975 to September 3, 1977. Its 2 leads were not named Oscar & Felix, but a sloppy dog named Fleabag, & a neat cat named Spiffy (although Felix/Felis would have seemed a natural).
  Like GI, TOC left its mark on pop culture. Oscar & Felix- the names alone- invoke the archetypes of slob & neat freak, wild id & anal retentive ego. The famous episode where the boys appear on the game show Password, is still remembered for Oscar’s slow boil-come-to-a-head-clue of Aristophanes to elicit Felix’s reply of ‘ridiculous’. The most famous quote from the series was the great line: ‘Never ASSUME, because when you ASSUME, you make an ASS of U and ME.’ This line was Felix’s in the episode ‘My Strife in Court’. Felix was in court for scalping opera tickets to a woman. While cross-examining the woman in court, Felix asked the woman if he told her he had been selling the ticket. The woman says she just assumed he was. Felix pounces & nails her with the ‘assume’ quote. Legend has it that the line originated with the show, but in truth it had been a sort of bon mot for decades before. In an interesting twist of fate, it was a later Garry Marshall tv show- Happy Days- that actually did originate a pop cultural term. The term nerd- meant to describe a nebbishy person- was a word that the show- set in the 1950s- used regularly. But there is no evidence that the word was ever used before the tv show popularized it upon its mid-1970s debut. Another connection is that both shows’ 1st seasons were filmed with laugh tracks, but then switched to live audiences. HD, however, was a show that was a #1 smash. Unlike TOC, however, it has faded from view because it was a show of little quality.
  Other TOC points of interest were that, like GI, it used recurring stock actors in assorted parts. The 2 most noted were stage & film actor John Fiedler in 2 tv parts- most memorably as the manager of a security apartment building. He had played the original Vinny Barella in the film version. The other noted recurring actor was Richard Stahl, who appeared in 8 different episodes as 8 different characters- with the boys never noticing this rain of octuppelgangers. 4 times he was a priest: In ‘I Do, I Don't’ he was the priest at the wedding of Felix’s friend, in ‘Being Divorced is Never Having to Say I Do’ he was the priest at Blanche and Roger’s wedding- the episode where Oscar objected, in ‘This is the Army, Mrs. Madison’ he was the priest at Oscar and Blanche’s wedding, & in ‘The Odd Monks’ he was Brother Ralph. In ‘Engrave Trouble’ he played Wally the florist & gangster, in ‘Murray the Fink’ he was a cop, in ‘Cleanliness is Next to Impossible’ he was a shrink, & in ‘The Frog’ he owned a pet shop.
  After the show was canceled Producer Garry Marshall served up mostly banal sitcoms, yet all were ratings smashes: Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, Laverne and Shirley, & Joanie Loves Chachi. He then went on to produce even blander feature films. His partner, Jerry Belson, was a bit more daring- & far less successful. His greatest post-TOC success was The Tracy Ullman Show, on the fledgling FOX tv network. JK returned to tv drama by starring in NBC’s Quincy, M.E. TR starred in the well-written but short-lived The Tony Randall Show in the late 1970s. In the early 1980s he starred in the critically acclaimed, & groundbreaking NBC show Love, Sidney, the 1st tv show with a lead gay character. All in all TOC was a both a milestone in American tv comedy & the best ‘comedy duo’ sitcom ever.


  End of my bold red- we’re back to this main essay’s body. Note that my essay delves in to areas never touched by Jaclyn’s nor any other of the fansites. As for the show’s raw info- that I got from several websites for cable tv shows that specialize in old series’ factoids. Perhaps they appear on Jaclyn’s & others’ fansites, but I found that fansites often had errant information, so I chose the cable tv sites to use- as they were more reliable.

  Again, since many sites were used I collectively acknowledged that I used many sources, easily available via the Internet. What plagiarist acknowledges such? I also specifically made clear, in the earlier GI part of the essay, that I used info gleaned from the Bob Denver & Dawn Wells websites, as well as the Sherwood Schwartz book- &, again, I almost never pretentiously footnote but acknowledge sources in the body of an essay. Since I credited the GI sites why did I not credit the TOC sites? I did, only collectively, for the reasons detailed- I NEVER claimed the information was original- only my presentation! & it is also more accurate than much of the information on Jaclyn’s or the other dozens of TOC fansites. This is hardly the M.O. of a plagiarist. & assholes like pb know it. They level their phony accusations in a pallid attempt to smear my name, for whatever reasons may churn in their cranial cavities. These tactics of falsely accusing someone of plagiarism, libel, or misquotation, are the manifestation of sick & desperate minds frantically attempting to lash out at people they feel have achieved something they’ve not, or people who have lost an argument fair & square, yet are too immature to admit defeat.
  Why do I write this essay? Because the charge is absolutely false & I have proved it! To remain silent would be to let the imputation of malfeasance stand as if true. Unfortunately, not all people are intelligent or reasonable enough to see this for what it is. If charges like this go without rebuttal some people will believe them (as some will despite any rebuttal). False charges as this are far worse than most actual real plagiarism because plagiarism has been known to happen unconsciously, while the same is not true of false charges as this. This is deliberate & malicious rumormongering at its worst. Part of the problem is that fansites are both run by & draw unstable & fanatic types- lest they’d not ever exist! When I did an essay on Pop Babes I received threats from a deluded French fan of obscure actress Stacie Mystysin, merely for calling such an obsession bizarre. The fact is the essay I did on GI/TOC is far deeper in its analysis, & much better written than anything on any fansite of either show. Perhaps it was the piquancy of my observations, & that they were my own, which led to pb’s delusions. But never was anything plagiarized. Let me give an equivalent example from the GI portion of the essay. I expounded upon the sociological aspects of GI. Yet, I did not plagiarize this idea, even though I thought of it as a child while watching the show. Now, whole college courses have been conducted on that premise, Sherwood Schwartz advocated such in his book, there are a # of online pieces that detail this fact, & a Social Studies teacher of mine from Junior High School (over a quarter century ago) also made this observation. This is merely convergent thought, not plagiarism.
  On Cosmoetica I’ve tried to be scrupulous in such matters. There have been several times when I’ve received poem or poet submissions (usually foreign writers in translation) & have posted them, only to find out months or years later that the work was from another poet, or mistitled, or misattributed. I quickly resolved the issue, made whatever corrections, re-credited correctly, & all was well. But this is not in that league. Let me reiterate, with no doubt nor hesitancy. Nothing, to my knowledge, that I- or any other writer on Cosmoetica- have posted has been plagiarized in any way, shape, nor form. If there has been it has been, like the misattributions, purely accidental & I will correct such things if/when they are ever legitimately pointed out.
  However, as for these charges & rumors spread by this asshole who cravenly only refers to him/herself as pb- FUCK YOU! You are a fraud, coward, & a charlatan. Spend less time harassing, defaming, & accusing innocent others & more time doing positive &/or creative endeavors. What grudge you bear against me is your own- DEAL with it, scurry back to yr hole, you craven wretch! In closing I will let you readers of Cosmoetica decide if any of the aforementioned essay was plagiarized. By any true definition of the term nothing was plagiarized, what was taken from other sites was acknowledged, & only information was used without crediting, for my own creative observations, because such CANNOT be plagiarized. My advice to pb, or other pathetic wretches out there, is that the next time you decide to bully someone study your enemy well, because I won’t stand for that, you lousy little shitballs!

Return to Bylines

Bookmark and Share