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When did “Copy that!” become Show Biz vernacular for “yes”? Evidentally because crew members speak on walkie-talkies they are now too hip to say “uh-huh.”

Last night I was shooting a Crime Drama at Fox Studios on the same Sound Stage that I tap danced on M*A*S*H in 1979. There’s a historical plaque by the door that pays tribute to the iconic series (my brief but vibrant participation is not mentioned). I shared this old story with a working buddy and he said “Copy that.” What did he mean? That same night I drove my own car around the still standing HELLO DOLLY New York Street set (more money for a “Car Bump!”). There was a 2nd AD cueing each Extra when to drive slowly by the Indoor/Outdoor Restaurant Bar Set. Everyone kept saying “Copy that” as they stepped on the gas.  A cameraman yelled “Where you going?” An Extra replied “To hell if I don’t change my ways!” Some crew mumbled “Copy that!”

It was a long evening shoot (yay overtime & meal penalty!) and I was also a “Bar Patron” (we can be outside driving and sitting inside the Bar at the same time…TV Magic!). Someone got sick eating shellacked pretzels on set (Rule #1 don’t eat anything on-camera unless the prop guy says it is real!). Yes they put shellac on food to make it look shiny and yummy. Did I mention that this same set was “Huggy Bear’s Bar” on STARSKY & HUTCH? Do you Copy that?

While still in the closet at 22 I shot a fast food commercial as a nerd on a date with 3 cute cheerleaders. The Director called “Action!” and we laughed, flirted and ate heavenly burgers. “Cut!” and we each spit out food into paper bags in our laps. Repeatedly. For 5 hours. Very sexy stuff. Copy that?

2 Responses to “Copy That!”

  1. adriana says:

    Sean says that it’s supposed to be “Roger that,” and not “copy that.” He’s also very impressed re: MASH. 🙂

  2. John Starr says:

    Adriana,
    Sean is right that ‘Roger That’ means the same thing. But ‘Copy That’ is the new catch phrase on sets, trust me!
    John

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