In Wednesday's episode of Late Night, Seth Meyers was discussing the length of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and dropped in a M*A*S*H reference, quipping that it was a joke for "the TikTok crowd." In this clip from Thursday's edition of "A Closer Look," he tripled down and turned it into a running gag.
After the first one, comparing Trump's helicopter press conferences to the final scene of the show, he hyped it up by shouting "Second M*A*S*H reference in two days! Come on, TikTokers! Bring on your remixes! If you can do it for sea shanties, you can do it for Alan Alda, and with all due respect to Jeremy Renner, that'll always be my Hawkeye. Oh, he didn't have arrows, but he always had a quiver full of quips."
The second time came when describing how nervous he gets when his wife borrows his phone and finds he's been watching YouTube clips of old M*A*S*H episodes and accusing him of not really working. "I am working!" he'd say. "The M*A*S*H references are the most popular part of 'A Closer Look!' You are being a real Charles Winchester."
Finally, Meyers invoked the classic series finale where BJ Hunnicut left a "Goodbye" message for Hawkeye Pierce to see when he left the 4077 for the last time by helicopter, hoping that we'll be able to send off scandal-plagued Congressman Matt Gaetz in a similar fashion. However, that last episode is a tear-jerker, and even Meyers was too choked up to finish the segment.
Time will tell if this is the end of the joke, or if the gag will keep on running.
Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.