Monday M*A*S*H Discussions offers fans the opportunity to offer their opinions on a wide variety of topics relating to M*A*S*H. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. My hope is these discussion posts will continue to elicit comments in the weeks and months after they’re initially published. Have a suggestion about something you think might be worth discussing? Let me know and maybe it will become my next Monday M*A*S*H Discussion topic.
I’ve decided to continue these Monday M*A*S*H Discussion posts through September. Why? Because in September, AfterMASH will celebrate its 35th anniversary. It’ll be the perfect time to start reviewing episodes of the short-lived M*A*S*H spin-off. So, keep your suggestions for discussion topics coming. I’ll need them.
Today’s topic comes courtesy of 007 but I’ve added a twist: Who is your favorite non-nurse minor character?
Team Zale or Team Rizzo?
Take careful note of this week’s topic. It asks for your favorite minor character who isn’t a nurse. That means Kellye is out of the running. So is Margie Cutler. Don’t worry, we’ll be discussing favorite nurses at some point over the next nine months. I’m leaving out the various generals as well; we’ll be talking about them at some point, I’m sure. And I don’t consider Sidney Freedman or Captain Flagg minor characters, so they’re not part of this discussion, either.
There are still quite a few minor characters to chose from. When it premiered, M*A*S*H featured a large supporting cast of characters, most of whom were phased out during the first season.
Here’s a list of the minor characters I can think of:
- Ugly John
- Captain Spalding
- Sgt. Pernelli*
*Val Bisoglio played The Cook in “The Life You Save” during Season 9. He later returned in two episodes during Season 10 as Sgt. Pernelli, the camp cook.
**Dennis Troy appeared in dozens of episodes, many uncredited, often as an unnamed ambulance driver, corpsman, or MP. Let’s assume he always played the same character.
If I’ve forgotten any notable minor characters, let me know.
Many of these minor characters either didn’t appear in enough episodes or didn’t have large enough roles to leave much of an impression. I’ll be very surprised if anyone picks Ho-Jon as their favorite minor character, for example. The same goes for Spearchucker, Goldman, Ugly John, Boone, Sgt. Pernelli, and Dennis. Captain Spalding only appeared in three episodes during Season 3, but his songs are memorable.
The rest of the minor characters I’ve listed above likely had more substantial roles on M*A*S*H. Igor, of course, is beloved by many. Zale and Rizzo have their fans as well. Three actresses portrayed Rosie in ten episodes; Eileen Saki played her in eight of those episodes.
If you have a favorite minor character, what makes them your favorite? If you don’t, why not? Think about it and pick one right now.
Hit the comments with your thoughts.