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M*A*S*H (TV Series 1972–1983) Poster

(1972–1983)

Trivia

Jamie Farr and Alan Alda were the only two main cast members to have actually served in the US Army in Korea. Both of them did their tours of duty after the 1953 cease fire. Farr was drafted, serving in Japan at Camp Drake before eventually touring and performing throughout Korea with friend Red Skelton. Alda voluntarily joined the Army Reserve after graduating from Fordham, and completed the minimum 6-month tour of duty as a gunnery officer.
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Gary Burghoff's left hand is slightly deformed, and he took great pains to hide or de-emphasize it during filming. He did this by always holding something (like a clipboard), or keeping that hand in his pocket.
The photo Potter kept of his wife Mildred on his desk was actually a photo of Harry Morgan's then wife Eileen Detchon.
Klinger was only going to appear in one episode. However, he proved so popular that he became a regular.
Throughout the run of the series, any "generic" nurses (nurse characters who had a line or two, but were minor supporting characters otherwise) were generally given the names "Nurse Able", "Nurse Baker", or "Nurse Charlie". These names stem from the phonetic alphabet used by the military and HAM operators at the time. During the time period of the Korean War, the letters A, B, and C in the phonetic alphabet were Able, Baker, and Charlie (since then, the standard has been updated, and A and B are now Alpha and Bravo). In later seasons, it became more common for a real character name to be created, especially as several of the nurse actors became semi-regulars. For example, Kellye Nakahara played both "Able" and "Charlie" characters in season three before becoming the semi-regular "Nurse Kellye"; on the other hand, Judy Farrell (then Mrs. Mike Farrell) played Nurse Able in eight episodes, including the series finale.
Jamie Farr chose to gradually phase out Klinger's recurring joke of wearing women's clothes because he didn't want his children, who were young at the time, teased about it while growing up. After Klinger took on the role of company clerk from Radar (Gary Burghoff), Farr practically stopped the gag altogether.
When Wayne Rogers left the series, he was sued for breach of contract. The case was dismissed when it was discovered that Rogers had not signed his contract, therefore making it invalid.
Gary Burghoff was the very first actor cast. He was the only actor to reprise his role from the movie "MASH" (1970), on which this series was based.
The chair Hawkeye is sometimes seen sitting on in the Swamp has the serial number S9JPA meaning it was made from a discarded case of rocket ammunition.
In his blog, M*A*S*H (1972) writer Ken Levine revealed that on one occasion when the cast offered too many nit-picky "notes" on a script, he and his writing partner changed the script to a "cold show" - one set during the frigid Korean winter. The cast then had to stand around barrel fires in parkas at the Malibu ranch when the temperatures neared 100 degrees F. Levine says, "This happened maybe twice and we never got a ticky tack note again."
All of the replacement characters (BJ, Col. Potter, and Charles) lasted longer than the characters they replaced (Trapper, Henry, and Frank).
It was Mike Farrell who asked to have his character's daughter's name be Erin, after his real-life daughter (the character's name was originally going to be Melissa). When BJ spoke on the telephone on-camera, Erin or his then-wife Judy were on the other end.
Radar's teddy bear, once housed at the Smithsonian, was sold at auction July 29, 2005, for $11,800. (It was originally found on the Fox Ranch, where the series was filmed, and became part of the show.)
When originally developing the character of Max Klinger, it was established that he was more "swishy" and played up the wardrobe. This worked, but not well. It was Jamie Farr's idea that the character would work better if Klinger acted naturally, as if wearing dresses were completely normal. This approach worked, and Klinger found his niche in the show.
Four characters (but only two actors) appeared in both the pilot and the finale: Hawkeye, Margaret Houlihan, Radar, and Father Mulcahy. Mulcahy was played by George Morgan in the pilot, and by William Christopher for the rest of the series while Radar was only portrayed by Gary Burghoff, who was no longer on the show after Season 8; the back of his head was still visible in the opening credits.
The hat that Alan Alda wears in the opening credits is the same as the one Donald Sutherland wore in the movie, but never appeared anywhere else in the series.
Many young actors appeared as guest stars before becoming household names: John Ritter, Patrick Swayze, Laurence Fishburne, Joe Pantoliano, George Wendt, Andrew Dice Clay, Gregory Harrison, John Matuszak, Bruno Kirby, Ed Begley, Jr., Shelley Long, Rita Wilson, Jeffrey Tambor, and Teri Garr.
The cast did not usually wear Army boots on set. They proved to be too noisy for a soundstage, and uncomfortable to wear during filming. The actors were usually shot from the waist up as it was, so boots were only worn when necessary to a scene. Most of the cast actually wore sneakers on set.
In direct contrast to the detestable and adversarial nature of Frank Burns, Larry Linville was generally well-liked and regarded by the show's other cast members. By contrast, Gary Burghoff, who played the lovable, timid, overly-polite Radar O'Reilly, was reportedly difficult, rude, and had a terrible working relationship with many of the other stars.
In an interview, Harry Morgan said he wanted to play Colonel Potter forever.
As the series went on, the producers began interviewing actual M*A*S*H veterans for their stories and impressions; many of their recollections went into storylines. The gradual thinning of fresh ideas prompted work on the series conclusion.
When the series was shown in the UK, it didn't have a laugh track. Once, the BBC left it switched on by mistake and received a number of complaints that the intrusive canned laughter spoiled the show's atmosphere.
"Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" was the finale of the series but was not the last to be made. The previous show "As Time Goes By" was filmed last.
The decision to end the series came the result of a vote by the show's cast members. Those who voted in favor of continuing the series were the ones subsequently featured on After MASH (1983).
Klinger often mentions a restaurant in his home town of Toledo Ohio called Tony Packo's. This is a real restaurant on Toledo's east side that is still popular with many who live in Toledo and the surrounding area.
