The annual Steel City Con makes its triumphant return to Monroeville this weekend, after being delayed over a year due to the pandemic.
Fans of pop culture will once again get to put on a costume of their favorite hero and meet some of the TV and movies biggest legends.
William Shatner (Captain Kirk from Star Trek) headlines the all-star lineup that includes names like Jon Lovitz, Larry Thomas (The Soup Nazi from Seinfield), Matt Lillard, wrestler and Pittsburgh native Britt Baker and both Jamie Farr and Loretta Swit (Klinger and “Hot Lips” Houlihan on M*A*S*H)
M*A*S*H debuted in 1972 and is still the highest rated finale for a TV series in the history of television. The show still lives on today on MeTV locally in Pittsburgh, airing six days a week.
Swit tells KDKA Radio that for her it’s about meeting the fans and getting to meet some of the people who she has impacted through her work as Maj. Houlihan.
“I love meeting fans and hearing feedback about the show, about the character,” said Swit. “I cannot tell you how thrilling it is to hear from young women who became nurses because of being inspired by Margret Houlihan.”
She also told the story of a young woman who came from a broken home with her mother working two jobs and used the show as a comfort growing up.
“I guess M*A*S*H would babysit her and she started to regard me as her older sister . . . and she also did become a nurse,” said Swit.
The M*A*S*H family is as strong as ever with Swit saying they stay in contact with each other frequently. Unfortunately, Jeff Maxwell, who played Igor the cook, had to cancel his appearance.
Swit says there will be a “bit” of social distancing with a table width separating her from the fans, with her wearing a mask, but her and Farr will take them off for pictures.
The hit TV show that ended in 1983, will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.
Even after all that time, Swit gets plenty of fan mail and calls the show a “global phenomenon.”
“I’ve seen it in Spanish, Italian, French, Thai, again, the humanity of it is so appealing, there seems to be no boarders that it hasn’t crossed.”
In addition to being a multi-time Emmy Award winning actress, Swit is also an animal right advocate and has a book entitled SwitHeart: The Watercolour Artistry & Animal Activism of Loretta Swit, with proceeds going to fight animal cruelty.
The Steel City Con is June 11-13 at the Monroeville Convention Center and tickets for admission and photographs can be found here.