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M*A*S*H (TV Series 1972–1983) Poster

(1972–1983)

Trivia

The photo Potter kept of his wife Mildred on his desk was actually a photo of Harry Morgan's then wife Eileen Detchon.
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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.)
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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.
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All of the replacement characters (B.J., Colonel Potter, and Charles) lasted longer than the characters they replaced (Trapper, Henry, and Frank).
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Klinger often mentions a restaurant in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio called Tony Packo's, specializing in Hungarian Hot Dogs. This is a real restaurant on Toledo's east side that is still popular with many who live in Toledo and the surrounding area.
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When Wayne Rogers left the series, he was sued for breach of contract. The case was dismissed when it was discovered that Rogers had never physically signed his contract, therefore making it invalid.
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Klinger (Jamie Farr) was only going to appear in one episode. However, he proved to be so popular that he became a regular.
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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 B.J. spoke on the telephone on-camera, Erin, or his wife Judy were on the other end.
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Gary Burghoff was the first actor cast. He was one of only two actors to reprise a role from the movie, MASH (1970), on which this series was based. G. Wood played General Hammond in both, but only appeared in a few early episodes of the TV show.

Timothy Brown also appeared both the movie and the TV show, however he played a different character in the movie (Cpl. Judson), whereas he played Capt. Oliver Harmon "Spearchucker" Jones in the TV show for 6 episodes. (Fred Williamson played Spearchucker Jones in the movie.)
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Jamie Farr and Alan Alda were the only two main cast members to have actually served in the U.S. Army in South 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 South Korea with friend Red Skelton. Alda voluntarily joined the Army Reserve after graduating from Fordham, and completed the minimum six-month tour of duty as a gunnery officer.
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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 DVDs in the Medicine and Martinis box set of the show, Jamie Farr stated that they are his own tags with his actual personal military information, including name, serial number, and religion.
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Alan Alda was the only cast member that appeared in every episode. Loretta Swit was contracted to the show for all eleven seasons, but did not appear in M*A*S*H: Hawkeye (1976)(#4.18) and several episodes before and after.
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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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Gary Burghoff's (Radar'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. Poland syndrome, named after British surgeon Alfred Poland, is a rare birth defect characterized by underdevelopment or absence of the chest muscle on one side of the body, and usually also webbing of the fingers of the hand on the same side.
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The hat that Alan Alda wore in the opening credits is the same as the one Donald Sutherland wore in the movie, but rarely appeared anywhere else in the series. One exception was at the end of "M*A*S*H: The Consultant (1975)". Hawkeye tipped the hat in respect as Borelli took off in the helicopter.
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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 numerous complaints that the intrusive canned laughter spoiled the show's atmosphere.
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The death of Lieutenant Colonel Blake was largely controversial and polarizing amongst television 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 primetime television series at the time. Writers and producers defended the move, which was largely viewed as a statement on the horrors of war.
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On Sesame Street (1969), Big Bird's teddy bear is named Radar, after the character on this show, due to Radar having his own teddy bear.
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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.
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Tom Skerritt was approached to reprise his role as Duke Forrest on this show, but he declined, because he felt a television version of the movie would be unsuccessful.
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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.
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In an interview, Harry Morgan said he wanted to play Colonel Potter forever.
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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.
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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.
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Three characters (utilizing four actors total) appeared in both the pilot and the finale: Hawkeye, Margaret Houlihan, and Father Mulcahy. Mulcahy was played by George Morgan in the pilot, and by William Christopher for the rest of the series.
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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 actresses became semi-regulars. For example, Kellye Nakahara played "Able" and "Charlie" characters in season three, before becoming the semi-regular "Nurse Kellye"; on the other hand, Judy Farrell played Nurse Able in eight episodes, including the series finale.
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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 one hundred degrees Fahrenheit (thirty-eight degrees Celsius). Levine says, "This happened maybe twice, and we never got a ticky tack note again."
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When originally developing the character of Maxwell Q. 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.
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Dr. Michael De Bakey, 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 one hundred years old.
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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 and actresses were usually shot from the waist up as it was, so boots were only worn when necessary for a scene. Most of the cast actually wore sneakers.
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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 AfterMASH (1983).
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Edward Winter first appeared in the series as Captain Halloran in season two, episode thirteen, "M*A*S*H: Deal Me Out (1973)", but played Colonel Flagg six times. It is hinted that "Halloran" may have been one of Flagg's many aliases, by Sidney Freedman in "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler"
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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 the decision to end the series.
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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 led 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 good friends with Alda after leaving the series.
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The ubiquitous helicopters were military versions of the Bell 47. In the Korean War, the OH-13s evacuated eighty percent of American casualties. (Roads in South Korea were primitive, and often treacherous, so helicopters were favored over ambulances.) The OH-13 was responsible for saving over eighteen thousand lives during the Korean War, a historical fact still taught today at the air assault school at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, home of the 101st Airborne Division.
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Many of Klinger's early dresses were based on Hollywood movie stars like Vivien Leigh, Betty Grable , May Whitty, and Judy Garland, but later more original outfits were used.
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Klinger's wedding dress was worn on two different occasions and by two different people. By Klinger when he married Laverne Esposito, and by Soon Lee, when she married Klinger. Klinger gave Margaret an ivory satin wedding gown for her wedding to Donald. Klinger's uncle used it to get out of WWII.
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M*A*S*H: Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen (1983) was the finale of the series, but was not the last to be made. M*A*S*H: As Time Goes By (1983) was filmed last.
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William Christopher auditioned for the role of Father Mulcahy when 20th Century Fox was filming season one, episode one, "M*A*S*H: Pilot (1972)". He decided to improvise 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 "Pilot", so when the Father Mulcahy character re-emerged in season one, episode three, "M*A*S*H: Requiem for a Lightweight (1972)", they decided to give Christopher another try.
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Just prior to filming the series finale, "M*A*S*H: Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen (1983)" in late 1982, a fire ravaged Malibu Creek State Park (the former "Fox Ranch," where the exterior set was located), completely burning away the set. The fire damage shown was real, and not "set dressing" created by the crew. As a result, Fox decided not to rebuild the sets, so the only episode left (episode fifteen, "M*A*S*H: As Time Goes By (1983)") was filmed on the indoor sets - which explains why most of it was set at night, and took place inside buildings. Incidentally, this same area in Malibu Creek State Park was again destroyed by the devastating "Woolsey Fire" in November, 2018.
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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 E.S.P., whereas his lack of sight would heighten his hearing.
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Alan Alda had a running guest appearance on ER (1994) in which he played Dr. Gabriel Lawrence, who reminisced about being a doctor in a war.
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The 4077th 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 soundstage at 20th Century 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 soundstage, but scenes at the chopper pad required using the ranch).
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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.
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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 did it again in season one, episode twenty-four, "M*A*S*H: Showtime (1973)", while Frank is on the toilet when Hawkeye pays him back for the practical jokes. Again when Hawkeye and B.J. saluted Colonel Potter in the series finale. Hawkeye, along with Trapper, also saluted Nurse Cutler in season one, episode three, "M*A*S*H: Requiem for a Lightweight (1972)", when she loses her towel after she bumps into them while running from the shower. Also, in the season four opener, "M*A*S*H: Welcome to Korea (1975)", when picking B.J. Hunnicutt up from Kimpo Airport, Radar is temporarily promoted to "Corporal-Captain" to gain access to the Officer's Club, Hawkeye salutes Radar right before they enter. In season one, episode fifteen, "M*A*S*H: Tuttle (1973)", Hawkeye saluted the recently deceased (and fictional) Jonathan S. Tuttle when giving a brief eulogy, and the list goes on. In season eight, episode thirteen, "M*A*S*H: Captain's Outrageous (1979)", Hawkeye promotes Father Mulcahy to Captain when they are all in Rosie's Bar, and the whole gang salute Mulcahy at that time.
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Frank Burns' (Larry Linville's) nickname "Ferret Face" came from his brother. He mentioned it to Hawkeye (Alan Alda) and Trapper (Wayne Rogers) once, during a rare drinking binge, and they never forgot it. Even B.J.'s (Mike Farrell's) first words to Burns when they met were "What say you, Ferret Face?"
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The series finale is the highest rated American show of all time, with a 60.2 percent ratings and one hundred twenty-five million viewers.
