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MASH

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Exhausted Hawkeye at breakfast in the mess tent after a long session in OR. "If anyone needs me, I'll be in my applesauce."

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Margaret speaking about the illicit liquor she has hidden: "This? This is just.... Medicine."

Hawkeye : "Tell us what it is. We'll get the disease."

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Hawkeye to Margaret after telling her she's getting a little "flanky" as he calls it. "Walking away you look like you're wearing two strange bulldogs in a bag."

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I loved "Dear Sigmund" with the wonderful Allan Arbus describing each of the M*A*S*H-ers in a letter to Sigmund Freud.

 

I hated any episode in which Hawkeye reached catharsis.

 

And to this day, I feel David Ogden Stiers does the best Boston accent of any actor alive.

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I liked that they went an entirely different route for Potter than they did for Henry Blake. Blake just let the zoo run mad and either ran mad with them or tried to stay out of the way. It wouldn't have been realistic to get two such officers in a row, now to mention feeling redundant. With Potter the audience got to see how the camp operated under a competent soldier. Despite the preachiness I really liked the Potter years.

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"Frank, it's only fair to warn you.  My falcon will be here in 30 seconds."

 

And, next to "Cary Grant", my favorite rant is Henry's (from the Greek/spam lamb ep):

"Do I know? do I know anything? EVERYTHING around this place disappears except for me!  Boy, would I like to wake up one morning, look down, and find myself gone!"

 

-- and Hawkeye's rejoinder to "in Dutch with the Greeks/damn lamb's flown the coop": "The man's a fountain of straight lines!"

 

Every ep with Flagg.  Or the humorless captain (missing money, "dead" Benjamin Pearce).

Edited by voiceover
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I just love the way he says "Boston..(pause)..(sad chuckle)..Massachussets"..with dejection to the operator when trying to place a call...It's all in the delivery...

Of course, my favorite episode for Charles would be the one where he tries to reach the man who was a concert pianist...One of the best of the series...and a great, humble scene between Father Mulcahy and Winchester..

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They had a M*A*S*H question on Jeopardy! tonight--category TV Quotes, and the quote was "Some nurses the army, they haven't tied the know, but this one's going to try it with Donald Penobscott!" The first person who rang in got it right.

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Just saw where Seasons 1-5 of MASH will be availiable on Netflix next month..cool..I own almost all the Winchester years so seeing the early stuff may be interesting..

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A big advantage of the DVDs, which I assume will not be a feature on the Netflix streaming version, is that you can eliminate the laugh track. Those early years, the laugh track is really obnoxious. I know some people don't mind it, but I especially hate it when it drowns out the dialogue.

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I am mainlining the stuff on Netflix. Actually the laugh track is the least of my issues. The general lack of continuity is more of an issue and I had forgotten how much Alda grates in large doses. McLean Stevenson's comic genius, though, never palls.

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I too, always thought I hated Frank.  But now after watching multiple rerun cycles I really feel sorry for him.  He had an awful life.

 

Yeah, every once in awhile, you'd get a glimpse of what his life was like beyond the 4077th, and it was pretty sad. 

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IIRC it was the episode where Trapper and Hawkeye wanted an incubator to help make pencillin or something. It was health related and would save lives so of course the Army says no. Hawk and Trap got to a press conference and start questioning a general and there is a cut to Henry Trapper and Haak witting in Henry's office and Henry is railing at them. He stops and reads the paper in front of him, "Did you really call a two star general a nincompact?

 

Wasn't that the episode where they were talking with the army guy and he tells them he can get them a pizza oven? And the army guy tells them to fill out the form (something like the 401-slash-J-slash-C) and to "scratch out 'machine gun' and replace it with 'pizza oven.'" That always cracked me up.

 

Years ago, I watched reruns of MASH with my dad after the 10:00 news every night. There was an episode where Hawkeye and Radar somehow end up on a bus with a pregnant Korean woman...I think they were taking her back to the camp. Anyway, she goes into labor, and Radar completely flips out.

 

Radar: She can't do that here! Make her stop!

Hawkeye: What do you want me to do? Give her a transfer?

 

My dad cracked up, and it made me start laughing too. 

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There was an episode where Hawkeye and Radar somehow end up on a bus with a pregnant Korean woman...I think they were taking her back to the camp. Anyway, she goes into labor, and Radar completely flips out.

 

Radar: She can't do that here! Make her stop!

Hawkeye: What do you want me to do? Give her a transfer?

 

My dad cracked up, and it made me start laughing too. 

