Archive for the ‘Season 3’ Category

Iron Guts Kelly (3×04)

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Season 3, Episode 4

Episode #52

Broadcast:  10/01/1974

Written by: Larry Gelbart & Sid Dorfman

Directed by:  Don Weis


General “Iron Guts” Kelly (James Gregory), one of the top generals in the U.S. Army, is arriving in camp.  Henry is nervous about his arrival and tries chewing gum to cover the alcohol on his breath, but ends up giving the General a gummy salute when he and his aide, Colonel Wortman, arrive.

Kelly is impressed with the camp’s handling of wounded and observes Hawkeye and Trapper during surgery.  After some mawkish platitudes for the doctors and nurses, it’s off to the Officers’ Club where Henry has a drink with Kelly and Wortman.  Frank & Margaret arrive and Kelly is immediately smitten with the camp’s Head Nurse and, of course, Margaret is more than happy to dally with a General.

Kelly endures a photo taken by Frank and then proposes Wortman have Frank give him a two-hour tour of the motor pool so he can be alone with Margaret.

In the middle of the night, Margaret bursts into the Swamp, telling Hawkeye and Trapper she’s in “terrible trouble.”  She takes them to her tent where the doctors discover General Kelly dead from a heart attack after an evening of…recreating.

Hawkeye and Trapper drag the body to the VIP tent where they find Wortman shaving his head.  He’s shocked to hear of the death, but the doctors are reluctant to admit how it happened.  Wortman, wishing to preserve Kelly’s heroic legacy, concocts a grand story about the General dying in battle on the front lines.  Wortman wants Hawkeye and Trapper to sign a blank death certificate and he will fill in the details.  When they refuse, Wortman pulls rank and threatens court martial, but the captains will not go against their Hippocratic Oath.

Defeated, Wortman asks for an ambulance so he can personally deliver General Kelly to the front so he can stage his death.  Frank watches as Hawkeye and Trapper load the General’s body into an ambulance, and then he goes to Margaret’s tent to ask her why there are so many weird things going on.  As he sits on Margaret’s bed, he’s pricked by a general’s decorative star, but when he questions it, he gets thrown out of the tent.

Just as Wortman finds a battle to deposit the General, Igor and Dennis load a bunch of Korean call girls in the ambulance and drive away.  Wortman goes to the Swamp to ask the whereabouts of the ambulance.  Hawkeye and Trapper, having heard it pull away, assumed it was Wortman driving the ambulance.  Frank enters and tells them all the ambulance was full of “floosies”, but he arranged for a military police checkpoint to stop the vehicle and have the occupants arrested.

Henry takes a call informing him there was an ambulance accident outside camp, causing the vehicle to go over an embankment.  He learns the Korean girls are OK, but General Kelly has died.  Henry’s confusion is heightened when Wortman takes the telephone and starts ordering off-shore bombardment, jet attacks, and rockets for a “Star-spangled banner” death for General Kelly.




Frank: Can the sarcastication, Captain.


Wortman: History demands that the general die a glorious death
Hawkeye: You know where we can hire 500 Indians and a wagon train?


Margaret (to Frank): I have a headache.  A tremendous headache.  [Frank hugs her from behind]  It goes all the way down to my waist.  Get it, Frank?  One of those headaches.


Wortman: Maj. Gen. Robert “Iron Guts” Kelly is gonna perish in a full-scale, blazing, all-out, glorious, star-spangled bannered death!
Henry (to Hawkeye and Trapper): Hey, guys?
Trapper: Yes, Henry?
Henry: is he talking about killing a general who’s already dead?
Trapper: That’s right, Henry.
Henry: Well, uh, isn’t that sort of crazy?
Wortman: And rockets–I want plenty of rockets.
Hawkeye: That’s for the red glare.




General Kelly is introduced as a Lieutenant General by Wortman at the episode’s beginning, but at the end, Wortman refers to him as a Major General.

The mysterious Mr. Kwang makes another O.R. appearance

The O-Club has a new bartender:  Mr. Kwok.

Franistan Plan:  according to Wortman,  this is an Army research project to make crankcase oil edible after 5,000 miles.  This plan is fictitious.  In fact, the name “Franistan” was used as a mythical country in an episode of I Love Lucy (“The Publicity Agent”)

The beer crate hauled by Igor says “Hinani Beer”.  There is no Hinani Beer, but there is a Hinano Beer, which is a Tahitian brew.

A Myocardial Infarction (M.I.) is the medical term for a heart attack.

