A Look Back at the Classic TV Show M*A*S*H

Posted February 16, 2013 by shooting in Uncategorized / 12 Comments

A Look Back at the Classic TV Show M*A*S*H

When looking back on the history of American comedies, there
few that have truly stood the test of time. 
Comedies such as I Love Lucy and The Beverly Hillbillies are a couple
that would make that list.  However, no
comedy in American history has stayed as relevant as the military comedy known
as M*A*S*H.

M*A*S*H originally was a 1970 film based during the Korean
War depicting day to day life at the 4077 Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.  The critical success of the film prompted the
creation of the TV series, which aired on CBS from 1972 to 1983.

M*A*S*H is truly an ensemble cast primarily highlighted by
Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce.  With the
exception of Margaret Houlihan (Loretta Swit) and Father Mulcahy (William
Christopher), the cast did undergo some changes through the years.  However, whether viewers were fans of the
Henry Blake era or the Colonel Potter era of the show, they still agree that
the cast worked perfectly together.

The reason why M*A*S*H worked so well was that it was like
many of the comedies of that time such as All In the Family, the Jeffersons,
and others.  It put the characters in
comedic scenarios but also had room for high drama.  The difference between M*A*S*H and other
comedies is that it was based on the real life events of the Korean War.

Everyday life at the 4077 was often the storyboard for the
show, including something as simple as a game of poker.  Many times the game of poker was used to
further a plot line or even a character. 
The gang discovered that Major Winchester was horrible at bluffing
because they picked up on his poker
of whistling when he was nervous. 
Other times, you could even pick up on a person’s character during a
game of poker.

M*A*S*H also had a knack of bringing the war down to a human
level that was also realistic.  The
characters were in everyday situations during the war but at the same time
dealt with serious situations such as the death of a close comrade, post
traumatic stress disorder, and even interracial marriage. 

Ultimately, M*A*S*H became the most successful comedy in the
history of American television.  The
final episode of the series is still the top rated non-sports program in
American history.  Also, the show is
still shown nearly every day in syndication although the show went off the air
in 1983.  The show is a testament to not
just the spirit of American, but also a testament to the drive and will of the
human spirit and that is one reason why it will remain a popular comedy for
many years to come.
This post is written in cooperation with PokerListings.com.

12 responses to “A Look Back at the Classic TV Show M*A*S*H

  1. As a child I didn't get M.A.S.H. I remember it was always playing in syndication, but I would watch a few minutes and skip over it. It wasn't until my teen and adult years that I came to appreciate it. I watched many episodes, but I know I didn't watch them all. Maybe in the future I can watch a marathon.

  2. Oh I love MASH-definitely a Colonel Potter girl though I waver between Frank and Winchester.

    Still my favorite episode of all time is when Ron Howard lands there as an underage kid and Hawkeye wishes him a long and healthy hate-I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

  3. I've never really sat down and watched an episode as an adult, but I remember it was always on tv, even here in Aus, when I was little. It's amazing that these days, a show like this is still so well loved and remembered, because nothing lasts that long on tv anymore!

  4. Sam

    I'm not sure if this aired in the UK around the same time (probably), but I've never seen any of the episodes. It's sounds interesting though, especially as it bought the Korean War to a more accessible level.

  5. Mash is definitely a classic. It was always on in my home, it was a favorite of my parents and grandparents. I just remember that cross-dresser guy making me laugh, that must have been a controversial addition back then. 🙂

  6. I actually never saw M.A.S.H but I've always played that game with like the "Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House" thing where you do your profession and your husband and all of those! It was really fun though and I guess now I know where the idea came from!

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.