Boomer TV Trivia: Mash
Q1: What was the name of the M*A*S*H series finale episode which aired 32 years ago this week in 1983?
Q2: What do the letters in the series title M*A*S*H stand for?
(1974 M*A*S*H Cast Photo: CBS Television eBay | Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)
Surprisingly, M*A*S*H was almost cancelled in it’s first season (1st episode aired in September 1972). During season two it’s time slot was changed to run after All in the Family, and from that point (another 10 seasons) the baby boomer generation embrace it and the show was never out of the Top 20 TV programs in the ratings.
Leading man Alan Alda (Captain and Chief Surgeon “Hawkeye” Pierce), who also wrote and directed many episodes during the 11 year run of the show, appeared in every episode.
Alan Alda won 5 Emmy Awards (acting, directing, writing), 6 golden globes (acting) and 3 Director’s Guild Awards (directing) for his work on M*A*S*H.
Right, Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce and Wayne Rogers as Trapper John on M*A*S*H in 1972. (Photo: CBS Television / eBay | Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)
Only Alan Alda, Loretta Swit (Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan), Jamie Farr (cross-dressing Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger) and William Christopher (Father Mulcahy), were on M*A*S*H for all 11 seasons.
Both Jamie Farr and Alan Alda had served in the U. S. Army in Korea themselves, albeit after the end of the Korean War.
Although M*A*S*H won an Emmy in 1974 for Outstanding Comedy Series, it was a dark comedy. M*A*S*H was recognized by a Peabody Award in 1976 for “the manner in which comedy is used to lift the spirit, and, as well, to offer a profound statement on the nature of war.”
Below, the cast of M*A*S*H circa 1977, clockwise from top left: William Christopher as Father Francis Mulcahy; Gary Burghoff as Cpl. Walter ‘Radar’ O’Reilly; David Ogden Stiers as Major Charles Winchester; Jamie Farr as Cpl. Maxwell Q. Klinger, Mike Farrell as Captain B. J. Hunnicutt, Alan Alda as ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce, Harry Morgan as Col. Sherman T. Potter, and Loretta Swit as ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan.
(1977 M*A*S*H Cast Photo: CBS Television eBay | Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)
A1: The Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen episode of M*A*S*H had a 125 million viewers and became the highest rated and most watched American television show in history.
A2: Although M*A*S*H premiered just as the Vietnam War was winding down, it depicted a medical team stationed at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in South Korea.