4 Trivia Questions about M*A*S*H

September 17, 1972, marked the series premiere of M*A*S*H. Today we invite you to try your luck and see how much you know about one of television's most iconic shows...


What does the "M" stand for in the TV series M*A*S*H? # M*A*S*H is an acronym for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. The television series M*A*S*H 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 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 according to the New York Times.

The Creators of M*A*S*H and Studio Executives Clashed Over the Inclusion of What in the Show? Something That Was Ultimately Left Out in the British Version. History buffs will remember that the Korean War did not come with a studio audience. So something always felt a bit out of place as the characters onscreen shuttled through Korea, talking about the darkness of war and the importance of saving lives, while canned laughter came in over the speakers. The show's creators never wanted a laugh track, but the executives at CBS had never made a comedy without one, and they insisted it stay in. It's tough to deny the cheapening impact it has on the show. Here's an interview with series creator Larry Gelbart, who agreed reluctantly to the studio demands.

As you can see, he did manage to eke out a few concessions. "Under no circumstances would we ever have canned laughter during an O.R. scene. When the doctors were working, it was hard to imagine 300 people were in there laughing at somebody's guts being sewn up." Seems fair.


On Feb. 28, 1983, Flow of Water in Two of New York City's Water Mains Increased by 320 Million Gallons Immediately Following What? # Premiered on this date in 1972. We wanted to ask the trivia question "What was the most watched fictional TV show episode of all time?" But we figured you could probably guess that based on context clues. But yes, the answer would indeed have been the series finale of M*A*S*H, which was seen by a whopping 60.2% of households. Different sources have different numbers, but they all peg viewership for the finale at over 100 million people. And this wasn't just any finale. It was a two-and-a-half-hour special that, unlike most finales, was actually good. So what happened after? Well, we can't be positive, but we're guessing that a lot of the hundred million or so people who had been, well, um, holding it, for the last two and a half hours made a break for the bathroom. According to reports, waterflow in two of New York City's water mains increased by 320 million gallons as soon as the episode was over.

What is the name of the theme song for the movie and TV series M*A*S*H? When it comes to TV theme songs, few are as famous as the title tune that graced the opening credits of the TV series M*A*S*H. "Suicide is Painless" was the theme song for both the movie and TV series. The song was written by Johnny Mandel. The lyrics were written by Mike Altman, the 14-year-old son of the film's director, Robert Altman. An instrumental version of the song was used as the theme for the TV series. The young Altman went on to make millions in royalties off the song, while his dad was paid just $70,000 for directing the film.

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