M*A*S*H (1972–1983)
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Potter's Retirement 

When Col. Potter learns of an informant feeding negative reports on his command bad enough to prompt an outside inspection, he decides to retire.


(as William Jurgensen)


, (developed for television by)


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Episode cast overview:
Gen. Waldo Kent
Johnny Haymer ...
Kenneth White ...
Corporal Denning (as Ken White)
Cpl. Benson


The latest piece de resistance of Hawkeye and BJ is Kentucky "Derby Day," the next excuse for a party and temporary escape from reality for the team at 4077. Colonel Potter has to visit General Waldo Kent at I Corp in Seoul and he is is usual playful yet gruff and wonderful self. When he returns to camp, it becomes painfully obvious Col. Potter has a burr in his saddle. At Derby Day, Colonel Potter abruptly interrupts the festivities to announce that due to bad reports on his leadership, I Corp is making a spot inspection next Tuesday. Further, he announces his intention to leave and transfer stateside immediately. Hawkeye and BJ are the only ones with the guts to demand an explanation. When Potter tells them the bad reports are coming from the inside of his own command, the Swamp Rats are furious; they immediately suspect the Boston butt. But all they find is a Dear Meredith letter...and some advice to watch the outgoing mail for envelopes addressed to I Corp. Radar is willing to die... Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

retirement | kentucky derby | See All (2) »


Comedy | Drama | War





Release Date:

20 February 1978 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


At one point Charles tells Colonel Potter, "The first open-heart surgery in medical history has just been done successfully." This operation took place on May 6, 1953. However, the episode takes place on the day of the Kentucky Derby, which in 1953 was run on May 2. See more »


Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce: [Charles appears to drink from a bottle of hair tonic] Charles, stop! You're drinking your hair!
Major Charles Winchester: Hm? What? Oh. This isn't hair tonic, it's 12 year old scotch. You don't think I'd keep it in the original bottle do you?
Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce: Ewww! I've been drinking from his scotch bottle!
See more »


For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
Performed by Alan Alda, Gary Burghoff, William Christopher, Jamie Farr, Mike Farrell, Johnny Haymer, David Ogden Stiers, and Loretta Swit
See more »

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User Reviews

Kentucky Derby Winner
2 April 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

On the eve of the Kentucky Derby (as everyone is involved in a party), Potter gets news from command that he is being reprimanded for his lack of discipline in the MASH unit. To make matters worse, the complaints are coming from inside the camp. Someone is a traitor. Potter decides he's had it. He becomes really military because he doesn't know who to trust. Potter announces to everyone that he is going to retire as soon as an inspection is complete. Of course, the most discontented person in the camp is Winchester. The boys try to find evidence of his activities. They find nothing; all they get is an earful from Charles. Of course, the sad thing is that he has all this rage when nearly everyone else adores him and his command. This is one of my favorite episodes.

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