|SSG "Sparky" Pryor|
The only visual we have of Sparky is from the Season 1 episode "Tuttle".
|Rank:||Staff Sergeant (E-6)|
|Job/Role in Unit:||Clerk or communications sergeant at the superior HQ of the 4077th MASH|
|First appeared in:||"Tuttle" (Season 1)|
|Last appeared in:||Only seen once but reference many times in various episdoes|
|Appeared on/or in:||M*A*S*H|
|Played by:||Dennis Fimple|
'Sergeant "Sparky" Pryor' is the (mostly) face- and voiceless person on the other end of the 4077th's phone line. Usually Radar or Klinger would call him, if they need something or want some kind of (probably underhand) fix or favor for an unusual situation.
Although Sparky is called many times in various episdoes, We only hear and see Sparky once: In the Season 1 episode "Tuttle". In that episode Margaret and Frank are trying to find out more about Captain Tuttle (a fictitious character made up by Hawkeye and Trapper). Margaret tries to place a call to General Clayton at Headquarters in Seoul. Radar anticipates this and arranges with Sparky to patch the call back to the 4077th so that Hawkeye can take the call and impersonate General Clayton.
In the same episode, Sparky mentions his real name, "Sergeant Pryor". His rank insignia on his sleeve, three chevrons and one arc shows that he is a Sergeant of the Korean War era. (The insignia is equivalent to the modern day Staff Sergeant but the US Army had eliminated the rank of Staff Sergeant between 1948 and 1956). Sparky's unit is not mentioned but it is the superior headquarters of the 4077th, where General Clayton is located, which makes it likely that it is I Corps, probably the office of the Corps Surgeon.
In other episodes, Sparky is neither heard nor seen, but the 4077th staff invariably need him for some favor or other.
- In "Bug Out" (Season 5), Sparky alerts Radar to a possible bug out of the 4077th.
- In "The Korean Surgeon" (Season 5), Hawkeye and B.J. are trying to sneak a North Korean surgeon in to work as an American doctor at the 4077th so they need a set of fake orders, I.D., dog tags and uniforms. They offer a Chinese gold watch in exchange. Radar tells the doctors that for that kind of incentive, Sparky would probably transfer his own mother. Sparky does deliver and the North Korean officer does start work at the 4077th, at least for a while until Margaret and Frank begin to get suspicious.
- In "The Colonel's Horse" (Season 5), Radar needs to patch an unusual long-distance call to Quapaw, Oklahoma in order to reach B.J.'s father-in-law to get some advice on how to treat Colonel Potter's sick horse. Sparky delivers, but only in exchange for a movie--Rita Hayworth's "Gilda" which Radar describes as "No Indians, but a lot of hugging, kissing, and other violence." But the film turns out to be "Ecstasy" by Hedy Lamarr which Sparky would not be returning anytime soon.