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When Larry Linville announced that he was leaving at the end of the fifth season, the storyline of Margaret's impending marriage to Lieutenant Colonel Donald Penobscot was used as a way to write Burns out of the show.
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Colonel Potter fought in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. At age fifteen 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.
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When Colonel Potter took command of the 4077th at the beginning of the fourth season, the stated date was September 19, 1952. This means the first three seasons and seventy-two episodes covered the first fifteen months of the war, and that the following eight seasons and one hundred seventy-nine episodes covered just the remaining ten months. Although in season nine, episode six, "M*A*S*H: A War for All Seasons (1980)", the unit is showed celebrating New Year's Eve 1950. The show covers the entire year of 1951, and the closing scene is ringing in 1952.
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Throughout the series, Klinger frequently introduces himself by his full name, Maxwell Q. Klinger, but never says what the "Q" stands for.
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The producers of Trapper John, M.D. (1979) approached Wayne Rogers to play the title role in their new spin-off. He declined. If he had, the producers of Trapper John would have most certainly had to pay royalties to their parent show MASH. When they were sued by Gene Reynolds and Larry Gelbart and the MASH team, they successfully argued that Trapper John was a spinoff of the MASH movie and the book, not necessarily the tv show. They would have had a hard time making that argument if Wayne Rogers had been hired to play Trapper.
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A few days after the infamous M*A*S*H: Abyssinia, Henry (1975)(#3.24) aired, which inspired angry calls from viewers across the country, McLean Stevenson appeared in a skit on Cher (1975) as Henry Blake in a life boat shouting, "Guys! I'm OK! I'm OK!"
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Maxwell Q. 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.
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"M*A*S*H: Welcome to Korea (1975)" and the series finale, "M*A*S*H: Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen (1983)", are the only episodes to feature the episode title on-screen during the show's entire run.
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In an interview in 2005, writer Larry Gelbart humorously admitted that they often forgot the names they had given to the wives of characters. This caused goofs such as calling Blake's wife Lorraine in one episode, and Mildred in another.
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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 U.S. 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.
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Todd Sussman, Jimmy Lydon, and Sal Viscuso were the voices of the PA.
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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 season ten, episode one, "M*A*S*H: That's Show Biz (1981)", where it was retained.)
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Lieutenant Colonel 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). It was a similar situation with Jamie Farr and Klinger, who also dictated that his character come from his same hometown, Toledo, Ohio. In both of these cases, the actor defined and changed the character's background.
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Jeff Maxwell appeared as Igor Straminsky eighty-one times, most of the times, he was uncredited. Peter Riegert played Igor in two episodes. Igor and Father Mulcahy are the only characters on the show which were played by two people; Fr. Mulcahy was played by William Christopher and, in only one episode, by George Morgan.
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The Government of South Korea would not give permission to the Armed Forces Korea Network to air this show 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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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.
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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 eight, that scene was edited to remove him.
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"Rosie's Bar" was inspired by a real bar in Seoul, South Korea 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 until 1971 when it was brought down to build small apartments. (Source: Armed Forces History Museum)
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The filming location for the exteriors of the 4077th 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, As of late-2018, the site has been returned to a natural state (the standing set of the compound having been destroyed by a 1982 brush fire, which was incorporated into the series finale), and again by a large 2018 brush fire. The site is 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 Planet of the Apes (1974) were filmed.
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G.W. Bailey (Sergeant Luther 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.
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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 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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Loretta Swit demanded that the Margaret character grow during the course of the show, which saw the character change from a shrill, promiscuous, hyper-military, shrewish character, to a tough independent Feminist Second Wave role model type character. By the end of the show they even stopped calling her Hotlips. But reportedly the scripts still all referred to her as Hotlips, right to the very last episode, even though the other characters weren't calling her that anymore. (That was still the official character name).
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Illinois-born David Ogden Stiers affected an upper-class Bostonian accent to play the stodgy Major 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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Robert Altman's son, Mike Altman, wrote the lyrics for the MASH (1970) theme song "Suicide is Painless". He was only fifteen when he wrote the lyrics. While his father only made $70,000 for directing the movie, Mike has earned over $2 million and continues to earn from the royalties for co-writing the song. The lyrics were dropped from the television version, however, because they were deemed too controversial for television at the time.
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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 flew home to New Jersey and back every weekend, and on other breaks to be with his family.
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Loretta Swit tried to quit this show during the tenth season, because she was up for one the leads in Cagney & Lacey (1981), but neither CBS nor 20th Century Fox would let her out of her contract. Loretta did wind up playing Cagney in the tv movie; and the movie and she both got excellent reviews and ratings. But 20th Century Fox and CBS would still not let her leave MASH when Cagney and Lacey went to series. So Sharon Gless took her place, and starred on the show for 6 years. She won Emmies and acclaim in another one of the most important dramedies of that era which redefined television, just like MASH did.
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Hawkeye, Margaret, and Father Mulcahy are the only three characters that lasted from the 1970 movie all the way through to the end of the series.
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Gary Burghoff played his character's own mother in season four, episode fifteen, "M*A*S*H: Mail Call, Again (1975)". So Burghoff and Farr would be the two male actors who appeared in drag on this show.
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Trapper John, M.D. (1979) was a successful spin-off of this show, which aired on CBS from 1979 to 1986. It was the only majorly successful spin-off, as AfterMASH (1983) was a minor success (airing two seasons), and W*A*L*T*E*R (1984) was an infamous disaster. 20th Century Fox and the producers of this show sued the producers of Trapper John, M.D. (1979) for royalties, since they claimed Trapper John, M.D. (1979) was a spin-off of their show. But the courts ruled that this show and Trapper John, M.D. (1979) were actually spin-offs of the novel, and therefore no royalties were due to 20th Century Fox.
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Wayne Rogers was to initially screentest for the role of 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.
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The show's first season had the lowest ratings of the entire run, finishing at number forty-six, while the eleventh and final season was the highest rated, finishing at number three.
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Of all the main cast who "go stateside", only Trapper John's return is not the result of a specific event.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake racked enough points to go home, but his plane was shot down, killing all on-board.
  • Major Frank Burns gets transferred home after having a nervous breakdown.
  • Corporal Radar O' Reilly gets a hardship discharge to return home and tend to his family's farm because a beloved uncle has died.
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Larry Hama, the writer of most of the G.I. Joe comic books, appeared in one episode as a North Korean utility vehicle driver.
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Hawkeye was named after Benjamin Franklin and Franklin Pierce. His father nicknamed him "Hawkeye" after a character in James Fenimore Cooper's novel "The Last of the Mohicans".
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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 W.A.V.E.
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Harry Morgan (Colonel Potter) had an earlier guest appearance as a chaotic General named "Steele", in the season three opener, "M*A*S*H: The General Flipped at Dawn (1974)". He was a crazy, racist General that terrorized the camp with his Shenanigans, and Hawkeye ended up calling him a Psycho at the end of the episode. He could not have been more different than Colonel Potter!
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There is a lost episode of MASH. The producers filmed one episode which was not shown by CBS; it was rejected. Due to the content of the episode CBS rejected it; because it was too unpatriotic, and too iconoclastic to the army and the US Government, they felt. The episode has various 4077th soldiers standing outside in the freezing cold of Korea so that they can make themselves sick enough to be sent home. Margaret, Hawkeye and the other doctors at the 4077 try to combat this and bring the soldiers back inside; and the episode is about the struggle that ensues. This was rejected by CBS, who said it was too disturbing, and too disparaging, even though this did in fact happen during the Korean war. That soldier tactic was apparently frequently used during the Korean War; as well as other wars. But when the episode was shown to CBS, they rejected it, and then 20th Century Fox and Ken Levine/Gene Reynolds and company were forced to show a rerun. The episode was supposedly thrown away, and no one has seen it in 40 years since it was filmed.
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Early in production planning it was decided to show how brutal the climate could be in South 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 and actresses had to wear coats and act cold, even when the temperature was over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit (thirty-eight degrees Celsius).
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There was one nude scene throughout the entire series. It occurred in "M*A*S*H: The Sniper (1973)(#2.10)". 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 off. This was director Jackie Cooper's idea, and only one frame was left in for the effect.