Gary Burghoff was the only regular actor to leave the series without being replaced, as Klinger took over Radar's duties as Company Clerk. Producers intended to move up recurring character Sidney Freedman to regular status to replace Radar, but Allan Arbus turned it down, not wishing to commit to a full time role on the series. Producers also considered G.W. Bailey 's character Luther Rizzo to take over Radar's job as company clerk, but Alan Alda convinced them to let Klinger's character have the job instead.
The 4077th actually consisted of two separate sets. An outdoor set, located in the mountains near Malibu, California, was used for all exterior and tent scenes for the first few seasons. The indoor set, located on a sound stage at Fox studios, was used for the indoor scenes for the run of the series. Later, after the indoor set was renovated to permit many of the "outdoor" scenes to be filmed there, both sets were used for exterior shooting as script requirements dictated (for example, night scenes were far easier to film on the sound stage, but scenes at the chopper pad required using the ranch).
Alan Alda had a running guest appearance on the TV show ER (1994) in which he plays Dr. Gabriel Lawrence, who reminisces about being a doctor in a war.
Dr. Michael DeBakey, the physician largely credited with the creation of M*A*S*H units for the U.S. Army, died in July 2008. He was two months shy of turning 100 years old.
Col. Blake's alma mater was the University of Illinois. When word of this reached the university, a U of I sweater (of appropriate vintage) was donated to the show, and Blake can be seen wearing the blue sweater with a large orange "I" in several episodes. An orange mug with a blue "I" also appeared on his office desk.
Colonel Potter fought in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. At age 15 he joined the cavalry, lying about his age to enlist. When World War II started he was married, his mother-in-law moved in with them, and the war started the next day.
Alan Alda was the only actor that acted in every episode. Loretta Swit was contracted to the show for all 11 seasons but did not appear in the episode "Hawkeye", and several episodes before and after.
Frank Burns' nickname "Ferret Face" came from his brother; he mentioned it to Hawkeye and Trapper John once, during a rare drinking binge, and they never forgot it. (Even BJ's first words to Burns when they met were "What say, Ferret Face?")
When Col. Potter took command of the 4077th at the beginning of the fourth season, the stated date was 19 Sep 1952. This means the first three seasons and 72 episodes covered the first 15 months of the war and that the following eight seasons and 179 episodes covered just the remaining ten months. Although in Season 9: Episode 6 (A War for All Seasons), the unit is showed celebrating new years eve 1950. The show covers the entire year of 1951 and the closing scene is ringing in 1952.
Klinger's wedding dress was worn on three different occasions and by three different people. By Klinger when he married Laverne Esposito, by Margret Houlihan, when she married Lt. Col. Donald Penobscott and by Soon Lee, when she married Klinger.
Gary Burghoff played his character's own mother in the fourth-season episode M*A*S*H: Mail Call, Again (1975).
The game Trivial Pursuit claims Hawkeye only ever saluted once during the entire run of the series. This is false. He saluted Radar twice-once when awarding him a purple heart and once when he went home. He saluted Frank without thinking about it early in the series and he does it again in season 1, episode 24 "Showtime" while Frank is on the toilet when Hawkeye 'pays him back' for the practical jokes. Again when Hawkeye and BJ saluted Colonel Potter in the series finale. Hawkeye along with Trapper also salute Nurse Cutler in 'Requiem for a Lightweight' when she loses her towel after she bumps into them while running from the shower. Also, in the season 4 opener 'Welcome to Korea', when picking B.J. Hunnicutt up From Kimpo Airport, Radar is temporarily promoted to 'Corporal-Captain' to gain access to the Officers Club, Hawkeye salutes Radar right before they enter. In the 1/14/73 "Tuttle" Hawkeye salutes the recently deceased (and fictional) Jonathan S. Tuttle when giving a brief eulogy. And the list goes on...in Series 8, Ep13 "Captain's Outrageous", Hawkeye promotes Father Mulcahy to Captain when they are all in Rosie's Bar, and the whole gang salute Mulcahy at that time.
BJ's real name is never given. In one episode, Hawkeye goes to extreme lengths to learn what "BJ" stands for, but all official paperwork concerning his friend claims that BJ really is his first name. Toward the end of the episode, BJ explains that his parents' names are Bea and Jay, and claims that this is the reason for his odd name, but whether this is actually true is never made clear.
During the filming of "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen", a fire ravaged the area, burning away the set. (The fire damage shown was real, not created by the crew) and as a result they decided not to rebuild the sets, so all subsequent episodes were filmed on the indoor sets, which explains why most of them are set at night and take place inside buildings.
Gary Burghoff created his own wardrobe for Radar, emphasizing that his clothes would be a size too big. It was also his idea for Radar to have glasses, feeling that it would accent his ESP whereas his lack of sight would heighten his hearing.
The creators and writers had often stated that the show was not anti-Army, it was anti-bureaucracy and anti-incompetency and thus would appeal to any viewer who ran or dealt with large institutions of any kind.
The ubiquitous helicopters were military versions of the Bell 47. In the real Korean War, the OH-13s evacuated 80% of American casualties. (Roads in Korea were primitive, and often treacherous, so helicopters were favored over ambulances.) The OH-13 was responsible for saving over 18,000 lives during the Korean war, a historical fact still taught today at the air assault school at Fort Campbell, Ky home of the 101st airborne division.
'Welcome To Korea' and the series finale are the only episodes to feature the episode title on screen during the entire show's run.
By the time the series ended, three of the regulars were promoted: Klinger (Jamie Farr) from Corporal to Sergeant, and Father Mulcahy (William Christopher) from Lieutenant to Captain. Frank Burns (Larry Linville) was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel when he was shipped back to the US following Margaret's marriage. (Farr and Christopher also saw their names move from the closing credits of the show, to the opening credits.) Radar O'Reilly was temporarily promoted to Second Lieutenant, but disliked officer's duties, and asked Hawkeye and B.J. to "bust" him back to Corporal. Samuel Flagg (Edward Winter), the paranoid intelligence officer, was a Lieutenant Colonel for the first three seasons of the series, but had been promoted to full Colonel by the fourth season.
