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MASH/1st Season/The Pilot


What happened to "Karen Philipp's, she disappeared soon after the pilot aired on 9-17-72, when the pilot aired she had many exposing shots if you will. But then she just made a couple of guest appearences in later episodes then nothing. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, have a good day.

Hi Alan!

Karen Philipps (aka Lieutenant Dish) was originally supposed to be a main character, she was featured in the promos for the upcoming new show (MASH) and in the Pilot - however after the pilot, she made only one other episode before leaving the show entirely.   She did, however continue to be seen in the running nurses part of the opening credits.

The writers originally had planned for her to be Hawkeye's love interest - and you must remember that the Pilot was written long before Alan Alda was chosen to be Hawkeye.  Once Alda was hired, Hawkeye became more of the main character than he had originally been planned to be - Hawk and Trapper were supposed to share that spotlight.  It was decided that Hawkeye would be a free spirit where women were concerned, and there was no need for a "love interest" for him that would be full time.  Alda may have also had a hand in not wanting the rest of the cast to be superceded by a "sexy blonde" - as he wanted the ensemble to shine on its own merit, and as he is also a HUGE femnist.

Others from the pilot were also not seen again - Lt. Boone (Bruno Kirby) would be played by Bob Gooden after the pilot, and he was only in three episodes in the first season, before disappearing completely.

The Good Father Mulcahey - was originally played in the Pilot by George Morgan, but was replaced by our loveable William Christopher for the rest of the series.  It was felt that Christophers delivery was more suited for the part - Christopher was never referred to as "Dago Red" like Morgan was, or as the father was in the movie.

Other shorttimers were Spearchucker Jones and Ugly John.   The cast was soon reduced to the core number of characters, and that number remained constant despite the leaving of McLean Stevenson and Wayne Rogers, as they were replaced by Harry Morgan and Mike Farrell.  Only when Radar left was the number reduced, as the already present Jamie Farr took off his dresses as Klinger, and took over as company clerk.

The Pilot was filmed quite some time before the actual show was - as remember Pilots are used to "sell" the show to the networks.  As with Cagney and Lacey (believe it or not the Cagney Roll was originated in the Pilot by none other than Loretta Swit - who was unable to play her in the series due to her contract with MASH - and in the rest of the series was played by Meg Foster Season 1, and Sharon Gless for the rest of the show.) and with Eight is Enough (where the older son was played by Grant Goodeve during the series, but was played by Mark Hamil in the Pilot) - often things are shuffled around and changed, based on the test audience's reaction.

So, very lengthy, but I hope this is helpful.   I love the Pilot, but you can certainly see a great difference even in Hawkeye's appearance between the Pilot and the secoond episode "To Market To Market".   Thanks so much for asking - and as always VIVA LA MASH!!!


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Judy Mitchell


Questions about the characters on MASH, the cast, the television show and different episodes, about bloopers on MASH, about quotes and if I don't know the answer, I'll do my best to find out!


I have been watching MASH since it was an original show, I also watch it 4 times daily in reruns, I can tell when something has been cut from a show (as it was on FX much more frequently than it has been on Hallmark).

Graduated High School in 1974

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