The MASH television show is based on a book written by Richard hooker in 1968. In 1970, 20th Century Fox produced the movie of the same name. Then in 1973, CBS bought the pilot the MASH television show. The show ran for 11 years and 251 episodes. Ironically, the show was almost cancelled after the first season because of poor rating. It made the top ten in its second season and never fell out of the top 20. The actors decided to cancel the show by refusing to renew their contracts. The final episode of MASH was a two and a half hour special that drew the largest audience to ever watch a single television program episode.
The MASH television show was a new genre of program later called a dramady because it always had two story lines, one dramatic and one comedic. In both cases, they focused on character and motive. The story was set in South Korea, near Seoul during the Korean War. The story was about a group of doctors and nurses that worked at the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital or MASH unit for short. The camp was set between a mountain and a minefield in an isolated area. Wounded soldiers were brought to the hospital by helicopter, ambulance or bus. The cast patched up the wounded and either sent them home or back to the fighting.
The cast of the MASH television show consisted of the following people:
� Dr. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce � an excellent surgeon who had been drafted in the army and had little use for military discipline.
� Dr. "Trapper" John McIntyre � another draftee and almost as opposed to military life as Hawkeye
� Dr. Frank Burns � regular army doctor who believed in following the book
� Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan � Head nurse and beautiful woman and regular army
� Lt. Col. Henry Blake � camp commander who tired to keep the regular army folks from court-martialing the two surgeons.
� Corporal Walter "Radar" O'Reilly � company clerk who kept everything running smoothly
� Corporal Max Klinger � a draftee who was seeking a medical discharge and frequently dressed in womens� clothes attempting to prove he was crazy.
� Father Francis Mulcahy � Camp chaplain who took care of a local orphanage.
The MASH television show cleverly depicted the horrors and agony of war, while show how the surgeons used womanizing, drinking homemade gin and being generally unmilitary and undisciplined as a way to cope with all the horrors they encountered each day while trying to save the lives of the soldiers, most of whom were just teenagers. It was the combination of the drama that touched people�s hearts combined with the sometimes subtle, some times slap stick comedy that made the MASH television show one of the all time great TV programs.