Tom Skerritt was approached to reprise his role as Duke Forrest on the series but he declined, because he felt a TV version of the movie would be unsuccessful.
Many of Klinger's early dresses were based on Hollywood movie stars like Vivien Leigh, Betty Grable , May Whitty, Judy Garland but later more original outfits were used.
When Larry Linville announced that he was leaving at the end of the fifth season, the story line of Margaret's impending marriage to Lt. Colonel Donald Penobscot was used as a way to write Burns out of the show.
Throughout the series, Klinger frequently introduces himself by his full name, Maxwell Q. Klinger, but never says what the Q stands for.
A few days after the infamous "Abssynia Henry" episode aired, which inspired angry calls from viewers across the country, MacLean appeared in a skit on the Cher Show as Henry Blake in a life boat shouting "guys! I'm OK! I'm OK!".
The dog tags worn by Jamie Farr on the show were his own personal dog tags from when he served in the military prior to becoming an actor. In one of the archival interviews found on on the extras DVD's in the Medicine and Martinis box set of the show, Jamie Farr states that they are his own tags with his actual personal military info, including name, serial number and religion.
There was one nude scene throughout the entire series. It occurred during the M*A*S*H: The Sniper (1973). When Radar was running outside wearing only a towel and the sniper is firing at him, he runs back into the showers at which point, the towel he was wearing was rigged to fall of. This was director Jackie Cooper's idea and only one frame was left in for the effect.
When the series was first going into production, the network wanted a laugh track (a sitcom staple), while the show's producers didn't. They compromised with a "chuckle track", played only occasionally. (DVD releases of the series mostly allow viewers a no-laugh-track option.) However, even the "chuckle track" - it was agreed upon by all involved in the discussion - would never be used during the scenes in the surgical tent. Syndication prints eliminate the "chuckle track" (with the exception of the first episode of Season 10 - "That's Show Biz" - where it has been retained.)
On the children's show "Sesame Street", Big Bird's teddy bear is named Radar, after the character on "Mash", due to Radar having his own teddy bear.
With the encouragement of shows like: All in the Family (1971), The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971), Sanford and Son (1972), The Streets of San Francisco (1972), Emergency! (1972), Maude (1972), Barnaby Jones (1973), Kojak (1973), Happy Days (1974), Good Times (1974) and Little House on the Prairie (1974), the shows with surrogate parental roles, and with the departure of McLean Stevenson, M*A*S*H needed a surrogate father for the show's unit to look up to rather than one who didn't know what was going on half the time. The producers at that time found Harry Morgan, a huge fan of the show who also became friends with Gene Reynolds years before.
McLean Stevenson was a cousin of Adlai Stevenson, a prominent US politician and presidential candidate at the time of the Korean War.
Hawkeye, Margaret, and Father Mulcahy are the only three characters that lasted from the original movie all the way through to the end of the series.
The series finale is the highest rated American show of all time, with a 60.2% ratings and 125 million viewers.
Edward Winter first appeared in the series as Halloran in "Deal Me Out", but went on to play Col. Flagg six times, although "Halloran" may have been one of Flagg's many aliases.
Both Major Margaret Houlihan and Cpl. Max Klinger were married (Margaret in person, Klinger over the phone) and divorced during their service at the 4077th. They shared the same wedding dress.
In an episode where Radar is doing impressions, he does John Wayne, from a movie that hadn't even been made. The "I'm not gonna hit ya" quote would have to wait for around 10 years after the Korean War. The movie was 1963's "McLintock." The Korean "conflict" ended July 27, 1953. "McLintock" was released November 13, 1963
Maxwell Klinger was originally created as a character of Jewish-American ethnicity. But his ethnicity was changed to Lebanese-American to match Jamie Farr's background.
The baseball cap worn by Klinger (and on occasion, Col. Potter), starting in the eighth season is supposed to be a Toledo Mud Hens cap, but it was actually a Texas Rangers cap, that the Rangers wore in the 1970s and early 1980s. Texas Rangers became a team in 1970, that was the Washington Senators.
Although Gary Burghoff left the show after episode 5 in season 8, he continued to receive billing in the opening credits for the next six episodes, his name finally being removed on the opening credits for episode 12. Co-star Mike Farrell tried to talk Burghoff out of leaving the show, citing the limited post-MASH careers of McLean Stevenson and Larry Linville.
Col. Henry Blake is from the central Illinois twin cities of Bloomington-Normal. McLean Stevenson, who played Blake, was born and raised in Bloomington-Normal (in McLean County).
McLean Stevenson originally auditioned for the role of Hawkeye, and came to be convinced by producers to take the role of Col. Blake instead.
Hawkeye hated guns, and never carried a sidearm when he was Officer of the Day, despite Army regulations. Col. Potter insisted Hawkeye carry (then later fire) a pistol when they visited an aid station. Hawkeye reluctantly complied, shouting warnings and firing into the air.
Of all the main cast who "go stateside", only Trapper John's return is not the result of a specific event. Henry Blake is going home, but his plane is shot down, killing all on board. Frank Burns gets transferred home after having a nervous breakdown. Radar O' Reilly goes home, but only because a beloved uncle has died, and Radar gets a hardship discharge to return home and tend to his family's farm.
Col. Potter's Horse Sophie is played by several different horses in several different episodes. In many cases Sophie, a mare, is in fact played by a male horse.
The show's first season had the lowest ratings of the entire run, finishing at number 46, while the eleventh and final season was the highest rated, finishing at number 3.
Jeff Maxwell appears as Igor Straminsky 81 times, most of the times he is uncredited. Peter Riegert played Igor in 2 episodes.
Recurring character Luther Rizzo was initially to have been from Brooklyn. G.W. Bailey wasn't able to believably mimic a Brooklyn accent, so Rizzo's background was changed to a southern one to match that of Bailey and his natural accent.
