M*A*S*H (1972–1983)
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Lend a Hand 

Everyone at the 4077 is so cranky, cold and bored, BJ decides the only way to uplift spirits is to "borrow" Hawkeye's birthday. Hawkeye is not amused. Captain Anthony Borelli (Robert Alda) ... See full summary »


Alan Alda


Alan Alda, Dan Wilcox (executive story editor) | 3 more credits »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Alan Alda ... Capt. Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce
Mike Farrell ... Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt
Harry Morgan ... Col. Sherman T. Potter
Loretta Swit ... Maj. Margaret 'Hot Lips' Houlihan
David Ogden Stiers ... Maj. Charles Winchester
Jamie Farr ... Cpl. Maxwell Q. Klinger
William Christopher ... Father Francis Mulcahy
Robert Alda ... Dr. Anthony Borelli
Antony Alda Antony Alda ... Cpl. Jarvis
Daren Kelly ... Sergeant Herbert
Shari Saba Shari Saba ... Lt. Shari, RN


Everyone at the 4077 is so cranky, cold and bored, BJ decides the only way to uplift spirits is to "borrow" Hawkeye's birthday. Hawkeye is not amused. Captain Anthony Borelli (Robert Alda) visits the 4077 to lecture about peripheral nerve grafting to replace entire segments of skin. Borelli has always really annoyed Hawkeye. When the surgeon is injured at the Battalion Aid Station, Hawkeye rushes to volunteer for duty, just to avoid Borelli. But Borelli insists on accompanying him--so Hawkeye "borrows" BJ's wedding anniversary to substitute for his birthday. After riding to the BAS, the medic, Cpl. Jarvis (Antony Alda) is practically forced to throw water on the battling surgeons and he tells them to knock it off. By surgery's end, Dr. Left and Dr. Right are just a little too happy and annoying enough for one to pause and realize where the good looks in the Alda family went (Antony). Written by LA-Lawyer

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Comedy | Drama | War


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 February 1980 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The cast featured a guest appearances by Antony Alda, Alan Alda's brother. According to Alan Alda and Robert Alda, his father, "Lend a Hand" was his way of reconciling with his dad. He was always giving suggestions to Robert for their vaudeville act and in "Lend a Hand" Robert's character was always giving Hawkeye suggestions. It was Robert's idea for the doctors to cooperate as "Dr. Right" and "Dr. Left" at the end of that episode, signifying both reconciliation of their characters and in real life as well. See more »


Although Hawkeye doesn't actually claim that his wrist is broken, he does say that he can't move it, and a plaster cast is used to immobilize the bones. Thus, the severity of the injury would prohibit him from performing surgery for several weeks at minimum. Regardless of whether or not it was broken, with Hawkeye unable to function as a surgeon, I Corps certainly would have transferred him out of the 4077th and permanently replaced him with a new surgeon, either eventually sending him to a new unit when he recovered or rotating him home. See more »


Margaret: If only we could think of the right theme, I'm sure everybody would be very excited about it.
Klinger: Wait! Put away your thinking caps, I got it! Imagine, if you will, the world's biggest salami!
Charles: [chuckles snidely] We don't have to imagine it, Klinger. We're looking at it!
See more »


Happy Birthday to You
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Performed by William Christopher, Mike Farrell, David Ogden Stiers, and Loretta Swit
See more »

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User Reviews

Dr. Borelli Would Drive the Most Stable on Earth Mad
20 April 2015 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

The episode begins with the 4077 bored to death and freezing. In order to counter boredom, B. J. tells everyone it is Hawkeye's birthday and they should have surprise party for him. Of course, he is incredibly annoyed. There is another fly in the ointment. The reappearance of Robert Alda (Alan's Dad) is dynamite. He is a control freak, sticking his nose in everyone's business. Making pronouncements about people's habits, arranging chairs, criticizing surgical techniques, on and on. The thing is that this character is an incredibly innovative surgeon with advanced knowledge of treating nerve trauma. Still, Hawkeye is driven to distraction by this guy. They are at each other's throats constantly (I would have been, too). In order to avoid his "non" birthday party, Hawkeye volunteers to go to a battalion aid station to treat a man who has been injured by a land mine. Of course, Borelli insists that he go along and the get into a huge fight. Great conclusion.

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