M*A*S*HCast #80 – The Kids

M*A*S*HCast -  Season 4, Episode 8: The Kids

Special Guest Star: Shawn M. Myers

Air Date: October 31, 1975

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Theme music by Johnny Mandel

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17 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #80 – The Kids

  1. I always want to know who signs off on Burns’ purple heart. At a bear minimum he has to have documentation showing he was treated for it and basically it can’t be from accidents.

    1. Henry seemed to have signed off on the one where he threw out his back fooling around with Margaret and claimed he slipped in the mud. (Not sure how that qualifies as a combat injury. But this is a TV show, not a documentary).

      This one seemed to slip by everyone. Did they send it directly to him and not Potter? Potter wasn’t told about it? Maybe he stole Hawkeye’s private records where he treats infected toes and syphilis and sent it in. But he didn’t mention to Margaret at the time he hurt his eye with the egg? She didn’t see it was red? And she actually believed he had a real shrapnel wound in his eye?

  2. Klinger mentions being an atheist in Alcoholics Unanimous. He says he goes to church to show off his gloves.

  3. I like the orphanage visit episodes.

    Yes, Klinger did say he was an atheist who went to church to wear his gloves. I always took it as a joke, but following up on it was cool.

    Even I can’t defend Frank on the fake Purple Hearts. Loved Hawkeye’s line about others’ blood. I do wish he had a cathartic moment here. Maybe bond with the “slickly” kid or do something nice for him.

  4. Yea, I’m strongly agnostic but I have gone to temple with my grandmother, and church with my wife. Have even gone to service in England, Portugal, and Italy just to see how the services are. So I’ve been to Jewish services, and Christian (Lutheran, Baptist, Catholic, and Anglican). Being religious isn’t always a reason to go.

  5. Great episode, gentlemen. I won’t share any stories this time, because the episode got the point across just fine. I will say that children are the most enjoyable and most difficult part of war.

    The Purple Heart may be our most complicated medal. It is right and good that we honor those who suffer injury and death in the service of their country. But like several other medals, no one really wants to earn it, and maybe more than any other, it raises questions in people’s minds.

    One of my college instructors had opportunity to see a colleague in his formal uniform and noticed his Purple Heart (the ribbon version). Surprised (this was the early nineties), my instructor asked how he had earned it. The other instructor — now an Air Force officer — replied that he got it by being a dumb kid. During America’s final days in the Vietnam War, he had served as an enlisted Soldier. When his platoon sergeant yelled to “Get down!”, this gentleman, who was already prone, raised up to ask “What?”, and then got shot.

    However, he lived to get so smart that he was asked to pass on what he learned to others, and his Purple Heart expresses the thanks of a grateful nation for being willing to serve in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  6. There is a moment in the Bible where Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. This is where it comes from and is practiced in a number of Christian denominations.

  7. The part where the show covered children being wounded by picking up brass and touching unexplored ordinance (UXO) hit close to home. Humanitarian rations come in yellow packaging and contain vegetarian foods that are culturally and rigorously acceptable. Submunitions are also yellow. Unfortunately, some submunitions do not detonate and become UXO. Children see them and think it’s food. Sadly, a lot of children were killed or severely injured.

    1. Yea, though in 2001 the aid packages (Humanitarian Daily Rations) were changed to salmon color to help distinguish them because of this problem. Though it’s sad it ever existed in the first part.

  8. I think that The Kids is a good “breather” episode for both the cast and audience of MASH. This episode does not fully escape or ignore the horrors of the war, but it does allow everyone (except Frank) to focus on genuinely positive and personal interactions between people of different cultures and ages. I’d like to think the cast had fun with the change of pace, but I’ve also heard that children can be notoriously difficult to film with.

    One final thought, if this episode had been filmed in a later season, I bet Potter would have been reading the kids a Zane Grey novel. Perhaps, this takes place early enough that not all of his personal effects had arrived at the 4077th?

  9. This is one of those episodes that I call “the forgotten episodes.” That means that when I read the summary in a book or on the DVD I can’t remember anything specific or special about the episode…and then I watch it, and I remember again how good it is! Great podcast discussion about it as well, gentlemen!

    I always thought Klinger’s joke about “giving it up for Lent” was hilarious.

    I, too, was confused that Meg knew Potter. I guessed that you could account that they had met sometime before his posting at the 4077, but I wish they had mentioned more of the particulars.

    In hindsight, watching episodes like this where Frank is SO bad and Margaret isn’t, makes me wish that the creators had worked a little harder to make Burns less of a caricature. He could have been a jerk but also a bit more human, I think.

    Speaking of Frank, Father Mulcahy calls him by his name all the time, doesn’t he? I can think of atleast two times when he does….

  10. I really enjoy this episode of M*A*S*H. Radar singing to the child is such a wonderful moment. Larry Linville is such a great actor because as time went on I disliked Frank more and more.

    You mention that Klinger gave up on being an Athiest for lent but always went to Father Mulcahy’s service. This was shown in Alcoholics Unanimous “KLINGER – Nice service, Father. MULCAHY – Oh, Klinger. I don’t know what I’d do without you. You’re the only one who ever comes to Sunday services. You’re a very religious man. KLINGER – I’m really an atheist. But it gives me a chance to wear my white gloves.”

    Thank you for another great episode.

    Ben Pearlman

  11. Hi Rob, I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to your M*A*S*H podcasts. You and your guests bring a passion and insight to a show I’ve enjoyed watching many times over my life.

    I went back and looked at that OR scene you mentioned where Potter appears to waving for no reason. I had to rewind my DVR several times, but I believe it’s actually Nurse Cratty’s hand, as she’s trying to check the baby’s heartbeat while Potter and Hawkeye enter the room loudly talking. She is waving her hand for them to quiet down so she could hear through her stethoscope.

    Keep up the great work right up to GF&A!


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