Hawkeye says, “But not a word of this to Hippocrates”.  Hippocrates is an ancient Greek physician referred to as the Father of Western medicine.  The Hippocratic Oath is an oath taken by physicians to practice medicine honestly and ethically.

Notice Radar never puts down the teddy bear during Wortman’s first visit, despite frantically placing phone calls.

Wortman’s delaying tactics for Frank:
#1: Motor pool review
#2: Pillowcase count
#3: History of urology

There’s an edit in the scene where Frank & Margaret talk in her tent.  When they are talking about Kelly’s daughter, there’s a quick scene of Margaret saying “Did he, what?”.  Her hairstyle and the lamp behind her are different. It looks like that quick scene was filmed later and edited in.

When Radar is telling Wortman he found a battle, he’s not holding the teddy bear and we get a good look at Gary Burghoff’s deformed left hand.

Interesting when Blake turns on the lamp over the desk, the lamp over Radar’s bed also turns on and the whole office is lit up like a stadium.

James Gregory played General Kelly.  He is known for playing Senator John Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate, McDonald in Dean Martin’s Matt Helm film series, and as Frank Lugar on Barney Miller.

Keene Curtis played Colonel Wortman.  The 1971 Tony Award winner for Best Actor in The Rothschilds had an extensive list of theater, television and voice-over credits, but might be best remembered for his recurring role on later seasons of Cheers as John Hill, owner of Melville’s restaurant.  “Saaaaaaaammm…”



Officer of the Day (3×03)

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Season 3, Episode 3

Episode #51

Broadcast:  09/24/1974

Written by: Laurence Marks

Directed by:  Hy Averback


Colonel Blake is away in Tokyo, so Frank (and Margaret) are in charge of the camp.  During formations, Radar almost gets his hand blown off by an errant cannon shot and Klinger incurs Frank’s wrath for wearing nail polish, earrings and high heels.

Frank names Hawkeye the Officer of the Day and gives him his armband and sidearm, which leads to Hawkeye naming all the things will will carry besides a gun.

Hawkeye uses OD duty to catch up on sleep in Henry’s office, but Radar wakes him to tend to a local indigenous person (LIP) named Kim Luck who requires medical attention.

A flurry of horn honking announces the arrival of Colonel Flagg, who has a wounded North Korean “guerrilla” in need of surgery so he can be taken to Seoul.  Hawkeye rounds up Trapper for the surgery, but he’s being fitted for a suit by local tailor, Mr. Yu.  As Hawkeye stops Yu’s boys from robbing Frank’s stuff, Trapper selects a pinstripe material for a suit, though Hawkeye thinks the fabric is akin to Kleenex.

Klinger tries to sneak off to Seoul dressed as a nun, but an M.P. caught him and presented him to Hawkeye.  Hawkeye warns Klinger of deserting while he is in charge and tells him to “slip into something secular and stay put.”

As Hawkeye returns to the office, he finds the Yu boys trying to pilfer the phone (“Someone said we could have this,”) and shoos them away.  Radar brings another LIP requesting medical attention (Richard Lee Sung in his debut) who also has an ID card reading Kim Luck.

Flagg insists on scrubbing so he can watch Trapper operate on his prisoner.  He lets it be known he wants the North Korean patched up quickly so he can execute him in Seoul.

Radar has an issue getting undressed in front of Hawkeye (see outtakes of this scene + others here) but his embarrassment is compounded when a female LIP slips in silently and sees him undressing.  It’s the 4077th’s Kim Lucky day as another local uses the same ID card to get treatment.

The North Korean prisoner is recuperating in post-op so Flagg wants to take him to Seoul immediately.  Hawkeye and Trapper stall for time by telling Flagg the patient is unconscious and cannot be moved.  Flagg demands to speak to the C.O. and a meeting is held in the mess tent with the captains, majors, and Flagg.  Trapper states the patient is too sick to move.  Flagg implores Frank to “lean” on the captains, but Frank, of course, fails, so an enraged Flagg brandishes his gun and demands the captains sign the release form.   They do.

Now evening, Flagg backs up an ambulance to have his prisoner loaded and warns the doctors not to screw around with Intelligence.   Under the cover of darkness, corpsmen load a certain hairy cross-dressing corporal on the ambulance instead.  “I promised him a trip to Seoul,” Hawkeye explains to a grinning Trapper.

As Hawkeye dictates a memo to Radar stating the North Korean prisoner will be turned over to authorities after he has healed, Trapper enters to model his new suit.  It’s dashing and debonair, except the pinstripes run horizontal instead of vertical.  What do you expect for $12?



