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June 28, 2006



One continuity glitch I just noticed was last night in a Roger-era episode where Hot Lips tells Frank Burns that her mother's an alcoholic and her father's dead. There's a Potter-era episode where her Army father visits and treats her badly.


//Harry Morgan initially appeared as an insane general (maybe the funniest MASH episode EVER – “The General Flipped at Dawn”) and then later as Colonel Potter.//Hey, Father Mulcahy was played by a different actor in the pilot than in the rest of the series. Plus, almost all of the characters were played by different actors in the movie. So I guess Harry Morgan playing two roles never bothered me.What bothered me was, who the hell was doing all the PA announcements?

Ken Levine

His name is Sal Visculo.

Paul Duca

I'm with Doggans...I don't see anything necessarily wrong with an actor making a guest appearance on a show, then joining the regular cast as a different character (although I do admit to being a little weirded out that Anita Gillette portrayed BOTH wives of Jack Klugman's Dr. Quincy, in that same scenario--and the TV person for ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY feels the same way about Sherilynn Fenn doing that on GILMORE GIRLS).And speaking of continuity...you alternate between using and not using the astericks. I read that it's the film (and book) one refers to without them.The story in TV GUIDE at the time of the finale said that someone had pilfered the sign from the on-set toilet--an anmenity long in arriving, despite the show's success. But apparently, Casa Levine is not graced with "The Official M*A*S*H Can"Are you jealous that Walter Dishell got an article in PEOPLE for his role as medical advisor?

Ken Levine

I have no problem with Harry Morgan having played two characters in MASH. Both characters are great. But it is a glaring inconsistency. And lots of series have them. How about BETWITCHED with two Darrens? We used the *'s in all MASH scripts and on the opening titles. I omit them because it's a pain in the ass.I'm happy that Walt Dishell got an article about himself in People. And I'm certainly not jealous. People magazine also did an article about me in '91, focused on my baseball announcing career.


HiWas it tough doing an hour long Mash? as opposed to half hours?What about the last episode of mash, can you tell us a bit about the writing and story breaking of that classic episode?alan alda wrote a couple of mash episodes. how did that come about? were there many changes in script?MORE MASH STUFF, PLEASE!i've been buying each dvd set of mash as it comes out, but now i learnt that they are going to relaease an entire box set with some extra features to boot...DAMN THEM!


Saw the clip on TV Land last night (but I'd seen you interviewed before)and hadn't realized that was the "Mary" series you refer to, not the one that Letterman and Keaton were involved with in the late 70's. That was a very good series. I still have most of the episodes on VHS. It's too bad that was a bad experience for you, because that was a very likeable show.


I remember when the final episode aired (and in subsequent viewings), thinking how nice it would have been to hear "Suicide is Painless" with the lyrics while Hawkeye was flying away from the camp in the helicopter. Was that ever considered?It's interesting how resonant BJ and Hawkeye have been to me all my life. I tell my self I'm a BJ Honeycutt who wants to be a Hawkeye Pierce... I even have a daughter named Erin (just a coincidence)!


Ken,Thanks so much for the insiders view into one of my favorite shows. It's funny how you mentioned the other talented writers because I was going to delurk to comment that I knew if it was written by Levine and Issacs it was going to be a good episode. I take note of opening and closing credits on TV shows, I'm a geek, I know. But it's the writers that put the words in the mouths of the actors. That's first and foremost.The episodes that you have cited lately were my absolute favorite episodes. Thanks for sharing.


All right, you win!!! I'll share my one and only MASH memory! I was very young when the show ended - maybe 6 or 7 - and all I remember about the show's original airings was the series finale (I've obviously watched reruns since). I don't think I understood much of anything about the show at the time... but I cried myself to sleep that night picturing that chopper pulling away from camp. I don't know if I've ever seen that episode again, but that shot looking down at the camp still sticks with me.


More MASH, More MASH!!!!


Hi KenMore Mash stories please.Another classic I loved and left me with wet eyes was the 2 parter goodbye radar episodes. Ken and Issac wrote them.Can you tell us a bit about those two episodes? how did you come up with the story? why 2 parter? and was it emotional on set? when radar finally left?thanks

Tom Dougherty

Continuity glitches occur in anything running longer than a few eps. I think that people pointing out the errors is a sign of success- they're watching hard and often. MASH errors are like the mistakes in Persian rugs- necessary and spiritual in their own way.


Well Said Tom!!

Ann Wesley Hardin

MASH was just a Great Show. One of those life-changing events in the great TV era. A magnum opus, no matter who was doing the writing--and I don't mean that in a diminishing sense to the individual writers at all. It just seemed ya'll were of the same mind. What sort of magic united you?Also, Colonel Flagg. Can't tell you how he has affected my life. LOL. I meet people like him every day. Not that it matters, but who thought him up?

Vlad Tepes

It's funny how you guys filled in the medical terminology with gobbledy-gook. There was a show about "the medicine behind Grey's Anatomy" recently. It revealed that the writers on that show write the medical terminology like this:GREYMedical, medical, medical, medical. Boy, this guy's really medical! SHEPHERDMedical, medical, medical. We'd better medical his medical stat.The terminology is filled in by an MD on the show's staff. Pretty similar setup, but I guess maybe they're too lazy to come up with the gobbledy-gook.

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    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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