Although its lifespan is a thing of the past, running as it did from 1972 to 1983, M*A*S*H remains among the most popular shows in American TV history. And yet in spite of such acclaim, there are still some things that fans – even those who’ve watched every single one of the 256 episodes – may not know about the series. Covering everything from behind-the-scenes disputes to real-life inspiration, here’s a look at 40 little-known facts about the groundbreaking war comedy.
40. Some of the cast had practical experience
Given the timing of the show and the Korean War, it’s perhaps no surprise that some of the M*A*S*H cast actually served during that Far East conflict. This was certainly the case for Jamie Farr, who played Maxwell Klinger, and Alan Alda, who portrayed Hawkeye Pierce. Yes, both actors were part of the U.S. Army at that time. Talk about firsthand experience.
39. The U.K. didn’t think war was a laughing matter
For a show that walked a thin line between humorous and somber tones in the blink of an eye, a laughter track arguably wasn’t the wisest element to add. And despite this very addition being employed in the U.S., the laughter was actually removed by the BBC when M*A*S*H premiered in the U.K. owing to complaints that it was distracting.