Private Charles Lamb (3×14)

Season 3, Episode 14

Episode #62

Broadcast:  12/31/1974

Written by: Sid Dorfman

Directed by:  Hy Averback


The 4077th spends the better part of a day working on a bunch of wounded Greek soldiers.  Henry gets a visit from a Colonel Andropolis, who tells Henry how grateful he is for the treatment his men received.  Andropolis says their Greek Easter is this Sunday and he’s arranged for certain Greek delicacies to be airlifted from Greece to the 4077th.  He graciously invites the Americans to join them in a feast including grape leaves, moussaka, lamb and plenty of ouzo.

Hawkeye has a patient, Private Chapman, who shot himself in the leg to get out of combat.  In a round-about way, Hawkeye lets Chapman know he knows what he did and tells him not to let the guy who shot him shoot him again.  Chapman, who can’t be more than 18, gets the message and tells Hawkeye he won’t be back.

The Greek shipment arrives, including breads, olives, pickled vegetables – and a live lamb.  The animal-loving Radar asks why there is a live lamb being delivered, so Hawkeye and Trapper regale him about the virtues of barbecued lamb, sending the Corporal into a panic.

While Frank complains to Henry about the “debauchery” of this Greek celebration, Radar steals the lamb and gives it a sedative to make it sleep.  Frank intends on filing a complaint with Father Mulcahy.  Not finding the Father in his tent, Frank writes him a note.  A guilty Chapman shows up, and assuming Frank is the chaplain, confesses he shot himself to get sent back.  Enraged, Frank demands Chapman’s name and serial number as the Private realizes his error.

Radar gets Henry to sign an emergency leave for a “Private Charles Lamb.”  When Henry questions who this is, Radar replies Lamb is short and has curly hair – and Henry buys it.

Frank arrives at Henry’s office to bring charges against Chapman, but finds only Hawkeye and Trapper.  Frank tells them how Chapman thought he was the camp priest and confessed to shooting himself.  Hawkeye says the sentence should be 10 to 20 years – for Frank, for impersonating a priest!

Henry arrives, upset the lamb is missing and Greek command holding him responsible.  Radar steps forward and admits the lamb is gone, for he [Henry] gave it a medical discharge earlier that day.  Henry is angry for being tricked – and giving a discharge to a sheep who is now flying to Iowa to be Radar’s “little brother.”  Hawkeye and Trapper tell Henry to relax, for they will supply a lamb.

The Greek festivities start, the ouzo is flowing, and most everyone is dancing, including Frank.  Hawkeye provides the replacement for the missing entree:  a spam lamb!




Frank: What kind of a jackass do you think I am?
Radar: Uh, you’d know that better than me, sir.


Frank: Who eats salad at the movies?
Radar: I’m a vegetarian, sir.  I won’t touch popcorn.


Radar: I got 16 cats back home, sir.
Henry: Oh?
Radar: At the draft board, they found a fur ball in my throat.


Henry (discussing Greek delicacies): Ouzo?
Andropolis: Oh, a bathtub full.
Henry: Well, I’ll practice keeping my head underwater.


Frank: Trouble is, Father Mulcahy does have a rather unfortunate tendency to forgive people.


Frank: I was in Father Mulcahy’s tent to register a complaint.
Hawkeye: Get a litte dirt on St. Christopher, Frank?
Frank: I was leaving the good Father a note when this Chapman came in on his crutches–
Hawkeye: And you tripped him.
Trapper: So?
Frank: So, nothing! He confessed the fact that he shot himself. And now my duty’s clear.
Hawkeye: You get the rope, Frank, we’ll bring the tree.
Frank: Doing one’s duty is not performing a lynching.
Trapper: Frank, look, a lot of kids have made the same mistake. Let him go back and straighten himself out.
Frank: Nerts!
Hawkeye: Probably get ten years.
Frank: Maybe twenty.
Hawkeye: Oh, I don’t think they’d give you that much, Frank.
Frank: Me?
Hawkeye: For impersonating a priest.
Frank: A priest? I never!
Trapper: Frank, you can fool some of the papal some of the time.
Frank: Its a lie!
Hawkeye: And you can count on us not to back you up, Frank. Very serious business this.
Trapper: Posing as a priest.
Hawkeye: They’ll give you the electric pew.


Henry: I gave a discharge to a sheep!
Radar: He’s on his way to Tokyo now.
Hawkeye: On Bo-Peep Airlines!


Henry: I’ve got Command on my tail and a hospital full of Greeks waiting for a lamb who’s sitting on a plane on his way to Iowa to become Radar’s little brother!


PA announcer: Attention all personnel. Please contact Colonel Blake if anyone knows the whereabouts of tonight’s entrée. In the meantime, be on the lookout for a white Caucasian lamb. He is reported to be unarmed and considered to be delicious.




Hawkeye starts dictating a letter to his father in the beginning of the episode, but he never continues nor wraps it up.

Hawkeye refers to a quartet of Greek legends:
Plato: philosopher, mathematician, writer, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world
Plutarch: historian, biographer, and writer of Lives of the Roman Emperors, Life of Alexander, and Life of Caesar.
Aristotle: A philosopher and person of great learning who was the student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great.
Socrates: philosopher and teacher of Plato, he is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy

Hawkeye says “Put him back in the wooden horse.”  This is a reference to the Trojan Wars and the Battle of Troy.  The Greeks left a giant wooden horse at the gate of the Trojan city of Troy.  Thinking it was a peace offering, The Trojans took the horse inside, but the horse was full of Greek soldiers who emerged and torched the city.

Frank asks who said “A physician alone is worth many men.”  The answer is Homer, Greek author of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

There is a corrugated building outside Henry’s office window.  Usually, there are just trees.

Ouzo:  distilled from grapes pressed for wine, it’s a licorice flavored alcoholic drink often diluted with water to weaken its effect.

Moussaka:  dish made with meat (usually lamb) and eggplant, topped with white sauce, and baked.

Metaxa:  a Greek drink that’s a blend of brandy, wine and spices

The PA announcer intones “And now, back to the Korean War…because you asked for it.”  This is based on the 1950′s TV series You Asked For It.  Hosted by Art Baker, viewers wrote letters to the program with requests for things they’d like to see on the program.

In Season 1′s “The Long-John Flap”, Radar had no problem eating a roast lamb.  He traded the long-johns to the cook for a roast lamb and mint jelly.

Frank mentions a bacchanal.  This is a wild and drunken revelry named for Bacchus, the Greek god of wine.

Frank sings “Father, dear father, come home with me now” and giggles.  This song is “Come Home Father”, a 19th century temperance song written by Henry Clay Work.

Tony, the PA announcer, makes the announcement about the missing lamb a split second before Frank walks through the office and just as Radar and Henry enter the office.  PA announcements originate from the office.  There is nobody at the microphone.  So where does he broadcast from?

The lamb gets the last closing still in the end credits.


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