After Matthau finished the script ["The Odd Couple"], he told his wife, Carol, "I've just read something that's going to run on Broadway for ten years." He then called Saint Subber and said he would do the play on two conditions. One, that he could invest ten thousand dollars and two, that he wanted to play the role of Felix. It would have been the blunder heard 'round Shubert Alley. I called Matthau and asked why he wanted to play Felix when he would not only be perfect as Oscar, but that he was Oscar. Walter replied, "I know. It's too easy. I could phone Oscar in. But to play Felix, that would be acting." I said, "Walter, do me a favour. Act in someone else's play. Do Oscar in mine."

Neil Simon, "Rewrites"

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