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Did people really like M*A*S*H or did they watch it because nothing else was on?

I don't get it.

Did people have a different sense of humour/different standards in the olden days?

I do like the theme song though.

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by Anonymousreply 159September 16, 2021 1:50 AM

Everyone liked MASH in the beginning but it went on too long and all the good characters were killed off or mutated to something completely different, got more boring and preachy. When Klinger quit wearing dresses and Hoolihan got married was when it got boring IMO.

by Anonymousreply 1September 14, 2021 2:07 PM

Interesting and thanks for the perspective, R1. I've tried watching it a few times and just couldn't find its attempt at humour funny.

by Anonymousreply 2September 14, 2021 2:24 PM

It was more intelligent than the other sitcoms of its time. But yeah, didn't age well.

by Anonymousreply 3September 14, 2021 2:28 PM

I began to want to strangle Alan Alda.

by Anonymousreply 4September 14, 2021 2:29 PM

My dad's show. Catered to men of a certain era.

by Anonymousreply 5September 14, 2021 2:31 PM

[quote]Hoolihan got married was when it got boring IMO.

Which also caused the character of Major Frank Burns to gain some sympathy from the audience. I think Larry Linville was very underrated. People talk about how great Alda and most of the top tier cast was but with Linville, you were supposed to dislike Frank but nor outright hate him which Linville always did with his acting.

by Anonymousreply 6September 14, 2021 2:31 PM

I think the theme song had the kind of cool title “Suicide is Painless”.

by Anonymousreply 7September 14, 2021 2:33 PM

I hate it

by Anonymousreply 8September 14, 2021 2:39 PM

Yes, R7. It even has actual lyrics.

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by Anonymousreply 9September 14, 2021 2:45 PM

Supposedly Altman asked his son to write a terrible pop song, which is where "Suicide is Painless" came from. That explains why Michael Altman's lyrics are kinda awful while Johnny Mandel's melody is quite good.

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by Anonymousreply 10September 14, 2021 2:54 PM

I was absolutely obsessed with "MASH" as a kid but really don't remember watching it weekly when it was new until about 1979 or 1980. There were reruns every day after school, though, and I always preferred the reruns from seasons 2 through 5.

The show became too serious and too disjointed, and it went on way too long, making it difficult to believe that Hawkeye was still enlisted and hadn't finished his two years or whatever it was. Harry Morgan was one of the few saving graces of the later seasons. At some point there was an episode where Radar, having gone home, sent a letter saying that the farm was technically failing but he was making more money NOT growing certain crops and getting money from the government, than he would if he grew actual crops, and it was so off-putting that I stopped liking it nearly as much as I had.

Also, Colonel Flagg was insane and hot as hell.

by Anonymousreply 11September 14, 2021 3:00 PM

I liked the movie but couldn't ever get into the show, even though my parents adored it.

by Anonymousreply 12September 14, 2021 3:03 PM

It was the best thing on tv back then and is still in my 20 favorite shows.

by Anonymousreply 13September 14, 2021 3:03 PM

It fell apart when Loretta Swit switched to Charlie’s Angel hair and Mike Farrell grew that 70s mustache and longer hair. That’s when it started to scatter all over the place.

by Anonymousreply 14September 14, 2021 3:03 PM

Hot Lips Houlihan was a fine piece of tail.

by Anonymousreply 15September 14, 2021 3:04 PM

As a kid I wasn't interested in it because there weren't any attractive stars on the show.

Even having this book didn't help.

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by Anonymousreply 16September 14, 2021 3:05 PM

FRANK

BURNS

EATS

WORMS

by Anonymousreply 17September 14, 2021 3:05 PM

I think you would have to see it in the context of the times. The film and the TV series used the war in Korea as a way to express anti Vietnam ideas. I agree with those who have said the show went on far too long but the earlier seasons were great groundbreaking television.

by Anonymousreply 18September 14, 2021 3:09 PM

The movie was terrific, and the show was great the first three seasons. It definitely overstayed its welcome but there were still some stellar episodes in later years.

by Anonymousreply 19September 14, 2021 3:16 PM

Agree with R6 that Larry Linville was totally underrated. It's a crime that he didn't win an Emmy; was he even nominated? I googled and found nothing.

Loved Klinger, nutty Colonel Flagg, and the ever-exasperated Lt. Col. Henry Blake. McLean was great, and it just wasn't the same without him.

by Anonymousreply 20September 14, 2021 3:21 PM

Count me among the people who loved M*A*S*H and watched it every week. It was great, ground-breaking television. It won something like 14 Emmys and dozens of nominations over the years.

Funny anecdote: I was in high school when the final episode aired, and had coordinated a watch party with friends and family. Sitting in my AP English class the day of airing, the teacher handed out a homework assignment that would have taken several hours to complete and then announced that it was due the next day. There were blank stares around the room because everyone knew she was just being a bitch and trying to wreck what was going to be one of the biggest nights of television in history. Being the troublemaker in the room, I just stood up, said "fuck it" and walked out of the room. The entire class followed suit, and the teacher had a(nother) fit and tried to expel me from the class yet again. I had to laugh at the principal's reaction this time... he said he couldn't talk to bitch teacher because he had to get home to see the final episode of M*A*S*H. The episode was the most-watched non-Superbowl event in TV history, and I think it still ranks despite the country growing by a third since those days.

by Anonymousreply 21September 14, 2021 3:23 PM

Weirdest toy marketing ever: M*A*S*H action figures, vehicles and playsets. What toy executive thought any kid would want to play with a Hawkeye Pierce or Major Charles Winchester toy? Or the choice of Klinger in or out of drag! The stupidest decision was launching the toyline in 1981, almost ten years into the show's run. I remember seeing these things in every toy clearance section as a kid. They're probably a rare collectible now but back then they couldn't give them away.

