70s, 80s, Books, Television
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Sergeant Klinger…the cross dressing children’s book author

All throughout my public school and occasionally during my high school “career”, my parents would pick me up for lunch, almost everyday. Since home was only a five minute drive and I had no desire to play or was any good at sports, this gave me almost a solid hour of home time/TV watching in between studies. Now, if you’re ever been home sick and flicked through the boob-tube, you’ll agree that very little is on during weekdays that appeal to a young adolescent boy. Luckily, I was able to find two shows that aired everyday at 12 and 12:30 that would capture and maintain my attention. One of those shows was SCTV, and the other was M.A.S.H.

M.A.S.H. was and still is one of the most iconic television series of all time. Based off the original film (also titled M.A.S.H.) the sitcom centered on the staff of an army hospital in the Korean War. To explain how beloved the series was, one just needs to look at the ratings for its series finale, which to this day still stands as the most watched finale of any television series with 121.6 million viewers! Take that (enter awful show title here)!

Their success can attributed to many factors…great writing and storylines, great actors and great comedic timing. And perhaps no one had better comedic timing than the cross-dressing Corporal (later Sergeant) Maxwell Q. Klinger, who was portrayed by actor/comedian Jamie Farr. Klinger was the Chief Surgeon who wore dresses to try to convince the army that he was crazy. What was originally meant to be a one-off, Farr’s character became a main stay by the third season. His zany antics were what kept me tuning in everyday while I chowed down on my homemade lunches. Take a look…

After M.A.S.H. I would often see Jamie Farr here and there in different television series and films, most notably Cannonball Run. He also always seemed to be one of the funny faces you’d see on celebrity game shows. But, into the 90’s I stopped seeing him and wondered where did the funny Sergeant Klinger go? Turns out he was doing Broadway, but how was I to know that being a kid from small town Canada. Farr has since co-written his own Children’s book Hababy’s Christmas Eve.


It’s a cute illustrated tale told from the perspective of the animals that traveled with the three wise men to Bethlehem. I’ve actually flipped through the book myself. Being 20-something year old dude, it’s sometimes hard for me to comment on items that are geared towards a younger demographic without labeling it “lame”, but the book itself is well written with great illustrations. Maybe not a read for myself, but for sure something for my younger niece. It can easily become a holiday tradition among young families much like “The Night Before Christmas” is read each year in my household. And if you’re one of those “cool” 2013 parent’s that allows your young ones to have kindles or ipads, you can down digital copies of the book. The itunes edition even has narration by Jamie Farr myself. Check it out here.

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