M*A*S*HCast #70 – Payday

M*A*S*HCast -  Season 3, Episode 22: Payday

Special Guest Star: Kevin Lauderdale

Air Date: March 4, 1975

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Theme music by Johnny Mandel

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8 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #70 – Payday

  1. quite possable hawkeye knows superman there’d been a radio show two serals and the animated shorts AND EVERYBODY on mash watches TONS OF MOVIES

  2. Radar taking Hawkeye seriously and submitting the invoice was the strangest part of the story. And why would anyone approve one for that much without checking it out?

    If I had to cast a role for a character named Eldon Quick, I would hire Eldon Quick. He just looks like an Eldon Quick.

    Say what you will about how Frank treats his wife, but he did buy her a $1,500 pearl necklace. Although I wouldn’t trust a peddler with something that expensive.

    Maybe Trapper didn’t leave a note when he left because he was still mad about the poker money.

    In the later episode where everyone is swapping out the job of charity collector, Father Mulcahy sets up camp right by the mess line. (Until he finds out it cuts into his orphanage fund). So this episode theme gets used in another episode.

    I guess someone has to hand out the money so the officers have to take turns. (Frank does payroll in the episode where Hawkeye “dies”).

    1. George, I wasn’t going to comment on this one ‘cause I thought Iron Guts and Kevin covered it all, but your comments sparked some pedantic middle-aged neurons to fire.

      I think Radar sent in the voucher to see what they’d do. In the middle of what seems like an endless cycle of monotony, tragedy, and farce, this is a perfectly good reason.

      In my head canon, the finance office approved Hawkeye’s voucher because the finance office (if it’s anything like those of today) is populated mostly by people barely old enough to shave. In this case, they’re draftees to boot, and consequently less committed to proper procedure. Confronted with a voucher they’d never seen before — from a captain who was also a doctor (pretend those nouns are italicized) — they simply paid it. He must know what he’s talking about, right? Then the NCO who supervises the greenhorn squad caught it in routine review and deployed Captain Straightedge to undo the gaffe.

      In Afghanistan, stories abounded of people who bought gemstones and took them home to be appraised, only to find they were worth much less, or sometimes much more, than they paid for them. Certified gemologists are thin on the ground in a war-torn, developing world nation. Pearls are obviously different — after all, somebody knows if that came out of an oyster — but I imagine appraisal is still difficult, so one would charge what the market would bear. The rule I learned was, “Don’t pay more than you would if you knew it were fake.”

      The Gulf nations are different. It’s easy to find a shop in the souk that is dripping in gold and gems with all the certification you’d ever want, and it’s legitimate more often than not. But whether it’s Kabul or Abu Dhabi, the jeweler will show you beautiful things, serve you delicious tea, and engage you in pleasant conversation, so there are worse ways to spend a free afternoon.

      Paymaster duty and payment in cash was as extinct as a passenger pigeon by the time I came in, and military script was as extinct as a mastodon. But I heard enough from the greybeards to know that MASH got some things right. Paymaster work involved lots of paperwork, armed guards, and onerous duty — the kind you would generally force people to take in turn, so I think you’re right.

      Also, I’ve been an investigating officer for missing property twice (on the same deployment, as it happens). That isn’t the same as investigating missing or misappropriated cash, but I imagine the process is similarly painful for everyone involved. There are aspects of military service that no one is likely to miss…

  3. So, Radar complains about all the paperwork he’ll have to do to deal with the $10 overage, but then turns around and probably spends just as much time filling out the paperwork to get the $3,000 for Hawkeye? Maybe all that time traveling is messing with Radar’s mind.

    I have a favorite Father Mulcahy moment from this episode. When Captain Sloan confronts Hawkeye and Mulcahy about the money, Mulcahy tries to help by asking Sloan, “Did you know that charitable contributions are tax deductible?” (or something like that).

    Thanks for another great episode.

  4. This is not one of my favorite episodes for two reasons. The first is the one everyone is talking about: the absurdity or Radar actually filling out the paperwork for the $3,000 and then the money actually appearing. It just doesn’t make sense, in the worst “Abbott & Costello Go To Korea” mode.
    Secondly, this is another episode where I like to imagine the roles between Hawkeye and Trapper are reversed. Why couldn’t Trapper have gotten all the air time, and Hawkeye been gambling? It was just a shame that Wayne Rogers is clearly the 2nd banana here, where with just a few tweaks this could have been a Trapper episode.
    I DID love the whole Frank-Margaret sub-plot, though, and I agree Jack Soo (and Barney Miller) were treasures.

  5. I suppose Eldon Quick’s Captain Sloan character had a time machine as well so he could go back 6 days in the past to follow Radar and the package of money.

    Would that make Captain Pratt a timeline variant, I wonder?

    And Hawkeye apparently never forgot how Trapper lost his longjohns in that poker game back in season 1.

    Fun show, gents. Cheers.

  6. Gosh, I haven’t thought about “Barney Miller” in years. A gem of a show, great ensemble cast, and I agree that Jack Soo was amazing! But let’s not forget that Ron Glass who played Det. Harris was also on the short-lived “Firefly”. Nerd cred!

    I view the Frank-Margaret subplot as another crack in their relationship, and possibly a revenge scheme on Frank not giving Margaret the money she needed earlier this season. And of course, really funny.

    I also really enjoyed Patricia Marshall as Lt Nelson. She was not the typical nurse on the show, neither a romantic interest or foil, but a strong lady who can hang with the guys. I would have liked her as a regular. Ah well.

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