Radar shows his naked butt on "M*A*S*H"

It’s true. I’m sitting here watching the episode called The Sniper (also featuring Teri Garr). The 4077th is under fire from a sniper in the hills; Radar and Col. Blake are in the showers, and Radar, wrapped in a towel, tries to make a break for safety. After comically running around for a few moments, Radar runs back into the showers.

But I could have sworn I saw a flash of naked butt there at the end. I backed up the DVR, and replayed it in slow-mo. Sure enough, he dropped the towel as he got back in the door, and there was a full moon in the daytime. Granted, you had to watch it in slow-mo to be sure, but it was visible enough that I noticed it at full speed.

This aired in 1973; are/were there other instances of nudity on prime-time TV back then? It certainly seems like an anomaly to me. Was it maybe so quick that the network censors just didn’t see it?

I’ve always wondered about that. I remember the ep and have seen it with that flash many times in syndication. It was very brief so I suppose it might have gone unnoticed or the network censors felt it was so quick as to be insignificant.

Didn’t he show his butt when he got the teddy-bear tattooed on it? Or is that just a constructed memory?

You’re thinking of Fish on Barney Miller.

actually, yeah, he showed his hiney to Hawkeye & BJ - they insisted on inspecting it for infections etc.
H/BJ “You’re going to have that the rest of your life, you know”
R “No, I was afraid of the needles, so I had him draw it on. It’ll wash off when I take a shower”
H to BJ “My lord, it IS permanent!”

It wasn’t scripted, but it was deliberate on the part of Gary Burghoff, as a practical joke for the cast and crew.

If I wind up with a constructed memory of Abe Vigoda’s naked ass twenty years from now, I’m coming after you, I swear.

Hey I had some Maude references I could’ve worked in. Consider yourself lucky.

**** Graphic MASH Trivia Warning ****

In Robert Altman’s film, there was the scene when the shower walls were dropped around Hotlips (Sally Kellerman). She was supposed to stand there naked for a moment, then fall to cover herself up. For whatever reason, Kellerman was having trouble maintaining the brief naked pose–she kept falling down too fast. Altman had to devise a way to keep her upright for a few seconds. So, unbeknownst to Kellerman, on the final take when the shower walls were dropped, she is treated to an off camera view of

Robert Altman and Gary Burghoff’s genitalia, because they had dropped their pants, in order to surprise Kellerman

I have never been able to view that scene the same way after learning that little factoid.

Funny you should start this thread–I’ve seen that episode before, but somehow I never noticed the mooning, until tonight. My eleven year old daughter, however, had no trouble at all spotting it, and found the whole thing highly amusing!

I can’t think of any earlier example of an adult bare ass on a prime time network television series. They probably got away with it because it was very brief, it was a far shot, and it was comic.

The miniseries Roots (1977) and Holocaust (1978) brought more nudity to prime time.

I think I’ve heard Larry Gelbert talk about this.

Indeed, it was unplanned so they just left it in since it’s hilarious to see if it would get on. They were surprised when no one said anything.

Then again, I remember MASH when it had dialouge like this:

[Chinese army is about to invade the camp]

Hot Lips: What about the nurses? What guarantees do we have about the Chinese? I mean what guarantees do we have about the rampant and repeated violations of our bodies?

Hawkeye: What kind of guarantee do you want?

The first time I heard son-of-a-bitch in primetime was on MAS*H. That seems insignificant now, but it was surprising then.

I can remember a time when a game show decided not to use the category of “fruit juices” because someone might mention prunes. That’s how bad censorship was.


Prune juice has well-known laxative properties; mentioning it on TV might get people thinking about parts of their bodies that are more appropriately not thought about.

I always thought the whole thing with Worf drinking prune juice was a little odd. I always wondered, was I missing something, or did Star Trek have a running joke about constipation?

Well considering you never see a toliet…

I wonder if that censorship story about prune juice is a myth. I remember plenty of laxative commercials (e.g., Ex-Lax) on television in the 1960s.

In fact, here’s a laxative commercial from 1958. “He gets relief usually within an hour.” Laxative commercials on the radio go back to the 1930s.

Prune juice is often used as a gag when someone is feeling old. Maybe that’s what was going on?