There were way more extramarital affairs in the original plot of M*A*S*H

How many extramarital affairs are too many extramarital affairs?

Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned extramarital affair to spice things up (IN A TELEVISION SHOW)? Well, in the original plot of M*A*S*H, creators Larry Gelbart and Gene Reynolds seemed to be looking to make things extra spicy, if you know what I mean. If you recall, there’s quite a bit of fraternization in M*A*S*H already.

You’ve got the constant ups and downs of Frank Burns and Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan. Plus, there's Trapper, who definitely had a wife back home. However, according to Sally Bedell’s book Up the Tube: Prime-Time TV and the Silverman Years, the plan was originally to have Hawkeye and Lieutenant Dish married to spouses and cheating, in addition to Houlihan, Trapper, and Burns.

As it turns out, CBS couldn’t handle that many affairs and had to ask Gelbart and Reynolds to tone it down. According to the book, the censors told Gelbart, “We’ll accept the ongoing extramarital relationship between Frank Burns and the nurse, but for God’s sake let’s not have everybody bouncing around.” Gelbart was willing to acquiesce to the change and leveled it down to an appropriate amount of affairs for CBS’s liking.

The excessive affairs were just a single element of the original story that Gelbart had thought out. However, he took much less time to write out the story than Reynolds had originally thought. According to Up The Tube, Alan Wagner at CBS approved the original story outline that the two had come up with, and Reynolds gave Gelbart the task of writing up the actual story. After two months, Reynolds hadn’t heard anything back from Gelbart, so he called him up.

Here’s how Up The Tube described the interaction, according to Gelbart: “Reynolds called Gelbart to inquire about his progress. ‘I just mailed the script,’ said Gelbart. He then sat down and wrote it in two days.” So, if you’ve ever procrastinated your work, just remember that you’ve probably never procrastinated as hard as Larry Gelbart did when he was writing M*A*S*H. Plus, I bet you didn’t add half as many extramarital affairs as he did to his work.

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sagafrat69 7 months ago
If BJ "Beeg" Hunnicutt cheated or was tempted to cheat on Peggy he was a "good guy" because he felt guilty about it. NO! Not Blake or Trap. They're bad people because they felt no shame. Like little nurse Carrie (the second Mrs. Reynolds) said " We're still human beings even when we try hard not to be". At least Gelbart had the guts to try to show these characters as good people in an impossible situation with very real human flaws. Show got a little boring slowly but surely those last few seasons with everyone being so nice and faithful. I'd take Blake,Trapper John and Lt. Dish anytime. Was clearly a much better show.
harlow1313 7 months ago
I am now reminded.

I really hate the episode where Henry Blake returns to camp with a dopey twenty-year-old-girl, cart-wheeling in a letter-sweater. I cringe with all the false notes that episode strikes. Hate it.
harlow1313 7 months ago
I have always loathed this aspect of the show. I could write an essay on scenes I despise (Hawkeye and Trapper are embarrassing enough. but B.J. makes me cringe.) . With the constant reruns here at METV, I have become overly analytical of the show, and I no longer respect it.

I am not a prude, but I like to have a lead character I can admire.

For example, Trapper, along with his wife, is adopting a Korean Boy, but then in another episode he is trying to screw Margaret. Integrity, please!
MrsPhilHarris harlow1313 7 months ago
I am nota fan of BJ either.
LoveMETV22 harlow1313 7 months ago
" I could write an essay on scenes"
You mentioned an essay on the overuse of lol in a recent quiz as well. Will you be publishing them? With the Autumnal Equinox a little over a week away, it would make for some good reading.
harlow1313 LoveMETV22 7 months ago
I am stuffed full of more crap than a Thanksgiving turkey.

Here is another M*A*S*H episode I despise: The story where Hawkeye is raffling off a bottle of wine to a winning and willing nurse. I cringe.
LoveMETV22 harlow1313 7 months ago
" I am stuffed full of more crap than a Thanksgiving turkey."
That's not a problem. The Stooges turkey was stuffed full as well.

WordsmithWorks 7 months ago
As Father Mulcahy said, "The 7th commandment takes quite a beating here." While Frank and Margaret thought they were hiding their relationship, Henry Blake and Leslie didn't even bother to try.
cperrynaples 7 months ago
If I remember correctly, there was a Hawkeye/Dish romance in the original movie! It didn't end well! Ultimately, Lt. Dish was quickly written out of the TV series!
There was also Lt. Margie Cutler (played by Marcia "Mrs. Kotter" Strassman. I think she was supposed to be like a female Hawkeye for the nurses. She lasted six episodes.
Suzies1952 7 months ago
About my last comment, with so many people having their identities stolen!, this is more important than ever! Me tv I hope your not doing this? If you are!, I want to know because then I’ll be off of here so fast you won’t see it coming
Suzies1952 7 months ago
Under me tv at the end!, it has do not sell my information-CA residents? Why not have do not sell my information every state?, no one has the right to sell any of our information thank you
harlow1313 Suzies1952 7 months ago
Sadly, we live in a world gone mad. They pick my pocket in every way they can figure.
Suzies1952 7 months ago
I don’t love or like extra marital affairs thank you and the one part of mash I didn’t like!, one is one too many
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