M*A*S*HCast #59 – Adam’s Ribs

M*A*S*HCast -  Season 3, Episode 11: Adam's Ribs

Special Guest Stars: Dr. Anj and Dan Greenfield

Air Date: November 26, 1974

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14 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #59 – Adam’s Ribs

  1. The joyous discussion on this episode was so infectious, I wanted to stop working and hop on Hulu to watch this episode immediately. Unfortunately, since I am (like many of us) working from home, I COULD actually do this. But I chose not to. But after work…yes.

    And sorry Rob, but this did indeed make me hungry for ribs.


  2. There is so much to love about this episode that it certainly deserved the two top-notch guests that you brought in for it. I had the good fortune to catch Adam’s Ribs on TV last week, and I think this was the first time that it registered with me that Hawkeye had invited Klinger to share the ribs, after Klinger had refused to help get them. To me that just drives home the fact that the 4077 was a family. Sure, they’d drive each other crazy much of the time, but they still genuinely cared for each other.

  3. First let me say, I am very glad Rob had both Dan and Dr. Anj on to discuss this episode. It definitely warranted the extra attention.

    A few observations of my own:
    -Can someone tell me who Nurse Chetsberger is and why she needs to report to the Red Cross representative? Is that a joke or reference I just don’t understand?
    -Hawkeye’s dance during his mess tent riot seems to be yet another Groucho Marx reference.
    -Trapper does smile once early on when Hawkeye first mentions his wanting/needing barbecue ribs.
    -I don’t think Mrs. Blake took Lil’ Henry all the way to Chicago just to use the bathroom. I got the impression his family traveled a lot and that happened to be where they were when she deemed him old enough to use the men’s room.
    -I think this is the only time I ever saw someone knock on the door before busting in on Radar.
    -“We’re approaching Nirvana.” “Is that near Chicago?” The lines are funny, but the look Alan Alda gives Gary Burghoff is hysterical!
    -Rob, as well known as the name Clark Kent is now, I think more people would have recognized the name Lamont Cranston at that time. The Shadow’s radio program was a bigger hit in the 40s and the Adventures of Superman television show wouldn’t be on for another year or two (provided this episode took place in 1951.)
    -I have to ask…why didn’t Hawkeye and Trapper just ask Mildred to have coleslaw added to their package?

    1. I’m not sure. The Red Cross provides assistance to service members when there’s an emergency back home — notification, confirmation of the emergency to your superiors, maybe money for travel. They also support prisoners of war on all sides and check to make sure all parties are complying with the Geneva Conventions. They probably provide other services I’m not aware of.

      The “emergency back home” thing — for example, Radar losing his Uncle Ed — is the one that comes up most often. For that reason, being told to contact the Red Cross representative would be ominous, and it seems out of place in this episode. I bet there’s a joke I just don’t have the reference data to get. Maybe context would help. Sounds like a good excuse to rewatch the episode!

      By the way, if you google “Nurse Chetsberger” as I did, you’ll see that there are translation sites using that P.A. announcement as example text. Weird.

  4. I always wondered how Henry seemed to have never heard of the place.

    I get Frank and Margaret weren’t part of the “inner circle” but it would have been nice to have them included.

    I was also bewildered by how they were shipped. And how Igor was able to cook them the way Adam’s does.

    I usually see ribs sold by the slab, not by weight.

    Enough with the nit-picking. This is a hilarious episode. Count me as another “He’s one of you” fan.

  5. Rob, this was worth every minute. Genius idea to have two outstanding guests for this milestone episode. You’re playing with the format just like MASH did.

    Anj, why ever would you think we would not want to hear all nine of your funniest lines from the episode? I hope you covered them all. If you missed any, please post them in the comments on your next ten minute break.

    The Alabama equivalent of Adam’s Ribs is Dreamland BBQ (https://www.dreamlandbbq.com/). They ship, too, as my dad found out one Fathers Day. When I was a kid, Dreamland was one purple-painted cinder block building with a screen door. It was in a lower-income section of Tuscaloosa, but there were plenty of BMWs and Mercedes in the unpaved parking lot. (Tuscaloosa is the home of the University of Alabama, and I’ll take this opportunity to send a hearty “Roll Tide” to all the Auburn fans from Longbox Crusade and White Rocket. I know they follow this network.) Back then, every meal on the menu was some combination of ribs and generic white bread, differing only in amount and arrangement. You got paper towels with every order.

    Anyway, at least once a year when I was in high school, there was an event that necessitated our travel to the University. We went to Dreamland every time. Once, we waited in line for an hour. Little John was the the host back then. His mom ran the place, and his dad, Big John, was the cook. It’s Big John’s picture on the logo. That time we had to wait so long, Little John made a path through the crowd to seat us at a table that was just about to be cleared. I saw that someone had left untouched ribs on his plate. I can only assume it was another trauma surgeon like Anj, called away to a medical emergency. Anyway, as a growing teenage boy, I immediately started eating those ribs. Little John looked at me, shook his head, and said, “Boy, you gonna die!” But I haven’t yet. I think the sauce might be a disinfectant.