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In season one, episode one, "M*A*S*H: Pilot (1972)", after reading Ho John's acceptance letter, Hawkeye said he can "stay with my folks". In season two, episode twenty-three, "M*A*S*H: Mail Call (1974)", Hawkeye showed Trapper the sweater that his sister knitted for him, and in season one, episode eighteen, "M*A*S*H: Dear Dad, Again (1973)", he asked his father in a letter to "kiss mom and sis" for him. However, in season ten, episode nineteen, "M*A*S*H: Sons and Bowlers (1982)", he told Charles how his mother died when he was a boy, and in season four, episode eighteen, "M*A*S*H: Hawkeye (1976)", he mentioned that he had no siblings.
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McLean Stevenson originally auditioned for the role of Hawkeye, but was convinced by producers to take the role of Lieutenant Colonel Blake instead.
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Stuart Margolin appeared 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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The nickname for Loretta Swit awarded to her by Larry Gelbart and used by everyone on the set was "Switheart." (A pun on "sweetheart.") Loretta even used the nickname in her autobiography:" SwitHeart: The Watercolour Artistry & Animal Activism of Loretta Swit".
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Robert Alda, Alan Alda's father, had guest appearances in two episodes, season three, episode seventeen, "M*A*S*H: The Consultant (1975)" and season eight, episode twenty, "M*A*S*H: Lend a Hand (1980)." 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.
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Although Gary Burghoff left the show after episode five in season eight, 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 twelve. Mike Farrell tried to talk Burghoff out of leaving the show, citing the limited post-M*A*S*H careers of McLean Stevenson and Larry Linville.
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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.
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Major Margaret Houlihan and Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger both got married (Margaret in person, Klinger over the phone) and divorced during their service at the 4077th. They shared the same wedding dress.
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The overhead shot of the camp seen during the introduction is not of this show's layout of the 4077th, but rather the one for MASH (1970).
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Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, who addresses almost every other main character by their last names regardless of familiarity (i.e. Pierce, Hunnicut, O'Reilly, Colonel Potter, etc.) repeatedly addresses Cpl. Klinger, who everyone else usually calls by his last name only, as Max. (Recurring character Sgt. Zale gets this treatment as well at least once, being addressed by his first name, Zelmo, while tending bar at the Officers' Club - one of very few times his name is ever uttered). This use of given names by Winchester has more to do with a patronizing lack of respect for one's "inferiors" than with familiarity or benevolence (as Charles is likely the kind of man who would regard enlisted men as lower-class, like a housekeeper or doorman, beneath his elite level of breeding and not worthy of his respect). He also routinely calls Maj. Houlihan by her first name, Margaret, which likely is more about familiarity with a member of the opposite sex, as he shows an early respectful attraction to her - though in surgery he regularly alludes to his belief that he is superior to her as well, since he's a surgeon and she is "merely" a nurse.
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Despite being a drafted enlisted man, and frequent references to being a young man (claims that he's a virgin, getting married via radio to his childhood sweetheart, etc), Jamie Farr (Klinger) is older than most of the other actors in the show; most of whom play doctors and nurses who imply that they're much older and more experienced in life than a "kid" like Klinger. Indeed, in the Season 6 episode "M*A*S*H: What's Up, Doc? (1978)," Col. Potter implies that Klinger is around 30, but Jamie Farr was actually close to 44 when the episode was filmed.
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M*A*S*H 4077th was 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 several restaurants catering to U.S. defense personnel. They serve a peculiar stew made originally for U.S. Army personnel from SPAM and hot dogs called "Uijeongbu budae jjigae."
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Klinger married his first wife, his childhood sweetheart Laverne Esposito, while he was serving in South Korea. The ceremony was performed over the shortwave radio and officiated by Father Mulcahy, who also performed Klinger's marriage ceremony to his South Korean war bride Soon Lee.
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The series finale M*A*S*H: Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen (1983), which was shown on February 28, 1983, is the most viewed television episode of all time, having been watched by 121.6 million viewers.
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Hawkeye hated guns, and never carried a sidearm when he was Officer of the Day, despite Army regulations. Colonel 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.
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From the beginning, McLean Stevenson had several disputes with the producers over the conditions in which the actors and actresses had to work. When the offer for a contract was made, McLean left the show, and his character of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake was killed off.
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Japanese actor Mako played four different characters over the course of the series, and South Korean actor Soon-Tek Oh played five.
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B.J.'s real name was never given. In one episode, Hawkeye goes to extreme lengths to learn what "B.J." stands for, but all official paperwork concerning his friend claims that B.J. really is his first name. Toward the end of the episode, B.J. explains that his parents' names are Bea and Jay, and claims that this is the reason for his odd name, but whether this was actually true was never made clear.
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This show became a huge hit in India after it was broadcast there in the 1990s, when cable television was introduced in India. It continued to be broadcast on weekday evenings at 6 p.m., for all of its seasons.
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McLean Stevenson, who played Lt. Colonel Henry Blake on the series, died of a heart attack on February 15, 1996. Roger Bowen, who played Blake in MASH (1970), died of a heart attack on February 16, 1996. Because of this coincidence, Bowen's family did not make the news of his death public until a week afterward so that his obituary would not be mistaken for a garbled version of Stevenson's.
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Colonel Potter's horse, "Sophie" was played by several different horses in several different episodes. In many cases, Sophie, a mare, was played by a male horse.
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Maxwell Q. Klinger frequently referred 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.
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Alan Alda beat out two other actors for the lead role of Hawkeye Pierce. He didn't sign on to play until six hours before filming the pilot.
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Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan's parents must have had quite a bridal night as they exchanged at least three gifts. In season three, episode two, "M*A*S*H: Rainbow Bridge (1974)", Margaret gave Major Frank Burns 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 season two, episode seventeen, "M*A*S*H: For Want of a Boot (1974)", Margaret gave Frank, for his birthday, the Calvary riding crop her mother gave to her father; in season three, episode nine, "M*A*S*H: Alcoholics Unanimous (1974)", Margaret showed 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!"
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Soon-Tek Oh appeared five times on the show in different roles. In season four, episode seven, "M*A*S*H: The Bus (1975)", he played a North Korean soldier who gave himself up to Hawkeye and B.J. In season eight, episode ten, "M*A*S*H: The Yalu Brick Road (1979)", he again played a North Korean soldier who gave himself up to Hawkeye and B.J.
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The only time Trapper wore a red bath robe like Hawkeye's was in season one, episode one, "M*A*S*H: Pilot (1972)". 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 appeared red, as Hawkeye is making out his will, he bequeathed to Charles his bathrobe because, "Purple is the color of royalty".
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Although portrayed as being older, David Ogden Stiers (Major Charles Emerson Winchester III) was younger than Alan Alda (Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce) and Mike Farrell (Captain B.J. Hunnicutt). Stiers was born in 1942, Alda in 1936, and Farrell in 1939. David Ogden Stiers was actually much younger than Jamie Farr; even though the show makes him out to be Klinger's elder!
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Gary Burghoff didn't appear in the majority of season six. There are several possible theories for why Radar became 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, Burghoff was demanding and rude, and generally had a terrible work relationship with most of the other cast members. This led 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 seven, and then filmed a two-part "goodbye" episode for the start of season eight. It was moved to mid-season, and so there are several episodes in season eight, filmed after his exit, but airing before, with Burghoff's name in the opening credits.
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Father Mulcahy was a member of the Jesuit Order.
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In the 1984 to 1985 season, there were three spin-offs of this show being broadcast on network television simultaneously: AfterMASH (1983), W*A*L*T*E*R (1984), and Trapper John, M.D. (1979).
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This debuted in 1972 on CBS Sunday Nights after The King and I TV show; which was a huge bomb. Mash was a bomb too at first; until it landed in a prime spot after All in the Family, and before Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart and The Carol Burnett Show, which some people say was the best lineup ever. After it got put in the hot spot it shot into the top 30 and stayed there for most of its run.
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Frank Burns was a Captain in the book; the same rank as Pierce and Trapper. The Major Burns from the movie and the TV show was a composite of Captain Burns in the book and Major Hobson; a religious zelot they hated and got kicked out of the Swamp for being too religious. Larry Linville quit in part because he felt the Major Burns role had gone as far as it could go. Also reportedly he quit MASH because of the unbelievable amount of hate mail that was sent to his house on a daily basis. When they did the MASH Reunion both Ken Levine and Larry Gelbart said that they "knew they were shortchanging him" (Linville, the actor), because Frank was essentially a stereotype that served the plot, but it worked for the show. "He never complained" said Gene Reynold. "No not him, he was a saint", said Gary Burghoff; in the same special, commenting on how well-loved Linville was, and how sweet he was, in contrast to his character. Eventually; after 5 years, Linville did get sick of playing the company stooge and wound up quitting.