Frank: During Colonel Blake’s absence, I will act in his capacity. So, if there are any problems, you may bring them to me or to our fine adjutant here, Major Houlihan.  Talking to the major is the same as talking to me since we are intimate with each other at all times.


Frank: (inspecting troops) Did you shave today, soldier?
Private: Yes, sir.  [He has a 5 o'clock shadow]
Frank: Well, tomorrow try it with a blade in the razor. (to Radar) I want this man on report, Corporal.
Radar: What’s the charge, sir?
Frank: Heavy beard in combat zone.


Hawkeye: I’ll carry your books, I’ll carry a torch, I’ll carry a tune. I’ll carry on, carry over, carry forward, Cary Grant, cash and carry, “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny”, I’ll even hari-kari if you show me how, but I will not carry a gun!


Trapper: Bye, Frank.
Frank: That was totally uncalled for.


Radar: Would you mind turning your head, please?
Hawkeye: Radar, I’m a doctor. I’ve seen more behinds than you’ll ever have.
Radar: Gee, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for one guy to ask another guy to turn his head.
Hawkeye: Your modesty is almost indecent.
Radar: Well, if you’re a doctor like you say, then you don’t need to see any more than you’ve seen.
Hawkeye: Go ahead, get sore. I love it when those little wisps of steam come out of your tiny ears.


Hawkeye: Flagg is here, Army Intelligence.
Trapper: That’s a contradiction in terms.


Hawkeye: Kim Luck?  That’s the second one we had today.
Radar: That’s the way it runs sometimes, sir.
Hawkeye (to Kim Luck): Can you identify yourself?
Kim Luck #2: This is me!


Flagg: Who’s your second in command?
Trapper: Major Frank Burns, MD.
Hawkeye: Manic depressive, it’s an honorary title.
Trapper: He’s also schizoid.
Hawkeye: Sleeps in two bunks


Flagg: Are you gonna sign out my prisoner?
Hawkeye: Colonel, I have a more important problem on my hands. One of our teddy bears is missing.


Frank: Just you never mind where we were, Nosey Nate!


Margaret: You can’t disobey him.  He’s a major!
Hawkeye: He’s only got two clusters. Between us two captains, we’ve got eight bars.  We outrank you by half a chorus!




There is too much time lapse between the ceremonial cannon shot and the projectile hitting Radar’s bugle.  The bugle should have been hit almost instantaneously.  And why did they fire a live shot in the cannon?  Don’t they normally use blanks for ceremonial shots.

Igor looks and acts like he just escaped from a mental ward.

Nutsy Fagan:  when someone is in a situation with someone else who is acting loony or crazy…like Klinger.  Also can mean an expression that means something like “That’s crazy!”

Hawkeye says “That’s in case we get attacked by the Saracens.”  Saracen is a term used in the Middle Ages for any Muslim person.

Hari-Kari:  Japanese ritual suicide where the person disembowels themselves with a short blade

Hawkeye leaves the Swamp, puts on his armband, and walks alongside the tent with Radar.  Trapper was in the tent when he left, but you don’t see him as Hawkeye and Radar walk past it.

There is a Korean map in Radar’s office by the office door, but it’s small and not the familiar yellow map seen in future seasons.

Olivia de Havilland:  actress known for playing Melanie in Gone With The Wind and won the Oscar for Best Actress for her roles in To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949)

Trapper’s deal:  two pairs of pants and a vest for $12.  Wonder how much the jacket cost?

The Indian soldier in the red turban makes his third appearance in as many episodes.

Hawkeye says “Looking for an all-night novena?”  A novena is a series of prayers  said for nine straight days, usually as a prayer of petition but sometimes as a prayer of thanksgiving.

Debut of Richard Lee Sung (“This is me!”).  He will play a variety of Korean characters over the next few season, probably best known as the local who carves the bust of Colonel Potter next season.

Flagg character not played for laughs in this episode, plays a straight, dramatic, and sinister role.

Radar is bare chested in his office, but when he tucks in his teddy bear, the arms doing the tucking are wearing long sleeves.

Radar mentions his teddy bear belonged to his brother, who was 4F.  Another only child gains a sibling!

Hawkeye’s “Meanwhile, Aunt Martha, having taken a tramp in the woods, is lying in a ditch at the end of town” aside makes Trapper crack up and has the look and feel of an Alan Alda ad-lib.

The scene with Klinger getting loaded into the ambulance is a rare night scene filmed outdoors at the Fox Ranch.  Filming at the Ranch was tricky because lighting wasn’t always so good + it was expensive.