The filming location for the exteriors of the 4077 M*A*S*H camp is today known as Malibu Creek State Park in Malibu, California. Formerly called the Fox Ranch, and owned by 20th Century Fox Studios until the 1980s, the site today (early 2001) is overgrown with foliage, and marked by a rusted Jeep and an ambulance used in the show, as well as a small sign. The state park is open to the public. It was also the location where How Green Was My Valley (1941) and the Planet of the Apes (1974) TV series were filmed.
Klinger's attempts to be thrown out of the Army by wearing women's clothing was inspired by Lenny Bruce, who received a dishonorable discharge from the Navy by dressing as a WAVE.
Hot Lips's parents must have had quite a bridal night as they exchanged at least three gifts. In "Rainbow Bridge", Margaret gives Frank the small silver gun her father gave to her mother, engraved: "To my little shot from her big shot. Your loving husband, Lt. Col. Alvin F. Houlahan, Regular Army"; in "For Want of a Boot", Margaret gives Frank for his birthday the calvary riding crop her mother gave to her father; in "Alcoholics Unanimous", Margaret shows Frank the silver flask her father gave to her mother, engraved: "To my Buttercup, from Alvin. The best things are worth waiting for. Bottoms up!"
Robert Alda, Alan Alda's father, had guest appearances in two episodes, "The Consultant" and "Lend a Hand." The latter also featured a guest appearance by Antony Alda, Alan Alda's brother. According to Alan Alda, "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 a reconciliation of their characters and in real life as well.
Alan Alda was living in New Jersey when cast for the series, but didn't want to move to California full time so as not to displace his wife and young daughters. Throughout the making of the series, Alda would fly home to New Jersey and back every weekend and on other breaks to be with his family.
Many of the actors from the cast appeared in a series of TV commercials for the IBM Personal Computer. Alan Alda also endorsed the Atari personal computer.
The Japanese actor Mako played four different characters over the course of the series, and Korean actor Soon-Tek Oh played five.
Early in production planning it was decided to show how brutal the climate could be in Korea by having the show take place during a frigid cold snap occasionally. Since much of the filming was done in the summer the actors had to wear coats and act cold even when the temperature was over 100 degrees F.
Todd Sussman, Jimmy Lydon, and Sal Viscuso were the voices of the PA.
Harry Morgan, who played Col. Potter, had an earlier guest appearance as a chaotic General named Steele, in M*A*S*H: The General Flipped at Dawn (1974).
Cpl. Klinger wore size 14 dresses.
MASH 4077 is set in a location three miles from "Uijeongbu".

Today Uijeongbu is a bustling satellite town of Seoul, with a 2nd infantry division of the United States Army. It also has a number of restaurants catering to US defence personnel. They serve a peculiar stew made originally for US Army personnel from SPAM and hot-dogs called "Uijeongbu budae jjigae".
When Wayne Rogers first signed to do the series, it was intended by producers for the part of Trapper to be a co-starring role, and equal to that of Hawkeye. However, Alan Alda's performance on the show, as well as his creative input, quickly lead to Hawkeye being the more prominent character. This caused consternation for Rogers, and was the primary reason for his quitting the show. Despite any professional animosities, Rogers remained to be good friends with Alda after leaving the series.
William Christopher contracted an almost fatal case of Hepatitis at the start of the fifth season, resulting in his having to miss several episodes. As a result, producers were planning to write Father Mulcahy out of the show. However Alan Alda pushed to keep him on the series, knowing how dependent Christopher was on needing steady work to help raise his autistic son. Alda went as far as writing an episode to incorporate Christopher's real life illness into Mulcahy, helping to convince producers to keep him on the show.
Loudon Wainwright III appeared in three episodes in the third season (1974-75), playing the character "Captain Calvin Spaulding". The name is taken from "Captain Jeffery T. Spaulding", a character played by Groucho Marx in Animal Crackers (1930).
G.W. Bailey, who played recurring character Sgt. Rizzo, lobbied to join the cast in the ninth season to replace Gary Burghoff but CBS refused. Rizzo continued to appear occasionally until the final episode.
The death of Col Blake was largely controversial and polarizing among TV viewers and critics. While it was known that McLean Stevenson was permanently leaving the series, no one expected to see him killed off in such manner, and such a move was largely unprecedented for a prime time TV series at the time. Writers and Producers defended the move, which was largely viewed as a statement on the horrors of war.
Mash, the movie, was originally rated X, before the producers appealed it. As such, it's the only X rated movie to be adapted into a TV series.
Hawkeye's home town is Crabapple Cove, Maine (the only home town of the characters that is fictitious.) However, in "Dear Dad," Hawkeye mentions the family home in Vermont; in "The Late Captain Pierce", Hawkeye tells Klinger that Crabapple Cove is where his family summers; in "The Party", he says that his father hasn't left Crabapple Cove in years; in "Hawk's Nightmare", he says that his father was born in Crabapple Cove, and has never left.
This television series, set during the Korean War, lasted eleven seasons. The actual Korean War lasted only three years.
In the series pilot, after reading Ho John's acceptance letter Hawkeyes says he can "stay with my folks". In "Mail Call", Hawkeye shows Trapper the sweater that his sister knitted for him, and in "Dear Dad...Again", he asks his father in a letter to "kiss Mom and Sis" for him. However, in "Sons and Bowlers" he tells Charles how his mother died when he was a boy, and in "Hawkeye", he mentions that he has no siblings.
Frank Burns had three middle names during his time on the show: W., Marion and D.
Much like their onscreen counterparts, the cast bonded and became a "family" on the set, in response to the relative remoteness of the Fox Ranch and the cold weather when filming began.
Klinger married his first wife, his childhood sweetheart Laverne Esposito, while he was serving in Korea. The ceremony was performed over the shortwave radio and officiated by Father Mulcahy, who also performed Klinger's marriage ceremony to his Korean war bride Soon Lee.
From the beginning, actor McLean Stevenson had several disputes with the producers over the conditions the actors had to work in. When the offer for a contract was made, McLean left the show, and his character of Lt. Col. Henry Blake was literally killed off.
Wayne Rogers was to initially screen test for Hawkeye. However, shortly before his audition, Rogers came to determine that Hawkeye was too cynical for his liking, and finding Trapper's more positive and outgoing traits a better fit for him, decided to read for that part instead.