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by Anonymousreply 22September 14, 2021 3:30 PM

[quote]At some point there was an episode where Radar, having gone home, sent a letter saying that the farm was technically failing but he was making more money NOT growing certain crops and getting money from the government, than he would if he grew actual crops, and it was so off-putting that I stopped liking it nearly as much as I had.

I think I've seen every episode multiple times over the years and I don't think this happened. There was an episode where Radar sent a letter from home pretending everything was going great for him and his family but somehow everyone found out from someone else that the farm was actually failing and Radar was having a rough time back home.

by Anonymousreply 23September 14, 2021 3:39 PM

I loathed Alda from day one. BJ was the only sorta fuckable character on the entire show . Well, Flagg might have been ok for a hate fuck.

by Anonymousreply 24September 14, 2021 3:41 PM

Is "fuckability" the only criteria you judge things on, R24?

by Anonymousreply 25September 14, 2021 3:47 PM

As a child, when I heard the opening theme song coupled with the drab colors in a military setting, I felt depressed and angry.

by Anonymousreply 26September 14, 2021 3:50 PM

Why yes R25,it is . Problem ?

by Anonymousreply 27September 14, 2021 3:51 PM

David Ogden Stiers as Winchester was the best actor, and eventually the best character, on the show. (And Stiers was family, too.) His character was one of the rare cases where a replacement character improves on the character he's replacing (Frank Burns). Burns was a one-note character. Winchester had a full-fledged personality, with nuances, and his character had a believable evolution through the seasons. He was so much more interesting as a sympathetic antagonist than the cowardly, amoral Burns.

by Anonymousreply 28September 14, 2021 3:52 PM

Obviously there was some demand for this during the Vietnam war and after.

It also was on constant reruns in the early 80's. Not kidding, I think it ran back to back for an hour (2 episodes) pre-prime time and then another episode after prime-time.

You couldn't fucking escape it.

by Anonymousreply 29September 14, 2021 3:55 PM

I can’t watch it anymore…except for the early episodes with the original cast although I quickly grew tired of Alan Alda. Note that there was a black actor playing one of the doctors, a carry over from the movie but then they decided they had too many characters and not enough for him to do so he disappeared.

by Anonymousreply 30September 14, 2021 4:01 PM

I think it was more about the fact that he was called "Spearchucker," r30.

by Anonymousreply 31September 14, 2021 4:02 PM

It reminds me of being a depressed teenager.

by Anonymousreply 32September 14, 2021 4:03 PM

Times have certainly changed. I spent an hour last night trying to decide what to watch. I doubt I'll ever get around to watching a single episode of MASH.

by Anonymousreply 33September 14, 2021 4:09 PM

Loretta Swit was angry that the producers wouldn't release her from MASH to do the Cagney & Lacey series.

by Anonymousreply 34September 14, 2021 4:11 PM

Anyone remember AfterMASH? There was so much hype surrounding its premiere, but it was unwatchable. I don't think it lasted a full two seasons.

by Anonymousreply 35September 14, 2021 4:14 PM

That’s MAJOR Spearchucker, r31. Show some respect.

by Anonymousreply 36September 14, 2021 4:18 PM

Margaret Cho said it was vital for her to watch it and aspire one day to be Nurse Kellye.

by Anonymousreply 37September 14, 2021 4:18 PM

Was it popular because it was the first 'dramedy'? I'm trying to think of other shows that were half comedy/half drama before this - but I was a bit too young.

Some of the more dramatic moments were soooo melodramatic.

by Anonymousreply 38September 14, 2021 4:22 PM

Ahead of its time in many ways.

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by Anonymousreply 39September 14, 2021 4:24 PM

I never watched it when it was originally on and I started watched from season 1 on MeTV. Love it. So funny and love me some hot Alan Alda.

by Anonymousreply 40September 14, 2021 4:32 PM

How did they explain the fact that the show ran longer than the Korean Conflict?

by Anonymousreply 41September 14, 2021 5:39 PM

People watched to see the opening sequence of the hot brunette nurse leading the others to help the wounded, then were too lazy to change the channel. For the pilot they shot that scene several times with all the other extras racing hard to get in front of the camera but the brunette won every time. Turns out in school she had been a track star.

She had no other shot on the series but was in as many episodes as Alda. And was SO less self-righteous and smirky.

by Anonymousreply 42September 14, 2021 6:02 PM

I never realized that Johnny Galecki looks like Radar.

by Anonymousreply 43September 14, 2021 6:29 PM

[quote]People watched to see the opening sequence of the hot brunette nurse leading the others to help the wounded...

I know exactly who you are talking about! I never really thought about it before but she really was hot. She always reminded me of a friend I had a crush on in high school.

by Anonymousreply 44September 14, 2021 6:33 PM

What really bothered me about it was that it had a laugh track, even though it was obviously not taped before a studio audience.

by Anonymousreply 45September 14, 2021 6:44 PM

[quote]That’s MAJOR Spearchucker

That was Captain Oliver Harmon "Spearchucker" Jones.

