By | Feb 28, 2010

The final episode of the television series M*A*S*H first aired on CBS on Monday, February 28, 1983. It was a 1 1/2 hour episode and was the 16th one of its 11th Season. It was the 251st episode and the only one that was not originally broadcast as a 30 minute episode.

The show was about a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, the 4077, during the Korean War. The series lasted for 11 years. The war itself lasted for slightly more than 3.

Alan Alda was the only actor to appear in every episode. Loretta Swit was contracted for all, but missed one during the series run. Jamie Farr as Corporal and later Sgt. Klinger, a role that was originally introduced as a bit character of a soldier who was trying to get out of the Army by wearing women’s clothes, appeared in 215 episodes, the third most.

The characters of Capt. Benjamin Franklin ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce, Maj. Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan and Lt. Father Francis John Patrick Mulcahy are the only ones that were in the Pilot episode as well as the final. Father Mulcahy was played not by William Christopher in the pilot, but by George Morgan.

The series was based upon the Robert Altman movie M*A*S*H released in 1970. The movie was an obvious Vietnam war protest movie and other than an opening title text stating that the movie took place in Korean, there was no mention of when the war was taking place.

Gary Burghoff played the role of Radar O’Reilly in both the movie and the series. He was the only person from the movie to reprise their role in the TV series.


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