M*A*S*H (1972–1983)
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5 O'Clock Charlie 

Every day for the past six weeks, at 5:00 o'clock p.m. on the nose, a North Korean "washout from Kamikaze school" has let loose a bomb in the general direction of the hospital's sub-ammo ... See full summary »



(teleplay by), (teleplay by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
Gen. Crandell Clayton
Lt. Ginger Bayliss, RN
Lloyd Kino ...
Sarah Fankboner ...
Nurse Klein
Gail Bowman ...
Nurse Powell
Deb Newman ...
Nurse Richards


Every day for the past six weeks, at 5:00 o'clock p.m. on the nose, a North Korean "washout from Kamikaze school" has let loose a bomb in the general direction of the hospital's sub-ammo dump. Very affectionately known as "Five O'Clock Charlie," the only thing he hits on the nose is the time. Every day, Radar opens book on the day's exploits and takes bets on how close (in yards) Charlie will come to the sub-ammo dump. It is an occasion for cocktails and frivolity at 4077, not unlike the Kentucky Derby... until Frank demands Henry get him a "nug" from Brigadier Gen. Clayton. Capt. Phil Cardozo, the singing dentist, gives the drunken duo a new slant on things. If there is anything that will beat Frank and his nug, it is 4 dozen sheets, 18 gallons of mercurochrome and a little thing called psychology. Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

betting pool | air raid | See All (2) »


Comedy | Drama | War





Release Date:

22 September 1973 (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?


In this episode, Nurse Kelly's fatigue shirt is faded, but there are visible outlines on her sleeves where Air Force enlisted chevrons (stripes) were previously attached. This caused the shirt sleeves to fade unevenly. While it's possible that in wartime, used uniforms were worn, it's unlikely that an Army officer would wear a used Air Force enlisted person's shirt. Apparently, the show's wardrobe department used real Air Force surplus for production or the shirt was originally in another show. See more »


Charlie's bomb blows up General Clayton's jeep. You can clearly see that the jeep is already mangled and charred before the jeep goes up in flames. See more »


Frank Burns: I want everybody to understand that this is war, and that war is a call to arms!
[reaches for his sidearm, which has been switched with a stapler]
Hawkeye: [raises arms in surrender] Here's our money, mister. Don't staple us.
See more »


References The Jack Benny Program (1950) See more »


The Army Air Corps Song
Music by Robert Crawford
Played when 5 O'Clock Charlie makes his initial appearance
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User Reviews

Frank and the Artillery
24 February 2015 | by See all my reviews

For some reason there is a huge ammunition dump adjacent to the camp. This brings a daily assault from a North Korean pilot in a small plane who drops a bomb each day at five o'clock (hence, Five O'Clock Charlie). The folks in camp bet on how far from the target the bomb will explode. Everyone is having fun but Frank, who considers himself a military man (sort of like Barney Fife and his bullet) decides the camp needs an anti-aircraft gun. When General Clayton's jeep is blown up he grants Frank's request. The doctors are outraged because a gun will draw fire from more serious North Koreans. The new dentist in camp tells Hawkeye and Trapper that what they need to do is get rid of the ammo dump and you get rid of the need for a gun. Despite the absurdity and cavalier attitude of everyone, it's a good episode.

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