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by Anonymousreply 46September 14, 2021 6:46 PM

I hated Radar and his creepy precognitive abilities.

by Anonymousreply 47September 14, 2021 6:48 PM

The movie was really popular and it provided momentum for the series, which in its earlier years was pretty good. After MacLean Stevenson left it lost a little oomph; it got kinda tired at the end but the finale was great. I didn't first understand the politics of the show, watching it in re-runs in the late 80s as a teen, but as I've gotten older I realize how good it was for its time, and still is.

by Anonymousreply 48September 14, 2021 6:52 PM

Watching the opening credits again, I'm struck by how drab and dreary everything looked. Very bland and 70s looking. How depressing.

by Anonymousreply 49September 14, 2021 6:55 PM

R49, you realize it was supposed to look that way on purpose, right?

by Anonymousreply 50September 14, 2021 6:57 PM

The show ran way longer than the actual Korean War did.

by Anonymousreply 51September 14, 2021 6:59 PM

OP, I loved it and still do. I find myself annoyed by the laugh track - completely forgot it existed! Beyond that, I loved the sharp wit - the writing was excellent, as was the acting. Yes, it became maudlin at the end but it really was a quality show.

by Anonymousreply 52September 14, 2021 6:59 PM

[quote]Also, Colonel Flagg was insane and hot as hell.

Really? I can't see it but I did like the songs Frankenstein and Free Ride

by Anonymousreply 53September 14, 2021 7:04 PM

The only laughs were on that terrible laugh track.

by Anonymousreply 54September 14, 2021 7:05 PM

It was shit but as a young gayling I decided that all the male characters were secretly fucking each other and it was my job to figure out who was boning who.

by Anonymousreply 55September 14, 2021 7:12 PM

People joked on a thread about old photos the other day that the air in the 1970s was brown like gravy, r49. "MASH" is probably the brownest show of the 1970s.

by Anonymousreply 56September 14, 2021 7:15 PM

Never liked it, not a fan of dramedy, but wasn’t Trapper John a cute guy? And that Honeycutt guy?

by Anonymousreply 57September 14, 2021 7:26 PM

Wasn’t the laugh track only used in some seasons? I remember when the show was current my family discussing how out of place it was. But I thought Alda said they fought the network on it and eventually were allowed to go with no laugh track.

by Anonymousreply 58September 14, 2021 9:02 PM

They did fight the network and the creator was absolutely adamant that there would be no laugh track on any scenes set in the OR.

That was their initial compromise.

by Anonymousreply 59September 14, 2021 9:04 PM

I remember an episode where a bus load of MASH personnel and some Koreans were under attack. They had to be super quiet and a baby kept crying, so the mother ended up suffocating the baby to death. Such great comedy!

by Anonymousreply 60September 14, 2021 9:10 PM

That was the finale, and it wasn't presented as comedy. Idiot.

by Anonymousreply 61September 14, 2021 9:11 PM

This article says the DVDs feature a "No laugh track" option...

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by Anonymousreply 62September 14, 2021 9:19 PM

Normally, I feel the average DL poster is a cut above the average person in intellect, then I read posts like the one at r60…

by Anonymousreply 63September 14, 2021 9:34 PM

There's some good early episodes. Very hit or miss though. I also enjoyed it more with age -- not being able to stand it on in my teens/ 20s, to giving it a fair shot in my 30s.

by Anonymousreply 64September 14, 2021 9:41 PM

The whole hippy anti war thing didn't go over well for people of a certain age.

I think MASH sort of brought home that message in a more appealing package. The enemy became real people. The horrors and pointlessness of war put on display without disparaging the soldier.

I always thought of Archie Bunker in the same light. A familiar setting to take on bigatry.

by Anonymousreply 65September 14, 2021 10:05 PM

The dry chaparral of Malibu Creek made for a most excellent doppelgänger of South Korea.

by Anonymousreply 66September 14, 2021 10:06 PM

I’m 34, I grew up with Nick at Nite and the show used to either come on then or it would come on another station and whenever it came on, I’d turn it.

I’ve never seen an episode but I don’t understand it either. Some of the clips look like comedy but I’ve heard it described as a drama.

It always looked like Gilligan’s Island to me but in the military. Is that what it was like? Or was it a drama?

by Anonymousreply 67September 14, 2021 10:14 PM

I swear to God, I was a teenager in the 70s and I have never watched one episode all the way through. Not even halfway through. It just looked awful to me with its dumb laugh track. I hated the theme song too.

by Anonymousreply 68September 14, 2021 10:15 PM

[quote]I’ve never seen an episode but I don’t understand it either.

I wonder if those two things could possibly be related!

by Anonymousreply 69September 14, 2021 10:17 PM

The Real-Life Hawkeye Pierce Hated ‘M*A*S*H’

In 1951, Dr. Richard Hornberger was drafted out of his surgical internship, inducted into the U.S. Army, and assigned to the 8055th MASH, which traveled along the 38th parallel.

Hornberger, who created Hawkeye to represent his own audacious surgical exploits, pioneered the use of arterial repairs on the front lines of war. This was still a relatively new procedure, time-consuming, and then forbidden by the U.S. Army. The surgeons at the 8055th flouted such rules because they felt that to not repair such injuries, and prevent needless amputations of countless limbs, would be to disobey their Hippocratic Oath.

