8 things you never noticed in the M*A*S*H episode ''Good-Bye, Radar''

You might have missed these Dodgers references and Arabic insults.

"Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" remains the greatest series finale in television history. It's not the only goodbye that brings tears to your eyes on M*A*S*H. The series was exceptionally skilled at farewells, beginning with the shocking departure of Henry Blake.

Another exit that never fails to tug our heartstrings is "Good-Bye, Radar," the final episodes with Gary Burghoff and his lovable character Radar. (The teddy bear stayed behind.) Look, when Potter cries, we cry. 

The two-part tale aired early in the eighth season. It was meant to be the finale for season seven. The network worked a deal with Burghoff to briefly return to his role for the Fall '79 season, at least through sweeps. 

Here are some more things you might not know about this brilliant piece of television.

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1. They took Radar's head out of the opening credits.

For seven seasons, M*A*S*H began every episode with helicopters arriving over the mountains. Radar is the first to hear him — after all, that's why they call him Radar. The back of Gary Burghoff's head appeared as the first shot in those opening credits. At the start of season eight, Burghoff announced his departure from the show. The producers thus removed his head from the opening. In addition, in those first few episodes of season eight before "Good-Bye, Radar," the opening altered his credit to say, "Also Starring Gary Burghoff as Radar."

2. It is also the last episode with Zelmo Zale.

Radar was not the only character to bid adieu in "Good-Bye, Radar." Johnny Haymer made his first appearance as Sergeant Zelmo Zale in season two, and was last seen at the 4077th in "Good-Bye, Radar: Part 1." The electrician character was known for manning the generator, which plays a major part in the sub-plot of "Good-Bye, Radar." Maybe he washed out after the generator failed?

3. It is the last time "Hot Lips" was uttered on the show.

You call her "Margaret." Here's another lesser-known "Last" from that episode. The "Hot Lips" nickname was better associated with the MASH film and the character's depiction in the early episodes M*A*S*H. By this point in the series, Major Houlihan had evolved into a far deeper, headier character. In "Part 2," she kisses Radar, who then exclaims to Winchester, "Wow! Hot Lips!"

4. Klinger says, "You son of a dog!" in Arabic.

Meanwhile, Klinger seeks a new generator. He nearly succeeds at one point, until Maj. George Van Kirk claims the machine. Klinger then "mutters in Arabic," according to the subtitles. He actually curses, "Ya ibn al kalb!" That means "You son of a dog!"

5. Radar's love interest was also Rose's daughter on Golden Girls.

Radar meets the love of his life while waiting in an air transfer hut. Lt. Patty Haven even loves Grape Nehi — that's how you know this is serious. After a mere hour together, he vows to find her following the war. Marilyn Jones, who charmingly played Patty, made her television debut in this episode. Seven years later, she turned up in an episode of The Golden Girls as Bridget Nylund, daughter of Rose (Betty White). Look for her in the episode "Family Affair."

6. "Patty Haven" was an ex-girlfriend of the screenwriter.

Ken Levine was one of the masterful scribes in the M*A*S*H writing room. "Good-Bye, Radar" would also be his last episode for the series, along with co-writer David Isaacs. "We wanted to title the show 'Goodbye Levine & Isaacs' but CBS nixed it," Levine joked on his blog. He also admitted, "We named [Radar's love interest] Patty Haven, one of my former girlfriends."

7. Burghoff did not want to wear his hat in the end.

Ken Levine also confessed that Radar's trademark cap became a sticking point in production. "Gary decided he didn’t want to wear his hat. This became a big issue and remains a sore spot with me to this day," Levine wrote in 2006. "Our contention was that without the hat he no longer looked like a kid, he looked like a balding man rocketing into middle age. Also, for reasons I still can’t fathom, he chose to play the character somewhat angry throughout."

