Why M*A*S*H still matters?
Question Lukas: If I counted it correctly MASH is of the air for 37 years now and still such a big thing around the world, what does it mean for both of you? Jeff you played on the MASH, Ryan you are fan of it. What are your feeling when you see young people of age 15-20 following MASH and see value of it
Jeff: Well Ryan I’ve been talking for a while why didn’t you tell us (laughs)
Ryan: Well I mean I think it’s great, one of the things that’s great about MASH is a that the message of MASH is universal. It is a message of a piece and it is universal message. And even though it was filmed in 70/80th and it was set in 50th and it’s just the themes are just as relevant today as they were back then and when you see new people coming into the show, i think it’s amazing you know. You look at TV series back from that era and there are only of handful of series from that era that still has legs and can stand up and still work today. Most of the shows, if you go back and you watch TV from that era, most of the shows are just not, they don’t hold up – the themes, everything is so outdated but MASH feels that could have been filmed this year in many ways.
So because of that, is so refreshing when you see people who have never seen the show before or they watched it when they were kids or their parents watched with their kids but they haven’t watched it since are now coming back to it. It’s so cool to see that and its interesting for somebody like me who watched it whole life and been fan of it whole life. I’m always interested in hearing perspective of somebody who is fresh to it, who is coming for the 1st time and viewing with fresh eyes and able to watch from episode 1 to the last episode having never seen it before. It’s fun to be on Twitter, Reddit and its fun get online and see people saying why I’ve never watched the show, the show is amazing. My parents watched it, I never watched it and now I’m benching it and I’m loving it because of themes are so universal, those characters are universal. We all know these characters and so it’s really cool to see a new generation come to it and it’s also cool to see people who watched in past, we‘he heard this a lot Jeff, through the podcast who said: you know I saw MASH when it was on but I haven’t watched it in 25 years and because of your podcast I’ve been back and start to watch it again and I loving it again. So that makes us feel good.
Ryan: And I rumbled for about 18 minutes about and I have no idea what I said.
Jeff: yeah but that was what I was gonna say, so what I’m gonna talk about
Ryan: I’m sorry I read your line on a script I’m sorry
Jeff: Yeah You did
Lukas: So you need to come up now with different story
Ryan: Still laughs
Jeff: I don’t know what to do…what are we talking about
All: still laughs
Question Lukas: Ok Jeff what does it mean to you that you were part of it 37 years ago and still matters for people lot?
Jeff: I mean I was kind of not kidding, Ryan expressed a lot of the same feelings I have. It’s really fun to have people contact us, like Ryan said, you guys sort of reminded me MASH and stimulated my interest in it again and wow it was a good show. I’m not about sure about very young folks (15-20 year old) so I’m not sure they are watching MASH, but they should – it’s really good show 😊. I think lot of people that writing us are older than teenagers. But it is very rewarding to see, you guys helped me be interested in MASH again and that is always great. There are very wonderful themes all the way through those 11 years MASH was on. They’ve talked about very important things in all our lives, they did it with great deal humor. Some serious subjects were disquieted with humor and some slap stick material too, but the underpinnings and the underneath kind of messages MASH was saying, in lot of those shows was universal an certainly lot of valuable lessons in there. Whenever you are 15-year-old or 115 years old, the show is entertaining on lot of levels. If you just wanna sit back and laugh you can, if you wanna have something make you think you little bit, it will…I’m impressed with it, it is darn cute little show.
Question Lukas: Did you at some point expected that this might even happen, or the feelings of the cast was that ok this might live for 5-10 years and then it will be off
Jeff: When I was on the show and this is kind of subject that comes up on our podcast, it was job to me. I was an actor and actors are notoriously desperate to get jobs and then keep a job if they have one. I was no different than any other actor and I was no different than any other actor on the show. So when you are actor and you have the security of necessarily of a contract and you’ve got 7 years contract and you know what your salary gonna be as long as that show keeps on the air and ratings are good, you know you gonna have job for x number of years and you gonna be payed x number of dollars. So, every actor wants that, every actor hopes to get that although it’s still a job, you can go to work and you can really love your job but its still a job. And you still kind wanna come home and hang out or do whatever you wanna do and not necessarily do your job. Actors are little bit different, because their instruments is their bodies, voices, faces and so forth so it is different, you can’t separate yourself, you can’t just lay you know the pen down and go to the other room and forget about it. You always walking around with yourself so your instruments are always there, but in reality it’s still a job, you are doing job and getting payed and if in 1.5 year that job ends and ratings aren’t good you are not gonna get payed and you’re gonna have to go out and try to get another job. You might come up with another show that’s not necessarily as creative as wonderful as show like MASH was, but you still gonna after another job.
So this is a long story to say, when you are on that set and you are doing that job, you doing your job you’ve been hired do to something. It’s not all because you just want to be there and you wanna give away to everybody that you always thought, it’s not You are there to make living and that is very important thing to all of us do make a living. So, when you are in involved in that moment that’s what you tried to do. Now having said that, you start to like all the people, they become 2nd family, you really love the press in terms what’s happening publicly and you know certainly you are involved and like the show itself, but on some level deep down inside actors, really like having that job. So as much as they really like the everything else around it, the job is the key.
Jeff: And that’s is the way I felt. It wasn’t until later, and I hear people say dzeez I was so emotionally connected, and I had all these emotional feeling about the characters. I didn’t grow up and when I was acting on the show or doing the show, I was not involved in that portion of it. I was involved in doing my job and going home and do whatever I did. So it wasn’t as emotional thing as it is for lot of viewers and that’s kind of difference between Ryan and I and I felt that’s kind of fun of the difference in our relationship to the MASH and it is and its true.
Jeff continues: What did I said? Did I say something, am is still talking is this thing on…
End of Part 1
Pictures: Mash Matters