Before there were mash-ups on Glee, there was M*A*S*H. Whether you watched the show live or the reruns, which still air, chances are you have seen an episode or two – or even all 251 episodes of M*A*S*H. And the show wouldn’t have been complete without Jamie Farr’s character, Corporal Max Klinger. On October 14, the Junior League of Dayton(JLD) welcomes Jamie Farr to town to kick of the 55th season of the Town Hall Lecture Series at the Schuster Center. WE HAVE FREE TICKETS – DETAILS BELOW!
Farr began his niche in television in the late 1950s. He became a regular on The Red Skelton Show and played second banana to Harvey Korman on The Danny Kaye Show. He has appeared as a panelist on numerous game shows including The Gong Show, Match Game, Hollywood Squares and The $25,000 Pyramid. In 1985, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
But despite a half-century career in television, Jamie Farr is most remembered for his outrageous portrayal of Corporal Max Klinger. It was the ultimate comedic trifecta – a cigar chomping, hairy man in a dress. Originally hired for one-day’s work, Farr impressed the producers with his over-the-top character portrayal and he became a regular on the show’s eleven-year run. His antics and dresses were all a part of his attempt to garner a Section 8 Discharge from the military. But the joke was on him. In a letter home Klinger wrote “”You see, Unc? It’s no wonder I never got a Section Eight; there’s nothing special about me. Everybody here is crazy!”Farr shared a similar backstory with Klinger – a Toledo, Ohio native with a love for Packo’s Hungarian hot dogs and the Toledo Mud Hens. He was also the only regular cast member to have served in the Korean War (on which the show was based).
The final two-and-a-half hour episode aired February 28, 1983 and set records as the most watched program in television history with 105.97 million viewers. Nearly 77% of homes with a television were tuned into the finale. The record held for 27 years until it was recently surpassed by Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 with 106.5 million viewers.
After M*A*S*H ended, Farr kept busy with television, movie and stage appearances. In 1985, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Off-screen, Farr became involved in charity work. Since 1984, the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic has been held in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. This tournament for professional female golfers on the LPGA tour has generated over $6.5 million for local children’s charities.
Tickets are $31 each (plus handling) and can be ordered by calling 937-228-3630 or online at www.ticketcenterstage.com. Series tickets are still available for $75 and $90 and include Jamie Farr (October 14, 2010 – support provided by The DP&L Foundation and Dayton Superior Corporation), as well as Archie Griffin (November 4, 2010 – presented by AAA Miami Valley with support from Liberty Savings Bank), Nick Clooney (April 7, 2011 – presented by Freund, Freeze & Arnold: A Legal Professional Association) and Gina Barreca (May 12, 2011). The Town Hall Lecture Series is also sponsored by its media partners, ThinkTV and Times Community Newspaper.
To date, the Town Hall Lecture Series has raised over $1.8 million to support local JLD community programs, such as POWER (Program of Wellness Education and Resources), a children’s advocacy program in partnership with The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton, and the Holiday Hunt, an annual tradition of the Dayton Holiday Festival.
The Junior League of Dayton is an organization of women who are committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. For more information about the JLD and its community programs, visit www.jldayton.org.
For a chance to win free tickets to this event (a $62 value), just comment below using your real email address (we won’t make it public) and then hit the Share or Like button so that your Facebook friends know about this event. We’ll announce the winner of a pair of tickets on Friday October 8th – good luck!