M*a*s*h

A history of the M*A*S*H show business franchise, including the 1970 film and the 1972-83 TV series.

   The word M*A*S*H is known worldwide for many reasons: to literary buffs, it’s the 1968 novel written by a former U.S. Army surgeon who was no stranger to that particular acronym; to movie fans, it’s the 1970 film version directed by Robert Altman that remains a milestone in 1970’s cinema (and for that matter, 20th century cinema); to several generations of TV viewers, it’s an Emmy-winning 1972-83 sitcom that’s also one of the most acclaimed and popular in the medium’s history.

   But to those who fought in the Korean War from 1950-53, especially those who ended up wounded in combat, the word M*A*S*H continues to have a special meaning for them, for it was also the name given to the various U.S. Army surgical hospitals located in South Korea during (and after) the war, not far from where the actual fighting was, that treated and (more often than not) saved the lives of those who fought in the war, including those representing not only the United Nations forces who aided South Korea, but also North Korea and China.  (M*A*S*H, of course, stands for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.)  Ironically enough, the Korean War, dubbed the “forgotten war,” is still remembered today, thanks to not only the M*A*S*H units’ extraordinary efforts, but also one of the most enduring and fondly remembered multimedia franchises of all time.

   It was Richard Hornberger’s experience as an U.S. Army surgeon working at one of the real-life M*A*S*H units during the Korean War that inspired him to write M*A*S*H the novel in 1968 (using the pen name Richard Hooker), the characters serving at the fictional M*A*S*H 4077thwere based on not only Hornberger (the inspiration for his fictional counterpart, army surgeon Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye“ Pierce), but also the real life colleagues that he served with during the war.  The book’s humorous tone (black, of course) was what set M*A*S*H apart from all other war novels, including Hawkeye and fellow surgeon “Trapper John” McIntyre rebelling against the system (military, that is), while not busy operating on wounded soldiers; with that particular element, M*A*S*H couldn’t miss as a literary best-seller.

   Except for one thing, M*A*S*H the novel wasn’t a success.  At least at first.

Cover of M*A*S*H (Widescreen Edition)

   It would take the foresight of literary agent Ingo Preminger (the brother of actor/director Otto) to bring M*A*S*H to the motion picture screen in this, the only producing effort of his career.  Preminger read Hornberger’s novel, believing that it might make a great film, not an easy task to accomplish, especially in the late-1960’s and early-1970’s, when U.S. opposition to the controversial Vietnam War was still growing (and the film did, to a certain degree, compare the brutal conflict in Vietnam to that in Korea), and in a period already beset by both personal and global turmoil.  Not that this particular fact stopped 20th Century Fox from actually financing Preminger’s efforts to produce M*A*S*H the motion picture.

   For a novice producer, Preminger certainly hit pay dirt when it came to getting both a director and screenwriter to adapt M*A*S*H for the silver screen.  To handle the directing chores, Preminger and Fox picked Robert Altman, in this, his second effort as a filmmaker, while the screen adaptation was written by veteran screenwriter Ring Lardner, Jr., an Academy Award winner for writing Woman Of The Year (MGM, 1942), who regained his reputation five years before (by co-writing the script for The Cincinnati Kid [MGM, 1965]) after spending eighteen years being blacklisted by Hollywood in the wake of him and the rest of the legendary “Hollywood 10” refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 (and which resulted in Lardner spending a year in prison, roughly at the same time the major film studios started to blacklist him).

   From there, Altman assembled a superb cast of actors to help bring Hornberger’s characters to life on-screen, including Donald Sutherland (as Hawkeye), Elliot Gould (as Trapper John), Sally Kellerman (as Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan, the unit’s head nurse), Robert Duvall (as Major Frank Burns, another of the unit’s surgeons), and Gary Burghoff (as Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly, the unit’s company clerk).  Part of M*A*S*H the movie’s timely appeal is the fact that much of the cast’s dialogue was improvised, encouraged by Altman (though there was tension between both director and cast during filming, which nearly got Altman fired), which meant that they didn’t always stick to Lardner’s screenplay (and which movie audiences who saw the film weren’t aware of at the time).  That particular element (resulting in overlapping and simultaneous dialogue throughout the film), plus unique camera and film editing techniques, would establish the style that would define Altman’s subsequent films, including two of his finest efforts, McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Warner Bros., 1971) and Nashville (Paramount, 1975), and proof that Altman (who had a strong mistrust of Hollywood studio executives during the majority of his career) is still revered by not only his peers, but also several generations of critics, scholars, and audiences, even after his death in late-November 2006.

