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M*A*S*H episode
“Dear Uncle Abdul”
Dear Uncle Abdul
For Klinger, there's no contest about who is the funniest. With so many crazy goings on in the camp, all Hawkeye and B.J. can do is sit around telling jokes. What's so funny about that?
Season 8, Episode # 12
Number (#185) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Richard Lineback
Alexander Petale
Kelly Ward
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: S-613
Writer(s) John Rappaport & Jim Mulligan
Director William Jurgensen
Original airdate December 3, 1979
IMDb logo IMDB Dear Uncle Abdul
Episode chronology
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"Life Time" (S‑609) "Captains Outrageous" (S‑614)

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(broadcast order)

"Dreams" (S‑612) "Captains Outrageous" (S‑614)

(production order)

(production order)

Season 8 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes

Dear Uncle Abdul is the twelfth episode of the eighth season of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, as well as the 185th overall series episode. Directed by William Jurgensen, the episode was co-written by John Rappaport and Jim Mulligan; it originally aired on December 3, 1979.

Plot synopsisEdit

Klinger writes a letter home to Toledo talking about his new duties as company clerk, as Hawkeye and B.J. discover that a soldier that has come through their unit is mentally challenged and unfit for duty. Father Mulcahy attempts to write a war song for the Korean conflict and Margaret attempts to have a defective foot locker replaced. {Only by Houilihan “borrowing” Winchester’s shotgun and shooting the footlocker can it be replaced}.

Full episode summaryEdit

Klinger is writing a letter home to his Uncle Abdul, telling him about recent events at the 4077th.

Father Mulcahy gets involved in writing an inspirational war song, Winchester drags Klinger out into the brush to use him to help flush out wild game (ending with Winchester's bird getting blown up with a landmine when he shoots it down), and Margaret, enraged that Army Supply won't issue her a new footlocker unless its damaged "in combat", goes ahead and shoots up her old one, using Winchester's hunting rifle.

Meanwhile, Hawkeye and B.J. get in a debate about who's funnier. It gets kicked off when Hawkeye tells B.J. an old joke he learned from his Dad, but B.J. doesn't think its funny, walking away from Hawkeye dismissively with "See you later, Uncle Milty." Hawkeye is annoyed to no end when he learns B.J. is going around camp telling the same joke, getting laughs and the credit.

But the debate is tabled for the moment when a young soldier named Eddie (Richard Lineback) wanders into camp, looking for his pal Hank, who was wounded and recovering in the 4077's Post Op.

Another member of the unit mentions that Eddie is what they call "a little slow"--not mentally retarded, but simply "not all that bright." Hawkeye and B.J. are shocked and disgusted that someone like that has been put in combat. There's an even bigger problem--Eddie's pal Hank is scheduled to be shipped home, leaving Eddie behind.

Things get patched up when Hank reassures Eddie that he's tough, and a good solider. Their mutual friend Dave (Kelly Ward) steps in and promises to become Eddie's new best pal now that Hank is leaving.

The debate about who's funnier resumes, and Hawkeye and B.J. ask Klinger for his opinion. Klinger offers the answer is neither of them--in a unit with a priest who writes war ditties, a Colonel that dresses Klinger up and puts him on his horse for a self-portrait, a head nurse that shoots luggage, and a major that likes to dress up, go quail hunting and blew up a bird with a landmine, what's so special about two guys who go around telling jokes?

Klinger ends his letter admitting to his Uncle Abdul that he now understands why he never got a Section 8--"There's nothing special about me; everybody here is crazy!"

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit

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