David Ogden Stiers recalled the moment he knew he had made it on M*A*S*H
A cast that pranks together stays together.
Joining an existing cast as a new character when you're an actor is no easy feat, especially when you're joining a show as insanely popular as M*A*S*H was. David Ogden Stiers was a welcome addition to the cast, and he was nominated two times for an Emmy award. It was a role that he played until the series' conclusion, and a fan favorite, even after all these years.
Stiers spoke to the Associated Press about the moment it became obvious he had achieved a level of stardom and notoriety on M*A*S*H while he was at the People's Choice Awards. He said, "Friends I hadn't seen in a while were braying about how envious they were that I had this role." However before he was cast, Stiers hadn't even seen the show. "I had seen the movie. So I had to brush up on the show." Upon watching, Stiers was able to see the talent that would soon become part of his daily routine. He commented, "I saw that I was moving into illustrious company. It started out nifty and it got better."
But while Stiers was accepted by the public, he also coveted a key memory of when he realized that he had been accepted by his fellow castmates on the series. He explained, "I knew I was accepted by the others the first time somebody threw something at me in the operating room."
The statement feels strange to hear, but someone more familiar with the M*A*S*H cast and crew and their love of pranking might be completely unphased by the comment.
Stiers continued, "We'd just finished an intense scene. I heard the director say 'cut' and I looked up waiting for him to say 'print.' That's when I was hit by three pieces of gauze." It's a moment that inspires laughter, but for Stiers, it's a heartwarming moment that was indicative that he was truly immersed as a member of the group. He concluded, "I had become part of the practical jokes."