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Frank Burns had three middle names during his time on the show: "W", "Marion", and "D".
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McLean Stevenson was a cousin of Adlai Stevenson, a prominent U.S. politician and Presidential candidate at the time of the Korean War.
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Though many of the nurses' names were used interchangeably amongst several actresses, Father Mulcahy was the only regular character that was played by two different actors. George Morgan played the character in season one, episode one, "Pilot", 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 season one, episode twelve, "M*A*S*H: Dear Dad (1972)", by commenting "it's looking good, Red" but the nickname was dropped thereafter.
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Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger wore size fourteen dresses.
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Corporal Maxwell Q. 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. By the end of the show when Klinger ditches the drag and marries a woman he has gone full circle and done a complete 180° shift from how the character started, a stereotypically effeminate gay character.
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This television series, set during the Korean War, lasted eleven seasons. The actual Korean War lasted only three and a half years.
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Much like their on-screen counterparts, the cast bonded and became a "family" on the set - in response to the relative remoteness of the Fox Ranch.
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Rene Auberjonois turned down the chance to reprise his role of Father Mulcahy from MASH (1970).
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Many cast members appeared in a series of television commercials for the IBM Personal Computer. Alan Alda also endorsed the Atari personal computer.
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This show has been credited with helping to end the Vietnam War.
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Kellye Nakaraha is the only character who played a character named after herself. She also briefly played several other nurses on MASH as well. By playing Nurse Able, Baker and Charlie she played more parts than any other actor or actress on the show.
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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 General Mitchell's son.
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Mike Farrell said CBS executives at first were hesitant to have a "final episode" because they felt that would hurt the show as it moves into syndication. If the audience sees a resolution to all the conflict; they will be less compelled to watch the reruns. In a recent article in New Yorker Farrell describes the conflict with a CBS executive over this issue: "When the network was informed of plans to conclude the series with an episode that depicted the end of the war, an agitated TV executive presented himself on the "m*a*s*h" set. "It's important that you don't resolve the series," Farrell recalls him saying, "it will kill the series in syndication. Look at what happened with 'The Fugitive,' " (a show in which the plotline was wrapped up in the final episode, thus eliminating any suspense from the reruns). Farrell still chuckles at the memory of some of the cast and crew politely suggesting to the executive that it might be fair to say that most people were aware that the Korean War eventually ended; the man looked at them blankly, turned, and walked away."
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David Ogden Stiers was the only (publicly out of the closet) gay member of the cast. He came out in 2009, 26 years after the show wrapped.
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Hawkeye's hometown was Crabapple Cove, Maine (the only hometown of the characters that was fictitious.) However, in season one, episode twelve, "M*A*S*H: Dear Dad (1972)", Hawkeye mentioned the family home in Vermont; in season four, episode five, "M*A*S*H: The Late Captain Pierce (1975)", Hawkeye told Klinger that Crabapple Cove is where his family summered; in season seven, episode twenty-six, "M*A*S*H: The Party (1979)", he said that his father hadn't left Crabapple Cove in years; in season five, episode fourteen, "M*A*S*H: Hawk's Nightmare (1976)", he said that his father was born in Crabapple Cove, and had never left.
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There were 100 million viewers for the final episode. The 121.6 million viewers that tuned in to the finale made it the most-watched in American TV history, and contained 77 percent of all television viewers that evening. That is a third of the current population of the U.S., and is a larger number than the population of 221 of the Earth's countries.
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There was a cartoon parody of this show called M-U-S-H (1975), which aired on Saturday mornings on ABC during the 1975 to 1976 television season. It featured an all dog cast modelled off this show's heroes with names like Bullseye (Hawkeye), Cold Lips (Hot Lips) and Colonel Flake (Colonel Blake). M*U*S*H stood for Mangy Unwanted Shabby Heroes. Incidentally, the Mad Magazine parody of this show was also called "M*U*S*H".
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Starting with M*A*S*H: Out of Sight, Out of Mind (1976)(#5.4), Judy Farrell, Mike Farrell's (B.J. Hunnicutt's) then-wife appeared as Nurse Able (indeed, one of many nurses thusly credited) in eight episodes throughout the rest of the series. Her final appearance was in the series finale. The couple's daughter Erin Farrell was the inspiration for the name of B.J.'s infant daughter back home, making Farrell's family fully represented, one way or another, on the show.
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Harry Morgan had been primarily known for his work in straight or dramatic roles. When Morgan was first cast in his guest part in M*A*S*H: The General Flipped at Dawn (1974), cast members were unsure about his acting in a comedic role. Almost immediately into filming, the cast was won over by Morgan's comedic acting abilities.
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Stella Stevens was originally offered the role of Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan, but turned it down, because she wanted to focus on her film career.
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The baseball cap worn by Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger (and on occasion, Colonel Sherman T. Potter), starting in the eighth season was 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. The Texas Rangers became a team in 1972, after the Washington Senators moved to Arlington, Texas.
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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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CBS forced MASH producers to use a laugh track. Comedies without either a studio audience or a laugh track just weren't done in those days. Though MASH producers Gene Reynolds and Ken Levine fought it, and were able to eliminate laughter in the operating scenes anyway. And while the show started with a full on laugh track, it got quieter and quieter as the show wore on, until the last couple seasons when it was a faint chuckle track.
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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 MASH (1970), portrayed by Tom Skerritt, but the character never appeared on the series.
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One of Colonel Potter's guilty pleasures was watching Doris Day perform, on-stage or on-screen. 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.
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Larry Linville and Loretta Swit were very close friends. Very often they would go behind the tents on the set to work out scenes and then bring them to the director.
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Loudon Wainwright III appeared in three episodes in the third season (1974 to 1975), 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).
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The show was created after an attempt to film the original book's sequel "M*A*S*H Goes To Maine" failed.
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Contrary to popular thought, Jamie Farr (Klinger) did not serve in the Korean War, nor in South Korea. However, he did visit South Korea. In a 2013 interview with ABC News, he revealed that he had served in Japan after being drafted in 1957. He was part of the Armed forces radio. He subsequently went to South Korea to entertain troops right up to the Demilitarized Zone. William Christopher (Father Mulcahy) did serve in the U.S. Army in South Korea, after the war was over in 1953, but before the armistice treaty was signed.
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AfterMASH (1983), the spin-off series to this show, lasted for two seasons. It did very well in the ratings the first season, ranking at number fifteen, and then it sunk to number ninety during the second season and CBS cancelled it. The critics hated it, and is now widely considered to be one of the worst television shows ever.
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According to the book "M*A*S*H" by Richard Hooker, Hawkeye served in World War II.
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Gary Burghoff played Radar in four different incarnations of M*A*S*H: the original movie MASH (1970), this show, AfterMASH (1983), and W*A*L*T*E*R (1984).
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In his TV Emmy Archive Interview, Gene Reynolds said the worst television show he ever worked on, in terms of cast complaints and behaviour, was MASH. The actors, with the notable exception of Jamie Farr, were constantly arguing with the writers, producers and directors for not getting enough screen time or lines. Reynolds eventually had enough of it and during the first year, told the cast members, having worked on Hogan's Heroes, he knew five European actors that had more talent in their little fingers than all of the MASH cast combined. Reynolds said the constant fighting made it hard for the show to keep its writers, producers and directors and was the reason why he left the show prematurely.
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The only two actors to appear in both the pilot and the series finale are Alan Alda (Captain Hawkeye Pierce) and Loretta Swit (Major Hot Lips Houlihan). The part of Father Mulcahy was played by a different actor. William Christopher joined the cast in the second episode.
