10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘M*A*S*H’

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On September 17, 1972 CBS launched M*A*S*H, but absolutely no one could predict the success that it was going to become! Following its 1972 premiere, the series went on for 11 incredible seasons before coming to an end in February 1983, and in those 11 years had created a passionate and loyal group of viewers and fans, who helped to carry the show on for three times longer than the Korean War that the series was depicting. There was MASH the book and MASH the movie, but here are 10 things you never knew about the iconic M*A*S*H television series:

10. Comedy?

Although M*A*S*H was described as a comedy, fans quickly learned that there were as many sobering moments as there were silly moments; however, much of the comedy on the show was definitely “dark.” Due to this difference when compared to most of CBS’ other sitcoms, there was a dispute over whether a laugh track should be used or not. While CBS wanted one, the producers didn’t agree, and a compromise was made where a laugh track was used except for scenes in the operating tent. As the seasons went on, and there was push back from the audience, the laughing became quieter and quieter. Meanwhile the BBC thought the laugh track was completely inappropriate and omitted it all together in U.K. broadcasts.

(c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection


9. Sneakers on Set

As members of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, the crew always donned uniforms — from what fans could see. Although it might have looked like everyone was decked out in Army attire, they actually hardly ever wore their Army boots. The boots became problematic for filming because of how much noise they made on the sound stage and how uncomfortable they were to wear. For those reasons most scenes were shot from the waist up and then the boots were only worn when full body-shot scenes were required and, in reality, most of the time the cast were just wearing sneakers.

(c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.
Courtesy: Everett Collection