Wayne Rogers, who is best known for playing Captain "Trapper" John
McIntyre on the CBS television series M*A*S*H, has passed away. I
remember seeing and enjoying the original M*A*S*H film by Robert Altman
but for some reason I was never attracted to the television series
though one could not help being aware of it and its impact. I just never
That didn't stop me from becoming aware of Wayne Rogers, however. From 1985 through 2001, I was producing my cable TV series (Interview).
During that span of time, I made 500 half-hour segments of the show
each of which presented a fictional interview with an author being
interviewed about a book he or she had written concerning some amazing
adventure or encounter in his or her life. The interviews looked and
sounded real; a majority of viewers called wanting to know where they
could find the book being featured having already failed to find it at
their favorite book store. There were some who were already in on the
joke and were seeking me out because they thought a particular story
would make good material for a film or television series. One of these
was Wayne Rogers though he never called or tried to made contact with
Over the years, I would receive a call from one producer or
another with the following introduction: "Wayne Rogers gave me your
phone number and said I should talk to you about an episode of (Interview)
he'd seen on television last night." Following these initial phone
calls, I would invariably messenger a VHS cassette to the producer in
question and, subsequently, we would enter into negotiations for the
rights to the original story I had created for the episode in question. I
lost count of how many times this happened.
For a time, I
wondered why Wayne never called me directly. Was he merely sharing the
shows with friends of his he thought might make use of them, was he
acting as a remote-control producer seeking to develop the stories via
his delegates or was there some other explanation? I never found out but
the calls kept coming until I stopped producing the show in 2001.
never tried to make contact with Wayne Rogers and gratefully accepted
the generous introductions he arranged for me without trying to
insinuate myself into his life. Had he wanted to talk, as Robert Evans
would say, I was only seven digits away. I'll always wonder about his
motivation but what is clear to me is that Wayne Rogers was an
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Exerpt from Ignorance is Bliss
"Out of the corner of his eye, Martin saw Martha shift in her seat. She leaned forward, as though something was about to be decided. This caused her breasts to push up against the neckline of her dress in a way that couldn't be fully appreciated out of the corner of one’s eye. So, Martin turned his head to look directly into the abyss of her cleavage. He was vaguely aware that Murray was talking again."
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