Friday, February 26, 2010
Happy Birthday Tony Randall! He may no longer be with us but I still like to celebrate the life of a great actor and human who's work has touched me. He has appeared in several Christmas programs.
One appearance of note is the Hallmark Hall of Fame musical production of The Littlest Angel from 1969 as Democritus. He offers advice to the young angel Michael, played by Johnnie Whitaker, though the little one is not ready for his wisdom.
My favorite is Randall in The Odd Couple's 1970 episode "Scrooge Gets an Oscar." Felix is directing a theatrical play of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for charity and wants to cast his roommate Oscar for the role of Scrooge, but Oscar is unhappy this Christmas and uncooperative. Oscar falls asleep in front of the TV but his ulcer is acting up and he experiences a nightmare where he’s escorted by Marley’s ghost showing him visions of Christmases past, present and future.
There is, I believe, a Christmas episode on The Tony Randall Show entitled "Case: O Come All Ye Wasterals" from 1976. However, I haven't seen it and as far as I can determine, it is still largely unavailable.
Randall also appears as the fireside host on the PBS special A Christmas Celebration: Send 'Round the Song from 1992. He appears in segments talking about the history of the Christmas music between performances by Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti and others.
And, Randall voiced the character of Mr. Grimm in the 1997 animated Christmas special How the Toys Saved Christmas. Mr. Grimm is the greedy store owner that wants people to buy the toys although the toys want to deliver themselves to children for Christmas.
These may be some of his more minor roles within his lengthy career but I'm grateful for the Christmas memories nonetheless.