Monday, September 7, 2015

Movie Tonight: The Cat From Outer Space

Today is another, overdue installment of a segment we call "Movie Tonight", where we discuss a movie with particularly notable M*A*S*H connections.

The film in question for today is the 1979 Disney movie The Cat From Outer Space, which I remember my Mom taking me to in the theaters:

The reason we're discussing it here is the cast. Aside from family film stalwarts like Ken Berry and Sandy Duncan, TCFOS features no less than both 4077 commanders, Harry (Col. Potter) Morgan and McLean (Henry Blake) Stevenson! Even better, they share some scenes like together, like this one early in the movie:

As the title suggests, the plot concerns an alien that comes to Earth, that just happens to look like a kitty cat. Morgan is a blustery general who thinks this is the beginning of an alien invasion, and Stevenson is a kind but befuddled doctor who works alongside Berry and Duncan. There's a long scene where Morgan gets to yell at everyone, the first of three or four scenes where both M*A*S*H actors share the screen.

There's various hi-jinx involving Berry and the cat, ending with the alien feline (named Jake) applying for U.S. citizenship! That's where another M*A*S*H veteran comes in: Sorrell Booke, who at the time was famous for being Boss Hogg, but nevertheless appeared as General Barker in Season 1 of the show:

While expecting a lot of from a piece of product like The Cat From Outer Space is a little too much, it's a shame that this movie is so lifeless. Just because a movie is for kids doesn't mean it has to be bad, and all the proceedings here are so dull that it's a shame such a talented cast is wasted (including Roddy McDowall, who spends so much of the movie by himself I'm betting he shot almost all of his scenes over a weekend, then headed off for another Apes project). As we know, Harry Morgan could be very funny, even when playing a mean guy, but here he's just a one-note jerk. Stevenson comes off a little better, but he's playing second fiddle to Ken Berry. Sheesh.

Part of the reason I find these movies with M*A*S*H connections even worthy of noting is, I wonder what the cast conversations were like when they weren't filming? By this time, the show was in its fifth season, and more popular than ever. At the same time, it was obvious that Stevenson's decision to leave M*A*S*H dealt his career a catastrophic blow. Did Harry and McLean chat around the craft services table? Did McLean look at Harry and think "Man, what did I do..."?

Speaking of M*A*S*H connections, there's yet another one: TCFOS was directed by Disney go-to guy Norman Tokar, who helmed Season 2's "Five O'Clock Charlie", one of the funniest shows that season! So the guy knew funny, he just didn't really deliver that here. As I mentioned above, I saw this in the theater, and I think even then I caught the M*A*S*H connection, which probably just confused me.

And that's the Movie Tonight!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

TV Guide - February 9, 1974

You can't go wrong with Jack Davis, and TV Guide knew it, so they commissioned him for this great M*A*S*H cover. This issue is from February 9, 1974, while the show was wrapping up its second season.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

M*A*S*H Emergency Helicopter

If you were a rack toy manufacturer and had a gross of toy helicopters laying around, it only made sense to spend a few bucks for the M*A*S*H license in the hopes you could move a few more that way.

The only real notable thing here is the card art--I don't believe I've seen that particular piece of art before, featuring semi-caricatures of the gang. Even more unusual is the inclusion of Radar, who (generally) had left the show before the merchandising really kicked in. Still, if I had seen this at a toy store when I was a kid, I would have picked it up, stat!

(h/t: PlaidStallions)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Nehi Magnet

Newest Swamp Rat Christina Stith found this magnet on sale at a JoAnn Fabrics in Maryland and, of course, immediately thought of M*A*S*H. How could you not, especially with those 4077th-esque colors?

Thanks Christina!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

M*A*S*Home Buyers

I saw this sign while waiting at a stoplight, and I couldn't believe it. Even having been off the air for more than thirty years, M*A*S*H is still famous enough for someone to think it was a good hook when attracting customers. Frank Burns would be so proud!

Monday, June 8, 2015

After M*A*S*H Episode 30 - Wet Feet

Season 2, Episode 30: Wet Feet
Original Air Date: 12/11/84
Written by: Dennis Koenig

Directed by: Hy Averback

During a torrential downpour, General Pershing is designated a disaster relief area. Alma Cox insists that everyone remain on staff, even Dr. Potter, who only lives a few hundred feet away. Potter, Klinger, Mulcahy, and Dr. Boyer decide on a very 4077th thing to do--have a card game.

Alma also calls in the head of the hospital, Wally Wainwright--but in this case it's not so much devotion to duty, but the desire for a relationship. Well, not a relationship so much as a sexual tryst so she can get her old job back. Wainwright says he is devoted to his wife, and Alma takes the rejection in stride.

A patient arrives with a seemingly simple problem--a broken shoulder--turns into something more serious when his bigger problem of a ruptured spleen is missed by one of the new doctors. Meanwhile, Wainwright, upon hearing that the hospital received a lot of good press when it served a similar community-minded purpose back in 1948, makes attempts to alert the media this time around (in between playing in the poker game with Potter, Klinger, and Mulcahy).