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Richard Hornberger was a gifted surgeon whose memoire of his experiences, "MASH: A Novel of Three Army Doctors", became the basis for the hit 1970 Robert Altman film. Hornberger told Variety that he liked the movie based on his book, and though he didn't like Donald Sutherland's long hair, the movie was a pretty accurate representation of what happened. But when the tv show appeared two years later on CBS, Hoernberger absolutely hated it. He particularly hated the whiny left-leaning Hawkeye, and decided to drop out of the whole project, in terms of being an ongoing creative consultant for the show. After the book and movie came out, two of his friends who spent time with him in Korea, Cathy and Dale Drake; reached out to him. They were interested in telling their stories just like Hornberger had. Hornberger had dropped out of the developing MASH franchise at this point; although he continued to write his MASH sequels; there were 15 MASH book sequels in all! But he no longer wanted to cooperate with 20th Century Fox, Robert Altman, Gene Reynolds and the other MASH TV and film producers, due to what he saw as Hawkeye's wimpy, liberal personality. The Drakes were very interested in talking to the creators of the new tv show though; so Hornberger connected them with Gene Reynolds; who then began a series of conversations which were the basis for the MASH tv show. So while Hornberger was really the main writer and the inspiration of the movie; the Drakes were really the main writers of and the inspiration for the tv show. This is why the tv show and movie are so different; they are reflections of the Drakes' and Hornberger's starkly different personalities. And this is why there are characters in the the tv show (like Klinger) that were not in the original book and movie; and vice versa. Klinger was not in the book and the movie most likely because Hornberger didn't know him, and Duke didn't make it into the tv show because the Drake's didn't know him. Margaret was in all the incarnations since everybody knew her, or her prototype, Ruth Dickson. In that way the tv show has a distinctly different flavor and feeling than the movie does.
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How Hawkeye changed from the book to the movie to the TV show is very dramatic. In the book he is described as being a redneck from Maine in his twenties. The following New Yorker article talks about Hawkeye in the book and the dramatic change from book, to movie to tv show: " As depicted in the book, Captain Benjamin Franklin (Hawkeye) Pierce is a bumpkin from Bumpkintown, Maine. One of Hornberger's characters describes him as "an uncouth yokel." The character is introduced as being in his late twenties, a former college athlete, married with two young sons, and an avid reader of Maine Coast Fisherman magazine. While Donald Sutherland had not exactly hit the casting bull's-eye (Sutherland told me that he and Altman never discussed the Mainer accent called for in the screenplay-"heah" for "here," etc.), he was arguably within range of the character, having been brought up in Nova Scotia and naturally quiet, unassuming, and laconic. When the producers of the television series recruited Alan Alda to play Hawkeye, they not only intentionally missed Hornberger's target entirely but wound up in the woods somewhere. "We needed an attractive, funny guy," the show's original producer and co-creator, Gene Reynolds, told me, "a leading man, a hero, someone who could carry the show." Reynolds had seen Alda onstage in New York and was convinced that this was the guy. Alda's Hawkeye is flamboyant, intellectual, and manic-almost always the center of attention. New York-y, even. Where Sutherland's charisma is sneaky, Alda's is all out front. It stretched the limits of plausibility to imagine him back home in Maine, building lobster traps with his dad, but, as Alda told me, "We weren't doing the book, and we weren't doing the movie. I don't think that the somewhat depressed character portrayed in the film would have worked for very long in the show."'
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Hawkeye's father, Daniel Pierce, was also a doctor, and practiced in Crabapple Cove, Maine, Hawkeye's hometown.
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The M*A*S*H theme song came from a scene in MASH (1970), when Captain "Painless" Waldowski (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. The scene is considered somewhat homophobic by post-1970 standards. The "Suicide is Painless" song proved to be so popular, Robert Altman used it as the theme song, and had his son, Mike, write the lyrics. The lyrics, however, were not used in the TV show.
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Charles carried a photograph of himself having lunch with Audrey Hepburn, whom he met through a family associate. Though thoroughly charmed by Hepburn, Charles had still never seen any of her movies.
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Frequent references were made to Harry S. Truman. Harry Morgan played Truman in the miniseries Backstairs at the White House (1979).
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Harry Morgan and Mike Farrell were both regular viewers and fans of the show before their being cast on it.
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Although there's already news of one MASH episode being rejected by the network (the episode where soldiers were standing outside in the Korea winter, trying to get hypothermia so they could get discharged) according to Larry Gelbart there was another script that was rejected as well. Gelbart seems to think this is the ONLY script that was rejected; he does not remember the one with the freezing soldiers. The script was called "Hawkeye on the Double", written by future Wonder Woman creator Stanley Ralph Ross, and is available to read on the Martinis & Medicine DVD collection. The following interview with the Archives of American Television describes the rejected script: "According to series co-creator Larry Gelbart, there was only ever one script that the network said no to, and it came "very early" in M*A*S*H's run. It was about Hawkeye carrying on with two different nurses, and they decide to teach him a lesson and both tell him they're pregnant, and both say that he's the father. Gelbart said in an interview with the Archive of American Television: "That is the one and only script that CBS said under no circumstances will you be able to do this script."'
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Much has been written about the similarities between this show and Hogan's Heroes (1965). Both shows shared much of the same cast and crew, including executive producer Gene Reynolds and actor William Christopher.
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The name of Radar's teddy bear was never revealed.
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Private Lorenzo Boone, played by Bud Cort, had a big part in the movie. There were two funny, shy, young privates with glasses running around getting into trouble in the movie; Radar and Boone, and Boone was the bigger role of the two. But Cort refused to come back for the TV show, unlike Gary Burghoff who played Radar, so Cort's part was essentially conflated into Radar. (Boone was brought into the series as a background character and did not figure as prominently as he was in the movie. He was not played by Bud Cort; he was played by Bruno Kirby and Robert Gooden).
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The catchphrase in the movie, as in the book, is Hawkeye's expression "finest kind!" Save for one or two occasions, this really didn't carry over to the TV show. Also in movie there's that little whistle that Hawkeye keeps doing. Alda decided to let this be Sutherland's thing, and he did not try to replicate it for the movie. Most of the catchphrases of the tv show would not be Hawkeye's, but Radar's. Radar: Incoming! Radar: Wait for it! Radar: Choppers! Radar: Wounded! For most of the 8 seasons he was on the show Gary Burghoff would say one of those four things (Choppers! Wounded! Wait for It! Or Incoming) in almost every episode. After he left other characters continued to say one of those four things, in almost every episode; when Radar left it was usually Klinger, Colonel Potter or the PA system. Sometimes Hawkeye or BJ. The PA system also had a catch phrase: Attention! Attention! All Personnel!
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The first scene of male nudity took place during Season 2, Episode 10 "The Sniper". Radar exits the shower wrapped in a towel only to be shot a by the sniper a number of times while running back and forth. He runs back into the showers and his towel falls off revealing his bare bottom on national television, at 8:01 into the show.
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The singing Captain, Calvin Spaulding, who appears in three episodes in season 3, is an anachronistic aspect of the show. The singer, played by Loudon Wainwright, is playing mid-70s style folk rock, which was not around from 1950-1953 when this tv series takes place. Wainwright wrote all the music he performed on the show; he would later star in the 1980s off-Broadway hit Pumpboys and Dinettes.
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Richard Hooker, the author of "M*A*S*H: A Novel About Three Army Doctors," so resented the portrayal of Hawkeye in the series that in the 1977 sequel "M*A*S*H 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."
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Alan Alda said the Hawkeye character he portrayed was different from the Hawkeye played by Donald Sutherland in Robert Altman's film of M*A*S*H, released in 1970. (Both were based on Richard Hooker's 1968 novel, MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors.) "Sutherland's Hawkeye seemed very depressed. Larry Gelbart's character was much more lively, he had a sardonic sense of humor," Alda said, adding that Sutherland's Hawkeye was married, while his was not. The Hawkeye in the movie had childeren; whereas the tv show Hawkeye was a swinging single and a confirmed bachelor. Alda also said the Hawkeye he depicted "seemed so far from me. I had no idea how to play a womanizer who drank too much, was a smart aleck. I had to figure out how to be that person." Another difference between the movie and television versions of M*A*S*H, Alda said, was that the latter "could go back show after show. We could explore the characters in a way no movie could. The characters could deepen, they could change in their relationships with each other." Also, in the movie, Sutherland seemed to be more or less playing himself; whereas Alan Alda is clearly channeling Groucho Marx in the funny scenes, (and Sutherland does not do that). In addition to all of this Sutherland wears glasses and a very specific fishing hat for much of the movie, where Alda does not do this. And finally the Hawkeye of the movie (and Trapper for that matter) really has a mean streak; and the humor of the film is much darker as a result. The Hawkeye of the movie goes after Margaret simply because she's a "regular army clown". The Hawkeye of the tv show was nicer and would never do that. The tv Hawkeye plays little pranks on Frank and Margaret, but nothing rising to the level of what he does to them (and other innocent victims) in the movie. Sutherland's Hawkeye rigs the shower so the entire camp can see Margaret naked, he has Frank hauled off to a mental institution in a straight jacket, never to be seen of again, he puts an army administrator under the anesthesia mask and makes him unconscious, and then takes pictures of him with scantily clad Geisha Girls. The Sutherland version of this character is vicious, whereas Alda was simply mischievous. And this makes Sutherland's performance darker, and Alda's lighter.
