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.
HannibalMO suggested today’s topic: Would McLean Stevenson have been a good Hawkeye?
I’m guessing HannibalMO has read that McLean Stevenson auditioned for the role of Hawkeye before accepting the role of Henry Blake. Whether or not that’s true, it’s enough to start some wheels spinning. What would Hawkeye Pierce played by McLean Stevenson look like? Personally, I can’t picture Stevenson as Hawkeye, mostly because of the age gap between Stevenson and Alan Alda. When M*A*S*H started in 1972, Stevenson was in his mid-40s while Alda was in his mid-30s.
Could Stevenson have pulled off the womanizing aspect of the Hawkeye character? Henry Blake cheated on his wife but he wasn’t constantly–and shamelessly–hitting on nurses the way Hawkeye did. Had Stevenson played Hawkeye, the character would’ve been older. There’s no way Stevenson could believably play a 35-year-old. And I don’t think viewers would’ve appreciate watching a 45=year-old Hawkeye chasing nurses around the 4077th week after week.
Try to imagine McLean Stevenson, as Hawkeye, playing practical jokes on Frank or insulting Frank during surgery. Can you picture it? I can’t. It’s not that I doubt Stevenson’s acting ability. He could’ve played Hawkeye, both comically and dramatically, but his Hawkeye wouldn’t fit the M*A*S*H we know and love.
Hit the comments with your thoughts.