‘M*A*S*H’: The Surprising Connection Between the Classic Series and ‘St. Elsewhere’

Over the years, fans of the classic TV show MASH may have been looking for ways the show connects with other ones. It can be a game all by itself, even going so far as to see if cast members happen to have some way to connect, too. This time, though, we’re going to look at how MASH and the famed NBC drama St. Elsewhere might cross paths.

Dr. Mark Craig Makes Reference To ‘M*A*S*H’ Character In Episode

In an episode from Season 4 of St. Elsewhere, we hear Dr. Mark Craig, played by Wiliam Daniels, say he was drinking pals with B.J. Hunnicutt. Of course, on M*A*S*H, Mike Farrell played Hunnicutt, who took over the spot vacated by Wayne Rogers’ Trapper John. Craig makes this claim as he said that he served next to him in Korea. The comment is made in a passing sort of way. Was Craig serious or is this some joke?

We don’t know but this does draw a line between both shows. If one wants to stretch it out further, then both shows have a medical connection. I mean, the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital is what M*A*S*H stands for and St. Elsewhere reflects, yes, doctors and a hospital. Looking for strands to connect with these shows is fun to do.

Farrell wasn’t a confident dude when it came to replacing Rogers. In fact, he said it was “terrifying.” How so? “It was terrifying,” Farrell said in an interview with Closer. “I thought maybe they’d all resent me for replacing their buddy.” As it turns out, B.J. would become one of the most memorable characters. There were moments when Hunnicutt talks about going back home to his wife Peg and their family. It brings a sense of humanity and decency in the midst of horrid war.

Veteran Actor Had Rather Blunt Thoughts On Show’s Epic Finale

Speaking of war, MAS*H did its best to show different sides of it. The good, the bad, and, yes, the ugly. But the show had one of the most-watched series finales in TV history. Would you believe one of its stars called it “boring”? That was the verbal vote from actor Larry Linville, who played Major Frank Burns. “Boring as hell,” Linville told The News & Observer years ago.

Linville had some of the most memorable scenes with Loretta Swit, who played Margaret Houlihan on there. During the show’s early seasons, Burns and Margaret were an “item.” You can see them stake out their time to visit Col. Henry Blake, played by McLean Stevenson, and complain. The actor would leave the show before it finished its run. Maybe he had some unhappy moments on there. Or it is possible that Linville just got tired of playing Burns.

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