Many don’t know that a famous CSI actor made an appearance on MASH. Laurence Fishburne, famous for his roles on The Matrix, Apocalypse Now, CSI, Hannibal, and Blackish, also had a brief yet vital role on MASH.
He played the role of Corporal Dorsey, a soldier who was sent to Hawkeye to have his injuries evaluated. When Hawkeye finds that there isn’t any injury severe enough to send Dorsey home, Dorsey’s superior, Major Weems, reacts poorly.
Hawkeye later finds out that Weems has a reputation for mistreating his black soldiers. Throughout the episode, Weems lies multiple times to try and get Dorsey back home and is eventually tricked into admitting his racism. Fishburne’s performance as Corporal Dorsey served as a critical educational tool about the racism that existed in the armed forces during the Korean war.
MAS*H often had episodes that tackled critical subjects. Fishburne was a part of that. In spite of this, lead actor Alan Alda wasn’t afraid of causing controversy. He and the writers had to repeatedly fight network censorship, which got better after the show became more successful.
Lead Actor Believes ‘M*A*S*H’ Worke Well Because They Were Able To Tell Human Stories
For Hawkeye actor Alan Alda, one of the key parts of MAS*H is that they were able to tell genuine stories. In fact, the writers drew inspiration from interviewing real-life surgeons who served in the Korean War. They used the interviews as much as they could to create inspiration for the episodes. Two staff members even traveled to Korea and conducted interviews there.
For Alda, it was all part of the human touch that made the show so unique.
“We were lucky to be able to present human stories—in spite of the fact that it was a comedy—to let in the tragedy and horror of war. The audience responded to what we did because while we had wonderful writers and actors, we were all serving something human—not just the commercial end of getting people to watch.,” Alda told Vanity Fair in 2019.
As MAS*H progressed, it got a bit darker in tone. While it originally started out as a comedy, the show began to take itself more seriously. The show tackled plenty of tragic subjects during its run. The unique blend of comedy and drama gave the show an edge. Perhaps that’s why it has the most-watched series finale of all time. The show still has die-hard fans today, decades after its record-breaking end.