M*A*S*H

‘Jeopardy!’ Host Ken Jennings Is Finding Relief in ‘M*A*S*H’ During These ‘Troubled Times’

With the world in chaos, flip on an episode of MAS*H. At least, that’s how Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings deals with it all.

Jennings, the Jeopardy! super champion, tweeted about MAS*H on Sunday night.

“These are troubled times but at least I just saw part of a MASH episode that had Philip Baker Hall as an mp,” Jennings wrote. He then added: “Is this mustache more 1978 than 1952? Sound off in the comments!”

Hall is a well-known character actor. And back in the 1970s, when M*A*S*H was in its heyday, Hall was just getting started. His role as Sgt. Hacker was one of more than 200 guest roles he had on TV in his career. You also probably recognize him from the movies. The 90-year-old actor has co-starred in projects like MagnoliaBoogie Nights and Argo. His most recent work was in the TV series Messiah.

Hall Played Sarcastic Truck Driver in M*A*S*H Episode

He had a few lines in his M*A*S*H debut in an episode called “The Light That Failed.” His interaction was with Col. Potter. The 4077th was anxiously awaiting a supply truck, which was driven by Sgt. Hacker. It’s winter and the unit is running low on everything.

Hacker and his truck arrive. But there’s nothing of any use in the truck. It’s basically stuff for making homemade ice cream along with some insect spray.

Potter, who is in charge of the M*A*S*H unit, is irritated. He asks “Who’s the ignoramus who’s responsible for all of this? Didn’t you wonder why you were shipping mosquito netting to a M*A*S*H unit in Korea in the dead of winter!”

Hacker snaps back with some classic M*A*S*H dialogue. “I used to, but it kept me up at nights, and I began to have worry lines, so I cut it out!” He told Potter to “look on the bright side!” Potter tried hard to find the bright side.

Hacker says: “Summer is just six months away!!”

The rest of the M*A*S*H episode dealt with the boredom everyone was feeling in winter. The truck did carry a package for B.J. (Mike Farrell). And in it was mystery novel called “The Rooster Crowed at Midnight.” Everyone in camp wanted to read it, so they all followed along with the story. But someone ripped out the last page of the book, so no one knew whodunnit.

Everyone had an opinion on who committed the crime. The arguments grew so animated that they tracked down the author. She was a 97-year-old woman living in Australia. She tells them what happened on the last page. But it turns out she was wrong, too.

This M*A*S*H episode also represented a change in the status quo. Radar wasn’t the clerk. It was Klinger, with no explanation.

But there was a happy ending to the episode. A new supply truck rolled in.

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