   M*A*S*H the movie is also remembered for its theme song “Suicide Is Painless,” written by the film’s composer, Johnny Mandel, and Robert Altman’s son Mike, though several generations of audiences are more familiar with Mandel’s instrumental version from the TV version of M*A*S*H (for which Mandel was one of several composers who provided the music for that particular series).

   M*A*S*H the movie would become one of 1970’s highest-grossing films, and receive its share of show business awards, including its sole Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay (it was also nominated five times, including winning a Best Picture nomination).  The film’s success also boosted sales of Richard Hornberger’s first M*A*S*H book, prompting fourteen subsequent follow-up novels that were published between 1972-77, two of them solely written by Hornberger, the rest written by novelist William Butterworth (despite the fact that he shared credit with Hornberger’s pen name Richard Hooker, who had little to do with them); however, overall sales of those books never matched those of the first M*A*S*H novel, which owed its boost in sales mostly to the film version’s success.  However, both the novel and film version were just the beginning of the M*A*S*H franchise’s enduring popularity.

   It was the first M*A*S*H novel and the hit film it inspired that would pave the way for another media incarnation that would, in many respects, become one of the most successful, and influential TV sitcoms in the medium’s history.  It would also become the most famous incarnation of the M*A*S*H franchise, which would last far longer than the actual Korean War, which served as its backdrop.

   It was the success of M*A*S*H the movie which prompted CBS to commission 20th Century Fox to produce a TV version that would premiere at the start of the network’s 1972-73 prime time season.  The job of producing M*A*S*H the TV series fell to actor-turned-producer/director Gene Reynolds, who was a key player in co-producing another Fox-produced TV series, Room 222, for ABC a few years before.  Reynolds then made several Solomon-like decisions that would bode well for M*A*S*H’s success on TV, including hiring veteran film, TV, and stage writer Larry Gelbart to not only write a good number of the series’ earliest episodes, but also serve as its executive script consultant (Gelbart would be promoted to co-producer during the show’s second season).  Reynolds also hired one-time actor Burt Metcalfe as the series’ associate producer; Metcalfe would stay on with M*A*S*H the TV series for its entire eleven year run, ultimately becoming the show’s executive producer by the end of the 1970’s.

The original cast of the TV version of M*A*S*H, circa 1972: Larry Linville (Frank Burns), Alan Alda (Hawkeye Pierce), Loretta Swit (Margaret Houlihan), Gary Burghoff (Radar), McLean Stevenson (Colonel Henry Blake), and Wayne Rogers (”Trapper John” McIntyre).

   In planning the TV version of M*A*S*H, Reynolds and Gelbart decided to make it different from all previous military sitcoms by showing the results of brutal warfare, while not forgetting its comedic elements, emphasized by not only strong plotting and characterization, but also some of the finest dialogue (both comedic and dramatic) ever written for TV.  Though nearly every episode of the series had a laugh track, it was absent (with a few exceptions) from the operating room scenes in which the surgeons operated on wounded soldiers, a brilliant move on Reynolds and Gelbart’s part that not only showed the mind-numbing and heart wrenching aftermath of armed conflict that has stuck with several generations of TV audiences worldwide, but also foreshadowed today’s TV sitcoms that don’t rely on laugh tracks.  Physician/surgeon Dr. Walter Dishell, M.D., the show’s medical consultant, helped the producers and their army of writers and directors stay on track, especially when Dr. Dishell provided them with information concerning the then-current medical procedures that had existed during the Korean War.  (Dr. Dishell also co-wrote the 1979 episode “Life Time” with Alan Alda.)

   Reynolds, Gelbart, and Metcalfe then assembled a superb dream cast to play the 4077thstaff members, including seasoned film, TV, and stage actor Alan Alda, who was cast as Hawkeye Pierce; Alda initially had reservations about playing Hawkeye, until he read Gelbart’s script for what would be the series’ first episode while taking a break from acting in the 1972 TV-movie The Glass House.  Alda, impressed by Gelbart’s script, agreed to play Hawkeye, a smart move that would not only bode well for his career, but also for the TV series’ eventual success; Alda would become the only cast member to appear in every episode of M*A*S*H during its eleven-year run.  Also coming aboard were Wayne Rogers as Trapper John, McLean Stevenson as commanding officer and fellow surgeon Lt. Colonel Henry Blake (a role originated in the 1970 film version by Roger Bowen), Loretta Swit as Hot Lips, Larry Linville as Frank Burns, and Gary Burghoff reprising his film role as Radar.

