‘M*A*S*H’ Star Loretta Swit Called the Show a ‘Good Babysitter’ for Kids

by Joe Rutland
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There was a time when parents saw television as almost like a child’s best friend. Funny, “M*A*S*H” star Loretta Swit had a similar view.

Swit, who played Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan on the CBS war-zone show, talked about it in a 2017 interview with Fox News.

“Parents were not afraid of us to babysit,” the actress said of “M*A*S*H.” “We didn’t give bad vibes to the kids. We were good babysitters.”

Good thing. The show started out as a sitcom based on the Korean War. After a few seasons, though, a Monday night standard-bearer looked at the serious side of war. Issues like shell-shock, doctors missing families, and making time for those on the other side of a war zone definitely had parts in new scripts.

‘M*A*S*H’ Star Was One of Four Actors To Appear In Show’s 11 seasons

Swit appeared in all 11 seasons of the show. She took the role originally played by Sally Kellerman in the Robert Altman of the same title in 1970.

Longtime comedy writer Larry Gelbart wrote the script for the “M*A*S*H” pilot episode.

Besides Swit, Alan Alda (Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce), William Christopher (Father Mulcahy), and Jamie Farr (Cpl. Max Klinger) also appeared in the show’s 11 seasons.

Now actors, actresses, and comedians have been known to turn down roles for shows.

Obviously, they don’t always know a show is going to be a hit from the get-go. It’s those times when they look back on their career and have a twinge of regret.

Comic Legend Robert Klein Supposedly Had Chance To Get Role, But Said No

Older Outsiders will remember the name of comedian Robert Klein. During the 1970s, Klein appeared on many talk shows and TV variety shows with his stand-up routine.

Well, Klein once had an opportunity to take a role on “M*A*S*H” and it would have set him up well.

Remember, though, Klein had a very successful comedy career and it was hitting a stride in the ’70s.

This was addressed in the book Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America.

In there, Larry Brezner, who was a Hollywood manager back in the day, talked about this in the book.

Brezner said Klein did have a lot of conversations where he expressed regret over saying no. Klein reportedly told Brezner that “you should have made me take it.” But the comic got a reminder that picking and choosing roles was his choice.

Well, Klein also took a pass on “Night Court.” He had a chance to play a role on the NBC sitcom.

“M*A*S*H” remains a television staple in the world of reruns. Fans will never have to wonder about catching an episode.

Outsider.com