Originally, Klinger was only meant to appear in one episode of ''M*A*S*H''

At first, Klinger was able to get out of the war much faster than anyone expected.

In case you were wondering just how good of an actor Jamie Farr really is, here's a little reminder. According to an article with The Chicago Daily News, upon the character's inception, Maxwell Klinger was only supposed to appear in a single episode of M*A*S*H. If you recall, Klinger's character was recurring on the hit series for the first three seasons, before progressing into the main cast by season four until the show's ending.

Of his evolution from guest to main character, Farr explained, "I had a couple of lines. The producers liked it, asked me back, and I was in six or seven shows. The next year about 12. Third season they put me under contract. It has done marvelous things for me."

The fame from the role was new for Farr, who had struggled as an actor before he started on M*A*S*H. The actor said, "You know I've been practically out of work for 20 years. Just hanging in there, getting guest shots from time to time. Now everybody wants me." Before M*A*S*H, Farr was primarily known for guest appearances on shows with people like Red Skelton and Dick Van Dyke. M*A*S*H was one of his first opportunities to play a character that would last, even if Farr wasn't aware of it the first time he played Klinger.

It was a shift that even affected his future career endeavors, opening him up to new opportunities. He said, "I'm doing something very daring, for me. I'm putting together a nightclub act...I've never done stand-up before. It's hard work. But it's exciting. Imagine somebody would pay to see me, a kid from the north end of Toledo."

Farr seemed proud of the character, and not a bit worried about whether Klinger's offbeat nature might hurt his chances at future roles. Farr said, "This part is so wild that it hasn't hurt me at all."

Watch M*A*S*H on MeTV!

Weeknights at 6 PM, Sundays at 7 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

18 Comments

JHP 1 month ago
in airplane terms

what a soft landing for him:)
Cougar90 2 months ago
Once would have been enough. He was an annoying one-note character.
Adamtwelvia Cougar90 1 month ago
No way! He was the BEST character on the show! He kept it a comedy even when Alan Alda took over!
JHP Adamtwelvia 1 month ago
in my Denario opinion - the whole cast had their golden comedy moments all thru the series
JHP Adamtwelvia 1 month ago
Flagg - "hey, up close you're a man"
Klinger - "far away too"
Adamtwelvia JHP 1 month ago
Except ehen they gave Alda the pen. Then the comedic, fun-loving Hawkeye was gone and all we had was Klinger for comedy ( and Potter too)
JHP Adamtwelvia 1 month ago
I'll admit it did get darker comedy as the show went on.
Adamtwelvia JHP 1 month ago
Some eps were hardly comedy at all if not for Klinger.
JHP Adamtwelvia 1 month ago
agreed - it is like that for most series on the boob tube - writing gets changed or stale and what you as a viewer are used to seeing is

in the words of BARN " blooey"
sagafrat69 2 months ago
When you saw Klinger for the first time it was a given he was going to be comedy gold. We were going to be seeing more of him. That character really shined in the early episodes. When Burgoff left the writers really didn't have much left for Klinger. Kind of wish Klinger would've gotten the closure he deserved, gotten his points and been sent home around season 7 or 8. Yet, glad it all worked out for Jamie Farr because I hear he's a really good guy.
Adamtwelvia sagafrat69 1 month ago
No way! If Klinger left the same time as Radar, the comedy part of the show would have offically died for good and the show may have just as well been retitled 'Oh, That Hawkeye!' Or in keeping in line with the drama spin-off 'Captain Hawkeye, MD'
LoveMETV22 2 months ago
Glad Jamie Farr was afforded the role as a regular cast member. He did appear in Blackboard Jungle prior to his M*A*S*H role. He was an important cast member either way!
cperrynaples 2 months ago
I still remember that first show where Klinger performs guard patrol in drag! Classic!
I remember ' The Trial Of Henry Blake' when Klinger tried to hangglide out of the camp looking like "A big red bird with fuzzy pink feet"
Moody 2 months ago
Max Klinger was one of the funniest characters on the the show, especially in the first few seasons. His sometimes feeble, sometimes clever attempts to get kicked out the Army were hilarious. I'm glad the producers found a way to keep him on the show.
Adamtwelvia Moody 1 month ago
He's my absolute favorite! He kept the show worth watching through the Alda Seasons!
Runeshaper 2 months ago
That's cool. I'm glad he was able to make his way to being a recurring character in the main cast.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?