M*A*S*HCast - Season 4, Episode 17: Der Tag
Special Guest Star: Chris Karam
Air Date: January 6, 1976
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8 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #89 – Der Tag”
Refreshing my memory of the episode before listening, I found somebody’s idea for a funny alternate ending:
Back to drone on with my very own material later, after I listen to Rob and Chris.
Rob, your story about the substitute teacher you were madly in love with resonated with me. Our first semester freshman science teacher was a toad of a woman. Mean, sweaty, and well, frankly, very unattractive. I know that’s not charitable, but this lady was nasty in demeanor, appearance, and hygiene. We came back from Christmas break, and it was as if the angels had provided her replacement. Gone was the toad, and in her place was Miss Green, a straight-out-of-college blonde, fit, vivacious 22 year-old woman that everyone boy (and probably a few girls) in every class was instantly in love with. She nearly destroyed us all when she left that summer to marry her fiancee down in Florida.
This is one of those episodes that really frustrates me about MASH. The more dramatic it gets, the more the treatment of Frank looks worse. No, Frank is not a good person but he could be better, but that would take effort on the parts of other people.
“Hey, you know that guy that we’re stuck with for who knows how long and gets really nice and friendly if we work at being nice to him? We could make everyone’s lives better here if we were to pal around with him and maybe show him other ways to think.”
“Put effort in and take away from our valuable drinking time?!?! Nope. Let’s just keep acting like jocks to a nerd.”
This is why I much prefer either the pure comedy of the first couple of seasons or the seasons after CEW3 shows up.
I always wondered who failed who in regards to Frank. The writing I think. All got a chance to grow out of their initial stereotypes ss the show grew more dramatic, but there seemed no place for Frank to go but get worse.
I remember an early 1str season show where Hawkeye missed something in a wound, and there had been a tete a tete between he and Frank earlier, where Burns rubbed it in, that Pierce wasn’t infallible. Then at the end, as they found what was causing the infection – all the doctors were gathered around. And Frank said ‘wow. Any one could have missed that.” And Hawkeye looks over and says “Thanks, Frank.”
That never happened again. Considering how talented Larry Linville was, it’s too bad the writers didn’t take a dare on him as they did with Margaret and Klinger. Maybe Charles was the apology for all that.
Great show, and fun conversation from both of you. Well done, Chris!
This is one of my favorite episodes as well, but I don’t think it’s aged as well as some of the other nuggets from this season. This is because I didn’t like that there was never any real repercussions for the events shown in this episode. After Margaret gets engaged and Frank IS all alone at camp, we never see anybody try to be nice to him again or get him to be a better person. And we never see any attempts by him to ask out any of the nurses, Kellye or not. I remember being frustrated at the time of the 5th season that Frank wasn’t being shown or given very many good scenes and certainly no Frank-centered episodes; I had my “ah-hah” moment after I found out that Larry Linville was leaving. Well of course he was; why make the effort to show more sides to Frank if we already know that “Frank” is leaving? One of the reasons I prefer season 4 to season 5.
I, too, have used the term “emotionally exhausted and morally bankrupt” from time to time. No one has yet to catch it.
And lastly, I want to disagree with you about Hawkeye’s tone when Frank calls Kellye “hotsy-totsy.” I always thought that Hawkeye was dismissive of Frank, not of Nurse Kellye. You know, because Frank is a bigot and yet here he is calling a non-Caucasian woman attractive. Maybe that was just my take on the line?
Rob. I love the podcasts and find myself now watching the episode that is due up next on your podcast. I love your continuity errors and now I too look for them. Which brings me to this. In Der Tag you pointed out a couple but I think however, you missed one. When BJ gets in the jeep to go get Frank he brings a package of fig Newton’s. If you noticed the package it’s cellophane wrap and the logo is a newer one. Nabisco packaged cookies in boxes in the 50s and their logo was nothing like the one we see today. My power of observation have increased since listening to your podcast. Keep up the good work. Sign me Private First Class. Al Ballard
In a later episode a patient has a Hershey’s bar with a UPC on the back.
I can’t help but wonder who tended to the wounded who came in on the ambulance, as Hawkeye, BJ and Frank were all sleeping off their drunkeness. Did Col. Potter just take care of them all by himself? Or was it that ‘night shift’ of other surgeons we never see on camera? (Hey, in my head cannon Spearchucker and Ugly John were still at the 4077th right up until the last episode, they just worked the opposite shift. 😉 )
And talking about how the episodes were cut up for syndication, the cupcake bit has me questioning whether by this point in the series, the producers were intentionally trying to put scenes into episodes that could be easily cut without impacting the main story. Of course, if so, they clearly had no control over the final syndication editing, so their efforts didn’t amount to much, it seems.
And I’m always amused by anachronistic appearances of comic books. While I didn’t expect M*A*S*H* to hunt down a 25 year old date-appropriate comic book for Radar to be holding, I think the least they could have done would have been to fold the issue open, so that we could see it was a comic book by the interior pages, but not see the cover. One of my favorite examples of a comic book out of time is the 1959 Frank Sinatra/Steve McQueen film, “Never So Few”, which is set during World War II. In it, we see soldiers reading comic books; I did a quick check and discovered they were issues of Dell’s “Tom and Jerry” from the early 1950s. So not only were they a decade too early for the time frame of the movie, they were nearly a decade old when they were used as props. It makes me wonder if the studios really did keep a stack of comics to use on screen, or if someone in the crew said, “Hey, we still have some of my kid’s old comics in the attic…I’ll bring a few in.”