In the doctor’s obituary for The New York Times, his son William Hornberger said:

“He liked the movie because he thought it followed his original intent very closely, but my father was a political conservative, and he did not like the liberal tendencies that Alan Alda portrayed Hawkeye Pierce as having. My father didn’t write an anti-war book. It was a humorous account of his work, with serious parts thrown in about the awful kind of work it was, and how difficult and challenging it was.”

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by Anonymousreply 70September 14, 2021 10:17 PM

R38 OK so it was a dramedy? Interesting. I feel like the flips I saw seemed slapstick but I’ve seen the opening sequence and it seems so morbid as if it was a drama.

R69 Haha yeah but there’s plenty of shows I’ve never seen but I understand the tone. Like I’ve never watched Lost or The Sopranos but I know they’re dramas. I never got what MASH was.

by Anonymousreply 71September 14, 2021 10:20 PM

I was there at the time and could never stand it. SO smug and pleased with itself, and Alan Alda was completely insufferable. And when, who was it?--the adorable old captain or whoever he was, would start saying things like, "Well, son...." No. No way. Not even then.

by Anonymousreply 72September 14, 2021 10:21 PM

The show became a victim of the same thing that so many shows back then did, anachronism. The Korean War started in 1950 and Houlihan's hair would never be seen on a nurse back then, even in the field. Remember Joannie's poodle perm on Happy Days? That stuff really bugs me.

The movie, at least, had her in a period appropriate coif at the beginning.

by Anonymousreply 73September 14, 2021 10:23 PM

The theme song is the /worst/ thing about the show.

by Anonymousreply 74September 14, 2021 10:24 PM

It was quite the shock to learn that the guy who played Father Mulcahy was married in real life.

by Anonymousreply 75September 14, 2021 10:29 PM

[quote]just couldn't find its attempt at humour funny.

If you tried to get into it that suggests you were watching the early seasons, usually highly regarded, and didn’t like them.

Based on the way you spell humour, it might just be that you don’t find American comedy that funny.

by Anonymousreply 76September 14, 2021 10:30 PM

What actual Korean War US Army nurses looked like.

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by Anonymousreply 77September 14, 2021 10:35 PM

Yeahhhhhh Alan Alda was annoying. Maybe that’s why I didn’t watch the show.

And I completely agree with the poster upthread, the hairdos were all wrong. That always bothers me too. But it’s very common. Almost every movie or show set in the 30s, 40s or 50s settles for women wearing a few limp curls. Whereas they actually permed and set and teased and sprayed the shit out of those styles.

by Anonymousreply 78September 14, 2021 10:35 PM

The 70’s had ONE decent show that still holds up fairly well, you all know what it is….it aint this over rated crap! It was a decade of crap television.

by Anonymousreply 79September 14, 2021 10:44 PM

I liked it better in the middle, after Potter came on.

The first few years were very broad comedy, which I liked OK, but I appreciated the middle years, where the stories got somewhat more serious but still funny.

It last about two years or so too long, though, and while I liked it well enough even then, I can see why it exhausted some people and it certainly overexposed Alan Alda.

by Anonymousreply 80September 14, 2021 10:49 PM

What hair styles are you guys talking about?

by Anonymousreply 81September 14, 2021 10:51 PM

Thinking about BJ Hunnicutt's bushy mustache and his deep voice gave me a wet dream so intense I got chills and woke up. He was part of my, uh, "awakening," along with Andy Travis, Gonzo Gates and Kelly Nelson in his Speedo.

by Anonymousreply 82September 14, 2021 10:52 PM

[quote] The surgeons at the 8055th flouted such rules because they felt that to not repair such injuries, and prevent needless amputations of countless limbs, would be to disobey their Hippocratic Oath.

I, too, swore an oath. A nurse's oath!

by Anonymousreply 83September 14, 2021 11:02 PM

People asking whether it was a drama. The early seasons it was more of a straight out comedy with some dark moments. Some of the plots involved misunderstandings that would have been home in Three's Company (although better written). The shift to more of a drama or dramedy was gradual, although might have gotten a bigger shift with the departure of Frank, Henry, and Frank with Charles, Potter, and BJ. While Larry L was good, his character was more one note and the Winchester replacement was a good one and he was more of an equal foil for Hawkeye. Potter was also a good replacement for Henry, they went a different route and did not just try to get Henry II. BJ was probably the weakest of the new cast, but in a way it made sense due to Hawkeye's role growing at the expense of Trapper's during the first three years. By the time Trapper left, the role went from being more of an equal to being second banana to Hawkeye, which might have been why Wayne Rodgers left. The finale itself was completely drama. I think the only thing they played for laughs was Hawkeye and Margaret's good bye kiss.

by Anonymousreply 84September 14, 2021 11:03 PM

r81, this was Margaret Houlihan's hairstyle at the end of M*A*S*H*. It was not very period accurate.

