Thursday, December 8, 2011

"BIRD Colonel Sherman T. Potter!"

I've long been a fan of M*A*S*H, so I was saddened by the news yesterday that Harry Morgan, who played the inimitable Col. Sherman T. Potter, had passed away at age 96.

Potter was, by far, his best known role, and to read the articles abounding yesterday, it was one of his favorites.

Blake was funny, in an inept sort of way.  Potter was absolutely my favorite; his quick wit and pithy brilliance made him shine far above Blake, in my opinion.  He had some of the best lines of dialogue I've ever had the privilege of seeing acted out, and M*A*S*H still holds court in my mind as the yardstick by which I measure all sitcoms.  Precious few measure up to its greatness.  While the writers, producers, directors and the creator certainly share in the brilliance of the show, it was the cast that made those words come to life: Alan Alda, Mike Farrell, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swit, William Christopher, Gary Burghoff, Larry Linville, David Ogden Stiers, Jamie Farrell...and Harry Morgan.

His impressive performance in "The General Flipped At Dawn" ("General Bartford Hamilton Steele, with three Es, not all in a row") paved the way for Harry Morgan to become Col. Potter when McLean Stevenson left the show.

You'll be missed, Harry.  Say hi to the boys for us.

Some of my favorite Col. Potter moments:

And, the episode that started Morgan on this role:

Thanks, Harry.

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