Jeff & Ryan go for the (canned) laughs in this episode of MASH Matters. Who added the laugh track? Why don’t other TV shows let you turn off the laugh track? Why doesn’t our podcast have a laugh track? We also discuss residual checks, Ronald Reagan’s ranch, M*A*S*H geocaching, Grandpa Walton, Frank’s brief command, and that mysterious basketball-playing redhead. Plus, we make a big announcement about our next episode!
Watch the entire interview with M*A*S*H editor Stanford Tischler
A brief history of the laugh track
Here’s the WIRED Q&A with writer Aaron Sorkin
A video example of M*A*S*H geocaching
Stanford Tischler (left) and Carroll Pratt
A list of Repeated M*A*S*H Plot Devices
Compiled by Listener Steve Joerg
- Split up the 4077th – Divided We Stand – the psychiatrist decides if it’s a good idea. Rumor at the Top – a rumor starts that a new MASH unit is being formed.
- The Whole Camp is Sick – Carry On, Hawkeye – Hawkeye runs the show with little help. The Yalu Brick Road – Margaret runs the show (with help from Mulcahy and very little help from Charles) while Hawkeye and BJ are bringing back the medicine.
- Characters on Trial – The Trial of Henry Blake – The General Flipped at Dawn – Hawkeye brought up on charges (trial doesn’t go long.) The Novocaine Mutiny – Hawkeye court-martialed at Frank’s request. Snap Judgment and Snappier Judgment – Klinger
- Racism Dealt With – Dear Dad … Three – patient wants right color blood. The General Flipped at Dawn – Steele is clearly racist, but also crazy. The Tooth Shall Set You Free – a racist officer is dealt with in a crafty way.
- Home Movies Received – Dear Dad … Three – Henry receives birthday videos, funny videos of himself. Mail Call Again – Radar sees his family (with Burghoff also playing Radar’s mother.) There’s Nothing Like a Nurse – Frank’s wedding video. Oh, How We Danced – BJ’s wife sends video with help from Hawkeye.
- Trading Favors to Get What You Want – For Want of a Boot – Hawkeye needs new boots. The Price of Tomato Juice – Radar trades favors to get tomato juice for Potter.
- Popping Right Awake – both are newer episodes – Der Tag – sleeping Frank is moved all over the place all night, but wakes up totally refreshed. No Sweat – sleeping Potter is paraded around the camp all night, but again quickly wakes up.
- Getting What They Need – two older episodes – To Market, To Market – they need medicine and give away Henry’s desk to get it. The Incubator – they need an incubator and Radar trades Henry’s barbecue grill.
- Mulcahy Feels Worthless – Showtime and Mulcahy’s War – finds a way to make a different contribution. Captains Outrageous – been denied promotion.
- Camp Gets Phone Calls about Someone’s Exploits on R&R – Officers Only – Trapper and Hawkeye go crazy while on leave. Fade Out, Fade In – Frank’s exploits are called in while he searches for Margaret.
- Love for Korean Babies/Toddlers – Kim – Trapper wants to adopt a Korean child. BJ Papa San – BJ falls for a Korean family. The General’s Practitioner – Radar spends time with the wife and baby of a GI.
- Whose Baby is it? – The Chosen People – someone names Radar as the father of their baby. Private Finance – Klinger is assaulted with pitchfork by suspicious mother.
- Radar Calls Home to Smooth People’s Problems – Henry in Love – reconnects Henry to his wife after his infatuation with Nancy Sue. Margaret’s Engagement – Frank goes crazy after Margaret gets engaged, needs to talk to his mother. Point of View – he talks to his wife after he forgets their anniversary.
- Klinger’s Letters from Home – Mail Call – goes to Henry saying his father is dying. Mail Call Again – goes to Potter saying his brothers have been killed.
- Demands to Go Home – Mail Call – Trapper gets a letter from home and wants to give up on the war. BJ talks this same way throughout his stay in Korea
- Picking Up Dirty Items in Tokyo – Rainbow Bridge – Trapper and Hawkeye are planning to go to Tokyo, and Henry asks them to get some “prints” from a bookstore. The Colonel’s Horse – Potter is meeting Mildred in Tokyo, and Hawkeye asks him to pick up dirty magazines while he’s there (Potter says Mildred will do it!)
- Dealing with POWs – Officer of the Day – Hawkeye switches Klinger for the POW to fool Flagg. Guerrilla My Dreams – Hawkeye and BJ try to sneak a POW out of camp. Foreign Affairs – a POW is offered American citizenship, but he refuses. Hawkeye and BJ switch that POW for a willing Korean
- Glorifying War – Iron Guts Kelly – When the general dies (with Margaret!), his aide tries to find a way for him to die in a more glorious fashion. Blood and Guts – Clayton Kibbee writes stories about how great the war is, everyone’s a hero.
- Not Wanting to Go Home – O.R. – Henry expresses how much more his medical career has improved while in Korea and doesn’t want to be comfortable in practice at home. Goodbye, Radar – When he returns from leave, he believes the camp cannot live without him. Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen – Klinger ends up staying in Korea, even though he has been the one who most wants to leave.
- Radar’s Tattoos – Checkup – he has an anchor. Images – he has a teddy bear.
- Radar is Sick in Hospital – Mad Dogs and Servicemen – they think he has rabies and must take the shots (Greatest line: Rosie is translating with an older couple about the suspected dog. They have seen the dog, and Henry gets excited. The couple says: “It was delicious.”) None Like it Hot – His tonsils are removed.
- Gets Rough with Hawkeye – Mail Call – Trapper knocks him over with his duffel bag. Period of Adjustment – BJ punches Hawkeye while extremely drunk.
- Margaret with a Doctor – Bombed – Trapper and Margaret locked in the supply room. Aid Station and Comrades in Arms – Hawkeye and Margaret in romantic situations.
- Friendly Fire – The Army-Navy Game – US bomb drops into camp. For the Good of the Outfit – a local town is bombed by US Army. Bombed and C*A*V*E – camp caught in crossfire between enemy armies. Several others, no doubt.
- Trapper Saves Frank’s Patient – two older episodes – O.R. – Franks almost removes patient’s only kidney. Bulletin Board – Frank declares a man dead though he’s only frozen.
- War Veteran Doc Breaks Under the Stress – The Consultant – Dr. Borrelli drinks in the Swamp rather than do surgery. Heal Thyself – Dr. Steve Newsome, who has seen very bad war situations, can’t deal with the stress and shuts down.
- High Ranking Female Officer Inspects Nurses – House Arrest – Colonel Reese visits and tries to seduce Frank. Lil – Colonel Lillian Rayburn comes to inspect and falls in love with Potter. Hey Look Me Over – Colonel Bucholtz gives a tough inspection.
- Medicine by Textbook – Big Mac – Hawkeye reads a book while operating, Frank mocks him. A War for All Seasons – Hawkeye and BJ build an artificial kidney by reading about it. Heroes – BJ builds a defibrillator from a medical article. Possible others
- Here’s one that’s a little different – The actor Ted Gehring appears in two episodes (one early and one late). In both, he is a wheeler/dealer who tries to scam those who work with him. Once he wins, once he loses. The Incubator – he is Major Morris, with three incubators. Trapper and Hawkeye cannot convince him to give them one. None Like it Hot – he is Sgt. Reardon – he wants Hawkeye and BJ’s bathtub (which they’ve been ordered to get rid of). He offers all kinds of things, and they get it all plus lots of strawberry ice cream for Radar who’s had his tonsils removed.
Captain Jack will save your life tonight…
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