Identify M*A*S*H Photograph from Trapper John, M.D.


My post about the death of Pernell Roberts earlier this week led to an interesting conversation in the comments. During the first episode of Trapper John, M.D. there is a scene in which a series of black and white photographs are shown on the office wall of Dr. John McIntyre, M.D. One of these photographs appears to depict Wayne Rogers and Alan Alda in front of the Swamp from M*A*S*H. Here’s the photograph in question, taken from a YouTube video (you can find it easily enough):

Photograph Depicting Wayne Rogers and Alan Alda?

Photograph Depicting Wayne Rogers and Alan Alda?

PinkPagoda had this to say about the photograph:

The scene with the picture is on you tube – and it is obvious that the two people in the picture are supposed to be the Hawk and the Trap that we all know and love from the television show (check out the hair) – however I don’t see the symbol on the SWAMP door, the sign post seems to be relocated, and the Trapper figure is MUCH taller than the Hawkeye figure. I don’t think Wayne Rogers is notably taller than Alan Alda, is he? It must have been made for the television show – and not an actual shot. Check it out for yourself on you tube, search for “Trapper John MD first episode” and the picture comes up after the guy on the stretcher is loaded into a helicopter at the hospital. What do YOU think?

In my opinion, the man on the left is obviously Wayne Rogers. But is the man on the right Alan Alda or someone else? I don’t know. The image is blurry, due to the fact that it comes from a YouTube video likely taken from a VHS tape that may or may not be a decade old. It sort of looks like the man has a beard. Or maybe just a shadow near his chin. As for the difference in height, the man on the right could be leaning his head against the door. I’m guessing the photograph was taken on the Stage 9 set at the 20th Century Fox Studios in Hollywood rather than the Fox Ranch (now the Malibu Creek State Park). I also don’t see the symbol on the door to the Swamp but it very well could be there.

So is this an actual promotional photograph for M*A*S*H? If so, someone out there might recognize it. There are an awful lot of photographs in The Complete Book of M*A*S*H if anyone has a copy handy. Here’s an actual promotional photograph for comparison:

Promotional Photograph

Promotional Photograph

Notice that Alan Alda is quite a few inches shorter than Wayne Rogers. Hit the comments with your thoughts on this mysterious Trapper John, M.D. photograph.

13 Replies to “Identify M*A*S*H Photograph from Trapper John, M.D.”

  1. I have been all over the internet, and found a LOT of pix I have never seen, including one of Gary Burghoffs behind as he runs into the shower, if you are interested… but I digress. It does appear that Wayne is taller than Alan, but not thinner. He looks thinner in the picture, but like RJ says, it could be because the “Hawkeye” figure is leaning on the door, and giving the illusion of being thicker.

    Did Hawkeye wear two tones in early episodes?

    The sign post sure looks authentic.

    Wish we had thought about it when Pernell was around to write letters to!

  2. One more thing. It sure would have been elaborate to FAKE a picture just for that few minutes. The Swamp Tent looks dead on as far as proportion and door location. OK, someone else?

  3. Mysterious indeed!

    But I must say the boys in the promo photo look like, as Col. Flagg put it, ‘cutie pies’!

    Pinky, with regards to Radar’s ‘back of his front’, what pictures are you talking about? You mean the screenshots? I remember once on ION, the network showed him running in, but they blurred his behind out.

  4. Slightly OT, but I believe Hallmark is the only channel that didn’t edit Radar’s tushy shot in any shape or form. Even TV Land seemed to use a different shot altogether where Radar runs back into the shower, but still holding onto his towel as he runs in.

  5. With regard to Radar, I have a definite picture of a totally naked butt running into the shower.

    Don’t know how to get it to you, but it is quite funny.

  6. Funny how we’ve gone from talking about who is Trapper and Hawkeye in the picture to Radar’s barenaked buttinsky. XD

  7. It was just a picture I found on line, while looking for the picture in question – a clearer shot from promos, if it exists. I never realized just HOW naked he was in that shot!

    As for this one, Do you think it is a blurred shot with Wayne and Alan? It is funny, if you watch the You Tube of this – all of the pictures that roll by of Korea are clear but this one. I wonder if that is because they didn’t have Alan and Waynes permission?

  8. In all honest though, my thoughts on the photo?

    While I do believe that MIGHT be Alan Alda on the right, I don’t believe that’s Wayne Rogers on the left – the Trapper figure shares curly hair like Wayne, but the figure looks like he has a lot more hair than Wayne.

  9. Could this photo have been touched up so it doesn’t look like Wayne and Alan (for legal reasons?) or could it have been taken from the movie?

    Look closely, you can see the world “Swamp” on the door.

  10. I know this topic is 5 years old, but I just saw it for the first time.

    If you look close, you can see the symbol on the door.

  11. I don’t think it is a picture of Alan Alda because if you make the picture bigger you can see a beard on the person everybody thinks is him..

  12. I know I’m coming late to this, but the Trapper John, M.D. production company did not get rights from the TV production to make this as a sequel and they got sued. However, they claimed successfully in court that Trapper John MD was based on the movie and not the TV show so the series went on and no damages were awarded to the TV production company, even though both the movie and the TV show were owned by Fox.
    Anyway, this might, for that reason have been lookalike actors shown out of focus. If it was, and had been caught during the lawsuit, Trapper John MD should have lost, because 1. these to guys clearly suggest Alan Alda and Wayne Rogers — not Donald Sutherland and Elliot Gould were Hawkeye and Trapper in the film. And 2. that signpost did not appear in the film in that fashion, only on the TV show.

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