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Mike Farrell admits in interviews that there was too much drinking and womanizing on the show, and he regrets that MASH glorified that type of thing.
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Lieutenant Colonel 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 South 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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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.
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One Korean woman played all the Korean female parts on the show. While producers tried to find Korean actors for the show, the lack of Koreans in Hollywood at the time made it difficult to find actors to fill the Korean roles accurately. Instead, the show used actors of various Asian ethnicities, and ultimately only cast one Korean man (actor Soon Tek Oh) during all eleven seasons.
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Klinger, although Arab, is not Muslim, he is an atheist. This is mentioned in M*A*S*H: The Kids (1975) (#4.8).
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According to the documentary "The Real MASH" that was produced in 2010; the unit the 4077th was based on was the 8055th. Various characters in the movie and TV were real, including Margaret Houlihan who was based on the Head Charge Nurse for the 8055th, Ruth Dickson. Hawkeye was based on author Richard Hoernberger. Trapper John was based on a young doctor from Cincinnati who befriended Hornberger during Korea named Dr. James Dickson. Radar was based on a military intelligence specialist from Ottumwa Iowa named Dan Schaffer. Other characters were amalgams of different people in the unit during the Korean War years.
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Both the TV show and movie are based on a book, MASH A Novel About Three Army Doctors, by Richard Lee Hooker. There was actually a whole series of MASH books by the author that most people have forgotten about: MASH, Mash Goes to Maine, Mash Goes to New Orleans, MASH Goes to Paris, Mash Goes to London, Mash Goes to Morroco, Mash Goes to Las Vegas, Mash Goes to Vienna, MASH Goes to San Francisco, MASH Goes to Miami, MASH Goes to Hollywood, MASH Goes to Texas, MASH Goes to Moscow, MASH Goes to Montreal, and MASH Mania. The original book was written and published in 1968; the last one was published in 1977.
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In France, there are no canned laugh-tracks, and so the series is considered as it was dubbed---as a serious drama, and not a comedy.
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Klinger's Toledo Mud Hens jersey was an authentic reproduction, that was sent to Jamie Farr as a piece of fan mail from the owners of a fledgling company which produced vintage sports apparel.
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Colonel Potter was from Hannibal, Missouri. (Some early episodes give his home as Nebraska.)
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Before he starred on MASH as Radar, Gary Burghoff was a backup singer in a band Lynda Carter was the lead singer for, called the Relatives. Later Burghoff would appear with Carter on Wonder Woman.
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Major Winchester was stationed in Tokyo, Japan before he was transferred to the 4077th. His commanding officer, Colonel Baldwin, sent him for a forty-eight-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.
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In a recent interview on the OWN network Loretta Swit said she worked the show creators to gradually turn the MASH character into a feminist symbol. Loretta Switt told Oprah Winfrey in a recent interview on "O" that she helped shape Margaret into a strong, complex woman long before such characters were commonplace in television. She said the writers kept asking her "what's next for this girl?" And Switt sat down and consciously plotted out a multi-year story arc that would expand the character, make her stronger, and less of a stereotype. It was all deliberate and well-planned with TV show creators Larry Gelbart, Ken Levine and Alan Alda. And it started with ditching Frank Burns. As Loretta tells it, she shaped the trajectory of her character from dating surgeon Frank Burns to moving to Tokyo and falling in love with a West Point graduate (Donald Penobscott) On a conference call with the writing team, Loretta said she felt Margaret had "run the gamut with the relationship with Frank Burns." As they were writing her more intelligent," she says, "they were writing him sillier, and the audience was having trouble finding a way to make that compatible." In a way, she said, the relationship had become "demeaning." Ultimately, Margaret discovered her new husband (Penobscott) is cheating on her, prompting her to leave him. When she comes back to her stomping grounds, she says, she "realizes that she doesn't really need another person to complete her life as she had it there. She was busy, she was ambitious, she was caring, she wanted to be the best damn nurse in Korea, and that was her ambition. She was a real first." If you compare the origins of the character, Hotlips Houlihan, who started in Robert Altman's 1970 movie as being essentially a misogynistic joke; and spent most of the movie being viciously victimized by the male characters in that movie; to how the character ended by the series finale, as a feminist hero, the transformation is as stunning as any character transformation in the history of television.
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In the series opening credits, the first shot showing the back of [Gary Burghoff]'s head watching the two helicopters approach the camp, was filmed from the upper helicopter pad.
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Ho-Jon is a character in the movie, book and TV show.
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Robert Klein was offered the role of Trapper John, but turned it down.
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John Fujioka, who played the Japanese Golf Pro in the movie, appeared three times in the series: season four, episode seventeen, "M*A*S*H: Dear Ma (1975)"; season ten, episode fifteen, "M*A*S*H: The Tooth Shall Set You Free (1982)"; and season ten, episode twenty, "M*A*S*H: Picture This (1982)."
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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).
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Colonel Sherman T. Potter's wife "Mildred" was named after series creator Larry Gelbart's cousin of the same name.
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It is by now well documented that many of the characters in MASH the movie, book and TV show were actually based on real people. Documentaries like 2010's The Real MASH have located and identified the real life prototypes for many of these characters, who did serve together during the Korean war at the 8055th unit. Hawkeye was based Dr. Richard Hoernberger, pen name Richard Led Hooker, who wrote the 1967 memoire which was the source material for all of this, "MASH, a Novel About Three Army Doctors". Although the real life Hawkeye, AKA Hoernberger, was more politically like the Frank Burns character, a staunch right wing Republican, in other ways Hoernberger was a lot like Hawkeye; the freewheeling sarcasm, and his gift as a surgeon, were all exactly the way Hoernberger really was. Trapper John Macentire, Hawkeye's wingman, was based on another doctor that served in the 8055th with Hoernberger and befriended him. Dr. James Dickson was a young doctor from Ohio who was friends with Hoernberger and was the prototype for Trapper John MD. Another Dickson, no relation to James, served as the prototype for Margaret Houlihan. Ruth Dickson was the head Charge Nurse at the 8055th. She was tough, headstrong, was a brilliant nurse and frequently clashed with Hoernberger, just like Margaret clashed with Hawkeye on the show. Ruth Dickson wasn't necessarily promiscuous like Margaret was, but she was by many accounts flirtatious with some of the other doctors. Her nickname wasn't Hotlips either, that was another 8055th nurse, Hotlips Hammerly; who was a very pretty nurse in the unit that Hoernberger knew. Hotlips Hammerly and Ruth Dickson were conflated into the Margaret character. Radar O'Reily had a real life counterpart too: Don Schafer, a young military intelligence specialist who served at the 8055th and befriended Hoernberger. Like Radar he was young, from Ottumwa Iowa, and was weirdly knowledgeable about everything; although he wasn't a company clerk, he was in military intelligence; somehow this morphed into a clerk with ESP. There was also reportedly a real life Klinger, that is, there was a doctor in the camp who dressed up in drag a couple times for a gag, and this became part of the mythology of the camp, and also became the basis for the Klinger character; although they have not revealed this person's name. There was also a real life Ho-Jon; a young Korean boy who befriended Hoernberger, and the rest of the camp, and hustled his way back to America where went to medical school to follow in the ranks of Hoernberger, Dickson, and the rest of the 8055th; but unlike some of the other characters this person has not revealed themselves to the press yet.
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Radar's teddy bear, was sold at auction in 2005 for $11,800. The teddy bear was first housed at the Smithsonian, before being sold.
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Maclean Stevenson and Harry Morgan co-starred in The Cat from Outer Space in 1978.
