A lot of actors would appear on MAS*H before hitting it big in other shows. George Wendt of Cheers fame did and a costar did, too. Shelley Long plays Diane Chambers on the NBC sitcom yet she would have a turn on the famed CBS sitcom, too. Her role as Nurse Mendenhall might not be immediately remembered as one from Long’s career. Yet she finds herself getting cozy with Hawkeye Pierce.
Hawkeye Tries Sobering Up on ‘M*A*S*H’ Alongside ‘Cheers’ Shelley Long
The episode is titled Bottle Fatigue. Its synopsis gives us a little insight into the M*A*S*H storyline: “Hawkeye goes on the wagon and drives everyone crazy. When Winchester hears that his sister is going to marry an Italian, he goes nuts, doing everything in his power to stop the marriage.” Yes, the boozing doctor from the 4077th is giving up drinking.
The Season 8 episode finds Long as Mendenhall is going out on a date. She’s drinking it up while Hawkeye, played by Alan Alda, is looking to stay clean and sober. At one point, Long’s character says, “If I would have known that I was going to receive a temperance lecture I would have made a date with someone more fun — like a cadaver!” Well, that’s all she wrote here and the date comes to an end. Long would go from M*A*S*H to eventually start playing Diane in 1982 on Cheers.
Long Leaves Successful Sitcom on NBC, Answers Questions About Getting Along With Ted Danson
This actress, though, would leave the show after a successful run. “I have no regrets about leaving Cheers,” Long said in an interview in 1992 with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. There were reportedly issues between her and costar Ted Danson. “I liked Ted and I still like Ted,” Long said in the same interview.
“We never fought,” she continued about herself and Danson, who played Sam Malone. “Maybe we should have. I mean, he got angry once, pretty late in the game about something that I wish he had told me about long before because I made every effort to change it. And I think I did a pretty good job, although maybe it wasn’t good enough for him.”
Questions about her tardiness to the set would crop up, too. “Being a girl, it took me a little longer to get dressed,” Long said. “I wasn’t wearing easy clothes. I was wearing frilly, take-some-time clothes. That was my job, to be the girl in the frilly clothes. I went as fast as I humanly could. I ate more hair in those days because I would have my dinner while it was being done. (And) I did all of this after Ted made his suggestion.”