8. There are characters named after L.A. Dodgers pitchers.

Other minor characters in "Part 1" include "Sergeant LaGrow," "Private Hough," "Forster" and "Private Reuss." LaGrow hops aboard the crowded Jeep, forcing Radar off his ride. Longtime Los Angeles Dodgers fans might recognize the names. Terry Forster, Lerrin LaGrow, Jerry Reuss and Charlie Hough were all pitchers for the team in 1979.

SEE MORE: 8 things you might not know about the M*A*S*H finale

"Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" set ratings records and affected New York City plumbing. Did you know it was not the last M*A*S*H made? READ MORE

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lmahabhashyam 1 month ago
Radar had played angry before when he felt Hawkeye had let everyone down because he left the O.R and when he had bought shoes with lifts because he was tired of being called little. Playing it angry was well done he after all was battling the inner conflict of ties to his mother and having the responsibility of being the man of the house, and his ties to his unit having to train someone who if supples did arrive on time lives could be lost. However the fact that he didn’t have his hat on showed that the actor was much older then the part he played and the perm really didn’t look good and definitely not in a M*A*S*H unit.
madmark1 2 months ago
well the reason Radar I think in the last episode that he was in seemed angry is pretty simple.War had hardened him and I think the people that produced MASH wanted to get that point across that war can make a person grow up rather quick. he entered Korea as a naïve kid and he left Korea a man because of all the horrific things he seen from war. I think that was the point that that particular episode was trying to make.
OldTVfanatic 2 months ago
My guess about Burghoff’s mercurial approach to Radar in his final appearance was that he’d been suffering from depression caused by personal issues, and Gary allowed that depression and anger to seep onto the set. I read that during the fourth season of MASH, Gary was getting burned out and struggling to keep his family life together all while working on such a monumental show that was the juggernaut MASH.
ndebrabant 2 months ago
To all you saying there were reason's for him to play it angry, in my humble opinion, he played it too angry. Actually, I always felt they had Radar too innocent throughout the series. I could have understood had they let him grow a little as the series went on. He went from a "teddy bear" type to an angry person within an episode. I actually preferred the "Radar" of the movie who was a sharp hustler type always being able to get things done.
BelleFleur ndebrabant 2 months ago
You make a good point. I agree he played it much too angry. On the first couple seasons, Radar was efficient, but came across as more "weasel-y" (for lack of a better term). As the seasons went on, his character matured in reverse. He became much more naive, innocent and sweet. I like that version of Radar, and thought Gary Burghoff played it extremely convincingly. I think the fact that he had such a baby face helped in that department.
RandallHamm 2 months ago
Also, Radar had a perm ?
OldTVfanatic RandallHamm 2 months ago
Not so much a perm as a rapidly receding hairline.
bigjimbroni 2 months ago
Johnny Haymer left the show due to an illness. he later died while M*A*S*H was still on. G.W. Bailey took his place as Sergeant Rizzo.
OldTVfanatic bigjimbroni 2 months ago
Johnny Haymer died in late 1989, almost seven years after MASH left the air.
Utzaake 2 months ago
5. Marilyn Jones was also a regular on ABC's King's Crossing in winter of 1982.
6 & 7. That knucklehead Ken Levine was the secondary radio play-by-play voice with the Orioles in 1991 and various other MLB teams in subsequent seasons. As a broadcaster, he was a helluva screenwriter.
8. Terry Forster, Lerrin LaGrow, Jerry Reuss and Charlie Hough all also pitched with the White Sox, but not together.
TroelsWied 2 months ago
#3: it is not the last time hotlips is said about Margaret. In the later episode were she is accused of being a communist by congressionel aid R. Theodore Williamson, Hawkeye tells him that it is her nickname, when they sit in the officers club.
ValT TroelsWied 2 months ago
That episode actually comes before "Good-Bye Radar". It was just on recently.
Wiseguy 2 months ago
Noticed #1 immediately in 1979. They did something similar at the start of the fourth season by focusing on the jeep with Hawkeye in a close-up minimalizing the view of the jeep that Trapper John is in.
Dale 2 months ago
To all of the people below commenting negatively about Burghoff's performance or Radar's attitude in the later episodes, would you have him be an innocent child forever? He was in a war surrounded by blood and bodies of soldiers. The genius of M*A*S*H was to make us laugh in the midst of the tragedy and sadness of war. I believe his character became increasingly frustrated at the ineptness of Klinger, etc. in trying to fill his boots.
He (Radar) was growing up, becoming jaded, etc. Whether it was the writers or Burghoff's take on how Radar was perceived I think the only thing better than his real-life drum skills were his acting skills. He was trying to be realistic and not JUST comedic as Radar. Cut them both a break and try to see the role from Radar's point of view.
bigjimbroni Dale 2 months ago
From what I heard, Gary Burghoff was in a contract dispute with the network. He felt that because he was in the movie that he should be making as much as Alan Alda. This created friction not just with the network but with his co-workers as well. He was showing up late for rehearsals and even fighting with cast and crew. Instead of killing him off as they did with Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson) they came up with a death in the family. Though in hindsight, it would've been better if his time was up and refused to re-enlist.
Dale 2 months ago
Maybe the anger we see in Radar was really frustration with essentially being forced to leave his other family. I can only assume that Burghoff played it the way his character may have really felt. He was important to the running of the camp and was even respected and loved by some. They were his 2nd family. So Radar would probably have had many mixed feelings about going home. He wanted to see and help his mom again. But that meant leaving his other family who had also become dependent on him. That's the way I always viewed his performance. Maybe a little anger mixed with many other emotions.
msdemos 2 months ago
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7. Burghoff did not want to wear his hat in the end.