When the hospital's waiting room is turned SRO due to a collapsed building nearby, Potter, Klinger, and Mulcahy snap into action like their old days in Korea. This leaves Wainwright standing helplessly off to the side, something a local reporter and photographer notices when they arrive to do a story on the hospital. The next day, the paper runs a story about the crack staff, and how generally useless Wainwright is. The episode ends with the boss trashing his office in frustration about how his plan for personal glory went so wrong.

(Not So)Fun Facts: This episode never aired, at least in the United States (see below). It was the last episode filmed, but of course not designed as a series finale. After such a memorable send off in "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen", AfterM*A*S*H just limped off TV with a whimper, not a bang. This helped cement the series' unjust reputation as one of (if not the) worst spin-offs in television history.

Soon-Lee and Mildred Potter do not appear in this episode.

Favorite Line: An announcement comes over the loud speaker, stating that due to the worsening storm, there are casualties from a collapsed building. Klinger marvels, "...and I didn't even hear the choppers!" Not a funny line really, but kind of a fun callback to the boys' days at the 4077th.

I never thought I would see this episode until newest Swamp Rat Michael Hinkson sent it to me as a way to "thanks" for my blogging efforts here. Thanks Michael!

This episode was never aired in the United States, so I assumed it never aired anywhere. But there's a voice over during the end credits that reveals this particular copy of the show played in Australia, of all places. It still seems unbelievably mercenary of CBS--which benefited so much and so long from its association with M*A*S*H--to not even bother airing a show that was completed and ready to air. Potter, Klinger, and Mulcahy--not to mention the real-life people who made the show--deserved better.

Thanks again to Michael for giving me the chance to see this elusive episode!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

M*A*S*H Ad: "What's Up, Doc?"
Now this is weird--for this ad promoting Season 6's "What's Up, Doc?", someone made the effort to dig up a picture of Beeson Carroll as Donald Penobscott (oh, excuse me, Lt. Col Donald Penobscott), even though he doesn't appear in the episode! Obviously the ad guy in charge felt the potential viewers needed a little more context to fully understand what they were going to watch.

Even stranger is, they chose Carroll as Penobscott, even though actor Mike Henry had played the Lt. Colonel more recently, in an episode from the very same season as this one.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

M*A*S*H Drinking Glass

I found this on eBay a few years ago...I have no idea where these were offered or who made them. Generally, these sorts of pop culture drinking glasses were sold at fast food restaurants, but I can't really picture Arby's deciding that teaming up with M*A*S*H was a great way to move some Big Beef N' Cheddars.

That said, this is a pretty nifty looking glass, and I know it was part of a set. I hope there's a Sidney one!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Entertainment Weekly - 12/5/14
In the 12/5/14 edition of Entertainment Weekly, there's an article recommending great Christmas-related entertainment, including five great Xmas-themed TV episodes. As you can see above, Season 9's "Death Takes A Holiday" made the list!

One other thing worth mentioning: check the color-coded key EW provides to help you find what streaming services you can see these shows on. Which ones is M*A*S*H on? That's right, none of them. C'mon, Netflix, get with it!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

M*A*S*H Ad - "Bug Out"
For once, a pretty accurate description of the episode, and no use of goofy photos of cast members spliced together!

"The Hot Ones"?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

M*A*S*H Ad - "Stars and Stripe"

I wonder how Wayne Rogers felt, having his M*A*S*H past so directly referenced, considering his fairly acrimonious departure. Considering what a great lead-in M*A*S*H was, for any show, he was probably okay with it!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

TV Guide - 4/25/81

Yet another piece of M*A*S*H obscura courtesy Swamp Rat Russell Burbage, a 1981 edition of TV Guide featuring an extended article on the making of an episode of the show. Really interesting behind the scenes glimpse, capped off by an Al Hirschfeld cover. Not bad for 40 cents!

Thanks again Russell!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TV Guide - 9/10/83

Another piece of M*A*S*H obscura courtesy Swamp Rat Russell Burbage, here's a 1983 edition of TV Guide featuring an article on the new show, AfterM*A*S*H. Note the somewhat condescending tone in the article, I guess the writer just couldn't help themselves.

Thanks again Russell!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Dynamite #19

Swamp Rat Russell Burbage sent me a box o'fun for my birthday a few months ago, including some M*A*S*H stuff, like this issue of everyone's favorite magazine, Dynamite!

 It might seem surprising that a magazine aimed at kids would so extensively cover what was an adult TV show, but I think it only underscores just how massively popular the show was at the time. Side note: it's funny that the only promo still Dynamite could get of Harry Morgan was when he was playing General Steele in Season 3's "The General Flipped At Dawn", not a shot of him as Col. Potter. No one said running a magazine would be easy.