   M*A*S*H the TV series made its debut on CBS on September 17, 1972 to mixed response, and struggled in the Nielsen ratings during its first season.  It was a rough beginning for this unique TV sitcom, but over the next eleven years, both its ratings and popularity would improve for the better.

   Most of the episodes from M*A*S*H’s first season provided those watching with an allegoric commentary on the Vietnam War, even though it was set during the Korean War of the early-1950’s.  But as Reynolds and Gelbart pointed out, M*A*S*H focused on war in general, its point greatly reinforced by not only the O.R. scenes, but also Hawkeye’s own personal feelings about the insanities of war, which was open to criticism, with the majority of it coming from fellow surgeon and chief adversary Major Frank Burns, who cared more about military order than the needs of the wounded (that is, when he wasn’t secretly dating Hot Lips, despite the fact that Burns, whose medical skills left everything to be desired, was already a married man).

   M*A*S*H the TV series also boasted a number of supporting players who came and went during its entire run, some, like black surgeon Oliver “Spearchucker” Jones (originally played by pro football player-turned-actor Fred Williamson in the film version, then played by another football star-turned-actor, Timothy Brown, in some of the TV series’ first episodes), who debuted in Richard Hornberger’s first M*A*S*H novel, disappeared before the end of 1972 (mainly because, in real life, there were no African-American surgeons who worked at the actual M*A*S*H hospitals during the Korean War).  The most durable supporting players whose popularities would grow during the TV series’ network run were the unit’s chaplain, Father John Patrick Francis Mulcahy, played first by Rene Auberjonois in the film version, then George Morgan in the series pilot, and finally William Christopher, whose appearances on M*A*S*H would increase in subsequent seasons (Christopher would become a full-time regular at the time of the series’ fifth season in 1976-77), and Corporal Maxwell Klinger, played by Jamie Farr (who, like Alan Alda, actually was stationed in Korea when both served tours of duty in the U.S. Army, though not at the same time, and certainly not during the Korean War), who was introduced in the 1972 episode “Chief Surgeon Who?” (in which Hawkeye became the unit’s Chief Surgeon).  Part of Corporal Klinger’s appeal as a pop culture icon was the fact that he wore women’s clothes in order to convince the U.S. Army that he was crazy in the hopes that they’d give him a Section Eight (inspired mostly by comedian Lenny Bruce’s own attempts to get out of the U.S. Navy in the decade before coming a comedy legend), which would send him home (without any success); Farr would become a full-time regular at the start of the series’ fourth season in 1975-76, and like Alda, Christopher, and Loretta Swit, they would stick with M*A*S*H until the very end.  Other occasional characters who appeared in later episodes included CIA colonel Sam Flagg (played by Edward Winter), and Army psychiatrist Dr. Sidney Freedman (Allan Arbus).

   Other standout episodes during M*A*S*H’s first season included “Dear Dad,” which was not only the first of several Christmas episodes, but also the first of a number of episodes in which various staff members write home to their loved ones, telling about their experiences in Korea; “Sometimes You Hear The Bullet,” in which Hawkeye reunites with a childhood friend who writes a book on the Korean War only to die on the operating table later on (and guest starring Ron Howard, TV’s Opie Taylor [from The Andy Griffith Show], almost two years away from starring in another TV sitcom set in the 1950’s: Happy Days); and “The Longjohn Flap,” the first of many scripts that Alan Alda would write for M*A*S*H.  In subsequent seasons to come, Alda would also expand his talents by directing future episodes of the series (and he wouldn’t be the only cast member to work behind the camera).

   Despite M*A*S*H struggling in the Nielsen ratings during its first season, CBS decided to renew the series for a second season by moving it from Sunday evening to Saturday evening, where it joined some of the TV network’s biggest hits at that time, including All In The Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and The Carol Burnett Show; it was a smart move that would not only help boost M*A*S*H’s ratings and place it in the Nielsen ratings’ annual Top Ten (and Twenty) list of most-watched TV shows for the rest of its network run, but also increase its popularity with both critics and audiences worldwide (and so much more).

