‘M*A*S*H’ Actor Told Story That Perfectly Summed Up How ‘Cheap’ CBS Was Despite Show’s Success

by Will Shepard
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Ahh, the 1970s was an excellent time for television shows. It seemed like everything that aired during that period was a hit. M*A*S*H was one of those hit television shows from that era. Not only was it a tremendous success, but it seems to get better with age.

Jamie Farr played the happy-go-lucky, cross-dressing Maxwell Klinger on the show for eleven seasons. He was a fan-favorite character. His antics on the show brought a ton of laughs and memorable scenes.

However, in an interview with Craig Bennett for Studio 10, he gave his insight into the show. Farr described how incredibly successful M*A*S*H was, yet the CBS studio didn’t reflect knowledge.

The question that prompted his response was about how much money the show made the studio. In fact, the show was responsible for “one-quarter of the studio’s yearly revenue.” That alone should merit a lot of respect for the cast and crew.

“I’ll show you how cheap that studio was at that time,” Farr said with a smile. He then launched into a story about it. “We used to go get coffee every day at the craft services. And they would charge us 25 cents for a cup of coffee.” For an on-set vendor provided by the studio, that is ludicrous. Bennett’s mouth dropped when he heard that figure.

Jamie Farr Story About How the M*A*S*H Actors Had to Go to the CBS Studio Head to Get Free Peanut Butter

“So Harry Morgan and I would go, ‘Hey, how about a cup o’ joe, Max?’ So, we’d give the guy 25 cents, and he started to take little Ritz crackers out and put peanut butter on them and give them to us.

“Well, the guy that’s the head of the money people for the craft services that we had to cease and stop. It was costing the studio too much money because of the Ritz crackers and the peanut butter.”

Farr continued with his story. He then listed many people who were part of the show and said, “We went to the head of the TV department. And he said, ‘What’s the entire M*A*S*H cast doing here?’ They said, ‘They’re here because they’re angry.’ And he said, ‘Angry about what?’

Again, Farr said that the guy introduced them to the TV department head and explained why the actors were costing the studio too much money. But, the department head said incredulously that the cast had made the studio a ton of money. Then the department head began to list off types of peanut butter that they’d give to the actors for free.

He then said with a big smile that the studio brought in tons of peanut butter for the actors. So, as it turns out, CBS really did care about M*A*S*H and wanted to do all it could for the actors.

Outsider.com