To see this video please permit JavaScript, and also consider upgrading come a web browser that support HTML5 video clip


"Wait," Ron Howard delivers as his first line in the an initial season of M*A*S*H.

You are watching: Gomer pyle usmc opie joins the marines

"I don"t wanna walk home," the guest-star says. "Please. I"d fairly stay here."

The M*A*S*H episode "Sometimes you Hear a Bullet" aired in 1973, five years ~ The Andy Griffith Show ended, but before Happy Days would premiere. It was a minute in TV background when Howard to be still viewed as Opie Taylor all grown up, and also not however Richie Cunningham.

So it to be a little shocking to hear Howard, that we"re provided to seeing play a true hometown boy, begging no to go back home.

But because that fans the Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., the renowned spin-off the The Andy Griffith Show, we understand a similar scenario has actually happened before, and this moment on M*A*S*H felt familiar for a various reason.

Howard appearing in an episode of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. dubbed "Opie join the Marines" in 1966. In that episode, Opie"s fear he can get in problem for his bad grades, for this reason he operation away to join the Marines. That hides until he reveals self to a reliable soldier — Gomer, that course.

The character Howard play on M*A*S*H is a soldier called Wendell who sneaks right into the Marines in ~ the period of 16 by utilizing his older brother"s birth certificate. In the episode, Wendell manages come fool everyone yet Hawkeye. Top top M*A*S*H, Hawkeye is the trusted soldier to who Howard"s runaway soldier confesses.

The recommendation to Howard"s former Gomer role seems clear, yet in truth, this is just a simultaneous you can chalk as much as TV magic.

"How old are you, Wendell?" Hawkeye asks. The doctor has actually just said Wendell that he requirements to remainder a few days until the pains subsides. Overreacting, Wendell declares the doesn"t care about pain, he simply wants to get ago to the fighting.

"Twenty," Wendell answer quickly.

But Hawkeye stares him down.

"Really, I"m 18," Wendell then confesses, seeming to recognize the truth.

"For someone who"s both 20 and 18, girlfriend look awfully 16 come me," Hawkeye says.

In this span between lead TV roles, Howard was actually 19 in ~ the time and going to college, yet he had the ability to accept the role on M*A*S*H because it synchronized with his feather break. Quickly TV audiences would conveniently accept him together the quintessential 1950s teenager Richie Cunningham there is no blinking one eye, but Hawkeye"s acquired his nickname because that a reason, us guess.

Howard just had that freckly young look that kept his star shining after ~ The Andy Griffith Show ended in 1968, and also we"d store seeing him together a teenager on Happy Days long after that. Howard when talked to the tv Academy about his time top top M*A*S*H.

He said also though he knew nothing around the show before he filmed his episode, he"d love the M*A*S*H movie, so he i agreeed to carry out it.

He also said the he had actually no idea before he gained to collection that he"d it is in treated favor a celebrity, "The M*A*S*H episode was really fun," Howard said, "Because i was treated as a TV vet on that show."

It was basically Howard"s very first time gift treated like the big deal that he is, and he claimed the actors welcomed him. "Alan Alda was cool, and also Wayne Rogers, I invested a most time talking to him," Howard said.

But the Gomer Pyle referral wasn"t the only acquainted scene TV fans can recognize indigenous Howard"s past.

Later in the episode, Hawkeye records Wendell attempting to steal a jeep.

"You"re not sending out me home," Wendell says. Hawkeye assures him the they don"t send soldiers home over lacking appendixes.

That"s once we learn Wendell joined the Marines, not because of bad grades like Opie, but to admire his sweetheart, that he states left the for an additional man who simply returned from boots camp.

"It"s no my fault I"m as well young come join," Wendell yells, emotionally admitting the he"s younger than he said.

Then the professes to Hawkeye that he knows his love would take that back… if that came back with a medal to impress her. And that his genuine name is Walter. "Wendell"s mine brother"s name."

This cite might remind you that a very popular episode of The Andy Griffith Show the aired in that classic show"s 2nd season. The was referred to as "A Medal because that Opie," and in it, Opie learn the difficult lesson around how to be a graceful loser. ~ above M*A*S*H, Hawkeye provides Howard as Wendell this fatherly advice: "I was simply wondering if any girl"s worth having who care whether you have actually a medal or not."

Then, Hawkeye promises not to revolve Wendell in, if he pipeline the jeep and also promises to come inside and also rest.

But through the episode"s end, Hawkeye go not keep his promise. After the episode"s most dramatic scene, Hawkeye reveals to Margaret that Wendell is posing together his brother and also is just 15 years old.

"He"s going ago home where he belongs," Hawkeyes says.

Howard said he in reality felt at home on the collection of M*A*S*H.

"It likewise was sort of comfortable due to the fact that that was a one-camera show and it reminded me a small bit of just how The Andy Griffith Show was done," Howard stated in his interview.

On M*A*S*H, his character feels betrayed by Hawkeye, just as Opie feels betrayed by Gomer as soon as Sheriff Andy reflects up in ~ the finish of "Opie joins the Marines."

"You double-crosser," Wendell/Walter claims to Hawkeye.

He announces next that that plans to dislike Hawkeye because that the rest of his life. In the end, Hawkeye it s okay Howard the medal that both his personalities pined for, and neither deserved.

See more: What Colors To Mix To Get Yellow Acrylic Paint? What Two Colors Make Yellow

Howard enjoyed dipping right into drama ~ above M*A*S*H and said the knew ~ doing that illustration that the collection would it is in a success due to the fact that it to be so different. "It did have actually some drama in addition to the comedy, so I sort of felt prefer it would certainly be successful," Howard said.