 

One of the DVDs had an interview with the cast and they were talking about this episode. Apparently, a lot of the dialogue was ad libbed and Alan Alda claims that at one point Gary Burghoff looked over as the woman was supposedly giving birth and said, "ew! I saw her fuzzy wuzzy!" but it didn't make it into the final episode. Burghoff vehemently denied saying that and actually seemed a little ticked off about it.

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Apparently, a lot of the dialogue was ad libbed and Alan Alda claims that at one point Gary Burghoff looked over as the woman was supposedly giving birth and said, "ew! I saw her fuzzy wuzzy!" but it didn't make it into the final episode. Burghoff vehemently denied saying that and actually seemed a little ticked off about it.

 

That was Larry Gelbart telling that story. It still makes me LOL. I think Burghoff is hilarious in that scene anyway, even without the ad lib in there.

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It was a classic.

 

Another favorite line is after Hawkeye and Margaret finally hook up, and the next day, Margaret wonders aloud what they're going to tell Donald. Then Hawkeye replies with, "Well, uh, what do you usually tell him?" And then Margaret was really pissed off. LOL.

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I absolutely hate that episode, and it's a two-parter. Comrades in Arms. They both act out of character, and Margaret is on some sort of high frequency screech throughout. It's about the only episode I don't like to watch in rereuns or on DVD.

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I'm pretty sure this episode was done because they really wanted a Hawkeye/Margaret hookup, and that's the only way they could think of to have it happen. It's not like the 2 of them would have suddenly started dating or something. As for Margaret, she was kind of in shrew mode, but she'd just found out that Donald was cheating on her, so she probably felt like screeching.

Overall this is not one of my favorite episodes either, but that particular line was pretty funny.

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I also like in that pregnant-woman-going-into-labor episode when Hawkeye tells Radar that he needs to help and Radar replies (in panic mode) "How will my fainting help?!?"

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"Ahh..Do unto thy brother....you know you can't miss if you've got good material"--Father Mulcahy in "Dear Mildred"..I'm not sure why but I love that line...

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OK, here's something to freak out the 4077th and all its fans: Mr. Linville's first wife [and mother of his only child] was a Miss Kate Geer, one of the daughters of Will Geer [yes THAT Will 'Grandpa Walton' Geer]. Despite the fact that he and Mr. Geer's daughter stayed wed until 1975, neither of them ever guested on the other's show. However; can anyone imagine how much fireworks Thanksgivings must have been between those two? LOL

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All I can say is I'm so thankful he had the nickname back then and not now as there would be few if any TV characters with enough taste not to make junior high jokes about it.

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All I can say is I'm so thankful he had the nickname back then and not now as there would be few if any TV characters with enough taste not to make junior high jokes about it.

 

That wasn't a nickname. His name was actually B.J. for his mother, Bea Hunnicutt, and his father, Jay Hunnicutt.

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I need to find a way to work "If my dog had your face, I'd shave his butt and teach him to walk backwards" into a conversation.

Edited by OSM Mom
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Frank: "Go on then! Colonel Flagg and I don't need you!"

Frank claps Flagg on the back

Flagg: "My father did that once. To this day, he still wears orthopedic shorts."

 

Crazy soldier: "[Frank] keeps waving the flag in my face!"

Blake: "A thousand soldiers in Korea, and we had to get Betsy Ross!"

 

Charles: "But know this. You can cut me off from the civilized world. You can incarcerate me with two moronic cellmates. You can torture me with your thrice daily swill, but you cannot break the spirit of a Winchester. My voice shall be heard from this wilderness and I shall be delivered from this fetid and festering sewer."

The smirk he gives at the end is absolutely priceless.

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One thing I always forget until I see the episode in question: The first time Klinger meets Dr. Sidney Friedman, Friedman examines and actually offers him a discharge near the end of the episode! The only catch: it's a discharge for being a transvestite and homosexual. Klinger angrily turns him down, saying "All I am is nuts!"

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BJ, the character, was too bland to have any snarky title.  Makes me wonder if Alan Alda had a heavy hand in deciding BJ's personality - be the straight man for Hawkeye, be quiet enough for Hawkeye to babble on and on throughout their scenes together.

Remember that M*A*S*H was originally conceived as having two leading men: Hawkeye and Trapper. Wayne Rogers left after Season 3 specifically because of his unhappiness at his character devolving from co-lead to Hawkeye's sidekick. So it would make sense that when writing a replacement character, they would write someone specifically to be a straight man.
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I think the problem was largely how he was written. Hard to do much with a part like that.

Larry Linville once said in an interview that after Margaret and Frank broke up, "it became too easy to run Frank into a scene, dump on him, get a laugh, and run him back out." It's easy to see why Linville would tire of playing that role and leave.