Thanks Russell!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Seen on Comcast today.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

M*A*S*H 1978 Calendar

Newest Swamp Rat Michael Dumas sent in pics of this 1978 M*A*S*H Calendar, an item I had never seen before. Nowadays, calendars starring your favorite TV stars are commonplace, but I think this was still pretty rare back then. I'm amused that for the cover shot, they apparently couldn't find one that had Gary Burghoff smiling.

Thanks Mike!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

M*A*S*H: Marching On

Some intrepid M*A*S*H fan grabbed one second from every episode the show and made the ultimate M*A*S*H Super Cut!

My only complaint is that they totally grabbed the wrong second from "The Joker Is Wild."


Monday, May 26, 2014

Picture This: Gorseheart

How cute is this? Li'l M*A*S*H: Saturday Mornings this fall on CBS!

Check out more of the artist's work on her DeviantArt page!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pre-Op: Ain't Love Grand/April Fools

There are a couple of cool M*A*S*H sites on Tumblr--maybe there's a whole new generation of people discovering the show and expressing their love for it there, perhaps?

In any case, one of them, called "Your Eyes Are Sparkling Like Club Soda" (nice!), occasionally features some cool behind the scenes shots of the show being made. Uppermost you see Mike Farrell directing Season 7's "Ain't Love Grand?" and below that the cast shooting a scene from what I think is Season 8's "April Fools."

I love seeing shots like this, even if it does question my belief that the 4077th is real.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

AfterM*A*S*H Podcast, Episode 144: "Major Topper"

sgAfterM*A*S*H Podcast: Season 6, Episode 144: "Major Topper"

Original Air Date: 3/27/78

Written by:
Allyn Freeman
Directed by: Charles Dubin

Learn more about M*A*S*H at!

Have a question or comment? Send the show an e-mail at:

Subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

AfterM*A*S*H Podcast, Episode 143: "Dr. Winchester and Mr. Hyde"

sgAfterM*A*S*H Podcast: Season 6, Episode 143: "Dr. Winchester and Mr. Hyde"

Original Air Date: 2/27/78

Written by:
Ken Levine & David Isaacs and Ronny Graham

Directed by: Charles Dubin

Learn more about M*A*S*H at!

Have a question or comment? Send the show an e-mail at:

Subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

AfterM*A*S*H Podcast, Episode 142: "Potter's Retirement"

sgAfterM*A*S*H Podcast: Season 6, Episode 142: "Potter's Retirement"

Original Air Date: 2/20/78

Written by:
Laurence Marks

Directed by: William Jurgensen

Learn more about M*A*S*H at!

Have a question or comment? Send the show an e-mail at:

Subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

AfterM*A*S*H Podcast, Episode 141: "Temporary Duty"

sgAfterM*A*S*H Podcast: Season 6, Episode 141: "Temporary Duty"

Original Air Date: 2/13/78

Written by:
Larry Balmagia

Directed by: Burt Metcalfe

Learn more about M*A*S*H at!

Have a question or comment? Send the show an e-mail at:

Subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

AfterM*A*S*H Podcast, Episode 140: "Mail Call Three"

sgAfterM*A*S*H Podcast: Season 6, Episode 140: "Mail Call Three"

Original Air Date: 2/6/78

Written by:
Everett Greenbaum & Jim Fritzell

Directed by: Charles Dubin

Learn more about M*A*S*H at!

Have a question or comment? Send the show an e-mail at:

Subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

AfterM*A*S*H Podcast, Episode 139: "What's Up, Doc?"

sgAfterM*A*S*H Podcast: Season 6, Episode 139: "What's Up, Doc?"

Original Air Date: 1/30/78

Written by: Larry Balmagia

Directed by: George Tyne

Learn more about M*A*S*H at!

Have a question or comment? Send the show an e-mail at:

Subscribe to the show on iTunes!

This episode of the AfterM*A*S*H Podcast is dedicated to Swamp Rat Eric Miller

Sunday, January 12, 2014

AfterM*A*S*H Podcast, Episode 138: "Your Hit Parade"

sgAfterM*A*S*H Podcast: Season 6, Episode 138: "Your Hit Parade"

Original Air Date: 1/24/78

Written by: Ronny Graham

Directed by: George Tyne

Learn more about M*A*S*H at!

Have a question or comment? Send the show an e-mail at:

Subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

AfterM*A*S*H Podcast, Episode 137: "Tea and Empathy"

sgAfterM*A*S*H Podcast: Season 6, Episode 137: "Tea and Empathy"

Original Air Date: 1/17/78

Written by: Bill Idelson

Directed by: Don Weis

Learn more about M*A*S*H at!

Have a question or comment? Send the show an e-mail at:

Subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

AfterM*A*S*H Podcast, Episode 136: "Patent 4077"

sgAfterM*A*S*H Podcast: Season 6, Episode 136: "Patent 4077"

Original Air Date: 1/10/78

Written by: Ken Levine & David Isaacs

Directed by: Harry Morgan

Learn more about M*A*S*H at!

Have a question or comment? Send the show an e-mail at:

Subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...