Radar is the only character we see leave the MASH, and wander around in other locations, after they have been discharged. Everyone else, Frank, Trapper, Henry, gets discharged and then vanishes forever from the series once they leave the camp.
Wayne Rogers (Trapper) and William Christopher (Father Francis Mulcahy) died exactly one year apart on New Year's Eve. Rogers died on December 31, 2015, and Christopher died on December 31, 2016.
Actor Soon-Tek Oh appeared five times on the show in different roles. In "The Bus" during the fourth season he played a Korean soldier who gives himself up to Hawkeye and BJ. Later in "The Yalu Brick Road" during the eighth season, he again played a Korean soldier who gives himself up to Hawkeye and BJ.
The show was created after an attempt to film the original book's sequel "M*A*S*H Goes To Maine" failed.
Although portrayed as being older, David Ogden Stiers was younger than either Alan Alda (Hawkeye) or Mike Farrell (BJ). Stiers was born in 1942, Alda in 1936 and Farrell in 1939.
Charles carried a photograph of himself having lunch with movie star Audrey Hepburn, whom he met through a family associate. Though thoroughly charmed by Hepburn, Charles had still never seen any of her movies.
Larry Hama, the writer of most of the GI Joe comic books, appeared in one episode as a North Korean jeep driver.
Though many of the nurses' names were used interchangeably among several actresses, Father Mulcahy was the only regular character to be played by 2 different actors. George Morgan played the character in the pilot episode, but was replaced by William Christopher. There was a short-lived attempt to carry over the character's nickname (Dago Red) from the film. Hawkeye compliments Father Mulcahy's Christmas tree in the first "Dear Dad" episode by commenting "it's looking good, Red" but the nickname was dropped thereafter.
Stella Stevens was originally offered the Margaret Houlihan role but turned it down because she wanted to focus on her film career.
According to the Book M*A*S*H, Hawkeye served in World War 2.
Stuart Margolin appears as two different characters during the first and second seasons - both of whom try to get fresh with a resisting Major Houlihan. Oliver Clark and Tim O'Connor also played two different characters on the show, and even John Orchard ("Ugly John" from the first season) returned for a guest spot later, in another role.
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In an interview in 2005, one of the shows main writers, Larry Gelbart humorously admitted that they often forgot the names they had given to the wives of characters. This caused goof ups like calling someones wife Laverne in one episode and calling her Mildred in another.
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The producers of "Trapper John MD" approached Wayne Rogers to play the title role in their new spinoff. He declined
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Trapper John MD was a successful spinoff of Mash which aired on CBS from 1979 to 1986. It was the only successful spinoff, as both AfterMash and WALTER were infamous disasters. Twentieth Century Fox and the producers of Mash sued the producers of Trapper John for royalties since they claimed Trapper John was a spinoff of their TV show. But the courts ruled that both Mash the tv show and Trapper John MD were actually spinoffs of the novel, and therefore no royalties were due to Twentieth Century Fox.
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William Christopher auditioned for the role of Father Mulcahy when Twentieth Century Fox was filming the Mash pilot. He decided to improvize his dialogue, which turned the producers off, and he didn't get the role, the producers went with George Morgan. However the producers were not happy with Morgan's performance in the pilot, so when the Father Mulcahy character re-emerged in episode 3, they decided to give Christopher another try.
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Hawkeye is named after Benjamin Franklin. His father nicknamed him Hawkeye after James Fenimore Cooper's novel 'The Last of the Mohicans'.
Mike Altman, Robert Altman's son, wrote the lyrics for the Mash theme song "Suicide is Painless." He was only 15 when he wrote the lyrics, and while his father only made 70,000 dollars for directing the movie, Mike made a million dollars from the royalties for cowriting the Mash theme song. The lyrics were dropped from TV version, however, because they were deemed too controversial for television at the time.
Rene Auberjonois turned down the chance to reprise his role of Father Mulcahy.
In an episode of St. Elsewhere, (which was the obvious successor to MASH in many ways), Dr. Craig tells a quick story to his wife about "his old friend Dr. B.J. Hunnicut."
Max Klinger frequently refers to a baseball team named the Toledo Mud Hens. This team exists in reality. Founded in 1896, it is the AAA minor league affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, and is part of the West Division of the International Baseball League.
Alan Alda beat out two other actors for the lead role of Hawkeye Pierce. He didn't sign on to play, until 6 hours before filming the pilot.
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Aftermash, the spinoff series to Mash, lasted for two seasons. It did very well in the ratings the first season, ranking at number 15, and then it sunk to number 90 during the second season and CBS cancelled it. The critics hated it, and is now widely considered to be one of the worst TV shows ever.
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The government of South Korea (ROK) would not give permission to the Armed Forces Korea Network (AFKN) to air MASH on the television network broadcast by and for U.S. forces stationed there because it took a lighthearted view of the war, and at times accused their military of being incompetent.
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The final episode of M*A*S*H in 1983 is the most viewed finale of all time totalling an incredible 125 million viewers
"Rosie's bar" was inspired by a real bar in Seoul called "Rose's bar". Located just outside Camp Mosier in Seoul, Rose's bar was located in an area which had a thriving night life catering primarily to U.S. military personnel. After the war, this section of Seoul turned into a residential area, but Rose's bar continued to exist till 1971 when it was brought down to build small apartments. (Source: Armed Forces History Museum)
John Schuck (Painless) was the first person to drop the f bomb in any movie in the film version of Mash. The only swear to be used in the series (besides "damn") was s.o.b. Hawkeye said this in " Guerilla My Dreams."
Frank's wife's name was Louise - as was Trapper John's. Frank had three daughters (names not given); Trapper John had two (Cathy and Becky).
