There have been several great sitcoms throughout television history. However, there is one sitcom that often tops the list of favorites, and that was the long-running, star-studded MAS*H.
MASH ran for 11 seasons and was wildly popular the entire time. It actually had three spin-offs and won numerous awards. Americans loved MASH, as did most of the world. Not all of it, however, as it was completely banned from television in one country.
‘M*A*S*H’: One of America’s most popular television series
The pilot episode of MAS*H aired in 1972. It quickly became one of American audiences favorite television shows, receiving phenomenal ratings–even the critics liked it. When the series ended in 1983, the finale set a record for the largest audience in TV history.
The show was based on the 1970 film, which was about a mobile Army 𝕤𝕦𝕣𝕘𝕚𝕔𝕒𝕝 hospital during the Korean 𝕎𝕒𝕣. The series followed the two main characters from the film, Hawkeye and Trapper.
Both men were great doctors, but not such great soldiers. They weren’t huge fans of following strict 𝔸𝕣𝕞𝕪 𝕣𝕦𝕝𝕖𝕤, and they were big fans of 𝕝𝕚𝕢𝕦𝕠𝕣 and cute nurses…
Other main characters from the series included Maj. Margaret Houlihan, Corp. “Radar” O’Reilly, and Corp. Max Klinger. Houlihan was a super-𝕤𝕥𝕣𝕚𝕔𝕥 ranking nurse, Radar was the company 𝕔𝕝𝕖𝕣𝕜, and Klinger provided endless laughs as he cross-dressed constantly in an attempt to be discharged and sent home.
The series was 𝕓𝕒𝕟𝕟𝕖𝕕 in South Korea
Despite the series’ incredible popularity in the United States, it was actually 𝕓𝕒𝕟𝕟𝕖𝕕 in another part of the world. MAS*H was set in South Korea, but actually aired during the Vietnam 𝕎𝕒𝕣.
The series focused mostly on its comedic plots, and didn’t bother much with 𝕡𝕠𝕝𝕚𝕥𝕚𝕔𝕤. Due to what was happening in the world at the time, the series did have a few 𝕚𝕟𝕗𝕣𝕖𝕢𝕦𝕖𝕟𝕥 anti-𝕨𝕒𝕣 messages that 𝕣𝕖𝕤𝕠𝕟𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕕 with audiences.
All in all, the series never had any extremely 𝕔𝕠𝕟𝕥𝕣𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕣𝕤𝕚𝕒𝕝 subjects that would lead to its being 𝕓𝕒𝕟𝕟𝕖𝕕. South Korea, however, felt differently. They were highly offended by the way the series 𝕡𝕠𝕣𝕥𝕣𝕒𝕪𝕖𝕕 the country of South Korea. During the Korean 𝕎𝕒𝕣, that area was extremely poverty-stricken, and the general consensus is that MAS*H actually painted a fairly accurate portrait of the circumstances at the time.
South Korea didn’t seem to care how realistic the depiction was, they just didn’t want the world remembering it that way forever. So they completely 𝕓𝕒𝕟𝕟𝕖𝕕 the show, and it never aired in that country.
What did the cast do after the show ended?
Many of the main cast members of the show continued to work in entertainment after the series ended.
Alan Alda (Hawkeye) actually worked behind the scenes of MAS*H as well as being a major character–he wrote and directed several episodes. He went on to write and direct three films — Sweet Liberty, A New Life, and Betsy’s Wedding. He also starred in several films and TV shows, including The Aviator, Ray Donovan, and The West Wing.
Loretta Swit (Margaret Houlihan) was the only cast member (aside from Alan Alda) who was in both the first and last episodes of the series. She attempted to leave MASH in the tenth season, but CBS wouldn’t let her out of her contract. She wanted to pursue the role of Cagney in Cagney & Lacey, but after playing the role in the pilot episode, she had to return to MASH and the role was given to someone else. She didn’t do much acting after the series ended, just a few bit roles here and there.
Jamie Farr (Klinger) was originally only supposed to be in one episode, but he was so popular with audiences that he became a series regular. The cross-dressing Klinger’s character changed quite a bit throughout the series, mainly because Farr was worried that his children might be teased at school. He continued acting after the show ended, starring in Cannonball Run II, AfterMASH, and The Cool Kids.