   By the time M*A*S*H the TV series started its second season, the U.S. military had already pulled out of the Vietnam War (though the war itself wouldn’t end until roughly two years later).  In order to keep M*A*S*H fresh, Gene Reynolds and Larry Gelbart did extensive research on the Korean War via reading old newspaper and magazine articles, as well as interviewing both real-life soldiers and M*A*S*H surgeons who served in Korea; eventually, Reynolds and Gelbart would visit South Korea to help them get a better idea of the subject matter.  It was this kind of research that would pay off, as evidenced in episodes like “For The Good Of The Outfit,” in which Hawkeye and Trapper John learn that the U.S. Army accidentally shelled a South Korean village, resulting in local civilian causalities.

   By the end of its second season, M*A*S*H had become of one of the most popular TV sitcoms of its time (and soon, of all time), winning over nearly everybody, including skeptical critics and audiences who initially though that it wouldn’t make it to a second season.  Of course, the TV version still had its detractors, most notably, Richard Hornberger (who thought that Alan Alda’s portrayal of Hawkeye was a bit too liberal, and not surprisingly, Alda has been a liberal for most of his life) and director Robert Altman (who helmed the 1970 film version).  Fortunately, such detractors were in a very small minority when compared to the millions of audiences worldwide who made M*A*S*H the TV series a hit.  At the 1974 Primetime Emmy Awards, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded M*A*S*H the first four of its fourteen Emmy Awards that it would receive during its network run, including its only award for Outstanding Comedy Series, and Alda winning the first two of his six Emmy awards (five for M*A*S*H for his work as not only an actor, but also a writer and director [“Dear Sigmund” (1976; Best Directing in a Comedy Series) and “Inga” (1979; Best Writing in a Comedy Series)]; Alda would receive his sixth Emmy for playing politician Arnold Vinick on NBC’s The West Wing in 2006).

   The TV version of M*A*S*H would also prove to be a great launching point for sitcom writers who would achieve great success in the medium over the next few decades, including future Cheers co-creators (and real-life brothers) Glen and Les Charles, Linda Bloodworth (later to create Designing Women), Ken Levine and David Isaacs, and future Family Ties and Spin City creator Gary David Goldberg; these and other great writers (including Laurence Marks, Jim Fritzell, and Everett Greenbaum), not to mention equally superb directors (including show business veteran Jackie Cooper) would leave their mark on M*A*S*H, and help raise the bar for high-quality TV sitcoms for many decades to come.

   By the end of M*A*S*H’s third season in the spring of 1975, McLean Stevenson decided to leave the series and move on to other projects; Stevenson’s swan song as Lt. Colonel Henry Blake came in the 1974-75 season finale episode “Abyssinia, Henry,” in which Colonel Blake leaves the 4077th to return to the states, only to get killed when the plane he’s in is shot down over the Sea of Japan, which aroused mixed response from viewers.  In retrospect, Colonel Blake’s death further reinforced the fact that even fictional heroes (as well as those in real life) can and do get killed during times of war, a fact that continues to strike a chord with several generations of TV viewers who grew up watching M*A*S*H.  “Abyssinia, Henry” was also Wayne Rogers’ swan song as Trapper John, as he left M*A*S*H at the end of its third season, because of a contract dispute, believing that his character was being underused.

   With Rogers and Stevenson’s departure, Reynolds and Gelbart searched for new cast members to replace them.  For “Welcome To Korea,“ the fourth season opener that aired in the fall of 1975, Mike Farrell joined M*A*S*H as Trapper John’s replacement, B.J. Hunnicut; the episode’s final scene also served as a teaser for the following episode, “Change Of Command,” in which veteran film and TV actor Harry Morgan (who guest-starred in the 1974 episode “The General Flipped At Dawn”), who played Colonel Sherman T. Potter, Colonel Blake’s successor as 4077th commander (to the eventual delight of everybody but Major Frank Burns, who filled in as interim commander after Colonel Blake’s death and before Colonel Potter came along).  Both Farrell and Morgan (the latter eventually winning an Emmy Award for playing Colonel Potter in 1980) would stay with M*A*S*H until the very end — and like Alan Alda, they would direct a number of the series’ later episodes.

