Facts That Don't Add Up

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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Big Daddy O'Reilly
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Facts That Don't Add Up

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:03 am

RJ's recent postings about secrecy, and urban legends, and whatnot surrounding the show reminded me that there was a lot to the show that really didn't add up according to stories and recollections from cast and crew members... for example:

Larry Gelbart said that they were prohibited from using the word "virgin" on the show, likewise Mike Farrell said they weren't allow to acknowledge Radar being a virgin... but look at the dialogue from two early episodes...

GAGE: Wadaw, can I ask you a question?
RADAR: Sure.
GAGE: Evewybody hewe says you a viwgin, is that twue?
RADAR: *Pause* I... really don't know...

TRAPPER: Radar, I have the suspicious feeling we woke you at around 3:00 this morning.
RADAR: Half past two.
HAWKEYE: Did we say why?
RADAR: You wanted to sacrifice a virgin.
HAWKEYE: Did we?
RADAR: I was too tired

****

Larry said that during Season One, the network wouldn't allow them to show any blood on the doctor's gloves, and that they literally showed no blood in the pilot. Well, I've seen some red wet stuff on their gloves throughout the season, not to mention, their gloves were wet with SOMETHING during the pilot.

****

Larry, Gene Reynolds, and Burt Metcalfe said that they didn't get their wish to omit the laugh track when they wanted to (especially O.R. scenes) until Season Two. "Dear Dad, Again" (1x18) is the ONLY episode from Season One where we hear the laugh track in the O.R. during Season One.

****

Loretta Swit has said that she wanted to leave M*A*S*H around the same time Gary Burghoff, because she wanted to do the series adaptation of Cagney and Lacey (she was in the pilot movie), but the network wouldn't allow her to leave... so, the network had no problem with Wayne Rogers, McLean Stevenson, Larry Linville, and Gary leaving, but Loretta they just HAD to hold onto?

****

The whole Mac conspiracy... did he really leave because of working conditions and whatnot, or was it because he felt he was too good for the show? And was his death an attempt to show the horrors of war, or a gimmick by the producers and the network to literally kill him off the show and be done with him? Gary has said that Mac stood up for others who were too timid to speak up regarding the working conditions, and that Hello, Larry! or his own sitcom had nothing to do with his reasons for leaving; Loretta, on the other hand, said that Mac specifically told her that he said "I can't be number three, I want to be number one"; and Mac himself said that even up until the filming of his final episode, he was still debating whether leaving was what he truly wanted to do or not; Larry and Gene swear that Henry's death was to show the horrors of war, and let people know that not everyone got to live happily ever after after the war, though a lot claim it was all a conspiracy between them and the network to get rid of "Meddling McLean" once and for all.

****

Larry (Linville), Loretta, and Mike have said that Gary was very difficult to work with on the set, while one of the directors (can't remember if it was Hy Ackerback or Jackie Cooper) said he was always whining, complaining, bitching, acting like a diva, etc. Gary has admitted that at times (especially during Season Five), he grew a little irritable, but never showed any disrespect towards anyone on the set, cast or crew, and that he didn't even know why he felt the way he did, because burnout had not been officially and medically diagnosed until a few years later.

****

Also, some text, like The Complete Book of M*A*S*H say that Mike tried to talk Gary out of leaving, comparing his future to Mac's failed career, yet in interviews, Mike has never remotely mentioned this, and the only thing Gary mentioned was that the network was apprehensive about his departure, because of the big deal that was made about Mac's departure.

****

In most interviews, Wayne mentions he left the show because of how Trapper was reduced to a sidekick, when the character was supposed to be as equal a lead as Hawkeye; he felt that if the issue couldn't be resolved, then he didn't feel he needed to be there anymore. BUT, in one interview, Wayne mentions that the real motive behind his departure was a contract dispute: there was a moral clause in his contract that he didn't like, because he felt it was unfair that the producers could fire him if he did anything "morally reprehensible", but he couldn't do the same to them if they did anything "morally reprehensible". He said that he was the only cast member who had no contract, because of how he refused to sign it, then when he decided to leave, the dispute of his contract resulted in a lawsuit: Larry Gelbart and Gene Reynolds sued him, while he countersued them, all over the contract. Meanwhile, Larry and Gene have NEVER mentioned anything about contract disputes with Wayne.

****

On the subject of working conditions, a lot of cast talked about the extreme SoCal heat they had to put up with while filming on the Ranch, with mid-day highs rising well over 100 degrees, there's even been mention of an extra who nearly died from heat exhaustion one day. Ken Levine has also mentioned a few times on his blog that whenever the cast got too nitpicky about scripts and stuff, they'd purposely write a coldsnap episode, forcing the actors to wear coats and stand around barrels of fire. But during the 30th anniversary special, Alan, Wayne and Loretta talked about how freezing cold it was out on the Ranch, with Alan talking about how difficult it was for him and Wayne golfing on the helipad in those Hawaiian shirts, and Loretta saying "We couldn't NOT be close to one another, we had to huddle together all the time to keep from freezing". Gary also mentioned that quite often the temps would drop down to like 15 degrees... but then again, he said that'd be at like 6am, when the sun hadn't completely risen.

****

Gene and Burt had said that one problem Alan had initially with the part of Hawkeye was that he was a womanizer, because he didn't think he could bring himself to play a characteristic like that, but I clearly remember hearing Alan, in his own words, in his own voice, in an interview, say that he loved that Hawkeye was a womanizer, and that he thought it would really make the character more interesting to watch as he continually chases after multiple nurses and such.

****

n various interviews and such, Gary talked about how he had his contract changed to where he was only required to appear in thirteen episodes per season after Season Three, and sources all say with each passing season, he appeared on the show less and less... but, let's take a look at this...

* In Season Four, he appeared in 23 out of 25 episodes.
* In Season Five, he appeared in 22 out of 25 episodes (21 in syndication because his scenes in "Hanky Panky" (5x19) are cut).
* In Season Six, he appeared in 15 out of 25 episodes.
* In Season Seven, he appeared in 20 out of 26 episodes, though several of them he only he one scene out of the entire episode.

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Mash4Ever
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Re: Facts That Don't Add Up

Post by Mash4Ever » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:12 pm

That's Interesting To Read!
From A Big Alan Alda Wayne Rogers Mash Fan Kirsten

RIP Harry Morgan 1915-2011

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Re: Facts That Don't Add Up

Post by Garbage Officer » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:01 pm

That's some interesting stuff there. Some of those facts don't seem to add up.
The only one I'd comment on is the one about Hawkeye's character being a womaniser. I can't see him being too upset about it because a lot of the episodes he's written he never seemed to be worried about it. :?

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Re: Facts That Don't Add Up

Post by MASHGuy » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:12 am

It's a conspiracy! :henry:

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