Spouses: BJ: Peg Hayden; POTTER: Mildred; MARGARET: Donald Penobscot; KLINGER: Laverne Esposito/Soon Lee; HENRY: Mildred (Lorraine); BURNS: Louise; TRAPPER: Louise (Melanie); RIZZO: Zola; ZALE: Hillda; WINCHESTER: (unofficially) Donna Marie Parker
MASH became a huge hit in India after it was telecast there in the 1990s, when cable television was introduced in India. It continued to be telecast on weekday evenings at 6 pm, for all its seasons.
Patrick Swayze appeared on M*A*S*H: Blood Brothers (1981) as a young soldier who is diagnosed with Leukemia (a form of cancer). Life imitated art on September 14, 2009 when he died of cancer at the age of 57.
H.R. Hornberger, author (under the pseudonym Richard Hooker) of 'MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors', so resented the portrayal of Hawkeye in the series that in the 1977 sequel 'MASH Mania', he wrote Hawkeye as liking to "go down to the state university and kick the shit out of a few liberals, just to keep his hand in".
Wayne Rogers left the series after the third season after a contract dispute with the network that could not be settled. This explains why he never appears in the fourth season opener.
The name of Radar's teddy bear is never revealed.
MASH was not the first series in which actor Mike Farrell played a military doctor. He did a guest appearance as 'Doctor' playing a doctor in an episode of 'Combat!' called 'The Bankroll' in December 1966.
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Major Winchester was stationed in Tokyo before he was transferred to the 4077. His commanding officer, Col. Baldwin, sent him for a 48-hour stay (annoyed because he owed Winchester $672.17 for losses in cribbage), but Potter asked for Winchester to be permanently reassigned. When Baldwin visited the 4077th later, Winchester let Baldwin win his money back, hoping to go back with him to Tokyo.
One of Col. Potter's guilty pleasures is watching Doris Day perform, onstage or onscreen. He admits it's because he actually fell in love with her, though they've never met. He says he's seen all of her movies, but he would never take his wife, Mildred, to see one because he didn't want her to know about his feelings for another woman. So he always goes to see them alone.
Frequent references are made to President Truman. Harry Morgan played Truman in the 1979 mini series Backstairs At The White House.
The Hawkeye character in the book was an arch conservative and was described as beating up liberals as one of his favorite hobbies. This is a far cry from the preachy, super liberal image both the character Hawkeye and Alan Alda cultivated while Mash the TV series was on the air.
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Much has been written about the similarities between MASH and Hogan's Heroes. Both shows shared much of the same cast and crew including Executive Producer Gene Reynolds and star William Christopher who appeared on both shows.
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David Ogden Stiers was the only gay member of the cast; he came out several years after the show wrapped.
Hawkeye's father, Daniel Pierce, is also a doctor, and practices in Crabapple Cove, Maine, Hawkeye's home town.
Loretta Swit tried to quit Mash during the tenth season because she was up for one the leads in Cagney and Lacey, but neither CBS nor Twentieth Century Fox would let her out of her contract.
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In 1979 when MASH was still on the air Alda appeared in "The Seduction of Joe Tynan," a movie about infidelity costarring the then up and comer Merryl Streep.
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Like several of the recurring characters, Major Sidney Freedman was originally introduced under a different name. In his first appearance the character was named Milton Freedman. It is probable that the change was motivated by the rising public profile of economist Milton Friedman who wrote the bestseller "Free to Choose" and won the Nobel Prize for economics in 1976
Contrary to popular thought, Jamie Farr (playing Klinger) did NOT serve in the Korean war or in Korea. However, he did visit Korea.

In a 2013 interview with ABC news, he revealed that he had served in Japan after being drafted in 1957 (the war had ended in 1953). He was part of the Armed forces radio. He subsequently went to Korea to entertain troops right up to the DMZ.

William Christopher (Father Mulcahy) DID serve in the US Army in Korea - after the war was over in 1953 but before the armistice treaty was signed.
John Fujioka, who played the Japanese Golf Pro in the movie, appeared three times in the series: "Dear Ma"; "The Tooth Shall Set You Free"; and "Picture This".
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Among the Asian actors who did guest spots: Jack Soo, Pat Morita, Keye Luke, Mako, Soon-Tek Oh, Robert Ito, and Rosalind Chao.
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Father Mulcahy was a member of the Jesuit Order.
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Robert Altman, who directed MASH the movie, hated the TV show based on his film.
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Gary Burghoff was 29 when the TV show started, hardly the naive college kid-baby they portrayed him as being.
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Lt. Col. Blake's daughter's names were Molly and Jane, and his son's name was Andrew. Molly was seen in a home movie, and Jane and Andrew spoke with Blake by telephone, in different episodes. Blake had a son who was born while he was in Korea, but Blake was killed before ever getting to meet him. It's unclear if this son was Andrew, or a second boy, although is likely it was the latter, as the child wouldn't have been old enough to talk with him on the phone so quickly.
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Alan Alda makes a cameo on ER (which is in many ways a very similar show to MASH). He plays Dr Gabriel Lawrence, and at one point talks about "being in a war" . This is an obvious reference to MASH.
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Sherman Potter's wife "Mildred" was named after Larry Gelbart's cousin of the same name.
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Gary Burghoff was not the only one to make the transition from the big screen to the small screen; G. Wood also reprises his role of 'General Hammond' from the movie to the television series in the pilot episode.
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Col. Potter's horse was named Sophie. He gave Sophie to Sister Teresa's orphanage after the war ended, since he couldn't take her back to the States.
Col. Potter was from Hannibal, Missouri. (Some early episodes give his home as Nebraska.)
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While Major Burns almost never drank, the camp's Officer's Club (later opened to enlisted personnel) was built at his request, after the surgeons saved Gen. Mitchell's son.
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The third doctor in "Mash a Novel About Three Army Doctors" after Hawkeye and Trapper was Duke. Duke was prominently featured in the feature film MASH, as he was portrayed by Tom Skerritt, but the character never appeared on the TV series.
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Robert Klein was offered the role of Trapper John but turned it down.
