Stuttering on TV on YouTube from StutterTalk
After many years of looking for this rarely seen MASH TV episode that involved stuttering, I accidently flipped to it this morning on the FX networks. One of the problems in finding it was that the episode title and plot details never mentions the important subplot of a stuttering soldier who is wounded and ends up in the MASH unit under the care of Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester III (David Ogden Stiers). This Private who stutters is the object of ridicule by other soldiers in his unit including his Sergeant. Charles takes a special interest in the Private and racks the Sergeant over the coals for making fun of the Private's stuttering and intelligence.
Charles reaches out to the Private but is at first told by the Private to leave him alone. But Charles doesn't give up and takes the Private out of the ward to talk to him privately. The Private who has been called a dummy so often that he believes it. Charles reveals to the Private that his IQ test shows him to be above average. He also tells him that there is no connection between stuttering and intelligence. In fact some stutterers were very smart people and names a few like Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, King George VI, etc. He gives the Private a leather bound copy of "Moby Dick" and tells him that it is fit for a man of the Private's intelligence and that his stuttering shouldn't limit his goals in life. The Private asks why is Charles doing all this for him. Charles doesn't answer. But the answer is revealed later when Charles is alone in his tent listening to an audio tape of some back home news from his beloved sister---who stutters.
(Posted by Ira Zimmerman on Stutterersinfilm, June 4, 2000)
Nora concludes, " I've seen enough stuttering on T.V. or in the movies and it doesn't bother me. Or I just shrug it off, like in the movie Primal Fear, I talked with a few stutterers who were disturbed by the use of stuttering in the film--it didn't bother me. BUT--tonight, when I watched Brooklyn South, a new television series and listened to this discussion between the cops about "stammering" and making "stupid faces" it really dug under my skin. It was just so dumb. The conversation was straight up lame (whoever did the writing)."
Paul Billingham -- known to his radio fans as Ralph Alfalfa, the Happy Farmer -- comes to Bob because of his stuttering problem. On radio, he practiced several unseen rhtyhmic devices to mask his problem, but a new television opportunity threatens to expose his problem with disastrous results.
Is it possible for a stutterer to be a member of the Clergy?
That is the question raised in the 1937 Warner Bros. film, "The Case of the Stuttering Bishop."
This is a story from the Perry Mason series written by Earle Stanley Gardner. This is a story of mystery and murder that involves who is the heir to a fortune. And the key figure is a Bishop from Australia who asks for Perry Mason's help. But as he tells his story to Perry Mason it is obvious that he is a stutterer. Immediately doubt is raised in Mason's mind whether this Bishop is for real.
In a scene with his secretary after the Bishop leaves
Secretary: Well Chief how do you figure?
Mason: Della, Bishops don't stutter.
Secretary: That's what I thought when he barged in here. but you wouldn't listen.
Mason: Bishops have to talk in public. If a man stutters, he won't even become a Minister let alone a Bishop.
At the end of the film the Bishop explains.
Mason: I hope you would pardon a personal question. Isn't it a bit unusual for a Bishop to stutter?
Bishop: It's a defect which I overcame in my childhood, Mr. Mason. It never comes back on me except when I'm under some emotional shock.
Before he boards a ship back to Australia, he is kissed farewell by some very attractive women which flusters him and he says, "G-G-Goodness Gracious," which ends the film on a light note.
I was surprisingly entertained by the film and how in 1937 it handled a major character who stuttered. (posted to Stutt-L, April 21, 1998)
The stuttering character is jogging down the road at the beginning of the episode when he hears a little girl crying. It is winter, and she has fallen into a hole or pipe or something (like a construction type deal). He trys to rescue her, but cannot - she is too far down. He runs to make a telephone call to get help, but dies of a coronary before he can do it. Anyway, as the episode goes on one of the Angels tells the "story" of this mans life to the pathologist that is doing the autopsy. She (the Angel) includes that fact that he stutters. It is not a big deal, but just another part of him - a trial he faced. One thing she tells is that he stuttered, "even when he was courting his wife". We see him in "flashback" type shots. The stuttering was done pretty good.
I liked the way it was done - mainly because the stuttering was shown as just a part of who this guy was. He was not super smart, not dumb or slow, not a criminal; but was just a regular guy that happened to stutter. (Eric Christenson posted to the stutt lists, March 8, 1999)