William Christopher, “M*A*S*H’s” Father Mulcahy, died New Year’s Eve.
Ever since I heard the news, I’ve been thinking about one of the series’ most famous episodes, “The Interview.” The 1976 episode, shot in black and white, was based on a “See It Now” program in which Edward R. Murrow interviewed Korean War servicemen. It remains one of the best “M*A*S*H” episodes, which is saying something, given how good “M*A*S*H” was.
Christopher had a memorable scene in “The Interview.” I’ll let “M*A*S*H” writer Ken Levine describe it:
I’ve always felt that Bill had the single greatest moment of MASH. It was during “the Interview” episode when Father Mulcahy says this:
“When the doctors cut into a patient and it’s cold, you know the way it is now, today — steam rises from the body and the doctor will will warm himself over the open wound. Could anyone look on that and not feel changed?”
I never thought that line could make me any sadder, but from now on it will. RIP Bill Christopher.
“The Interview” isn’t available on YouTube. (It is on Vimeo — dubbed into another language.) However, producer Larry Gelbart’s remembrance of the episode is.
So long and amen.