Trapper’s pinstripe suit is on of M*A*S*H’s best visual gags.

No McLean Stevenson in this episode.


Rainbow Bridge (3×02)

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Season 3, Episode 2

Episode #50

Broadcast:  09/17/1974

Written by: Larry Gelbart & Laurence Marks

Directed by:  Hy Averback


Hawkeye and Trapper are off for three days of R&R in Tokyo.  Before they leave, Father Mulcahy gives them a list of supplies to purchase and Henry wants a package picked up from an illicit bookstore under the name “Orville Carver.”

Naturally, wounded arrive, delaying their trip.  Frank is in charge of triage and keeps sending patients who can wait for treatment.  Hawkeye goes outside to confront Frank, who is keeping badly wounded Chinese patients on the bus, allowing all Allied soldiers to go before them.  Hawkeye overrules Frank and takes the pressing Chinese cases immediately.

In 36 hours, the 4077th handles 473 cases, but what’s most alarming is a communication received during surgery.  The Chinese contacted the 4077th directly by radio, stating they have nine wounded Americans that need more medical attention than they can provide.  They ask the 4077th to send a team of doctors and corpsmen to Rainbow Bridge, which is fifty miles deep in enemy territory and twenty miles from the Chinese border.  No weapons of any kind are permitted, else the exchange is off.

At first, only Trapper thinks they should go pick up the wounded.  Frank thinks the Chinese are too clever and Margaret fears an ambush.  Hawkeye thinks it’s a real offer, reasoning the Chinese are more rational than the North Koreans and know the Americans treat Chinese wounded well.

Henry breaks the deadlock by asking Radar to arrange a driver and corpsmen to accompany the doctors to Rainbow Bridge.  Initially, Frank decides not to go, but changes his mind at Margaret’s insistence it could lead to a medal or promotion.  Margaret gives Frank an antique sidearm to conceal on his body just in case.  Radar gets volunteered by Henry to drive the bus and Klinger volunteers to be the corpsman, so the three of them join Hawkeye and Trapper on a long bus ride deep inside Communist territory.

Hawkeye, Trapper and Frank meet Dr. Lin Tan (Mako) at Rainbow Bridge along with three heavily armed Chinese soldiers, guns aimed and ready to fire.  Dr. Tan speaks fluent English, for he attended the University of Illinois, the same university as Henry.  Dr. Tan gives them explicit directions to retrieve their wounded as the Chinese soldiers cock their guns in anticipation of trouble.

Trouble comes when Frank panics and goes for his sidearm, alarming Hawkeye and Trapper, and causing Dr. Tan to explode in anger and call off the exchange.  Hawkeye and Trapper stop Dr. Tan and try to reason with him and order Frank to give up his gun.  When Dr. Tan sees the gun is a tiny antique, much like a toy, he bursts into laughter and orders the American wounded brought forward.

The causalities are brought back to the 4077th resulting in another 16 hours of surgery.  Radar packs the suitcases for Trapper and Hawkeye, who are set to resume their Tokyo holiday, but the exhausted Captains pass out dead asleep.  Radar tucks them in with a gentle “Good night, supermen.”




Father Mulcahy: What exactly is a training bra?
Hawkeye: It’s just like an ordinary one, only it has two little wheels in back.


Henry: There’s a bookstore next door [to a restaurant on Yamashida Street in Tokyo]
Trapper: Oh, yeah?
Henry: Yeah.  Now, they’ve got this package for me.  Just give ‘em this.  34 bucks.  And say you’re Orville Carver.


Hawkeye (facing a simple operation): You can do this, Major.
Margaret: I’m not sterile.
Hawkeye: Congratulations.


Hawkeye: Why do you keep sending us cases that can wait?
Frank: Now listen, hotshot.  I’m a pretty fair doctor myself.  Ask any of my patients.
Hawkeye: We can’t dig people up just for that.


Frank: Now what you’re doing is mutiny! I’m command of this bus!
Hawkeye: Mutiny on the Bus. It was a B-movie. They couldn’t afford a bounty. Allen Jenkins played the bus driver.


Trapper: I say we go.
Frank: When are you going to learn about Chinese treachery? Didn’t Pearl Harbor teach you anything?


Henry: Radar, I’ll need a driver and a corpsman
Radar: Volunteers, sir?
Henry: Thank you, Radar.  I knew I could count on you.


Henry: Just stay on this route, Radar, and nothing will happen to you.
Radar: Yes, sir.
Trapper: You’re going to be fine, Radar.
Hawkeye: The Chinese are very fond of miniatures.


