Before M*A*S*H, Alan Alda worked as a very underappreciated dancing clown

Alda spent his days dancing and dodging eggs.

Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

First jobs are often tough. Often in your first job, you're young and inexperienced

Because Alan Alda spent eleven years on M*A*S*H, it can be difficult to picture him in any job that isn't playing Hawkeye Pierce. But according to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, before he became a proper actor, Alda had to make ends meet somehow. So, he worked a series of odd jobs. These included a cab driver, a doorman, and best of all, a dancing clown.

Alda explained that he was hired to promote the opening of certain stores like food shops and gas stations. Let the record show that we are pro-clown here, but that doesn't mean that everybody on the streets of New York watching Alda perform were also fans.

"If you go into a rough neighborhood of New York dressed like a clown and start dancing in the street for seven hours, you're really in trouble," Alda said.

In this case, "trouble" meant that people threw eggs at Alda during his performances, and he was chased around by ten-year-olds who wanted his balloons. Luckily, Alda was talented enough that he was able to find a quick escape, even if it might have bruised his pride a little bit.

"I had to clamber up a light pole for safety. I threw the balloons twenty feet away, got down, went inside the food shop, changed, and never came back," he said. "It was my last day as a clown."

Luckily, Alda's luck would change for the better when he was cast in M*A*S*H, and after only a matter of time, Alda was successful enough that he was able to take a flight after filming on the M*A*S*H set to go back to his family's home in New Jersey to reunite with his wife and children. So while we'd probably pay big money to see Alan Alda the dancing clown, we do feel that acting is probably the best profession for him.

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3 Comments

NickG 21 days ago
Great career move. I dislike clowns as much as I dislike warm, flat soda. However, MASH is one of my favorite shows. I also enjoyed Alan‘s performance on the Carol Burnett Show and his movies.

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