These are the actors who made P.A. announcements on M*A*S*H
One "unseen" P.A. announcer actually appeared in three episodes.
Read to Me
"Incoming wounded," the P.A. system often announced on M*A*S*H, or maybe "One minute to Charlie." These alerts served as a perfect transition device on a groundbreaking show that often shifted between tense and hilarious scenes. However, the P.A. wasn't always broadcasting an alert. Depending on who was on the mic, sometimes the P.A. painted a soothing picture, announced a party or cracked a joke.
For many M*A*S*H fans, a lingering question remains in the back of their brains when the P.A. sounds. "Who is the voice making these announcements?" Considered an unseen character, the M*A*S*H announcer adds a little bit of mystique to the 4077th camp, but for attentive listeners, you likely deduced it wasn't just one actor behind the mic of the P.A.
On M*A*S*H, at least three cast members can be heard making announcements over the P.A., starting right in the pilot episode, where Jamie Farr does all the announcements before we ever see Maxwell Klinger onscreen. The first M*A*S*H episode even ends with Farr introducing the whole cast over the P.A. and using their real names:
"Attention. Attention. The following personnel are assigned to the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital: Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, McLean Stevenson, Loretta Swit, G. Wood, Larry Linville, Gary Burghoff, Karen Phillip, George Morgan, Patrick Adiarte, Timothy Brown, Odessa Cleveland."
Klinger would later also hop on the P.A. in the episodes "Father's Day" ("Attention Major Houlihan. Last call for Major Houlihan. You have a phone call. Oh by the way, it's your father!") and "Operation Friendship," ("Paging Charles Emerson Winchester the living. This is your saviour speaking. You are wanted in the reading room. So for the last time I say, 'Chop chop. Chuck chuck.'"), but Gary Burghoff has Farr beat for more times on the P.A. system.
We heard Radar on the P.A. at least five times, including making this memorable announcement in "The Longjohn Flap":
"Attention. Attention. Here's the announcement you've all been waiting for: Lt. Col. Henry Blake is the proud father of a bouncing baby appendix. Henry's doing fine. And the underwear's been saved!"
But the best time Radar got personal on the P.A. was definitely in "Bombed," when he read everybody a letter from his mom:
"Testing, test... 1, 2, 3. Testing, 1, 2. Radar here, uh... there's nobody on the radio now except 'Seoul City' Sue, so I figured I'd keep you entertained by reading you a letter from my mom. Here it goes. 'Dear Son, I got your lovely letter. You certainly asked a lot of questions. About the car, you may. About Jennifer next door, yes. About Eleanor Simon, she did once or twice but not too much. About your uncle Albert, no on drinking, yes on AA. About the dog Leon, three times in the bedroom, once under the washer and twice on the cat. Testing. About the cat, we don't have one anymore. About your cousin Ernie, he's in the..."
Radar's reading is interrupted by an explosion and quickly morphs into a warning: "Oh! Oh! Here we go again! Watch out!"
We also heard Radar on the P.A. in an episode that saw a rare appearance of Henry Blake on the P.A., "Check-Up." Radar was testing the mic, "Testing, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Testing, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H. I got a gal in Kalamazoo..." before we heard Blake begrudgingly announce:
"Attention. Attention, please. May I have the attention of each and every personnel, please. This is your commanding officer, Colonel Blake. Now, it's required that uh... everyone be given a routine medical check-up. This, according to a new Army regulation, which is uh... your uh... RP78-stroke-8-O-double 78J... uh blah blah blah. Now, accordingly, enlisted men will fall into the mess tent to receive their physicals. Officers will examine themselves and vice versa in private." Blake then says to Radar still on the mic: "Is there anything else I should tell them, Radar? Okay." Then he returns to the regular bulletin: "Tonight's movie is a double feature: Godzilla and the Bobbiesoxer plus Ma and Pa Kettle Have a Baby."
But most times we heard voices on the P.A., there were two actors doing most of the voice work on M*A*S*H, Todd Susman and Sal Viscuso. Susman voiced the P.A. Announcer in 47 episodes from 1973 to 1979, including most notably "Abyssinia, Henry," "5 O'Clock Charlie," "Of Moose and Men" and "Welcome to Korea." In "Welcome to Korea," we even heard him make a pretty important M*A*S*H introduction:
"Attention. Attention, please. The following personnel are permanently assigned to the M*A*S*H 4077: Alan Alda as Hawkeye, Mike Farrell as B.J. Hunnicutt, Loretta Swit as Hot Lips Houlihan, Larry Linville as Frank Burns, Gary Burghoff as Radar O'Reilly, William Christopher as Father Mulcahy, Jamie Farr as Corporal Klinger, and reporting for duty as new commanding officer at 1600 hours 19th September 1952, Harry Morgan as Col. Sherman Potter, Regular Army. God help us all."
Susman appeared once on M*A*S*H, as Private Danny Baker in "Operation Noselift," and he has appeared on TV from the 1970s right up to today, with his activity really spiking in the 1980s in memorable guest appearances on hit shows like The Facts of Life (he played the prison warden in "Christmas in the Big House") and ALF (he gets saved by ALF as Willie's coworker who was also secretly in witness protection in "Hide Away").
Sal Viscuso, on the other hand, actually appeared in three episodes of M*A*S*H, in addition to recurring roles on sitcoms like Mary, Mary (Sikanda), Soap (Tim Flotsky), and Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (Bobby Bigmouth). He even joined the cast of the short-lived series The Montefuscos. But on M*A*S*H, we saw him twice in a patient bed and once at confession with Father Mulcahy.
But much more frequently, Viscuso voiced the P.A. announcer for M*A*S*H, totaling 40 times from 1976 to 1979 including episodes like "Baby, It's Cold Outside," "Potter's Retirement," "Dear Comrade" and "Preventive Medicine." Our favorite was probably this warning for Klinger that rang out in "Fade In, Fade Out": "Attention. Corporal Klinger report to Col. Potter's office on the double and bring your lawyer."