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Favorite Winchester quote: "So...tell me more about Montana. Does it...have a city?"

My favorite Winchester episode is the one where Colonel Baldwin (who had originally sent him to the 4077th to get out paying a gambling debt) visits, and Winchester spends the episode epically brown-nosing Baldwin in the hopes that he'll be sent back to Tokyo. But when Baldwin mistakes Margaret for a prostitute, tries to rape her, then falsely accuses her of attempting to seduce him and asks Winchester to back him up (explicitly promising a transfer to Tokyo in exchange), Winchester wavers briefly, then angrily denounces Baldwin in front of everyone. Even Hawkeye and BJ are impressed.

Edited by Sir RaiderDuck OMS
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Potter's defining moment came during his first season: soldier Arnold Chandler (funny how I still remember the name) claims to be Jesus Christ, and Flagg (for some reason) is called in. Flagg tries bulldozing Potter like he always bulldozed Henry, and Potter takes maybe three sentences to let him know that neither the attempted intimidation nor the insults towards the late Col. Blake are appreciated. Flagg tones it WAY down around Potter afterwards.

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Flagg: "My father did that once. To this day, he still wears orthopedic shorts."

 

I believe it's actually "orthopedic shirts" which I think is funnier.

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I read a long time ago that the actor who played Trapper John left the show (hated that!!) due to his character getting fewer and fewer lines (since most were going to Hawkeye).

That's exactly why Wayne Rogers left. When he was cast, the show was supposed to be about the two army doctors Hawkeye and Trapper. But due to Alda's being the better actor and more relatable personality, the writers began featuring him more, and by the second season the show was about Hawkeye and his sidekick Trapper, which is not what Rogers had signed up for. So Rogers left and Trapper was replaced by BJ Hunnicutt, who was explicity written to be a sidekick.

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Of all the characters on the show, hers had the biggest evolution.

Example: In one of the early seasons, Frank puts in for a Purple Heart because he "slipped in the mud on the way to the shower." When a nonplussed Henry questions this, Hot Lips prissily explains that the injury occured in a combat zone, and therefore is considered combat-related.

The latter-seasons Margaret would have been offended as hell at anyone pulling something similar.

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Of all the characters on the show, hers had the biggest evolution.

Example: In one of the early seasons, Frank puts in for a Purple Heart because he "slipped in the mud on the way to the shower." When a nonplussed Henry questions this, Hot Lips prissily explains that the injury occured in a combat zone, and therefore is considered combat-related.

The latter-seasons Margaret would have been offended as hell at anyone pulling something similar.

Totally agree. Early-season Hot-Lips had exactly three character beats: 1) a by-the-books career soldier with a strict adherence to rules and regulations, who 2) slept with anyone who outranked her, when she wasn't 3) pressuring Frank to divorce his wife and marry her. One of the reasons I prefer the later seasons is that they did away with the last two traits, dialed back the first, and actually gave Margaret a damn personality.
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Remember that M*A*S*H was originally conceived as having two leading men: Hawkeye and Trapper. Wayne Rogers left after Season 3 specifically because of his unhappiness at his character devolving from co-lead to Hawkeye's sidekick. So it would make sense that when writing a replacement character, they would write someone specifically to be a straight man.

Oh I remember that well.  Wayne Rogers was my favorite (one reason was because I learned that he was originally from the south but created a New Yawk-ish accent for himself that he used in his acting career...I liked that!). When "Trapper" was in the picture, "Hawkeye" wasn't allowed to get so preachy and OTT sappy.

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Larry Linville had the best laugh. Every time he laughs it tickles my funny bone. 

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When I watch now, I'm struck by how mediocre Mike Farrell's acting is. He's fine when he's being Hawkeye's straight man or even when he's doing his own goofy schtick, but when he tries to do dramatic scenes: pee yew. I can't even watch the two episodes where he's unfaithful to Peg -- the one where he sleeps with the nurse whose husband left her and the one where he falls in love with the journalist played by Susan Saint James (it doesn't help that her acting leaves much to be desired as well). His method of conveying anguish is mostly just closing his eyes and gnashing his teeth. I was going to say, "no wonder he's hardly worked at all since MASH went off the air!" but then I looked at his IMDb page, and actually he's worked quite a lot, although nothing I've seen except for a few stray Desperate Housewives episodes from which I don't remember him at all.

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I always enjoyed the scenes with Father Mulcahy.  I especially liked the few times when he showed anger because it made the character so well rounded.  Met William Christopher recently at a charity event.  Great guy.

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