(This is the January 15, 1997 issue of "The WASHED-UPdate", originally run at The Internet Movie Database and Bulmash.com - It has not been updated, but friends and old fans have asked me to put the archives back online for entertainment value for years, so I thought I'd do it here at my blog. Please note that many links may be dead or in need of repair... they're 10 years old or older.)
Archived Issue from: January 15, 1997
Well folks, this is the final installment in the M*A*S*H series. After many letters as to who I should put in that fourth slot, Colonel Flagg and Dr. Sydney Freedman were pretty much neck and neck. Nurse Kelly moved into third, beating out Rizzo and Igor, but it was still a very distant third. If you're really interested in finding out more about her, click here for her IMDb profile.
Those of you who caught me on the Harris in the Morning show might have heard me mention a page where a certain celeb's head turns to follow your mouse. Yup, if you go to Entertainment Tonight's web site, "The Dennis Miller Sell-Out Head" is right on the front page, and after seeing it, I just had to make this public appeal to Dennis: "After you did that voice-over for a Pizza Hut commercial, I guess we should have suspected that the pod-people had taken your brain. Is it true or are you just so blinded by greed that you can't see you're consorting with Satan? It's Entertainment Tonight!! These are the people who made John Tesh a star! And now they're in league with Bill Gates! They're evil, Dennis. Evil!"
If you've got Shockwave installed, you can go turn Dennis' severed head at et.msn.com.
And now to the fun and requested links of the week.
FUN LINK: Every once in a while, I'll talk about how I had a crush on one of the female stars I'm profiling. Though she was a little young for me, many of the male readers have consistently admitted to having a crush on Alyssa Milano. Since I cannot deny that she has grown into a gorgeous woman, I thought I'd make her officially endorsed fan page, www.alyssa.com, the fun link of the week.
REQUESTED LINK: Early in TWU's history, one of the first award sites to recognize its coolness was the Hollywood Site of the Week. In fact, they made an exception for TWU since HSotW concentrates mainly on older Hollywood type stuff. So if you want to find links to some cool stuff about James Dean, Fatty Arbuckle, etc, check this site out.
And a quick administrative notice...
First, for a while now, I've been promising some people who wrote in that I'd get to a "Sexy Ladies of Sci-Fi" issue. I'm planning that for February, but let's face it, there are readers (both male and female) who prefer men. In all fairness, I should do a sexy guys issue as well.
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, I prefer women. I could pick the guys for that issue by guesswork, but I'd rather profile some guys that people actually find sexy. If you'd like to suggest a sexy sci-fi guy, drop a note to [e-mail address no longer exists] and voice your opinion. On the other hand, I've received more than enough suggestions for the sexy ladies issue and it's already been cast.
And now let's get to our final M*O*S*H with M*A*S*H...
Our first profilee gets the WASHED-UPdate(tm) "Richard Jewell" award for 1996. As I was researching Harry "Col. Sherman Potter" Morgan, finding information on the allegations that he beat his wife was about as easy as could be. From news reports to jokes regarding his arrest, there was more than I needed. Of course, finding information on the final outcome was next to impossible. It became a matter of pride as an ersatz member of the media to find just one archived story dealing with the outcome of this case, hoping that there was a shred of ethics among the journalists with whom I'm loosely associated by virtue of writing this column. I did more digging and consulted more sources on this one item than I have done to get the info for entire profiles on some of the celebs I've had here. Even as I was writing this column, I was still trying to think of resources I hadn't tapped and making quick hunting excursions. I ended up delaying this column by hours and still found nothing. At least nothing in the press.
So, though I usually don't get into this kind of personal stuff, I am disgusted enough with the media to do it this time.
In July of last year, police were called out to the Morgan home after Barbara Morgan suffered some injuries in what was then deemed a domestic abuse situation. According to a later interview, the 81 year old Harry Morgan admitted that sometimes he and his 70 year old wife drank too much and would fight. In this instance they "tussled" and she fell, but he claimed he did not hit her. He was arrested, released on bail, plead not guilty, and a date was set for a trial. And that's all the major media wrote. Where did I get the info I wanted? I went to the horse's mouth, the fans on alt.tv.mash, and searched through the newsgroup archives. And there it was, from August, that the charges had been dropped. So to all the media outlets who ceased reporting on the case when it ceased to be juicy, to those who spent little or no time on clearing a name they spent much more time on smearing, here's a big WASHED-UPdateTM raspberry to you.
But let's get away from Harry's home and into our own. Of course, we can not ignore that he came into our living rooms in a 1987 episode of "Murder, She Wrote," but when and how did he come into it during the 90's? Well, his most regular appearances were in the Incident series of TV movies. "The Incident" (1990), "Against Her Will: An Incident In Baltimore" (1992), and "Incident In A Small Town" (1994) all put Harry in the role of Judge Stoddard Bell and brought him back into our living rooms. But he dropped in for visits much more often in guest roles. In the last couple of years you might have caught him doing a guest voice on "The Simpsons," or doing guest shots on "Grace Under Fire" and "Third Rock From The Sun." For you movie history buffs, you can also catch him being interviewed in last year's documentary "Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick," which profiled the career of famed director William Wellman. And, just because there are SO many "Babylon 5" fans on the net, I'll make this 80's concession... In the late 80's, he appeared in an episode of "The New Twilight Zone" which just happened to be co-written by J. Michael Straczynski.
