I could have sworn I started a thread about this years ago, I guess not. But anyway, did you know what M*A*S*H actually had a sister show that only lasted half a season in 1973?
When M*A*S*H ended up becoming a hit for the network, CBS turned to Larry Gelbart and Gene Reynolds, asking them to create another military sitcom to bank on that success, and thus we got ROLL OUT! Set in France during WW2, ROLL OUT! focused on a supply unit with mostly black drivers. Comedian Stu Gilliam stars as Corporal "Sweet" Williams, the series' main protagonist who appears to be a jive-talkin' schemer and dreamer, with Hilly Hicks ("Perkins" in "White Gold," and Moody the Medic in "Post-Op") as Private Jed Brooks, his naive and idealistic sidekick. The rest of the cast also included a pre-SNL Garrett Morris and pre-MAMA'S FAMILY Teddy Wilson (the chopper pilot in "The General Flipped at Dawn") as "Wheels" Dawson and "High Strung," respectively, a pair of trouble-makers that appear to be Sweet and Jed's arch nemesis; Mel Stewart as Sergeant B.J. (yes, another character named B.J.) Bryant, the ranking Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of the drivers; Val Bisoglio (the cook in "Twas the Day After Christmas") as Captain Rocko Calvelli, the absent-minded, cigar-chompin' Commanding Officer of the unit; and Ed Begley, Jr. (Private Paul Conway in "Too Many Cooks") as Lietenant Robert Chapman, Calvelli's ktutzy second-in-command.
As it turns out, ROLL OUT! failed and didn't even last a full season, with just twelve episodes airing in 1973. Lacking everything that made M*A*S*H spectacular, such as well-written anti-war satire, strong stories, clever humor, and characters with depth, ROLL OUT! just falls flat in almost every aspect. It would be like if NBC went to Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, and asked them to create another show about a stand-up comedians life to bank on SEINFELD's newfound success.
A few years ago, a partial episode of ROLL OUT! surfaced on YouTube:
It's amusing at best, hackneyed at worst. It's got some genuine laughs here and there, but it clearly doesn't measure up to the gold standard that M*A*S*H was.
And now, more recently, another episode has surfaced on YouTube as well:
This one isn't even funny. I didn't laugh once. It's weak and falls flat.
You can sense Gelbart and Reynolds's fingerprints on this show, but that's about all that it seem to have gotten from them . . . I almost suspect they knew this show would flop and didn't even bother bringing their A-game to the plate.
And while those tents clearly look like they were borrowed from M*A*S*H, I swear that countryside backdrop was borrowed from GREEN ACRES.
Talk about all things M*A*S*H -- the novel, the film, the television series, even the play. Not to mention the spin-offs, merchandise, cast, crew and anything else you can think of to talk about.
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I can't remember seeing that show - it sounds like it it would of been a good series. When I get more time I will check those links out. Cheers!
The rain falls on the rivers and trees and we live by the Golden rule. But a hard road can bring us all to our knees and we can die by our own point of view.