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by Anonymousreply 85September 14, 2021 11:04 PM

I couldn't stand Colonel Potter: His regular exclamation "Horse hockey!" was thought by the writers to be a big laugh getter, but I just thought it was stupid.

by Anonymousreply 86September 14, 2021 11:06 PM

Some of the more dramatic episodes were really well done. The one about all the doctors' and Margaret's dreams was excellent. I also was genuinely moved by the episode when Charles kept writing nasty letters to his sister Honoria in Boston because she had married outside their class, and then at the end of the episode, when he discovered she had been jilted, he wrote her a letter having to eat humble pie and beg forgiveness because he realized how devastated she must be.

by Anonymousreply 87September 14, 2021 11:08 PM

[quote]this was Margaret Houlihan's hairstyle at the end of M*A*S*H*. It was not very period accurate.

See, also, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Waltons, Baa Baa Black Sheep etc. They were all just as bad, although Happy Days, Laverne a& Shirley and the Waltons were a bit more period accurate at the beginning of their runs.

by Anonymousreply 88September 14, 2021 11:14 PM

[quote]I couldn't stand Colonel Potter: His regular exclamation "Horse hockey!" was thought by the writers to be a big laugh getter, but I just thought it was stupid.

I admit that I still use that term.

by Anonymousreply 89September 14, 2021 11:30 PM

The show was like nothing before it---there had been military comedies like "Bilko" and "McHale's Navy" as well as WWII dramas like "Combat", but no show in a war zone that mixed comedy and drama. There had been the peacetime military show "Hennessy" with Jackie Cooper that was mostly comedy, but some drama, but it was not a big hit. Medical shows otherwise skewed toward heartthrobs like "Dr Kildare" or attempts at greater realism like "Ben Casey" or "Medic". M*A*S*H was more irreverent than most sitcoms, as well as being serious. Dramedies weren't new but they usually were heartwarming domestic sitcoms that became a bit starchy when they got serious (like "Father Knows Best, "The Donna Reed Show"). There was nothing starchy here. It became a habit for people and remained popular even as characters left and the dynamics became too earnest.

In real life, people have to get along to make something work---on television, you're sunk if you lose the tension and conflict between characters, which is what happened here with M*A*S*H. Irritating Frank Burns was replaced by pompous but competent Winchester; goofy McIntire was replaced by laidback and preachy Hunnicutt, Hotlips developed an Oedipal relationship with Col. Potter, Klinger quit wearing dresses. The show had become annoying by the end. The one character who didn't change much was Fr. Mulcahy who could be funny or serious as the situation demanded and rarely had an episode based on him. Alda began to dominate the show from very early on--Jackie Cooper stopped directing episodes after awhile because of it. Alda is great when he plays a villian or a true cad--he's wonderful in "And the Band Played On" and in Woody Allen films--he's unwatchable in the final episode and for most of the last few seasons.

In reruns, the first 4 seasons are worth watching. After that, forget it. I recall it gradually becoming miss-able tv in its original run. The mix of comedy and drama was novel and that kept some people interested even after the writing became tired and self-satisfied.

by Anonymousreply 90September 14, 2021 11:32 PM

A t-shirt of Colonel Potter saying "Horse hockey"!

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by Anonymousreply 91September 14, 2021 11:32 PM

Alan Alda and Jamie Farr had longish 70s haircuts.

by Anonymousreply 92September 14, 2021 11:36 PM

When it was ending, there was a funny parody piece in "The New Republic" about what would happen to the stars of the show in the future, juxtaposing the unstoppable rise of Alan Alda (then probably the most beloved entertainment figure in America) to the White House (where he would appoint Carol Burnett as the Secretary of Caring, a new cabinet position) with all kinds of stupid spin-offs from the show (since "AfterM*A*S*H*" had been announced and was predicted to be a big hit), such as "Margaret" (a detective series featuring Hot Lips as a crime-solving single mother), "Those M*A*S*H* Tomatoes" (about the sexy nurses), and "I Dream of Klinger."

by Anonymousreply 93September 14, 2021 11:38 PM

Girls, couldn't you invite me in for a lousy cup of coffee?

Or eat my snatch every once in a while?

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by Anonymousreply 94September 14, 2021 11:38 PM

I'm watching an episode now. I've always liked M*A*S*H. Funny scenes and sad scenes.

by Anonymousreply 95September 14, 2021 11:50 PM

[quote] I hated Radar and his creepy precognitive abilities.

You sound like a very unpleasant person. Radar was really the heart of the show. Of all the characters he wasn't appealing. He had the kindest heart, and his kindness wasn't the smug, self-righteous type displayed by Hawkeye and Trapper and B. J. Radar was just GOOD. And after he left the show really went downhill.

The two most likeable characters on the show sweet Henry Blake and lovable Radar. Too bad they were played by such troublesome actors, MacLean Stevenson and Gary Burghoff. Stevenson wanted out of his contract so he could be the star of his own tv series; that certainly didn't turn out well. Burghoff was a pill to work with; he finally left the show before its end. Maybe it was because they were so annoying that the writers devised such bad endings for their characters. Henry Blake was killed off. A two part farewell show about Radar's departure was also truly depressing. After a miserable R&R he meets a girl and falls in love but is only about the spend about an hour with before he has to get back to camp. When he gets back he's set upon to immediately get a generator, which he fails to do. Brooding about this, he's informed his uncle had died. At first he decided to stay in Korea, but after Klinger gets one he agrees to go back to Iowa. Meantime, he's undergone a complete personality change; the sweet, naive Radar is gone; he's bitter, sarcastic, sardonic, humorless. The camp is going to give him a big farewell party, but wounded arrive and Radar gets a few quick goodbyes instead of a proper farewell. He goes off alone, his face blank, devoid of any happiness or anticipation. Later Hawkeye finds Radar's teddy bear, left behind on Hawkeye's bed. One of the saddest endings in sitcom history.

