M*A*S*H was a book, then a movie, then a smash TV show that lasted 11 seasons and ended with the most-watched series finale ever. What is there to learn about the show you don’t already know? Plenty, because these are things that went on behind the scenes.
1. ALAN ALDA AND JAMIE FARR SERVED IN THE U.S. ARMY.
Alda (Hawkeye Pierce) was in the Army Reserve for six months as a gunnery officer during the Korean War. Farr enlisted, and was stationed in Japan when Red Skelton requested his services on his USO Tour through Korea. Wayne Rogers (Trapper John McIntyre) joined the U.S. Navy for a time as a ship navigator. Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicut) served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
2. MCLEAN STEVENSON AUDITIONED FOR HAWKEYE, AND COMEDIAN ROBERT KLEIN TURNED DOWN THE ROLE OF TRAPPER JOHN.
Stevenson was convinced to take the role of Lt. Colonel Henry Blake instead. As for Klein, he denied a claim that he lived to regret the decision.
3. LARRY GELBART WROTE THE PILOT IN TWO DAYS FOR $25,000.
The veteran screenwriter had been living in London after growing tired of Hollywood, but he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try to adapt Robert Altman’s movie for television audiences.
That’s the beginning, and then the M*A*S*H trivia list at mental_floss covers production, a few key episodes, and the show’s aftermath -including the fate of the time capsule they buried on the outdoor location.