Through 251 episodes, “MAS*H” left a lasting impact on television as one of the most influential shows of all time. Fans today are just as entertained by the 4077th as they were when the show first aired. But how did it feel for the cast when the show finally came to an end?
Well, it was emotional.
The final episode of “MAS*H,” “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen,” aired on February 28, 1983. The last episode to be filmed, however, was titled “As Time Goes By.” In that episode, the members of the 4077th deliberate over the items going into a time capsule.
The ‘M*A*S*H’ Crew Buried Their Own Time Capsule Too
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jamie Farr, who played Maxwell Q. Klinger on the show, suggested that the cast bury a time capsule of their own.
“Rather than leaving a time capsule in Korea, we should leave one on the lot. We found a great place near the commissary,” Farr said. “One of our crewmembers, Jay King, went out late at night and dug a huge hole for it.”
In the episode itself, however, it was Loretta Swit’s character, Major Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan, who delivered a speech emphasizing the importance of the time capsule. The actress talked about how emotional it was to get through.
“It was a speech you could relate to as actors in a show trying to do the best they could. It was very difficult to do without cracking up, which I did, but I got it back,” the “M*A*S*H” star said.
Dan Wilcox, writer and executive story editor on “M*A*S*H” talked about the purpose of the episode.
“What we were doing was summing up the experience for the cast members, but it was also a chance to say goodbye to the cast we loved. I said what if one of the things they put in the capsule is Radar’s teddy bear? And what if someone has a fishing fly from Henry’s cap? Let’s use this to say goodbye to the series. That woke everyone up,” Wilcox said.
Mike Farrell, the actor who played “M*A*S*H” character Captain B.J. Hunnicutt, shared how the experience felt.
“It was heartbreaking yet thrilling because we knew we were rapping up something we loved and were proud of and that was extra special,” he said.
Unfortunately for us, the majority of the items in the cast and crew’s time capsule have been kept secret. Some items that are known to have made the cut, however, are a voodoo doll of Col. Potter, a Japanese robe, and a white sweater.