The Mash theme song came from a scene when the character Painless played by John Schuck contemplates suicide because he cannot perform sexually and is convinced he is gay. The other doctors in the camp pretend to help him with this. They go through a big fake ritual in the swamp as one of the men plays "Suicide is Painless" on guitar. Needless to say the scene is considered very homophobic by current standards. The "Suicide is Painless" song proved so popular Robert Altman used it as the theme song.
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"M*A*S*H" stands for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.
While MASH was on the air Alan Alda directed "The Four Seasons" (1981), starring friends like Rita Moreno, Bess Armstrong, Sandy Dennis and Carol Burnett. The Woody Allen-ish tale of a clique of yuppies and their trials and tribulations was a big hit for Alda, and eventually led to a spinoff series in 1984.
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The following actors were also in MASH (1970).
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There was a cartoon parody of MASH called MUSH which aired on Saturday mornings on ABC during the 1975-1976 TV season. It featured an all dog cast modeled off the Mash heroes with names like Bullseye (Hawkeye), Cold Lips (Hot Lips) and Colonel Flake (Colonel Blake). MUSH stood for Mangy Unwanted Shabby Heroes. Incidentally, the Mad Magazine parody of MASH was also called MUSH.
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M*A*S*H (1972) lasted eleven seasons & 251 episodes. Compared to Happy Days (1974)'s eleven seasons & 255 episodes. Starting with M*A*S*H: Pilot (1972) on Sunday, September 17th, 1972 to M*A*S*H: Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen (1983) on Monday, February 28th, 1983 differ 3,816 days (545 weeks & 1 day). Compared to Happy Days (1974)'s start with Happy Days: All the Way (1974), on Tuesday, January 15th, 1974 to Happy Days: Fonzie's Spots (1984), Tuesday, September 24th, 1984, differ 3,920 days (560 weeks). M*A*S*H (1972) & Happy Days (1974) time spans differ only 104 days (14 weeks & 6 days), as a weekly television series.
Shelley Long, George Wendt and Ken Levine all worked on Mash before they worked together on Cheers.
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Larry Linville mentioned to the writers that his brother used to call him "Ferret Face". This soon became an insult that others called Frank Burns on the show.
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In 1978 both actors who played company commanders on MASH, MacLean Stevenson and Harry Morgan, starred in the Disney sci-fi comedy "The Cat From Outer Space".
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Hawkeye explains on multiple occasions how he got his nickname from his father's favorite book, "The Last of the Mohicans." Trapper John's nickname is never explained in the series. However, in the Robert Altman film, "MASH" (1970), it's explained that he was caught with a woman in the ladies' room in a Boston Maine railway car. According to Hawkeye (Donald Sutherland), "the conductor opened the door, the girl looked out and yelled 'oh, he trapped me! Oh my god, he trapped me!'"
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Potterisms: "horse hockey!" "mule fritters!" "monkey muffins!" "buffalo bagels!" "buffalo chips!" "pigeon pellets!" "pony pucks!" "beaver biscuits!" "cow cookies!" "bull cookies!" "pig feathers!" "road apples!" "hot sausage!" "hot mustard!" "jumpin' jodphurs!" "sufferin' saddlesoap!" "sufferin' sheepdip!" "shiverin' shinbones!" "holy hemostat!" "busload of bushwah!" "sweet limburger..." "sweet Nefertiti..." "Geeze Louise!" "Great Gatsby!" "Great Caesar's Ghost..." "Great Mother McCree..." "What in Hanna's Hell..." "Where in the name of Carrie's Corset..." "What in the name of Sweet Fanny Adams..." "What in the name of Marco 'BLESSED' Polo..." "What in the name of Samuel Hill..." "What in the name of Great Caesar's Salad..." "What in the name of George Armstrong Custer..."
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Alan Alda became the first person to win Emmys for Acting, Writing, and Directing for the same series.
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Harry Morgan played a two star general on the show before he became part of the permanent cast as Col. Sherman T. Potter
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The "My Blue Heaven" version that often plays in the loudspeakers at MASH 4077 is not in Korean, but rather the Japanese version of "My Blue Heaven" (the version by The Original Yellow Jackets). The Japanese version was arranged by George Whiting and Walter Donaldson.
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In 1978 when MASH was still on the air Mike Farrell appeared in "Battered", a movie about spousal abuse. He plays husband to " Little House on the Prairie's" Karen Grassle who his character abuses.
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Personnel changes (eg. arrivals/departures/promotions)
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Of the main cast, in the opening credits, only two actors actually come from the same hometown as their character. Jamie Farr (Max Klinger), from Toledo, Ohio, and McLean Stevenson (Henry Blake), from Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.
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Three actors are in both the series and the Robert Altman film "MASH" (1970). Gary Burghoff and G. Wood reprised their roles as Radar O'Reilly and General Hammond, respectively, and Timothy Brown, who played Pvt. Judson in the film, took on the role of Captain Oliver Harmon 'Spearchucker' Jones.
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Illinois-born David Ogden Stiers affected an upper-class Bostonian accent to play the stodgy Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III. He's the only member of the main cast to use a fake accent or character voice for the duration of the series.
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Of the main characters, the following went under the knife in O.R. as patients during their time at the 4077th M*A*S*H unit: Henry Blake (appendix), Maj. Houlihan (appendix), Radar (mortar fire: shoulder/chest), Frank (hernia), Radar (tonsils), B.J. (hand), and Col. Potter (sniper fire: buttocks). Each of them is operated on by Hawkeye except B.J., who is worked on by a visiting specialist. Additionally, the following characters spend time in the hospital/post-op for non-surgical reasons: Trapper (ulcer: off-camera); Hawkeye (temporary blindness); Trapper, Frank, Henry, Hawkeye, and others (flu); Frank (back, hernia); Maj. Winchester (cold/sinus issues); Klinger (temporary hearing loss, broken nose, kidney stones/hallucinations); Potter, Klinger, Igor, Rizzo, et al (salmonella); and Father Mulcahy (concussion/tinnitus). Outside the hospital, the following are treated for maladies in their own quarters or in quarantine: Klinger (broken nose, hemolytic anemia); Col. Potter, Maj. Winchester, and Klinger (mumps); Hawkeye (psych/sneezing fits), Maj. Houlihan (prickly heat) Maj. Winchester (toothache), and Father Mulcahy (tinnitus). Hawkeye is also briefly institutionalized in the series finale and treated off-site by Sidney Freeman following the incident on the bus. Klinger has been sick and/or injured more than anyone else in the main cast.
