Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Episode 69 - Big Mac

Season 3, Episode 69: Big Mac
Original Air Date: 2/25/75
Written by: Laurence Marks

Directed by: Don Weis

While the doctors are in surgery, Radar gets some amazing news--Gen. Douglas MacArthur is coming to visit the 4077th!

This sends the camp into a frenzy of preparation, except for Hawkeye and Trapper, who could care less.

Frank starts burning books, so Big Mac won't see "some of the smut that's read about here." Hawkeye and Trapper's apathy turns to disgust, that the camp has to be all spiffy just because MacArthur is coming.

Radar sets up the VIP tent with red, white, and blue bunting (Frank and Hot Lips are so impressed at the layout that they end up having sex there, with Hot Lips imagining MacArthur in Frank's place--eww!).

An aide to MacArthur arrives, Col. Whiteman (Graham Jarvis), who gives the 4077th the sequence of events that will take place for the visit. As usual, Hawkeye and Trapper refuse to take any of this seriously. They do make a suggestion that they could perform an operation for MacArthur to follow. Whiteman likes the idea, and Frank volunteers for the surgery. Hawkeye agrees, and offers they perform "a hysterectomy on Major Burns."

After a camp picture, the camp goes into a mock arrival ceremony, to prepare. Radar, playing MacArthur, greets everyone. Frank offers up a souvenir album, but is not pleased to see Hawkeye has filled it with dirty pictures.

A fight breaks out, but then over the P.A. an announcement comes that Big Mac is on his way--he'll be at the 4077th in seconds!

They have just enough time to get into formation, when they see MacArthur's motorcade arrive. But instead of what they were told would happen, the motorcade doesn't even stop--they do a drive-by!

As Henry, Frank, and everyone else picks their jaws up off the compound, Big Mac sees an interesting sight: Klinger, dressed as the Statue of Liberty, complete with burning torch. He gives this show of patriotism a hearty salute, and drives off.

Fun Facts: Loudon Wainwright III makes another appearance as Captain Spaulding, singing a brief song about "Big Mac" at the end of the show.

The actor playing the legendary General MacArthur receives no credit, presumably because he has no lines on the show.

Favorite Line: During Whiteman's routine, he says, "And now, lunch!", causing Hawkeye, Trapper, and Henry to get up, mistaking it for the real thing. I don't know why, but it makes me laugh every time I see it.


Russell said...

I don't remember when my parents (and thus, I) came across MASH, but you're deep into the episodes that I know. I must have come across MASH in its third season, because I distinctly remember the buzz about new characters Potter and Hunnicutt. This is another one that I distinctly remember watching and thinking, Wow, the guy didn't even stop.

What the Parrot Saw said...

For my money, the single funniest episode of the series. The lunch bit is a classic (hysterical writing all the way through).

During the dress rehearsal, Hawkeye's quip on Frank's commemorative book is perfect:
Frank: "... with a complete history of the 4077th..."
Hawkeye (radio announcer voice):
" 'which will be on sale in the lobby, as you leave the theatre'"

Not giving "MacArthur" any lines is genius stroke here: it only makes the idea of him more remote from the workaday concerns of the camp.

A classic!

Anonymous said...

I agree...BEST.EPISODE.EVER!!!!! Jsut so funny, so classic....Hawkeye and Trapper are at their best....watching this episode cemented both as hero's to me.

Anonymous said...

MAcArthur did Vist Korea -only in Janaury/February 1951-certainly not dressed in his khakis-and it was wintertime!

The Great Macaw said...

The guy who played Macarthur bears an uncanny resemblance to Robert Mitchum. I think it was Mitchum.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I thought it looked like Gregory Peck.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was Michael Cain...

Anonymous said...

Great episode and one of the best series ever to grace the small screen. I'd love to know more about the guy who played Mac. I've never been able to find out who he is. Not a big part, but he nailed the look so perfectly.

Anonymous said...

I've always been and continue to be completely convinced the actor portraying Big Mac is Gregory Walcott. Look at that jaw. Have no idea why no credit is given but that's surely by design for some reason.

Anonymous said...

Just payed attention to Macarthur for the first time and if that wasn't Mitchum,he must have been a relative.

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