Lin Tan: We make a civilized gesture and you respond by coming here with a gun, ready to shoot us down.  [Author's Note:  Never mind there are three Chinese soldiers with sub-machine guns pointed at the doctors, so they are breaking their own rules for the exchange]
Trapper: All right , Frank.  Give it up.
Lin Tan (sees the tiny gun Frank surrenders, breaks into big smile) What the hell is that?
Hawkeye: Comes in a box of Cracker Jacks
Lin Tan: [laughs]
Hawkeye: It’s also a whistle.




Loudon Wainwright III is Captain Spalding, the balladeering guitarist.  Wainwright is a Grammy-winning folk singer and actor who appears in three episodes of M*A*S*H.  You might disagree with me, but I always questioned why his character was in any episode, for I never thought he added anything to any storyline.  Growing up, I would wonder who this singing doctor was and why he was at the 4077th.  Wainwright’s character is named for a Groucho Marx character from the movie Animal Crackers.

On the DVD captioning, when Wainwright sings “kimono”, the caption reads “come on, oh”

“Geisha Girl”:  The word “geisha” means “person of the arts”.  Geisha are traditionally Japanese female entertainers and performers of dance, music, and poetry.  Most do not partake in sexual relations.  The term “Geisha Girl” was coined by American soldiers who encountered Japanese prostitutes dressed in the Geisha costume.  The soldiers thought they were Geisha and referred to them as “Geisha Girls.”  The best way to tell the real thing from a prostitute is to check the tie in their robe.  True Geisha wear their kimono with obi tied and centered in the back while a geisha girl will tie hers in the front (easier to get out of!)

Hawkeye packs an orange and white Hawaiian shirt we’ve never seen him wear and never will.

Father Mulcahy mentions “filthy lucre”.  Lucre is a Latin term for money obtained dishonorably and Mulcahy most likely got this from 1 Timothy 3:3 in the Bible which reads Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous.

Edited scene:  After Henry asks Trapper is he’s heard of Yamashida Street, the collar on Trapper’s jacket moves from down to up.

Hawkeye refers to “Dr. Dentons” when speaking to Radar.  Dr. Dentons are blanket slippers – the one-piece pajama with a zipper in front and built-in slippers.  First made in the late 1800′s, the Dr. Denton was named for the employee who came up with the design, but the “Doctor” part was added to make the pajama seem like it was medically endorsed.

The clip of Radar riding the the ambulance and chopper landing is from “Cowboy” (1×08).  Look close and you can see Cowboy in the chopper.

Who is this Mr. Kwang in the operating room?  He’s spoken to twice and he responds, yet is not credited in the end titles.

Hawkeye says “Allen Jenkins played the bus driver”.  Allen Jenkins was known for playing good-natured blue-collar types like taxi drivers, bus drivers and policemen in numerous movies from the 1930′s and 1940′s.

When Henry enters the mess tent, he says “I’ve got to talk to y’all.”  Since when does Henry speak like a Southerner?  Nobody from Illinois says “y’all” and I should know.  I moved from the North to the South this year:  nobody up North says this and many people down here say it.

Edited scene:  When Hawkeye says “It could be a trap, Trap”, his right hand is on the table.  Next scene, his right hand is tucked inside his left arm.

Hawkeye says “Little Feet for Women” by Louisa May Alcott.  Parodying the Little Women book title by Ms. Alcott, Hawkeye is referring to the Chinese custom of binding the feet of young girls.  This painful process prevents the feet from growing and the intent is to make the girl more feminine and dainty.

Henry says Rainbow Bridge is “50 miles inside their territory” and “20 miles from the border”.  Are these statements in conflict with each other?  Not necessarily.  The bridge could be 50 miles inside enemy territory which is at a point 20 miles from the Chinese border, so Henry may not have been contradicting himself.

Notice there are three flags flying in camp:  the American flag, the United Nations flag, and the South Korean flag.

After Mulcahy blesses the bus and its occupants before the dangerous mission, Hawkeye utters “I feel guilty. We tried to get Pat O’Brien.”  Pat O’Brien was a movie actor who frequently portrayed an Irish priest.

The Indian soldier in a red turban makes another appearance (he was standing behind Radar during Steele’s inspection in the previous episode.)  He can be seen talking to a nurse in the long shot showing the bus pulling away from camp.

