Here’s how Jamie Farr dealt with Klinger-haters

People spoke their minds about Klinger's clothes.

No matter what we do, or how well we do it, somebody somewhere is going to dislike it. That’s just how life works. No matter how hard you try, there will be haters.

Here’s some proof: M*A*S*H is one of the most critically acclaimed shows of all time. Not only did the show have critics on its side, but it also had the ratings to back up the glowing reviews. The show was massively popular, and the finale was one of the biggest telecasts of all time. Hindsight allows us to see that, if anything, M*A*S*H was actually underrated in its time. Whereas other shows reveal themselves to have “aged poorly,” M*A*S*H is an even richer experience as a ’70s time capsule.

Despite all that, though, series regular Jamie Farr still had haters. That is, of course, due to his character Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger, just one of many deep, believable soldiers that populated the 4077th. Klinger chose to wear clothes typically worn by women. This was, at first, an attempted ruse to evade military combat. Klinger initially thought that his choice of wardrobe would preclude his involvement in the war. However, Klinger was actually a vital member of his unit. It was the person Klinger was, not the clothes he wore, that made him reliable to his friends and brothers-in-arms.

But, small people will find anything to project their insecurities onto, so Klinger’s wardrobe became a much-contested part of Jamie Farr’s life. Farr spoke candidly and even joked about the ways Klinger’s wardrobe affected his every day in a 1975 interview in the Lexington Herald.

“I especially enjoy watching people at a restaurant when I go to the restroom,” said Farr. “I watch their faces as they lay bets on which room I’ll use.

“I was working one day and I heard someone holler out at me about how stupid I must be to play a role dressed like that. I looked back and it was a fellow in line for Let’s Make a Deal. I was being told how silly I looked by an ear of corn.”

Let that be a lesson to all of us. No matter what someone has to say about us, we must first consider the source. Chances are, their words won’t hurt nearly as much if we picture them dressed like an ear of corn.

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