   One of the best of the fourth season episodes was “Hawkeye,” in which the 4077th’s chief surgeon is injured in a jeep accident, and ends up in a South Korean family’s home, as he waits to receive medical attention.  Another fourth season episode that remains one of the series’ best was the season finale “The Interview,” in which a TV news reporter (played by real-life TV journalist Clete Roberts, who did cover the Korean War for CBS’ news division) interviews the 4077th staff members — the fact that the episode was shot in black and white is but one reason why it remains one of the best in TV history; it was also the last-ever episode of M*A*S*H that Larry Gelbart would work on, as both a writer and co-producer, before leaving the series in the spring of 1976.  (Roberts also appeared in the 1978 episode “Our Finest Hour”, which combined new black-and-white footage with clips from past episodes.)

   With the show’s fifth season in the fall of 1976, Gene Reynolds was promoted to executive producer, while Burt Metcalfe was promoted to full producer (joined by co-producers Allan Katz and Don Reo).  The greatest change that occurred during M*A*S*H’s fifth season was Margaret Houlihan getting engaged to, and finally marrying Lt. Colonel Donald Penobscott, which would, in effect end her romantic relationship with Major Frank Burns; the fifth season finale episode “Margaret’s Wedding”, the culmination of that season-long plot-line, would not only be Larry Linville’s final episode as Major Burns, but also Gene Reynolds’ last as one of M*A*S*H’s producers.  (At the start of the 1977-78 TV season, Reynolds would co-produce Lou Grant, a spin-off of the recently departed The Mary Tyler Moore Show, yet, Reynolds wouldn’t stray far from M*A*S*H, since he and Alan Alda would become the series’ creative consultants for the rest of its network run.)

   By the start of M*A*S*H’s sixth season in the fall of 1977, David Odgen Steirs joined the show’s cast as Major Burns’ replacement, Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, the son of a wealthy Boston couple who wasn’t pleased with ending up at the M*A*S*H 4077th in particular, and war-torn South Korea in general, and yet, the pompous Winchester would prove to be more of a match for both Hawkeye Pierce and B.J. Hunnicut as far as the proverbial battle of wits was concerned.  But as later episodes would show, there was more to Winchester than the image that he projected to the world, which would make him more appealing, yet no less interesting than Major Burns.

   M*A*S*H’s sixth season also marked an important change in the tone of the series as a whole, as it shifted away from the comedy-laden scripts of the early seasons, and moved towards more plot and character-driven stories, many focusing on the personal relationships between the 4077th staffers, which served to both define and refine the characters themselves, and more often than not, change them and their own personal perspectives; a great example of this new direction was in the 1978 episode “Point Of View,” in which the 4077th is seen through the eyes of a wounded soldier who becomes one of its patients.  Not even Margaret Houlihan was immune to change, as evidenced during M*A*S*H’s seventh season, when her marriage to Donald Penobscott ended in divorce; this turning point would help to not only humanize Margaret, but also reinforce both her character and purpose as a nurse.

The cast of the TV version of M*A*S*H from 1979-1983: William Christopher (Father Mulcahy), Jamie Farr (Klinger), Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicut), Harry Morgan (Colonel Potter), Loretta Swit (Margaret Houlihan), David Odgen Steirs (Charles Emerson Winchester III), and Alan Alda (Hawkeye Pierce).

   When M*A*S*H began its eighth season in the fall of 1979, Burt Metcalfe was promoted to executive producer, as he brought in a new team of creative talents (including writer/producer John Rappaport) to keep the series fresh and entertaining.  But the new influx of talent wasn’t the only change that affected M*A*S*H — there would also be a departure, as Gary Burghoff bid farewell to both his role of Radar O’Reilly and M*A*S*H in the two-part episode “Goodbye, Radar,” as the 4077th’s company clerk headed home; Burghoff, who won an Emmy Award in 1977 for his work on M*A*S*H, wouldn’t return to the role of Radar until over four years later.  Radar’s departure would, in many respects, also greatly change the character of Corporal Klinger, who succeeded him as company clerk, so much so that he not only stopped wearing women’s clothes, but also abandoned his plans to get a Section Eight.  (Towards the end of M*A*S*H’s tenth season in 1981-82, Klinger was promoted to Sergeant.)

