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M*A*S*H Trivia
M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970 feature film MASH (which was itself based on the 1968 novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors, by Richard Hooker). The series, which was produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television for CBS, follows a team of doctors and support staff stationed at the "4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital" in Uijeongbu, South Korea during the Korean War. The show's title sequence features an instrumental version of "Suicide Is Painless", the theme song from the original film. The show was created after an attempt to film the original book's sequel, M*A*S*H Goes to Maine, failed. The televisiseries is the most well-known version of the M*A*S*H works and one of the highest-rated shows in U.S. television history.
The series premiered in the U.S. on September 17, 1972, and ended February 28, 1983, with the finale, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen", becoming the most-watched and highest-rated single television episode in U.S. television history at the time, with a record-breaking 125 million viewers (60.2 rating and 77 share), according to the New York Times. It had struggled in its first season and was at risk of being cancelled.Season two of M*A*S*H placed it in a better time slot (airing after the popular All in the Family); the show became one of the top 10 programs of the year and stayed in the top 20 programs for the rest of its run.[3] It is still broadcast in syndication on various television stations. The series, which depicted events occurring during a three-year military conflict, spanned 256 episodes and lasted 11 seasons.
Throughout the series, Klinger frequently introduces himself by his full name, Maxwell Q. Klinger, but never says what the Q. stands for.
B.J.'s real name is the subject of an episode's secondary plot line. Hawkeye goes to extreme lengths to learn what "B.J." stands for, but all official paperwork concerning his friend indicates that B.J. is his first name. Toward the end of the episode, B.J. (in explaining who gave him his name) says, "My mother, Bea Hunnicut, and my father, Jay Hunnicut." A recurring joke in that episode is that upon being asked what B.J. stands for, B.J. merely replies, "Anything you want."
Frank Burns had four different middle names during his time on the show: W. (on the punching bag in "Requiem for a Lightweight"), D., X., and Marion.
Radar's first name is stated as Walter, and once (in "Fade Out, Fade In"), he introduces himself by his full name to Charles Emerson Winchester III as "Walter Eugene O'Reilly". The book says his name is J. Robespierre, and his first name is not revealed in the film.
In the finale ("Goodbye, Farewell and Amen"), Father Mulcahy tells Klinger that his full name is Francis John Patrick Mulcahy, in case Klinger might want to name any of his children after him. Also, in the eighth-season episode "Nurse Doctor", he gives his full name as Francis John Patrick Mulcahy. In all other episodes, his name was John Patrick Francis Mulcahy, and he just wanted others to call him by his confirmation name, Francis.
"Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" was the final episode of M*A*S*H. Special television sets were placed in PX parking lots, auditoriums, and dayrooms of the U.S. Army in Korea so that military personnel could watch that episode, in spite of 14 hours' time zone difference with the east coast of the U.S. The episode aired on February 28, 1983, and was 2½ hours long. The episode got a Nielsen rating of 60.2 and 77 shares[21] and according to a New York Times article from 1983, the final episode of M*A*S*H had 125 million viewers.[2]
When the M*A*S*H finale was aired in 1983, 83.3 million homes in the United States had televisions, compared to almost 115 million in February 2010.