Would "The Odd Couple" female version be as funny?

Years ago the recreated the classic Odd Couple but starring women HERE.

HERE is a video of most of the play. Poor acting BTW but it gives one an idea of the concept.

Now my question, would it still be as funny having a similar story of a slobby woman living with a neat and clean woman and each other complaining of the other persons lifestyle but still getting along?

I’m not inclined to watch videos, but you said it was badly acted anyway, so I presume you were talking about some theoretical incarnation of the concept.

Comedy is entirely dependent upon the acting and writing. The overarching background premise of the show is almost irrelevant (so long as it’s not offensive an a way that sours the audience on it).

It utterly eludes me why you think putting women in as the actors would make a difference at all.

Part of the comedy was gender role reversal. Felix acts, in many ways, as the woman in the relationship, doing the cooking, cleaning and nagging. This is partly why he was thrown out by his wife. So in the course of the play, Felix becomes less like a woman, and Oscar becomes more like a stereotypical woman (dressing better, eating more healthy, being cleaner, etc.)

The clash if personalities was also at least partly based on gender role reversal. Most of their arguments revolve around Felix’s “woman-like” activities. Much of humor is based on surprise, and it is a constant surprise to the audience to find a man doing things like cooking and cleaning and nagging (while still remaining resolutely straight in the rest of his activities: poker, women, etc.). All Oscar has to do is react like a normal male slob, and instant humor. (Note: based on 60’s and 70’s American cultural stereotypes.) Add in Felix’s other quirks, like his sinuses and his bad back, and you have enough to fill out the original play and movie.

Therefore, I don’t think this would work as well with women, because it is still not as surprising to see a woman acting like a typical slob male as it is to see a man acting like a female stereotype. So you could certainly write a play based on a clash of personalities between two women (I’m sure it has been done many times) but it wouldn’t be The Odd Couple just cast with women.

It’s certainly been done. Replace “slobby” with “relaxed” and “neat and clean” with “uptight” and that was more or less the characters of Kate and Allie. And more or less Laverne and Shirley. And more or less the characters of Mary and Rhoda, although they weren’t exactly roommates.

Over on the drama side, Jane Rizzoli was explicitly presented as a slob in Rizzoli and Isles, although again, the partners didn’t live together. Maggie and Emma played the yin-yang rommates in Playing House . Cagney and Lacey were cops, one blue collar, one upper middle-class.

I’m with begbert2 on this. It’s the chemistry and interaction between the central characters that matters, not the situation of Felix being the “wife” and Oscar being the “husband.” Jack Klugman and Tony Randall did 114 episodes of The Odd Couple on TV. Many of them had nothing to do with their domestic situation.

It is a different version of the play; it’s not quite just sticking women in as actors.

I’ve never seen the female version, but I vaguely remember reading or hearing someone say that it’s not as good—can’t remember why.

Isn’t that “2 Broke Girls”?

My widfe directed the female version for our community theater company and it went over quite well. Here’s where you can get the script written by Neil Simon.

Laverne & Shirley seems like a female take off on the odd couple. They focused more on the personality clashes, and less on being neat.

The constant bickering was the same as The Odd Couple.

Both were Garry Marshall shows.

In Friends, uptight super-clean Monica was at one time roommates with flaky Phoebe, and then later with domestically challenged Rachel. All well-done comedy, both writing and acting.

I’m not sure the American audience would tolerate a leading woman as a real slob. Occasionally one is shown as a short-term girlfriend, to the horror of the leading male (e.g., episodes of both Friends and Seinfeld).

For the record, the OP’s question was about the play and the movie, not the TV series, so I pitched it to that. The series had to work more with regular old personality clashes because they couldn’t sustain the material of the play over all those episodes. I stand by my observation that the original play depended quite a bit on Felix’s unusual character (for the time), including his cleaning, cooking and nagging. All Oscar had to do was to be a foil.

Moderator Action

While this is seeking opinions, CS is a better fit since it’s about a play (and TV shows).

Moving thread from IMHO to Cafe Society.

I read (but didn’t see) a short play that really emphasizes what Roderick was talking about. In it, a group of stereotypical mid-century-style men meet for their regular card game, but they talk the entire time like stereotypical mid-century-style women. The entirety of the comedy was that - it didn’t need anything else, being a single scene.

A another TV series example, the current Grace & Frankie goes into the direction. A Hippie Lady and a Rich Lady moving together.

I wasn’t a regular watcher of Friends, but one bit that stuck in my memory was Ross complaining about a very attractive but incredibly slovenly girlfriend whose apartment he had just visited for the first time:

“You know how sometimes, you come home after a long day at work, and you toss your coat over a chair? Well, instead of a chair, it’s a pile of garbage. And instead of a coat… it’s a pile of garbage.”

If Men Played Cards As Women Do, by George S. Kaufman. https://www.samuelfrench.com/p/2081/if-men-played-cards-as-women-do/

I hear that there’s a project in development that involves women, don’t know exactly how many, living at a “divorce ranch” in Nevada after the second World War. One site says Zooey Deschanel and Chloe Sevigny are attached.

If you haven’t heard of them before, it’s a fascinating bit of history: divorces in the old days were harder to get than they are today. So, in places like Reno, divorce ranches popped up. One partner, usually the woman (because sexism, also because she was usually not employed outside the home like the husband was), would move to the ranch and live there a while to establish residency. When that was done, the couple could take advantage of Nevada law and get divorced.

That has to be the one, yes.

Yes, I quite liked Laverne & Shirley although I never understood why they had to drive the Thunderbird off the cliff at the end.

While I’m not even sure a new version of The Odd Couple starring men would be that interesting these days (in part because it’s virtually become a cliché and in part because gender roles are less rigidly defined than they were at the time), the comedy of mismatched couples (in any scenario) will likely always provide fodder for sitcoms, romcoms and other sorts of coms.

The recent re-boot with Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon shows how fine a line this can be. IMO, the writing was decent and the acting mostly good. But it failed to click, primarily due to Perry’s take on Oscar. Previous versions were not just about “messy vs. neat,” but about entirely different outlooks and clashing personalities. Perry chose to make Oscar nearly as neurotic and uptight as Felix, which dulled the contrast between the characters and, therefore, the comedy.