M*A*S*HCast #88 – Dear Ma

M*A*S*HCast -  Season 4, Episode 16: Dear Ma

Special Guest Star: Mitch Hallock

Air Date: December 23, 1975

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7 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #88 – Dear Ma

  1. Average annual income in 1952 was $2,300. In one episode Burns reads an article where a surgeon should base his operation fee on 5% of a person’s annual income. That would be $115. Additionally there was a Three Stooges short released in 1954 (“Income Tax Sappy”) where Larry is filling out his tax form and says he’ll deduct $2,500 for his operation. Moe surprisingly says “$2,500 for ONE operation?” Larry confesses that it’s for three operations and the installation of a zipper in case he need another. So an operation in that period was probably between $100 and $500 depending on complexity.

    When Radar talks to Ms. Potter he can’t hear her and then says “That’s OK. Even static from home sounds good.” So how did Ms. Potter hear the shrapnel hitting the metal pan?

  2. Great show and great new guest, Rob. I have lots to say. First, I’m going to rant about Saint Stephen, because he is an awesome New Testament boss. The book of Acts describes him as being “full of faith and the Holy Spirit.” He was one of the Hellenist Jews — i.e., Jews who had adopted elements of Greek culture — who became an early follower of Christ. He’s recorded as having “performed signs and wonders.” He served as one of the first deacons, distributing food to indigent widows. Jews in the synagogues who didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah would initiate and lose debates with Stephen. Eventually, a group seized him and took him to the council of religious leaders. There, in one of the Bible’s epic speeches, Stephen’s used the high priest’s questioning as an opportunity to summarize all of Israel’s history as leading to the coming of Jesus Christ and to Christ’s murder by the same religious leaders. Stephen then poured gasoline on the now-even-angrier mob. He explained that he was having a vision of Heaven right then, and he could see Jesus at the right hand of the Father. To no one’s surprise — probably not even Stephen’s — the crowd ran him out of the city and stoned him to death.
    That’s all in Chapters 6 and 7 of the Acts of the Apostles, linked below.


    But the story doesn’t end with Stephen’s death. A religious scholar named Saul watched the stone-throwers’ coats while they were busy. He later became a professional Christian-hunter. On one of his “safaris,” Saul had a vision of Jesus. This led to him becoming the Christian apostle Paul (under the Greek version of his name). Paul evangelized the Greco-Roman world and wrote much of the New Testament.

    Now, Mitch, you know another reason your Confirmation name is cool.

    Regarding the North Korean soldier, it’s generally easier to police who’s in the camp than who gets to eat in the chow hall. The camp will have fences, gates, and guards. Those physical security features seem to be scarce at the 4077th, and as with a real camp, visitors eat in there sometimes. Consequently, I’m less surprised that a starving North Korean soldier in a vague uniform took the chance and succeeded at picking up a tray. Even today, as serious as the standoff between North and South Korea has been, I’ve half-jokingly questioned whether the North Korean invasion would get stalled at the first row of fast food restaurants in Seoul.

    In another related bit, I’ve heard apocryphal stories of defense contractors who didn’t go home right away when they lost their contract. According to the myth, they just hung around, eating at the chow hall and sleeping in their quarters until they got caught and sent away. But I never saw it happen — I don’t think.

    Regarding Frank’s surprising physical courage, I wonder if it isn’t more evidence of his adjustment disorder/depression. He might be valuing his own life a little less these days.

    The wrist lock that felled Frank was a basic, but obviously effective, aikido move. It may also show up in other disciplines. I’ve heard that both the North and South Korean militaries put some emphasis on unarmed combatives. Assuming that’s true and was also true then, the colonel’s response to Frank’s apology seems quite legit.

    Looking forward to next week!

  3. Back in September 1989, I was an Airman First Class stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. I had a premonition that something bad had happened to my parents. I called my mom back in Michigan, who said nothing was wrong and she couldn’t figure out what my premonition was about. I then told her I was going to call my dad, as they were divorced at the time. My mom said to not bother calling my dad, since he wasn’t home. When I asked where he was, she said he had been rushed to emergency surgery after a motor vehicle accident and was still in the hospital!

  4. You may claim to be a big fan of the show, but did you legally change your name to MASH?

    Stephen is the patron saint of stone masons. I find that way funnier than Stephen does, I imagine.

    Please get this guy back on just to tell stories. I would have caused a wreck if I saw a sign saying “Meet Frank Burns”. How cool is that?

  5. Another great episode, and another one of my favorites.
    And my goodness, Mitch is entertaining as h-e-double toothpicks! Have him back on, please!

    I lived in Japan for many years in the 80s and 90s and before technology got better, international phone calls were VERY hit or miss. So I can vouch for the first call from Mrs. Potter not being great, but the second maybe being clear enough that she could hear the bullet in the tray. And yes, often they could hear you but you couldn’t hear them, or vice versa. I smile every time I hear Radar’s line about “even static from home sounds good” because yes, when you are literally thousands of miles away and your loved one is on the other line, even if you can’t necessarily hear them, it’s a very warm feeling. 🙂

    Larry Linville came and spoke to my college, must have been maybe late 1984? He answered questions after he spoke about his career and told stories about MASH and Norman Lear and acting in summer stock or whatever it was he was doing besides visiting car dealerships. The hall where he spoke was PACKED. My friends and I really enjoyed him. He was quite a fun, friendly guy. I had the poster for his appearance in my dorm room for the rest of my college days. I *think* it said, “Meet Larry Linville” instead of Frank Burns, though. 😉

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