Ken Levine also confessed that Radar's trademark cap became a sticking point in production. "Gary decided he didn’t want to wear his hat. This became a big issue and remains a sore spot with me to this day," Levine wrote in 2006. "Our contention was that without the hat he no longer looked like a kid, he looked like a balding man rocketing into middle age. Also, for reasons I still can’t fathom, he chose to play the character somewhat angry throughout."


For YEARS I could never figure out why "Radar" suddenly looked so different in these episodes, never realizing it was simply because Burghoff elected not to wear his character's knit cap!!


"Some men look, but fail to see...."

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RandallHamm msdemos 2 months ago
Also, Radar had a perm ?
msdemos 2 months ago
.

Wait.....you didn't like Gary Burgoff's "performance", or his part as written for his character in these particular episodes?

While I understand the fact that 'Radar' really didn't seem much like 'Radar' in his last appearance, it was actually (in my opinion) MASTERFUL (script) writing (AND acting), since "Walter O'Reilly" suddenly had to grow up, go home, and be the man of his family, due to the sudden death of his Uncle Ed.

M*A*S*H* may definitely have gotten "preachy" at times, and episodes may not have always played out the way we liked, but it's VERY difficult to say that the show suffered from bad writing.....or directing.....or acting, etc. (generally speaking).

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ndebrabant 2 months ago
Never could understand why Gary Burghoff played Radar so angry in Good-Bye Radar. I always struck me as sad that he played it that way.
Dale ndebrabant 2 months ago
I can only assume that Burghoff played it the way his character may have really felt. He was important to the running of the camp and was even respected and loved by some. They were his 2nd family. So Radar would probably have had many mixed feelings about going home. He wanted to see and help his mom again. But that meant leaving his other family who had also become dependent on him. That's the way I always viewed his performance. Maybe a little anger mixed with many other emotions.
EdCaf 2 months ago
Being former military myself...hat's a God-awful salute in #7.
Dale EdCaf 2 months ago
As Hawkeye and Blake and others had pointed out many times, it was an Army medical facility, not a boot camp.
BennAllen 2 months ago
Burghoff played Radar with a temper for his last few appearances that season, actually. I always thought the idea that for his final episodes, Radar would be so unpleasant to watch, we'd be glad he's gone.
DaveLewandoski 2 months ago
I have never cared for any part of Gary's performance in this episode. He is so far out of character of Radar, he looks acts, and even sounds different. Quite the disappointment after playing this part so well.
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