Before he passed away in 2015, “MAS*H” star Wayne Rogers sat down for an interview to share details about the beloved show, as well as his recollections from the set. Rogers played Captain “Trapper John” McIntyre from 1972 until 1978. The show stayed on the air until 1983.
One of the interesting stories he shared dealt with one of his costars going out in public in costume, a parade, and a container of brandy. That costar was William Christopher. He played Father Frank Mulcahy on the hit show.
Rogers talked about Christopher, who he referred to as “Billy,” during an interview with Pop Goes The Culture TV. The story starts with the cast of “M*A*S*H” taking part in the Hollywood Parade.
“We went riding in a Jeep,” Wayne Rogers recalled. “It may have been the first you. I don’t remember. And, the public didn’t really know who we were or anything. It was a bitter cold night. The Hollywood Parade runs in December … It was a cold night.”
Because of the weather, Christopher brought along something he thought would make him and his “M*A*S*H” costars more, let’s say – comfortable.
“Billy had brought a canister – a Thermos – of brandy and something else too, to warm himself up and the rest of us as it were,” Rogers said.
Wayne Rogers Said His ‘M*A*S*H’ Costar Got Drunk During Hollywood Parade
Well, the container of brandy kept him warm, but it also made Billy pretty drunk, according to “M*A*S*H* star Wayne Rogers. What made the situation funny is that Billy was dressed in his Father Mulcahy costume at the time
“And, he proceeded to get sloshed. … But, he had on the cassock and he had on a big heavy silver cross and everything,” Rogers said.
As the parade went on, other people also began to notice the state Billy was in.
“And, some various points through the parade, you know, you get out of the Jeep and you walk around and walk alongside. Well, Billy couldn’t walk. He was in bad shape. So, he was kind of weaving around in the Jeep like this,” Rogers said as he swerved his torso around. “People would say, ‘Oh, look there’s’ – and kids – they would say, ‘Oh, look at the priest. My God, the priest is drunk.’ They thought he was a real priest, of course. And, Billy was (saying), ‘Bless you, my son and you too.’”
A laughing Wayne Rogers then said, “I mean, he was gone.”
You can watch Wayne Rogers talk about “M*A*S*H” below. His story about William Christopher wearing his priest costume in public begin around the 16-minute mark of the video.