Mako plays Dr. Lin Tan.  He is a Japanese actor, making the first of his four M*A*S*H appearances.  Mako was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Sand Pebbles in 1966 and portrayed Admiral Yamamoto in the 2001 film Pearl Harbor.  Mako will play a Chinese doctor, a North Korean soldier, and two South Korean soldiers in his 4 appearances.

The Russian burp gun Trapper speaks of is the PPSh 41, a 7.62mm Soviet sub-machine gun.  It has a rate of fire of 900 rounds per minute or about half the firepower Trapper claims (30 rounds/second).

Lin Tan says the doctors are to bring their vehicle across the bridge slowly to pick up the wounded, but the Chinese carry the wounded across the bridge to the parked bus.

It’s a little hypocritical for Lin Tan to chastise the Americans for bringing a gun with them “to shoot us down” when Dr. Tan arrives at the rendezvous point with three soldiers armed with powerful automatic weapons.

Another good episode…a great 1-2 punch to start to Season 3…I think this one is a borderline classic, but I’ll give it the nod based on Gelbart’s excellent script.

The General Flipped at Dawn (3×01)

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Season 3, Episode 1

Episode #49

Broadcast:  09/10/1974

Written by: Jim Fritzell & Everett Greenbaum

Directed by:  Larry Gelbart


“It’s a treat to beat your feet on the Mississippi mud!”  One of the best episodes ever.

The 4077th prepares for a visit from Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele (Harry Morgan.)  Henry gives the medical staff a briefing on the General but is interrupted when a lone wounded soldier arrives via chopper, piloted by Warrant Officer Marty Williams (Theodore Williams.)

Henry finishes his briefing in the O.R., telling the staff the General expects daily calisthenics at 6:00am, full uniform, and is going to bunk down at the 4077th for a week, so he wants no funny business.

The 2-star General arrives the next day and immediately inspects the troops.  Harry Morgan steals this scene and every other scene he performs in.  In one of the funniest scenes ever broadcast on M*A*S*H, Steele has a few choice words for everyone he inspects.

To Frank:  “Trim the hair in your nose!”

To Margaret:  “Gut in, chest out!”

To Father Mulcahy:  “There are no atheists in foxholes!”

To Radar:  “The Irish were rotten Indian fighters!” and then asks where the Corporal is from.  When he replies Iowa, Steele screams, “No talking in ranks!”

Klinger approaches the inspection in full drag and presents himself to the General with a snappy salute.  Steele take a quick look at him and growls, “Not now, Marjorie, I’m inspecting the troops!”

Word spreads quickly the General is a little wacko.  When Henry gives him a tour of the camp, the General picks up an old tongue depressor off the ground and insists it can be reused.

Hawkeye, who has yet to meet General Steele, has a date with Nurse Baker (Lynette Mettey) in the supply room.  They are in mid-grope when Blake and Steele walk in, but Hawkeye passes himself off as a reporter from UPI.  Steele reveals he is mailing his wife a jeep, enjoys dried prunes, and carries 8×10 glossies of himself.  Blake yells at Hawkeye for not following his instructions to behave, but Hawkeye states the obvious by telling him the General is loony.

Blake and Steele next visit the Officers’ Club where the General meets Trapper and Marty Williams.  Steele asks Marty how far away the front is by air (20 minutes) and how much fuel is consumed (20 gallons an hour.)  Steele is mortified and wants the camp moved to the front lines to cut down on waste.  He wants to put the mobile back in M*A*S*H and wants to scout new locations for the camp.

Henry, Frank, and General Steele travel by jeep to scout a new location, but end up drawing sniper fire when Henry reluctantly salutes the General after taking an order.  As Frank and Henry cower in fear, Steele acts as if nothing is happening and casually drives back to the 4077th through the rifle fire.

Hawkeye is sending his patient by chopper to Seoul, but Steele commandeers the chopper to observe the move.  Hawkeye defies the orders, tells Marty to fly off, and calls the General nuts (and notice the General doesn’t disagree!)

Steele quickly arranges a trial to bring Hawkeye up on charges of insubordination, disobeying orders, and impersonating a civilian (“Thought I forgot about you in the storage room, didn’t you?”)

The chopper pilot, Marty Williams, is called as first witness, but Steele asks the African-American Williams to do “a number” first.  Perplexed, Williams doesn’t know what to do or say, so Steele gets up and stuns everyone with an impromptu version of “Mississippi Mud”.  With the prosecution happily singing and dancing his way across the compound, the trial comes to an abrupt end.

Later, the staff reads in Stars & Stripes that Steele has been promoted to 3-star general for meritorious service in Korea and is assigned to the Pentagon, where he will oversee the entire Asian theater.

