logo

11 fun facts about 'M*A*S*H'

Razia Meer
Sep 28, 2018
04:55 P.M.

The dramedy "M*A*S*H" aired on CBS while the Vietnam War was going on. The show bordered on comedy and drama, trying to keep the storyline light while at the same time discussing a contentious subject.

Advertisement

The script couldn't be seen to be outright protesting the actual war going on because they would be pulled off the network for that, so they mocked and questioned America's role in the Korean War under the veneer of comedy.

Here are some interesting facts about the show and its cast that you may not have known.

11. REAL SOLDIERS

Some of the cast were actual soldiers who served in the U.S. Army. Alda was in the Army Reserve for six months in Korea and Farr was stationed in Japan.

Wayne Rogers joined the U.S. Navy as a ship navigator and Mike Farrell served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Advertisement

10. TWO DAY PILOT

Larry Gelbert wrote the pilot for $25,000 in only two days. The veteran screenwriter reportedly couldn't pass up an opportunity to attempt to adapt Robert Altman’s movie for a television audience.

9. KLINGER WAS MEANT TO BE GAY

Advertisement

The character Klinger was influenced by the comedian Lenny Bruce's claim that he got an early discharge from the Navy because of his "homosexual tendencies."

Jamie Farr’s character was instead written as a heterosexual man who cross-dressed on purpose to try and get kicked out of Korea.

8. THE LAUGH TRACK

CBS insisted on the canned laughter, even though the writer and producer were against it. They managed to get the network to agree to can the laughter during operating room scenes. Some countries omitted it completely.

7. "UNPATRIOTIC" EPISODE WAS CUT

Advertisement

CBS rejected an episode that showed soldiers standing outside in the freezing cold trying to make themselves sick enough to be sent home. It was an actual tactic used during the Korean War and was deemed "unpatriotic."

6. WAYNE ROGERS NEVER SIGNED A CONTRACT

Advertisement

Even though Rogers was threatened with a lawsuit for breach of contract for deciding to leave the show after season 3, the studio couldn't force him to stay because he never actually signed a contract with them.

5. CHARACTERS NAMED AFTER BASEBALL PLAYERS

Writers were at a loss as to how to keep coming up with new names for smaller roles and decided on using the names of baseball players.

There's an episode in season 6 that features four Marine patients named after the 1977 California Angels team infield. Season seven's patients were named after the 1978 Los Angeles Dodgers.

4. KOREAN WAR ENDED

Advertisement

Even though the Korean War ended in three years, one month, and two days, audiences were so engulfed in the story of the doctors and nurses in "M*A*S*H" that the writers would be given 11 years to tell the tale.

3. GUEST APPEARANCES BY FUTURE STARS

Advertisement

Patrick Swayze, John Ritter, Laurence Fishburne, Ron Howard, Andrew Dice Clay, Pat Morita, Rita Wilson, George Wendt, Shelley Long, Ed Begley Jr., Blythe Danner, Teri Garr, and Leslie Nielsen all visited the 4077th.

2. MOST WATCHED EPISODE OF TELEVISION IN AMERICAN HISTORY

The series finale “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” was two-and-a-half-hours long and was seen by 121.6 million people.

1. THREE SPINOFFS

"Trapper John, M.D." aired for 7 years, from 1979 to 1986, and followed Trapper John McIntyre in his then-present-day tenure as chief of surgery in San Francisco.

"AfterMASH" featured Col. Potter, Father Mulcahy, and Klinger working at a veterans' hospital in Missouri. "W*A*L*T*E*R" was all about Walter “Radar” O'Reilly, a St. Louis cop.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
Related posts

This Woman Provided for Famous Actor - During Their Marriage, He Met His 2nd Wife Who He Nursed Back to Health

February 26, 2024

'Pins & Needles': Prince Had Severe Pain in His Hands & Looked 'Frail' before He Died in an Elevator at 57

February 07, 2024

Ginny Cha Was Tiki Barber's First Wife - More about Her & Their Marriage

November 09, 2023

5 Celebrity Couples Whose Marriages Have Lasted for 40 Years and More

January 24, 2024

Kenny Rogers Was ‘Thrilled’ to Welcome Twins — 'Handsome' Boys, Now 19, Still Heed Late Dad’s Advice

December 02, 2023

Joy Behar Waited 29 Years to Marry Retired School Teacher 7 Years Younger than Her

May 01, 2024

Fans Amazed by Whoopi Goldberg's Legs as She's Seen in Short Dress & High-Heels at 67: 'Show Them More!'

November 02, 2023

'M*A*S*H' Star Mike Farrell's Son, Whom He Welcomed with a Co-Star, Shows Huge Muscles at 53

December 19, 2023

This Actor Hid His Gay Affair for 35 Years: Here’s His Partner Who, at 93, Lives on the Actor’s Vineyard

May 04, 2024

Users Discuss One of Former First Ladies' Coats at Rosalynn Carter's Funeral

November 29, 2023

Mom of Missing Boy Finds His Glove in Forest near Barbed Wire Marked 'Danger Zone' – Story of the Day

December 18, 2023

2023's Sexiest Bald Man Revealed by Study, Sparking Public Discussion

November 27, 2023

Sarah Feuerborn Harbaugh Is Jim Harbaugh Wife Who Raises Awareness for Cancer

November 22, 2023

Shaun So Is an Army Veteran Turned CEO & Anna Chlumsky's Husband

December 02, 2023