Although Gary Burghoff left the show supposedly because he didn't want to do a series anymore he returned as Radar, now called "Walter" in a truly dreadful pilot called W*A*L*T*E"R. In that pilot Radar is now back to his old naive innocent self; and his life is a wreck. His bride left him for another man (on their honeymoon!), he's lost the family farm, has shipped his mother off to live with an aunt and is suicidal! He becomes a cop like his cousin; I guess it was thought that the idea of little Walter as a cop would be very funny. It wasn't. The pilot wasn't picked up. I felt bad about what happened to the character of Radar O'Reilly. Radar deserved so much better. I would have loved to have seen go home with the rest of the gang in the last episode of MASH.

by Anonymousreply 96September 15, 2021 12:23 AM

Burghoff was one of those actors who should have counted his blessings and saved every cent he ever made, and should have stayed on the train until it didn't go no mo.

But like others before him, he either believed he should have been a star or THE star, or someone convinced him of that, and off he went.

by Anonymousreply 97September 15, 2021 12:26 AM

Actually, Burghoff was burned out on MASH.

by Anonymousreply 98September 15, 2021 12:30 AM

BJ’s mustache always bugged me. And I like mustaches, but not like that on a soldier allegedly in the 1950s

by Anonymousreply 99September 15, 2021 12:37 AM

[quote] You sound like a very unpleasant person.

And you sound like a piece of shit, to make summary judgments like that based on how someone reacts to a character in a sitcom.

by Anonymousreply 100September 15, 2021 12:41 AM

It was only a matter of time before basic bitches ruined this thread.

by Anonymousreply 101September 15, 2021 12:42 AM

They weren't really soldiers, R99.

by Anonymousreply 102September 15, 2021 12:42 AM

[quote]Also, Colonel Flagg was insane and hot as hell.

Don't forget racist too. There was an episode - I thought it was hilarious but it's probably one of the "bad" ones" - where Flagg came in injured and was treated by a black doctor. He was so afraid something bad would happen that, while in recovery, they painted his skin black. I think it was probably Edward Winter's last appearance on the show but I have to agree, he was hot.

by Anonymousreply 103September 15, 2021 1:15 AM

[quote} And you sound like a piece of shit, to make summary judgments like that based on how someone reacts to a character in a sitcom.

You sound like a REALLY unpleasant person. No wonder nobody likes you.

by Anonymousreply 104September 15, 2021 1:25 AM

[quote] There was an episode - I thought it was hilarious but it's probably one of the "bad" ones" - where Flagg came in injured and was treated by a black doctor. He was so afraid something bad would happen that, while in recovery, they painted his skin black.

You're mixed up. The episode featured a soldier (played by Mills Watson) who before being operated on requests "blood of the right color", not that "darkie stuff." Hawkeye and Trapper play a prank on him by painting him a dark color, making him think he got the wrong blood. Later, he seems to have gained some insight and salutes an African American lieutenant before going back to his outfit.

Flagg was a funny character until they made him as stupid and buffoonish as Frank Burns.

by Anonymousreply 105September 15, 2021 1:34 AM

Ok, boys, stop arguing, it's only MASH. Btw, really enjoying this thread--good gossip and stuff I never knew. The show is iconic for many, so thanks for the great info!

by Anonymousreply 106September 15, 2021 1:35 AM

MASH had some of the most amazing, inventive, and rapid-fire wordplay since His Girl Friday. For years it was very funny and had a lot of humanity. The later years were different in spirit but it could still be interesting.

Rogers and Farrell had very well-defined bulges in some shots.

by Anonymousreply 107September 15, 2021 1:46 AM

[QUOTE] "MASH" is probably the brownest show of the 1970s.

I call bullshit!

by Anonymousreply 108September 15, 2021 2:42 AM

Liked it the first couple of years. Then found it boring. I don't think I even watched the last episode. If I did I don't remember it.

by Anonymousreply 109September 15, 2021 2:44 AM

[quote] What actual Korean War US Army nurses looked like.

They all look like Mercedes McCambridge, so... lesbian?

by Anonymousreply 110September 15, 2021 2:48 AM

[quote] I couldn't stand Colonel Potter: His regular exclamation "Horse hockey!" was thought by the writers to be a big laugh getter, but I just thought it was stupid.

Well, I guess "horse hockey" does funnier than just saying "polo!"

by Anonymousreply 111September 15, 2021 2:52 AM

[quote] "I Dream of Klinger."

LOL

by Anonymousreply 112September 15, 2021 2:55 AM

My family love this show. My brother was so excited as an adult when he got to visit the actual place in Korea where the show took place. I watched it a lot growing up and always found it horribly depressing.

by Anonymousreply 113September 15, 2021 3:03 AM

Not a fan. M*A*S*H was like a licorice jelly bean mixed in with all the good flavors then on CBS: All in the Family, Maude, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Carol Burnett, Bob Newhart Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, The Jeffersons, Square Pegs, etc.

by Anonymousreply 114September 15, 2021 3:06 AM

[quote] No wonder nobody likes you.

