Sunday, August 16, 2009

Episode 138 - Your Hit Parade

Season 6, Episode 138: Your Hit Parade
Original Air Date: 1/24/78
Written by: Ronny Graham

Directed by: George Tyne

After days of no wounded, the 4077th is bored. Radar arranges for a batch of new records to arrive, and (borrowing Winchester's record player, generously donated by...Hawkeye and B.J.) he begins to play them over the P.A.

The quiet is broken when not only do wounded arrive, but a ton of wounded arrive--so many that the Swamp, the Mess Tent, and the Officers Club are converted into Post-Ops.

Col. Potter asks Radar to keep playing the records, and acting as D.J. to help "get them through" this push. Radar gets really into the role, donning hipster sunglasses and talking in an equally "hip", D.J.-style: "This one's a mover and groover, and it ain't by Herbert Hoover!"

Not only are they overloaded with patients, but one patient desperately needs AB-Negative blood, which is exceedingly rare. They make some calls, and one guy in a Bomb Disposal Unit has it. He's ordered to report to the 4077 after he's done his R&R, and they have to make due until he arrives.

He shows up in the middle of the night, completely trashed. But even though he's falling off his feet drunk, when he sees the needle, he runs out into the compound screaming in terror.

Hawkeye and B.J. track him down hiding in Margaret's tent, and when they finally get the needle in him he passes out. With that small crisis over, so is the large one--all the patients have been tended to, and there's no more new wounded.

Radar's marathon D.J. sessions ends around dawn, after the 23rd playing of "Sentimental Journey", all requested by Col. Potter.

Fun Facts: The bomb disposal expert is played by Ronny Graham, who wrote the episode and would eventually join the staff as Story Consultant and Program Consultant.

When Winchester is looking for a place to put his cot, he tries Margaret's tent. When she thinks its his way of making a move on her, Winchester says "Margaret, allow me be frank", which Margaret takes the wrong way--Frank instead of frank.

Winchester, realizing her mistake, says, "No, no--I meant frank with a little 'F', not that other Frank"--only one of two times Winchester would ever mention his predecessor at the 4077th. I don't know why those moments are such interest to me, maybe because the Winchester era of the show seemed so different than the Frank era, so I always enjoyed hearing Winchester reference those years of the show.

Hawkeye and B.J. play a self-invented game called Cranko, which involves drunkenly mixing poker, checkers, and chess. I think 20th Century Fox missed an opportunity not turning Cranko into a real game.

Favorite Line: Col. Potter asks Radar, "You take requests, right?"

Radar retorts: "We don't have anything from World War I, sir."


Russell said...

I hadn't realized Ronny Graham was the writer as well as the actor. Good catch, Rob. Wasn't he on some other show in the 70s, like a variety show or something? I swear I've seen him somewhere before...

I liked the scenes with Margaret and certainly did seem like the producers were headed in a Margaret-Charles relationship direction.

What the Parrot Saw said...

I think that Radar is rather good as a hepcat DJ ("Dance, pig, dance!") here! The only misstep here might be his announcing he's putting "a new fang in the tonearm cobra" which even gets a second-take from Hawkeye. ;-)

Potter's little story about Doris Day here is a nice moment and Charles' desperate attempts to find a place to sleep are funny. One of my favorite S6 episodes...

Mike said...

Radar's DJ jive always seemed a bit anachronistic to me. This was still the pre-rock era, wasn't it?

rob! said...


Maybe a little, but local DJs who had this schtick were around by the early 50s, so its possible Radar heard some of them.

Anonymous said...

Actually, at the beginning, it is Klinger who offers to "write some things down" for Radar to say on the "radio"; referencing his uncle [ANOTHER unseen "uncle"] who is in jail for a "Payola" scandal.

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