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Starting with Season 5's "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" (1976), Judy Farrell, Mike Farrell's (B.J. Hunnicut) then-wife appears as Nurse Able (indeed, one of many nurses thusly credited) in 8 episodes throughout the rest of the series. Her final appearance is in the series finale. The couple's daughter Erin Farrell was the inspiration for the name of the character B.J.'s infant daughter back home, making Farrell's family fully represented, one way or another, in the show.
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Of the main cast, two actors share hometowns with their characters. McLean Stevenson, who played Col. Henry Blake, was born in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois; and Jamie Farr, who played Cpl. Maxwell Q. Klinger, is from Toledo, Ohio.
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Gary Burghoff doesn't appear in the majority of Season 6. There are several possible theories for why Radar becomes scarce, one of them being burnout, which is the reason Burghoff claimed when he eventually left the show. It has also been suggested that, despite Radar being innocent, shy, and overly polite to everyone - a fan favorite - Burghoff was demanding, rude, and generally had a terrible work relationship with most of the other stars, leading to the producers giving him an extended vacation from the show in an attempt to either help him reset his relationship with the cast, or test the waters for writing him out of the show. He was back for most of Season 7, and then filmed a 2-part Goodbye episode for the start of Season 8. It was moved to mid-season, and so there are several episodes in Season 8, filmed after his exit, but airing before, with Burghoff's name in the opening credits.
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A Honeycut is a type of ham; a Winchester is a brand of rifle.
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MASH has been credited with helping to end the Vietnam War.
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China Beach has been called a female version of MASH.
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The character of Klinger was originally supposed to be gay; according to recent interviews and articles about the program. In his first appearance on the show; the character was implied to be a homosexual. Show producers changed this to a crazy-guy-pulling-a-stunt-to-get-discharged situation to avoid controversy over the character's sexuality.
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In the 1984-1985 season there were three MASH spin-offs being broadcast on network television simultaneously: Aftermash, Walter and Trapper John MD.
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Amazingly Larry Gelbart was the head writer and one of the executive producers of MASH; he wrote Tootsie, one of the most critically acclaimed comedies of all time; and he also, during this same period, wrote the pilot to Three's Company.
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Gary Burghoff played the Radar character in 4 different incarnations of MASH: He played Radar in MASH the movie (1970), MASH the TV series (1972), Aftermash the spinoff (1983), and Walter, also a MASH spinoff (1983).
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Richard Masur, Renee Ajerbujois, Lawrence Pressman and David Ogden Stiers were all on episodes of The Practice and MASH.
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Don Lane auditioned for the role of Hawkeye.
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By coincidence, Harry Morgan (Colonel Potter) died on the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, Sunday, December 7th 1941.
Gregory Harrison starred as Dr. Gonzo Gates in the Mash spinoff Trapper John MD. Gates' maverick ladies man character was clearly inspired by Hawkeye on Mash. Coincidentally, Harrison also appeared in an episode of Mash as well.
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Nurse Margie Cutler (Marcia Strassman ) dated both Hawkeye and Trapper.
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MASH began as a book, "MASH a Novel About Three Army Doctors", by Richard Hooker. There were then several sequel novels that were published with titles like " Mash Goes to Maine" and "Mash Goes to London. " Twentieth Century Fox purchased the rights to some of these sequels after the film version of Mash became a box office hit, and attempted to put together a film sequel based on the books, but neither the film actors or director Robert Altman wanted to have anything to do with this project. This eventually led to Twentieth Century Fox creating the Mash TV series.
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It is never established what the "Q" stands for in Maxwell Q. Klinger.
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The shows main characters hail from all across the United States. Capt. "Hawkeye" Pierce is from Crabapple Cove, ME; Capt. "Trapper" John McIntire was born in Boston, MA (as mentioned in Robert Altman's "MASH" (1970), however the spin-off series, "Trapper John, M.D." (1979) sets his home/practice in San Francisco about 30 years after the events of "M*A*S*H"); Capt. B.J. Hunnicut is from Mill Valley, San Francisco, CA; Lt. Col. Henry Blake was from Bloomington, IL; Col. Sherman Potter is from Hannibal, MO; Cpl. "Radar" O'Reilly is from Ottumwa, IA; Maj. Frank Burns is from Fort Wayne, IN; Maj. Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan was born at the Army base at Fort Ord, CA, but as an "Army brat," considers the Army as her "hometown"; Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester is from Boston, MA; Father (1st Lt./Capt.) Francis Mulcahy is from Philadelphia, PA; and Cpl/Sgt. Maxwell Q. Klinger is from Toledo, OH.
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In the opening credits showing the helicopters coming in, you can see the back of Radar. When Gary Burghoff left the show after season 8, that scene was edited to remove the shot of Radar.
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The overhead shot of the camp seen during the intro is not of the TV show's layout of the 4077th, but rather the 1970 feature film of the same name.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the final scene of the episode "Abyssinia Henry", the producers did not give the cast the last page of the script, until the very last moment before shooting, revealing that Radar comes into the operating theatre to announce that Henry had died in a plane crash whilst going home. This was to ensure their reactions were as spontaneous as possible, which included one of the actors dropping a metal bowl on the floor which can be heard amongst the shocked silence.
The only time Trapper John wore a red bath robe like Hawkeye's was in the Pilot. After that, he only wore a yellow robe. Hawkeye wore a red robe, and B.J. wore blue, but more than one as they were different shades of blue. (Light and dark) Although his robe appears red, as Hawkeye is making out his will, he bequeaths to Charles his bathrobe because, "Purple is the color of royalty."

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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