Simply hilarious.




Once General Steele arrives, the whole script could be listed as memorable, but here are some of the best:


Radar: The winners of the model yacht race at the cesspool are…
Henry: Not that, Radar!
Hawkeye: Nah, let him read it! I haven’t seen a sports page in months!
Radar: First place went to Pvt. Norman Polanski with his yacht, the American Beauty Dream. Corncob construction, with toilet paper sails.
Hawkeye: Ah, that Polanski has the sea in his blood.
Radar: Second prize to Corporal Timothy McInerney for his clipper, the Evangeline, carved from a pound cake his mother sent him six months ago.
Trapper: Hope he doesn’t invite us for dessert.


Hawkeye: How do you feel about Biarritz in June?
Nurse Baker: Sorry.
Hawkeye: Baden-Baden in July?
Nurse Baker: (shakes head) Hm-hm.
Hawkeye: Monte Carlo in the fall?
Nurse Baker: Afraid not.
Hawkeye: How about the mattress supply room, Thursday night?
Nurse Baker: OK
Hawkeye: I’ll bring the saltines.


Steele (to Radar in formation): Non-coms.  The backbone of the service.  Where are you from, son?
Radar: Iowa, sir.
Steele: No talking in ranks!


General Steele: (picks up a tongue depressor off ground) What have we here?
Henry: That’s an old tongue depressor, General.
General Steele: It’s military equipment. You wouldn’t carelessly throw away a used rifle, would you?
Henry: Well, I don’t know…
General Steele: This can be cleaned up and used again.  Waste!  Waste!
Henry: Well, you see, General, that’s full of germs. I don’t even know if you can sterilize wood.
General Steele: Let me put it this way. Ever seen a bird get blood poisoning from a white picket fence?
Henry: Well, I know a little about birds, sir. My mother’s canary had bronchitis.
General Steele: It was waste that defeated Hannibal at the Battle of Zama.  He was a darkie, you know.  What’s that over there, Colonel?
Henry: Officers’ quarters, sir.
General Steele: And there?
Henry: That’s our four-place latrine, sir.
General Steele: Good thinking. The men can encourage each other.
Henry: Camaraderie.
General Steele: Precisely. What’s that building, Colonel?
Henry: Storage supply, sir.
General Steele: I’d like to see that.
Henry: Yes, sir.
General Steele: Canary had bronchitis, eh?
Henry: He didn’t die of it, though. He fell off his little swing and smashed his bill.
General Steele: Good. I hate birds.


Trapper: Henry, you’re not really gonna let this guy move us?
Hawkeye: He’ll get us killed!
Henry: Well, what am I supposed to do? He’s a two star general.
Hawkeye: But he’s a three star loony!
Henry: He is nuts, isn’t he?
Trapper: Is Bismarck a herring?


Steele: I predict an early end to the war, if it doesn’t rain and we get all wet.


Steele:  That’s Steele, with three E’s, but not in a row.


General Steele: You’re insubordinate!
Hawkeye: Right!
General Steele: You’re insolent!
Hawkeye: Right! And you’re nuts!


General Steele: Now feel at ease. Just tell in your own words the incident at the helicopter pad, yesterday at 0900 hours…But first…a number.
Williams: (confused) Sir?
General Steele:A musical number. Why it’s in your blood, boy! (Gets up to sing and dance)  “When the sun goes down, the tide goes out, The darkies gather ’round and they all begin to shout, “Hey! Hey! Uncle Dud, It’s a treat to beat your feet on the Mississippi Mud.”




Harry Morgan’s first episode of M*A*S*H but would not become a show regular until Season 4 as Colonel Sherman Potter.  According to stories, Morgan’s performance (which was nominated for an Emmy) made him the top choice to replace McLean Stevenson for Season 4.

The first of 24 episodes written by Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum.

Trapper says “Aaron Burr, the guy who shot John Wilkes Booth.”  Actually, Aaron Burr was Vice President under Thomas Jefferson from 1801 to 1804, but was dropped from the 1804 ticket when Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel that year.

So who shot John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln?  It was a Union army soldier named Boston Corbett.

When Henry reads the memo, he says “calisthetics” instead of calisthenics.”  Everyone else in the scene pronounces it correctly.

Look closely at the scene where the chopper lands on the helicopter pad.  The pilot is Caucasian, but the pilot we see when the chopper has landed, Marty Williams, is African-American.

