‘M*A*S*H’: How Gary Burghoff’s Pants Ruined One Scene

by Anna Dunn
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A wardrobe malfunction during one of Gary Burghoff’s scenes hilariously ruined the shooting of one M*A*S*H moment. Burghoff, who played the iconic Eugene “Radar” O’Reilly in the hit series, had a ton of hilarious scenes. But this scene was funny on accident.

During the shooting of the 1970 M*A*S*H film, things went awry with the wardrobe on set. During the scene, Col. Potter asks Radar’s help taking off his pants. Radar agrees and moves to help him, but the pants, it seems, were not as easy to get off as they looked.

One leg gets completely stuck around Potter’s boot. Eventually, he breaks character and looks to the crew for help, leaving his fellow actor pantsless. They were able to re-set and make the scene easier to shoot for both actors.

It’s far from the only hilarious moment that happened behind the scenes of M*A*S*H, but it certainly stands out.

Why Gary Burghoff Left ‘M*A*S*H’

Gary Burghoff did wind up leaving M*A*S*H before the end of its run. One director revealed why he decided to call it quits and get acting gigs elsewhere. Apparently, the actor had a difficult life back home and was struggling with his marriage, so he wanted to spend more time with his family.

“Gary Burghoff always made me feel sorry for him,” Former M*A*S*H director Charles S. Dubin said in an interview with the Television Academy Foundation. “Because he felt, not neglected, but he felt he wasn’t getting his proper dues.”

So while he did wind up leaving the show, it didn’t make the decision any harder. In fact, during the shooting of Goodbye Radar, a two-part episode that said goodbye to the character, Burghoff had a really hard time filming his scenes.

“He broke into tears and I had to stop everything for 15 minutes and walk him around the backlot of Fox,” the director said.

The script also had to do with Radar’s own relationship, which was probably also incredibly difficult for Burghoff, who had so much marital strife, to act out.

“In the script, he was talking about a future with her, possibly, [which] related to his own domestic problems,” he said. “I think that was a large part of it.”

It was an incredibly hard way to leave M*A*S*H, and you can tell Burghoff’s exit was hard on everyone.

Despite the fact that his time on M*A*S*H was cut short, Burghoff brought a ton to the show during his time. His portrayal of Radar became iconic, and is still incredibly enjoyable to watch today.

Outsider.com