It's hard to be much impressed by the kinds of insults that girls in the fourth grade use against one another.

by Anonymousreply 115September 15, 2021 3:27 AM

Futurama does MASH

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by Anonymousreply 116September 15, 2021 3:32 AM

As an adult MASH makes me no longer want to be alive.

by Anonymousreply 117September 15, 2021 3:32 AM

It was just very drab, R50. Horrible colours everywhere.

by Anonymousreply 118September 15, 2021 3:50 AM

There's an instrumental version of the MASH song I like (no singing), but I don't think it's related to the show or movie.

by Anonymousreply 119September 15, 2021 3:57 AM

It premiered right around the time America was trying to work out its Vietnam guilt.

That is what made it so resonant with the American public. There were all these serious films like "Coming Home" and then there was the comedy "Mash."

It had a post-60s weariness to it, and it fit the spirit of the times.

by Anonymousreply 120September 15, 2021 4:04 AM

This is kind of interesting.

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by Anonymousreply 121September 15, 2021 4:08 AM

I read some of the book the film MASH and later the tv series was based on. It was crummy. The doctors acted like juvenile assholes and pulled cruel, despicable pranks, like lashing a guy to a wooden cross and making him believe they were going to burn him to death. And I guess, by today's standards they were racist. Father Mulcahy is called "Dago Red." A black doctor who threw a javelin in college was called "Spearchucker Jones." A Polish dentist is called "The Painless Pole." It was not a good book but must have appealed to a certain audience, because there were a bunch of sequels to it: "MASH Goes To New Orleans", "MASH Goes To Paris", "MASH Goes to London", "MASH Goes To Las Vegas", and on and on and on.

by Anonymousreply 122September 15, 2021 4:41 AM

Do people like the movie? I think it's sort of inconsistent.

Hot Lips is such an odd character. It's like two different women. It first she's this repressed up tight woman in the first half and then a silly girly cheerleader in the second.

by Anonymousreply 123September 15, 2021 4:50 AM

Boring as fuck.

by Anonymousreply 124September 15, 2021 4:59 AM

Burghoff is actually kind of handsome @ R46 & R62 .

by Anonymousreply 125September 15, 2021 5:06 AM

I've seen the clip where Radar comes in and announces McLean Stevenson has been killed. They just keep operating in silence while Radar's voice shakes. It's pretty powerful.

(and wow was Stevenson dumb to leave a hit show at its peak. Despite being offered a spinoff in the first season Valerie Harper stayed four years on MTM since she knew it was a good thing. She only left when Mary convinced her to give a spinoff a try and if it flopped told her they'd let her back on to MTM)

by Anonymousreply 126September 15, 2021 5:12 AM

I remember how shocking that was to watch back then as a kid. R128. I believe Blake’s death was kept a secret from the cast and the script had a different, happy ending. Burghoff was give that line on set right before the take so all the reactions of shock would be genuine.

by Anonymousreply 127September 15, 2021 6:06 AM

The movie was "Animal House Goes to War." The series took that premise but made Alda and Farrell into sensitive, liberal males. I'm embarrassed I watched this shit.

by Anonymousreply 128September 15, 2021 6:36 AM

Did they ever tell the cast? Wouldn't they have to? It seems like if hearing Burghoff say it was the first time people heard it they'd could have had bad wrong reactions like confusion or something. Maybe they told him Radar will now say something sad. Remain quiet and keep working. Nobody gasps or anything like might have happened in real life.

by Anonymousreply 129September 15, 2021 6:37 AM

[quote] Burghoff is actually kind of handsome @ [R46] & [R62] .

...for someone 5'6" with a deformed hand.

by Anonymousreply 130September 15, 2021 6:40 AM

Potter didn't say "horse hockey," he said "horsepucky," which was a variant of "bullpucky" which I once heard was censored from a "Mork & Mindy" episode. I can't find the interview anymore (mainly because I can't remember what interview it was) but whoever was talking about it said they'd heard "pucky" used in place of "shit" from a Borscht Belt comedian decades earlier and thought it would be fine for Mork's character to say, but Standards & Practices wouldn't let them say ANY kind of "pucky."

If they did hear "bullpucky" decades earlier then Potter's "horsepucky" might actually be historically correct.

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by Anonymousreply 131September 15, 2021 9:19 AM

[quote]And when, who was it?--the adorable old captain or whoever he was, would start saying things like, "Well, son...." No. No way. Not even then.

I'm not understanding why Colonel Potter, written as a no-nonsense officer who really should be in retirement but still cared enough to lead troops in a complicated unofficial war, wouldn't refer to some of his soldiers as "son."

by Anonymousreply 132September 15, 2021 9:21 AM

R103, that wasn't Flagg's character, that was a character named Sgt. Condon.

Flagg may have been racist in the show, that wouldn't surprise me, but the episode you're describing doesn't have Flagg getting painted black, it's Condon.

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by Anonymousreply 133September 15, 2021 9:25 AM

I watched it from time to time because there was nothing else on.

Alan Alda was so smug in it and I loathed him in it but I did like the rest of the cast.

The Robert Altman film is far superior.

by Anonymousreply 134September 15, 2021 9:27 AM

R11 "At some point there was an episode where Radar, having gone home, sent a letter saying that the farm was technically failing but he was making more money NOT growing certain crops and getting money from the government, than he would if he grew actual crops, and it was so off-putting that I stopped liking it nearly as much as I had."