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Colonel Potter's horse was named "Sophie." He gave her to Sister Teresa's orphanage after the war ended, since he couldn't take her back to the States.
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Robert Altman, who directed MASH (1970), hated the TV show.
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The "My Blue Heaven" version that often plays in the loudspeakers at M*A*S*H 4077 is not in Korean, but rather the Japanese version of "My Blue Heaven (1990)" (the version by The Original Yellow Jackets). The Japanese version was arranged by George Whiting and Walter Donaldson.
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The TV show Alice (1976) tied with M*A*S*H (1972) in the Nielson ratings for three years: 1977, 1980, and 1983.
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Many things made it to the MASH movie and TV show that came from the book that were based on the real life experiences of the author, Richard Lee Hooker (whose real name was Richard Hornberger.) There was a real life Klinger: a doctor in Korea who did dress up in drag; a real life Margaret: a strong-willed head nurse who clashed with Hornberger; and a real life Ho-Jon: a Korean teenager who hustled and worked for the doctors so that he could move to America and get an education. The names were changed but the people were real. The other characters (Henry Blake, Duke, Trapper) were all amalgams of the people Hornberger interacted with. This article describes the veracity of Mash the TV show and movie to the real situations that the author experienced: "The book was adapted to a hit movie and then a TV show that helped capture life in the unit. Like the books (Hornberger) wrote, it included a strong-willed head nurse, a Korean teenager whom the doctors sent to the United States for college on their own dime, and a doctor who dressed in drag at least once. And it helped capture the sarcasm and heart of Hornberger himself through Hawkeye Pierce, whose sarcasm and heart helped his friends and patients sustain operating conditions that were primitive and, often, nearly hopeless."
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In 1983, when MASH was in its final season, a survey was done on the popularity of all TV stars. Alan Alda, Jamie Farr, and Harry Morgan were three of the top 10 most popular TV actors at the time. "Q Scores" have long been the measure of celebrity likeability. In 1983 TVQ ratings of small screen personalities' appeal, Alda came out on top. Harry Morgan ranked at No. 2, while Farr was at No. 10.
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Alan Alda played Hawkeye on MASH; his brother Antony Alda appeared in the "Lend a Hand episode" (episode 820), and his father Robert Alda played Dr Anthony Borelli in "The Consultant"(episode 317) and "Lend a Hand" (episode 820). All three appear in the Lend a Hand episode together.
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Season 1 episode The Moose has to do with Trapper and Hawkeye winning a "Moose", a young Korean girl-servant (essentially a slave) in a poker game; and then Hawkeye and Trapper getting the girl to emancipate herself. "Moose" is the slang they use in this episode. The word was bastardized by Americans and comes from the Japanese "musume" which roughly means young girl.
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In season 11 'U.N, the Night and the Music' Margaret says to a Swedish UN delegate that she loves the Swedish writer Hans Christian Andersen, especially his books about 'the Little Mermaid' and 'Hans Brinker'. The Swedish man corrects her by saying Hans Christian Andersen is from Denmark. However, Hans Brinker wasn't written by Hans Christian Andersen but by the American Mary Mapes Dodge.
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Larry Gelbart, the head writer and co-creator of MASH, continued to work in the Hollywood community while MASH aired, and penned some of the most popular, successful and influential movies of that era: Oh God!, Tootsie, Blame it on Rio, Rough Cut, Movie Movie, Neighbors, Karen, Roll Out, Sly Fox, United States and Eddie. He also wrote the original pilot for Three's Company during this period; and he wrote and co-created the sequel series to MASH, called AfterMASH.
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"M*A*S*H" stands for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.
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One of the horse pictures displayed in Potter's office was a drawing by a grandson of Harry Morgan.
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Allan Arbus who played Dr. Sidney Freedman, the recurring psychiatrist character on the show, was asked to be a series regular in the 1977-1978 season. He turned them down as he wanted time to pursue film roles, such as Damien: Omen II (1978) which he starred in during this period.
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Although they tried to play it off like Winchester was the older one, Jamie Farr is actually 12 years older than Winchester's David Ogden Stiers.
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Dick O'Neill appeared three times during the show's run; once as a Navy Admiral, once as a Marine Colonel, and once as an Army Brigadier General.
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The series is set in a different continuity from the MASH Novel and Movie it was adapted from. Any background information relating to characters originating in the book/movie is not necessarily the same as depictions on the TV show.
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M*A*S*H began as a book, "M*A*S*H: A Novel About Three Army Doctors," by Richard Hooker. There were then several sequel novels that were published with titles like, "M*A*S*H Goes to Maine" and "M*A*S*H Goes to London." 20th Century Fox purchased the rights to some of these sequels after MASH (1970) became a box-office hit, and attempted to put together a film sequel based on the books, but neither the film's cast members nor director Robert Altman wanted to have anything to do with this project. This eventually led to 20th Century Fox creating this show.
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Larry Gelbart amazingly said working on MASH was one of the worst experiences of his life. This is amazing because the show was a phenomenal success, won him several Emmys, had the highest rating for its finale episode of any tv show ever, is very highly regarded in Hollywood and the general public; indeed it is thought of as one of the best tv shows ever made and is now the main thing he is known for. But still, in a recent Emmy TV Legends interview which can be viewed online Gelbart talks about constant fights with the cast and other studio administrators on a daily basis which really made him miserable. Even more amazing: after having such a horrible time working on MASH, he wound up working on the sequel series as well; AfterMASH; and was the lead writer and co-creator of that show too.
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After the departure of McLean Stevenson, Alan Alda and the producers decided to find a replacement actor to play the surrogate parent role whose TV shows were equal in tone to, such as: Hawaii Five-O (1968), All in the Family (1971), Emergency! (1972), Maude (1972), The Streets of San Francisco (1972), Barnaby Jones (1973), Kojak (1973), Happy Days (1974), Good Times (1974), Little House on the Prairie (1974) and Switch (1975). Fortunately, they found Harry Morgan to play Colonel T. Potter, who stayed with the show until the series ended.
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Margaret had romantic/sexual flings with both Hawkeye and Trapper.
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In addition to characters who were played by many actors on MASH, there were also actors who played many characters. Kellye Nakahra played Nurse Kellye as well as Nurse Able, Nurse Baker and Nurse Charlie, as well as other nurses. Makoto Iwamatsu (aka Mako) played "Dr. Lin Tam" in episode: "Rainbow Bridge" (episode 303), also "Major Choi" in episode: "Hawkeye Get Your Gun" (episode 510), also played as "Lt. Hung Lee Park" in episode: "Guerilla My Dreams" (episode 803) and played as "Li Chan" in episode: "The Best of Enemies" (episode 901); Clyde Kusatsu played "Kwang Duk" in "Officers Only" (episode 215) and in "Henry in Love" (episode 216), played as "Sgt. Michael Yee" in "Goodbye, Cruel World" (episode 821) and played as "Capt. Yamato" in "The Joker Is Wild" (episode 1104); Philip Ahn played "Father" In "Hawkeye" (episode 418) ; "Grandfather" in "Exorcism" (episode518) and "Mr Kim" In "Change Day" (episode 608); Clyde Kusatsu played "Kwang Duk" in "Officers Only" (episode 215) and in "Henry in Love" (episode 216), played "Sgt. Michael Yee" in "Goodbye, Cruel World" (episode 821) and played "Capt. Yamato" in "The Joker Is Wild" (episode 1104); Soon-Tek Oh played "Mr. Kwang" in "Love and Marriage" (episode 320), as "Korean Soldier" in "The Bus" (episode 406), played "Dr. Syn Paik" in "The Korean Surgeon" (episode 509), played "Ralph" in "The Yalu Brick Road" (episode 810) and played "Joon-Sung" in "Foreign Affairs" (episode 1103); Richard Lee-Sung played "Cho Man Chin" (episodes 407 and 501), played "Sang Nu" (episode 615), played "Ham Kim" (episode 723), and other characters (episodes 303, 608, 804, 1007, 1021); Also Edward Winter played captain Flagg from 1973 to 1979, and also Captain Halloran in one episode, and most notably Harry Morgan played Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele in "The General Flipped at Dawn", which first aired on September 10, 1974. He then took over as company commander for the the 4077th as Colonel Sherman T. Potter in the following season until the series finale in 1983.
