Jack Klugman on Friendship and Politics

Our voice this week is Jack Klugman, best known as Oscar from TV's "The Odd Couple." Klugman now has written a book about his 50-year friendship with "Odd Couple" co-star Tony Randall. But it was another friendship and Klugman's lifelong love of politics that brought him to Washington this week. We talked to him about his passions, politics, friends and his partner on "The Odd Couple."

Jack Klugman: This book is a tribute to Tony Randall -- that's the real reason for it -- and to friendship. Friendship is very, very important. We take it for granted, and we have one life. If you've got a friend, enjoy it. Don't wait until someone passes on. Enjoy it while it exists, because it's rare. … It's that kind of blind loyalty and love that makes a real friendship, and we had that real friendship.

I would say Frank Luntz and I are an odd couple, politically. He's a dear friend of mine, and he's also, you know, a Republican pollster. … Now, he is a staunch Republican. I am a staunch Democrat. … [It] doesn't come up. It's not important. It's, "You like mussels and I like oysters," and that's the way Frank and I exist.

I believe in the blue states. I believe Kerry should have been president. He believes in the red states; he believes Bush should be president. So we deal with the hand that we're dealt. … I'm 83-and-a-half years old, I've never seen the world or the country this torn up, this partisan, as I've seen it. Really, it's remarkable what's going on. It seems to get more and more that way. … Civility, decency and compassion -- they're the answers.

I would say that Felix was a Republican, and that Oscar was a Democrat but didn't vote that often. If there was a choice between Oscar going to the races or voting, I think he'd go to the races.

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