Why the FUCK would that bother you this much? I don't get it.

by Anonymousreply 135September 15, 2021 9:58 AM

The episodes with Sidney were usually the best, and the CIA guy too. R120 is right.

by Anonymousreply 136September 15, 2021 10:22 AM

Who knew M*A*S*H was so popular here?

by Anonymousreply 137September 15, 2021 10:24 AM

R135, it was part of what I described as a whole in r11, which you edited out for some reason. It was the final straw, which I think I made clear in my post. It was also one part of the whole situation R96 went into in detail.

I'm not really getting why you would isolate one thing I said in a longer post and freak out about it.

by Anonymousreply 138September 15, 2021 10:27 AM

R138 Even as awhile argument, it still makes zero sense

by Anonymousreply 139September 15, 2021 11:11 AM

I grew up in the 90s watching it every evening. Great show.

by Anonymousreply 140September 15, 2021 11:11 AM

As a young gayling I found Keene Curtis' Colonel Wortman hot

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by Anonymousreply 141September 15, 2021 12:38 PM

[quote] He was part of my, uh, "awakening," along with Andy Travis, Gonzo Gates

The muppet?!

by Anonymousreply 142September 15, 2021 12:43 PM

[quote] By the time Trapper left, the role went from being more of an equal to being second banana to Hawkeye, which might have been why Wayne Rodgers left.

That’s exactly why he left.

by Anonymousreply 143September 15, 2021 12:43 PM

It was obvious that that in the later years of MASH Loretta Swit exclusively wore wigs. Her hair was thinning right from the first year of the show and I guess got progressively worse, which is why she wore wigs. But they looked awful, so fake. And one of them made her look like Harpo Marx.

About Loretta Swit....her only marriage was to a pretty faced actor (he was a lot prettier than her) named Dennis Holahan, who was in the MASH episode awkwardly titled "The U.N., the NIght and the Music." That was one MASH episode that I loathed; I disliked the whole episode, but it was particularly excruciating to watch Margaret Houlihan flinging herself (she's practically drooling over him) at Holahan's character in hopes of having sex with him. But the poor man has been rendered impotent by a war injury, so her advances are cringeworthy. Swit and Holahan eventually divorced. He's now an entertainment lawyer. I always got the feeling he was gay. In a lot of pictures I've seen of him he appears to be pinging to high heaven.

by Anonymousreply 144September 15, 2021 3:50 PM

Show started in 1972, the year I got a driver's license. I was far too busy at the age of 16 to be bothered with that shit, or to even notice it, and I never watched a SINGLE episode of it during its 10-11 year run. Dreary, is how I would characterize the moments of it I did see on others' televisions, here and there over the years. I couldn't believe the crap people wasted their lives staring at, at night after dark.

by Anonymousreply 145September 15, 2021 3:57 PM

[quote] I couldn't believe the crap people wasted their lives staring at, at night after dark.

Says the man on Datalounge.

by Anonymousreply 146September 15, 2021 4:02 PM

Ann Miller delivers a great "What you're telling me is a load of horse pucky" as Coco in "Mullholland Dr.".

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by Anonymousreply 147September 15, 2021 5:00 PM

MASH as interpreted under internet rule 34.

PG version of the 1982 trailer

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by Anonymousreply 148September 15, 2021 6:46 PM

I met Loretta Swit once, not a nice person.

by Anonymousreply 149September 15, 2021 10:10 PM

R149 - Was it because you asked her if she was Diane Ladd?

by Anonymousreply 150September 15, 2021 10:26 PM

Was it because you asked her if she resented Sharon Gless?

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by Anonymousreply 151September 15, 2021 11:31 PM

Actually, I think hot lips wasn't unattractive. She wasn't what I think of as hot, but she wasn't ugly.

by Anonymousreply 152September 15, 2021 11:34 PM

I admit it. I didn’t bother to read the whole thread because it was unbearable. Did anybody mention Spearshucker Jones? The lone black guy.

by Anonymousreply 153September 15, 2021 11:43 PM

They never show the final episode in syndication runs. Me TV ran it once as a special event. And from the little I saw it was underwhelming and very Alda centric.

I think the finale was the most watched show in US TV history for a number of years.

by Anonymousreply 154September 15, 2021 11:58 PM

I may have watched two or three episodes, one of them being the finale. I detest Alan Alda.

by Anonymousreply 155September 16, 2021 12:00 AM

They liked it. People still watch it on streaming.

by Anonymousreply 156September 16, 2021 12:01 AM

I hated Alan Alda who was so smug and pleased with himself in the show. He gave the impression he's exactly like that as a person.

by Anonymousreply 157September 16, 2021 12:01 AM

Alda fancied himself at the forefront of women’s rights. In retrospect some of his later episodes were more demeaning than the earlier ones.

The finale was the worst. A showcase for Alda to be sanctimonious and hammy.

David Ogden Stiers blew the rest of that cast away.

by Anonymousreply 158September 16, 2021 12:25 AM

The storyline featuring Charles and the Korean musicians was better than any of the rest of it, including Hawkeye's latest (he had several) mental breakdown. The rest of it was just meh. I thought the best part of the finale was near the end, when one by one the cast leaves the 4077 for the last time. That was very affecting.

by Anonymousreply 159September 16, 2021 1:50 AM
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