Wayne Rogers explained why he was just like Trapper John

The two men shared more than just a face.

Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

The more eccentric television fans might sincerely believe that those actors on screen are exactly like the characters they play, but that's not always true. Sometimes, television serves the function of escapism, allowing the viewer to get away from the trials and tribulations of everyday life to a place strange and unfamiliar. But there are other shows that attempt to do the opposite, to use the strange and unfamiliar to help find that all-too-familiar feeling of compassion.

M*A*S*H is a series that takes one of the most stressful environments and tries to give the viewer some semblance of humanity. Even in war, episodes of M*A*S*H focus on the inherent kindness and genuineness of some characters.

In an interview with The Shreveport Journal, Wayne Rogers, best known for playing Trapper John, explained that— more often than not— he felt a kinship with his M*A*S*H character.

"I'll tell you that there is quite a lot of me in Trapper," he said. "Trapper is a man who is in a certain place by the virtue of circumstances, not of his own choosing. It is to him a question of moral standing. If you don't want to go crazy, then you attempt to escape by whatever means. The humor in M*A*S*H is the escape valve. A part of my iconoclasm, if you will, is a total disdain and antipathy to things bureaucratic."

"If you're dealing with death, the humor comes from the rejection of that," Rogers said. "There is the war, and there are the men, and there is the juxtaposition leading to the realization of the absurd."

Rogers found realism within Trapper John, and while the role granted him success, he didn't let it change his humanity.

"The so-called overnight fame I have received from M*A*S*H won't change me," he said. "All it has done is make me visible. I'm the Wayne Rogers now that I was before. I won't change."

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1 Comments

MadMat2102 14 days ago
I was too young to fully understand MASH during its original run (1972-83). Thanks to syndication, streaming, & me being older, much older, I have become a HUGE fan of the series. However, I find myself preferring the earlier episodes, w/Wayne Rogers, aka, Trapper John, and also McClean Stevenson, aka, Henry Blake, and Larry Linville, aka, Frank Burns. Although their replacements were good, MASH definitely lost its edge when those actors/characters left the series.
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