Perhaps the most active of this week's profilees was Jamie Farr. But first, last week I did say I had a Jamie Farr golf story. Now that I think about it, it sounded much better in my head than it does on paper. Trust me, it's a lot more boring than I thought. It's definitely more boring than the fact that in December of 1995 all men wearing dresses got into a Houston Aeros hockey game for free when Jamie was hosting M*A*S*H night.
Oh yeah, Jamie's been all over the place. Just last summer he and Jim Lang got to take turns subbing for Bob Eubanks on occasion as the host of "The $25,000 Game Show," which was going on at the Opryland, U.S.A. theme park in Nashville. Then in the fall, he was touring with a production of "The Will Rogers Follies." He came in as a last-minute substitution for William Katt in the role of Will's father. And this comes as no surprise. Though Jamie claims he is an awful singer, he's done his share of musical theater. In fact, he was even on Broadway, replacing Nathan Lane in a revival of "Guys and Dolls" when Nathan left to shoot "The Bird Cage." But the burning question on his role in WRF is "who played Will?" Well, it was our favorite Hollywood squaremeister himself, John Davidson. John Davidson and Jamie Farr? Yeah, I can see the family resemblance.
Where hasn't Jamie been? There's an annual golf tournament named for him. He's toured to promote his autobiography, "Just Farr Fun," doing interviews and book signings all over North America. He's read books for both "Storytime" and "Reading Rainbow" on PBS. He's been in commercials for the Old Navy chain of stores. He was in a commercial for the fair on a recent episode of "Men Behaving Badly" (which later prompted the line "Damn that Jamie Farr"). He's done audio books, dinner theater, and awards shows. In fact, my favorite of his appearances was back in 1995 when he appeared on the tongue-in-cheek awards show, "TV's All-Time Favorites," which also featured guest shots by Bozo the Clown, Gary Coleman, and Al Molinaro among others.
And where's he going to be in 1997? Touring some more with former M*A*S*H co-star, William "Father Mulcahy" Christopher, in a production of "The Odd Couple." You can check last week's issue for a few of the stops it'll be making.
And then there was Klinger's wife, Soon-Lee Klinger, played by Rosalind Chao, a late arrival to the M*A*S*H cast. It's sort of interesting to wonder if this set a pattern of interracial marriages for her in series TV, because she came back in the 90's as Keiko O'Brien (Keiko Ishikawa before the wedding) on both "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," married to an Irishman. Add in her role in 1993's "The Joy Luck Club," and her role in 1990's "Deception," and you see a disturbing pattern. She's played Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and even Vietnamese characters. It seems, according to Hollywood's casting directors, that one Asian is as good as another. I know, it's been going on for decades, I shouldn't be complaining since I'm a white male and I'm thus responsible for every evil in the world anyway (or so I was taught in my "multi-cultural" coursework in college), and I can't fault Rosalind for it because she needs to work, but I still think it's sort of cheesy.
Maybe Rosalind does too. She was involved in the Asian Pacific American voter registration campaign last year, shooting a PSA for it and attending a fundraiser in Los Angeles. But then there's the cliche stuff like her appearance as the host of Activision's "Shanghai: Great Moments" CD-ROM.
If you've been looking for her elsewhere, you might have caught her on screen in "Love Affair" (1994), "North" (1994), Web of Deception (1993), "Memoirs of an Invisible Man" (1992), "Denial" (1991), or "Thousand Pieces of Gold" (1990). She's had her share of TV movies and miniseries too. In fact she was in a Canadian TV movie, "Special Report: Journey To Mars," just last year. And if that wasn't enough, you might have caught her in guest shots on "Chicago Hope," "Under Suspicion," and even the great bottom of the TV barrell, "Murder, She Wrote," all in 1995.
Creeping up on his 79th birthday next month, Allan seems to have toned things down, though he still keeps active. He was in two plays in Los Angeles in 1995; Samuel Beckett's "Endgame" and Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming," both at the Matrix Theatre on Melrose. He also had roles in the movies "Josh and S.A.M." (1993 - a stinker even I couldn't sit through long enough to catch him) and "Too Much Sun" (1991). You might have caught him in a guest role on "Mad About You" in 1994, or more recently on "Weekly World News TV," as reported by reader Brian Barker.
Ed Winter has been much more active, and it seems true to the Colonel Flagg persona as well. Those few of us who actually made it a point to catch episodes of "Herman's Head" on Fox will definitely remember him as Herman's psychotic boss, Mr. Crawford. And, though it's 80's, he cannot be forgotten as the crooked politician in "Porky's II: The Next Day."
If you've been looking for him lately, you may have caught him on USA Network's "Weird Science" (which is becoming quite a has-been magnet itself) in May of last year, or on the toupee episode of "Seinfeld" in 1995. You might also have caught him on "Saved By The Bell: The College Years" (the series I blame for driving Elizabeth Berkley to do "Showgirls") in 1993, "Blossom" in 1992, and yes, "Murder, She Wrote" in 1991.
And as we go to the big board for the Autograph Price Popularity Scale, we find only Jamie Farr hitting at the two sites I check regularly. His signature on a 3x5 card comes in at a whopping $5, 50% less than He By Whom All Others Are Measured, Joe Piscopo, and his signed and mounted photo is going for $40, putting him $5 ahead of Loni Anderson and Scott Baio, but $5 behind Don Knotts.
COMING NEXT WEEK: Have you ever quoted Mojo Nixon and said "I wanna be stuffin' Martha's muffin"? Come back next week when I'll be hunting for the muffin lady herself, Martha Quinn, and a few of the other original MTV VJ's.