Hawkeye’s Not Naked (“Dear Dad, Again”)

10 Comments

In “Dear Dad, Again,” Hawkeye recounts to his father the $50 bet he made with Trapper that he could walk to the Mess Tent from the Swamp and order lunch stark naked and nobody would notice. Strategically placed objects are used to great comic effect to cover up Alda, including the Sign Post and a piece of wood being carried by two men.

Although the camera work does a good job of making it appear that Alan Alda is only wearing his army boots and hat, thanks to the magic of the freeze frame option on the DVDs, it’s obvious Alda is wearing shorts. In fact, it appears that he has two different pairs of shorts on, olive drab ones and a white (or flesh-colored) pair:

Image from the M*A*S*H episode "Dear Dad, Again" showing Hawkeye.
Alan Alda is clearly wearing a pair of olive drab shorts in this shot.
Image from the M*A*S*H episode "Dear Dad, Again" showing Hawkeye.
In this shot, Alan Alda is wearing a pair of flesh-colored shorts.

I’m curious why two different pairs of shorts were used during filming of this scene.

10 Replies to “Hawkeye’s Not Naked (“Dear Dad, Again”)”

  1. of COURSE he’s not naked!! Do you people honestly think they would allow someone in a prime-time TV show to walk around stark naked??? Besides, he has all those other people around him-the cameraman, etc!

    1. I don’t think anyone believes Alan Alda was actually naked on set. The point is that despite excellent camera work, a few glimpses of his shorts are noticeable.

      1. I did think he was starkers for real as a young teen. BTW, I have a term for walking naked. Skinny-walking (like swimming naked is skinny-dipping). Like, you may ask your sweetheart, “Hey, wanna go for a skinny-walk?”

    2. Gary Burghoff was really naked in the sniper episode. You can see his bare ass using DVD freeze frames

    3. And actually there is a season 10 episode where Charles has to cover himself with newspapers and you can clearly see the sides of his hips and there are definitely no shorts there. You gotta realize that though nowadays they have modesty patches they wear to cover up their unmentionables, these people were very comfortable with each other so the idea of showing a little skin among friends wasn’t that big a deal to them. Particularly the theater actors who often share dressing rooms and have to change backstage very quickly in front of stage managers and other actors.

  2. He may have on shorts through most of his walk, but I think he slipped one by the sensors when he first walks out the Swamp. Check out between the San Francisco sign and the bottom one. No shorts and you can see what looks like public patch. I wouldn’t doubt it one bit. Ha!

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