Hawkeye tells the ambulance to get to Lenox Hill Hospital at 71st and 3rd streets.  This is a real hospital in New York City, but it’s on 64th Street.

Hawkeye tries to entice Nurse Baker with three cities:

Biarritz:   Luxurious seaside resort in France
Baden-Baden:   Spa town in Germany known for its springs
Monte Carlo:  Mediterranean resort town in Monaco known for its casino and being a playground for the rich and famous.

Henry’s t-shirt collar is stretched out while dressing in his tent but lays perfectly flat during Steele’s inspection.

General Steele mentions Blackjack Pershing.  This is General John J. Pershing, nicknamed Blackjack, who led American forces in World War I.  He is the only General to have the highest American Army rank of General of the Armies.

There’s an Indian soldier in a red turban standing behind Radar in formation.

Ry-Krisp:  cracker made from whole rye and corn bran…still sold today.

Montezuma:  Aztec emperor from 1440-1469.

Hawkeye tells Radar, “Get the car ready, Kato?”  Kato is the assistant/chauffeur/bodyguard to The Green Hornet.

General Steele mentions Hannibal.  This is not Harry Morgan foreshadowing his future character’s hometown, but an allusion to Hannibal, the Punic Carthaginian military commander, generally considered one of the greatest military leaders in history.  He lived from 247 to 182 BC and fought the Romans in the Punic Wars.

Battle of Zama:  Fought in Carthage (modern day Tunisia) in 202 B.C., Hannibal defended his North Africa home and suffered a devastating defeat to Publius Cornelius Scipio.  This put an end to Carthage’s status as an imperial power.

Steele is mailing his wife a jeep in a crate marked “kitchen utensils”.  That beats sending it home piece by piece like Radar did in “Dear Dad.”

General Steele mentions the Gatling gun.   This forerunner to the machine gun was introduced by Union troops during the Civil War.  A soldier would turn a crank to fire the gun which could expel about 200 rounds per minute.

Hawkeye mentions the Borgias.  The Borgia family had great influence in Italy during the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy, producing two popes.  They are known for their corrupt rule and notorious for murder, greed, and quest for power.

How did Hawkeye know the tongue depressor Henry was holding was full of germs?  How would he have known Henry picked it off the ground outside the mess tent?  He was busy in the supply room.

The Officers Club has been reconfigured and will stay this way for the remainder of the series, though it has a huge emblem on the wall reading “Kiss an Army Nurse.”

General Steele mentions General Cornwallis.  He is one of the top 18th century British generals.  He surrendered at Yorktown to General George Washington in 1781, thus ending the Revolutionary War.

General Steele mentions Marshall Foch (this guy knows his military history!).  This is General Ferdinand Foch, a French general who was a World War I hero for both battles of the Marne and defense of Paris.  Marshall is not a military rank, but a distinction given to generals for exceptional achievement.

Trapper asks “Is Bismarck a herring?”  This is a reference to Bismarck Herrings, a delicacy in the 1930′s and 1940′s.  This is salted herring pickled in white wine, vinegar, and spices and served cold.  A German businessman admired the German statesman Otto von Bismarck and gave him barrels of the pickled herring.  In 1871, Bismarck was asked, and consented, to lend his name to the herring and it was sold in Europe until World War II.

Again, we see a Caucasian pilot flying the chopper away from the helipad at the 4077th when Marty Williams was at the helm.

Mississippi Mud:  The song sung by General Steele at the trial was a 1927 song made popular by Bing Crosby.  The original lyric read “darkies gather…” (as sung by Steele) but was revised to read “people gather…” (as sung by Hawkeye) over time.

Theodore Williams played Warrant Officer Marty Williams.  Williams was best known for playing hoodlum Sweet Daddy Williams on Good Times in the late 1970′s.

Harry Morgan played General Steele.  Born Harry Bratsberg in Detroit in 1915, Morgan became a prolific character actor with over 100 film roles.  He had memorable TV roles, too, like Pete Porter in December Bride, Bill Gannon in Dragnet, and, of course, Sherman Potter in M*A*S*H.

Season 3 DVD cover…fake!

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

This is the cover shot on the Season 3 DVD:


The first thing that strikes you is Radar and Henry are the same height.  Gary Burghoff is 5′ 5″ and McLean Stevenson is 6′ 3″, yet they are the same height in the photo.  Actually, the photo is pretty creepy…it’s like Henry is a doll.  But look closely at their heads.  They are superimposed on those bodies.  I don’t know whose bodies those are, but they are not Gary Burghoff and McLean Stevenson.

You’d think they could come up with a better front cover than that!