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Spoofed twice in Mad Magazine. Once in the 1970's as "M*A*S*H*UGA", and again in the 1980's as "M*U*S*H".
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Jamie Farr, who played the camp unit's public address loudspeaker announcer, Cpl. Maxwell Q. Klinger, and a staunch native of Toledo, Ohio, lent his name and announcer's voice to the Farr Classic for decades when that city sought to draw and host a Ladies Professional Golf Association championship.
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Klinger started wearing dresses on April 22, 1951. In M*A*S*H: Fade Out, Fade In (1977)(#6.1) (the episode when Major Winchester first appears), he tells Capt. Schaeffer that April 22 will mark exactly 2 years. April 22, 1950 would be before the Korean war even started, and since the war ended in 1953 that would narrow it down to 1951.
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Pat Morita guest stars in two episodes as ROK Captain Sam Pak: Season two's "M*A*S*H: Deal Me Out (1973)" and "M*A*S*H: The Chosen People (1974)." Coincidentally, Loretta Swit does not appear in either episode.
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In the movie and in the book it's Margaret O'Houlihan. In the TV show it's Margaret Houlihan. They dropped the O' from her last name because they thought it sounded better.
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Three actors played Trapper John: Elliot Gould played him in the 1970 Robert Altman film, Wayne Rogers played him for the first three seasons on MASH; and Pernell Roberts played him for seven seasons on Trapper John MD. Still, even though Roberts played him twice as long as Rogers did, for most tv viewers Rogers will always be the definitive Trapper.
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As of 2022, of the cast members who were replaced, McLean Stevenson (Lt. Col. Henry Blake) was the first to die (and the first cast member, overall), on February 15, 1996. The second was Larry Linville (Maj. Frank Burns), on April 10, 2000, and Wayne Rogers (Capt. "Trapper" John McIntyre) was the third, on December 31, 2015. In an eerie coincidence, of the replacement cast members, Harry Morgan (Col. Sherman Potter), who replaced McLean Stevenson, was the first, on December 7, 2011. David Ogden Stiers (Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III), who replaced Larry Linville, was the second, on March 3, 2017. With Stiers' death, this assures that Mike Farrell (Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt), who replaced Wayne Rogers, will be the third, whenever that happens.
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Gregory Harrison starred as Dr. Gonzo Gates on this show's spin-off Trapper John, M.D. (1979). Gates' maverick ladies' man character was clearly inspired by Hawkeye on this show. Harrison also appeared on the episode of M*A*S*H titled "The Nurses" which aired in 1976 as well.
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It is never established what the "Q" stands for in Maxwell Q. Klinger's name.
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Loretta Switt is a Republican, much like her character.
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From 1979 to 1983 both M*A*S*H (1972) and its spinoff/rival series Trapper John, M.D. (1979) were in the Nielsen's top 30 for ratings.
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Hawkeye was a confirmed bachelor for most of the show's run, exemplifying the show's hedonistic spirit. He never sees a woman for more than one episode. Except in two cases, and both were with 4077 nurses named Margaret. The first was with Margie Cutler, who was played by a pre-Welcome Back Kotter Marcia Strassman, who Hawkeye dates for three episodes, and then he dumps her. And then there was Margaret Houlihan, who Hawkeye has a tryst with in Comrades in Arms parts 1 and 2, and then Hawkeye dumps her, only for the two of them to reunite in the series finale for an extended TV kiss; actually one of the longest TV kisses ever up to that point. In both cases the tryst ends when the woman tries to get serious with Hawk, and then he ditches her. (Maybe this was to serve Alda's ego, since he had the majority of creative control on the show at this point.) Incidentally, the Comrades in Arms story arc was originally going to come sooner in the show, in Season one or two, but the writers didn't feel like they had "earned" that plot development yet. They felt more time needed to pass, showing the chemistry and the love/hate chemistry growing before it suddenly exploded into passion.
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M*A*S*H: Dear Ma (1975)(#4.16) is the first mention of Radar's uncle Ed.
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One of the reasons Wayne Rogers left the show was because he wanted some time off to go back to college and diversify his career. He eventually became a successful qualified financial advisor and did this in between acting jobs.
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In between filming seasons, Loretta Swit appeared in the role of Christine Cagney in the pilot show of 'Cagney & Lacey' (1981). When the show was picked up by a network and a series commissioned, Swit declined reprising the role as it would mean her having to leave this show because of the filming clashes. The role of Christine Cagney would be recast, firstly with Meg Foster and then more famously with with Sharon Gless and would go on to be a huge ratings hit. It lasted for 7 seasons and won Gless two Emmy awards.
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Charles Winchester often stated with pride that he was in the Harvard class of '43.
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There are three helicopters in the opening credits. Two that you see carrying patients to the M*A*S*H unit and a third off-screen filming.
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Fr. Mulcahy's nickname in the movie is "Dago Red'. Mulcahy is referred to as "Red" in the pilot, where is played by George Morgan; he has red hair, so the nickname fits. William Christopher did not have red hair, so the nickname is dropped. Mulcahy is the only main character on the show who is played by two actors.
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As they had done with other live action TV series, Filmation wanted to produce an animated adaptation of MASH, but were refused the rights. Filmation would create the animated parody series MUSH instead.
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In creating and first developing Potter, BJ and Winchester, producers made the conscious effort to make them contrasts to Blake, Trapper and Burns, who they replaced respectively.
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Donald Sutherland starred in the movie Ordinary People (1980). In that film he attends a stage performance of Same Time Next Year. Alan Alda starred in the movie version of the play in 1978.
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Loretta Swit had a small part as a head nurse (with rank of a Captain) in the WWII movie Fireball Forward (1972).
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In the episode "M*A*S*H: Bottoms Up (1981)" Hawkeye comes in to the Swamp, drops his trousers, and says to Charles "I come in peace!" Charles sees this and quips "I see those nudie magazines have finally taken a toll on you!" This is a joke implying Hawkeye is gay which is ironic because although neither character is gay, David Ogden Stiers was gay in real life.
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Don Lane auditioned for the role of Hawkeye.
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Personnel changes (eg. Appearances, deaths, departures, disappearances, divorces, marriages, & promotions) & other nexus points:
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The first character to die was SGT. Tommy Gillis, who was Hawkeye's best friend since 4th grade. He died while CPT Pierce was operating on him to save his life from a combat wound where he "heard the bullet".
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The first season was broadcast in the UK on BBC2 in 1973. During its entire first broadcast history in the UK this was usually BBC2's most watched show. First run broadcasts were usually shown on Wednesday evenings at the 9pm slot and the UK showed the final story just a few weeks after it aired in the US. During the entire run of the show in the UK it was always aired on BBC2 and in the 9pm (post watershed) slot, due to its sometimes dark nature. For the same reason, the BBC never opted for the laugh track to be used either.
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This series has two stars from the Death Wish Franchise. Stuart Margolin starred in Death Wish (1974), & Soon-Tek Oh in Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987).
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Henry's MASH unit was basically a company of soldiers. And making him a lieutenant colonel allowed for a lot of range in the rivaling ranks between the characters, but in reality he would've commanded something closer to a battalion, while majors like Burns or Houlihan, or even a captain like Hawkeye, would have been in charge of a company.
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Throughout the entire series, Colonel Potter and BJ are the only married people, or one in any relationship for that matter, to remain faithful. Most of the time the shows seems to glorify the heedless promiscuity and hedonism of characters like Hotlips and Hawkeye.
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Trapper John and Father Mulcahy have similar names. Trapper John's full name is John Francis Xavier "Trapper" McIntyre. Father Mulcahy's full name is Father John Patrick Francis Mulcahy (or Francis John Patrick Mulcahy, depending which episode you are watching).
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Hawkeye gets in trouble for assaulting an officer in M*A*S*H: House Arrest (1975)(#3.18) & later in M*A*S*H: The Grim Reaper (1977)(#6.11). The former is what prompted McLean Stevenson(Henry Blake) & Wayne Rogers(Trapper John) to leave the series. M*A*S*H: Abyssinia, Henry (1975)(#3.24) was their final episode.
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3 actors from this series also starred or appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987): John Anderson, Rosalind Chao, & David Ogden Stiers.
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Alan Alda later appeared in an audiobook production of Six Degrees of Separation as Flan, another character previously played by Donald Sutherland.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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