    Twenty years later, I took a New Yorker to Dreamland. He said, “You know, when I ate the first one, it was okay, but I didn’t see what the big deal was. By the time I got to my sixth rib, I’d have chewed through a concrete wall to get my seventh.” A pretty, young woman who turned out to be Little John’s cousin sold us tee shirts. The family has since made Dreamland an empire.

    Back to MASH: There were always good supply people, but by the time I went into the military, they were much more universally mission-oriented. In the old days, it was sometimes, “Yes, I have three of those. But if i give you one, I won’t have three for my inventory,” — as I think the incubator episode covered. As a military brat watching this, I knew enough how my dad’s generation viewed supply that the scene with Sergeant Tarola was always my favorite. There are always those people, usually NCOs, who are absolute masters of their field and can’t fathom that there are those without the faintest grasp of it. Sergeant Tarola was the perfect picture of that. Flabbergasted as he was at their ignorance of requisition paperwork, I think it made perfect sense to him that these knucklehead doctors would forget the cole slaw. “Forgive us. We’re draftees,” was my favorite line of all those gems, because it was delivered with such abject, repentant sheepishness.

    And people like Major Pfiefer are absolutely real, by the way. When I was Second Lieutenant Entropy, I had tech sergeants who were my de facto supervisors, and that was entirely appropriate. If you’re still so clueless and/or ineffectual as a major that the sergeant is actually making all the decisions, you are an examplar of the Dilbert Principle.

    Anyway, thanks. This is a joy to watch every time, and it was JUST AS MUCH FUN to hear you three go through it (Yep. I said it.).

  6. You will be glad to know that old building still stands. Big John died a number of years ago. They now have franchises that are normal restaurants. I think the original now has expanded their menu but I do remember the days where the only side dish was loaf bread.

    And Roll Tide back at you, Captain.

  7. VEGETARIAN SHEPHERDS PIE (see what you think of this one)
    25g/1oz pumpkin seed oil
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    2 tbsp olive oil
    500g/1lb 2oz vegetarian (ground) meat (mince) of choice
    1 tbsp plain flour
    2 bay leaves
    2 fresh thyme sprigs
    1 or 2 cremini muchrooms, finely chopped
    400g tin chopped tomatoes
    450ml/16fl oz vegetable stock, mushroom if you can find it
    2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    700g/1lb 9oz potatoes, peeled and cut into halves or quarters
    55ml/2fl oz soy/oat/rye milk
    85g/3oz margerin

    In a large saucepan, heat the pumpkin seed oil on medium /medium low. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the mince, stirring, until browned all over. While the “meat” is frying, break up any lumps if need be .

    Stir the onions, then add the flour (this helps to thicken the juices) and stir. Add the bay leaves, thyme and cremini and stir. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock (keep a little aside, for putting into the mince pan to de-glaze the pan if needed depending on type) and Worcestershire sauce.

    Add the cooked mince and then pour the stock mixture into a roasting pan. Pour the remaining stock into the pan containing the sauce mixture. Bring the mixture to the boil, adding a pinch of salt and pepper and reduce to simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove bay leaf

    Preheat the oven to 200C/180C.

    For the potatoes , boil them until tender. Drain, add the milk, and butter, then mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

    Spread the mash on top, smooth over and mark with a spatula. Put the dish into the oven and cook until the surface is golden brown

    1. That sounds great, Sontaron! I’m a long way from vegetarian like Rob, but I’d eat this, because it has NO ENGLISH PEAS — almost my lone food aversion.

      My wife makes a version we call Mexican shepherd’s pie — taco meat in place of unspiced ground beef and chopped green chilis in place of the peas. The Brits conquered half the world in search of flavorful food, but it turns out their stuff is easily modified. I love it!

      1. Well, thank you.
        I myself am a vegetarian so of course I tend to think in that direction . I’ve made variations of cottage pies haven’t done the “Mexican” one might have to give it a try. The one thing I don’t really like are brissel sprouts (other cabbages are fine) so glad I’ve never had to do a British Christmas dinner 😉

  8. Congrats on setting the record for longest episode of MASHCast! With 2 fantastic guests, it was a joy the whole time, and this episode is indeed hilarious, so no more to say on that front. But if I may…

    Before we moved last year, my next door in the old house had his own BBQ catering business. He would cook many weekends, and apologies to the vegetarians, it smelled amazing! But one thing I saw was him using a huge syringe to inject some seasoning concoction directly into the meat. Now I’m no cook myself, but that image strikes me as something important about the ribs: it’s not just the cooking, it’s the seasoning and preparation beforehand that gives them their flavor. Thus “just pack them for shipping” makes sense.

    Second, I lived in Joliet, IL for 6 years in my youth, and hearing “JAH-liet” is just painful! I’ve heard: Joe-li-ay, Sho-liet, and Juliet as well. That last one is doubly-funny because a neighboring village is named … Romeoville. Midwesterners do have a sense of humor.

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