The cast of Trapper John, M.D., including Pernell Roberts (as Trapper) and Gregory Harrison (as Gonzo).

   As M*A*S*H the TV series began its eighth season, its first spin-off series featuring one of the franchise’s founding characters debuted on CBS that same year.  Trapper John, M.D. focused on “Trapper John” McIntyre, almost thirty years after he left the M*A*S*H 4077th, and now chief of surgery at San Francisco Memorial Hospital, and though mellowed with age, he continued to bend the rules a bit if only because of his concern for the hospital’s patients.  The show, in addition to focusing on the patients that Trapper John (played by Bonanza alumnus Pernell Roberts) came across, also focused on his personal and professional relationships with the series’ other characters, including fellow surgeon (and Vietnam War veteran) George “Gonzo” Gates (Gregory Harrison, who guest-starred in the 1976 M*A*S*H episode “The Nurses”), ex-wife Melanie (Jessica Walter), and towards the end of the show’s run, son J.T. (future Thirtysomething co-star Timothy Busfield)Trapper John, M.D. was produced by Don Brinkley (father of supermodel Christie) and Frank Glicksman, who had previous success producing another medical drama that aired on CBS, Medical Center (1969-76); the series would endure a number of cast changes and subplots (including Gonzo suffering a stroke in the show’s final season, thus ending his medical career) before it went off the air in 1986.

   M*A*S*H the TV series was about to near the end of its eleven-year run on CBS (which lasted far longer than the actual Korean War which served as its backdrop), and though it was still successful in the Nielsen ratings, it was losing some of its creative steam, a fact that wasn’t lost on both cast and crew, who agreed that the show’s eleventh season (in 1982-83) would be its last.

   It was agreed that the final episode of M*A*S*H would be set against the final days of the Korean War, as Hawkeye suffered a nervous breakdown (but recovered), Father Mulcahy lost part of his hearing (but as TV viewers would soon learn, not for long), and Klinger got married to Soon-Lee (Rosalind Chao), a beautiful Korean woman searching for her family in war-torn South Korea.  The final episode of M*A*S*H, directed and co-written by Alan Alda, not only gained national attention in the various media outlets, but also became a national event; by the time the final episode aired on February 28, 1983, it would become the highest rated TV episode in the medium’s history, with 106 million Americans watching, a record that would be broken by CBS’s airing of Super Bowl XLIV in early-February 2010, though the rating and audience share for the final episode of M*A*S*H (60.2 and 77% share, compared to the 46.4 and 68% for Super Bowl XLIV) remains unbroken.  The title of M*A*S*H’s final episode was also what millions of TV viewers felt, as they watched would be the end of an era in TV sitcom history: “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen.”

   Yet, the end of M*A*S*H didn’t mean the end of the franchise as a whole.  In the fall of 1983, CBS aired the spin-off series AfterM*A*S*H, in which Harry Morgan, Jamie Farr, and William Christopher reprised their roles as Colonel Potter, Klinger, and Father Mulcahy (who regained his hearing in the first episode), as they reunited to work together at a V.A. hospital in Potter’s home state of Missouri.  But despite Larry Gelbart writing the series’ first few episodes and a guest appearance by Gary Burghoff (as Radar O’Reilly), AfterM*A*S*H never measured up to its predecessor in terms of creativity; only several weeks after the start of its second season in the fall of 1984, CBS cancelled AfterM*A*S*H.  CBS also aired an unsold pilot (called W*A*L*T*E*R) in mid-July 1984, in which Radar became a police officer.  After Trapper John, M.D. went off the air in 1986, the M*A*S*H franchise officially came to an end (though there would be two TV specials in which M*A*S*H cast members looked back on the TV version’s history in, respectively, 1991 and 2002).

   Fortunately, the end of M*A*S*H the show business franchise wouldn’t spell the end of its enduring popularity — the 1970 film version and reruns of the 1972-83 TV version are still popular, thanks not only to repeated airings in both syndication and cable, but also being released on the home video market in both VHS and DVD format.  Like the real-life M*A*S*H units that existed during the Korean War, the M*A*S*H franchise that was one of the greatest and most-honored in show business history is long gone.  Yet the franchise’s legacy lives on, as the film and TV versions not only continue to entertain audiences worldwide, but also inspire future generations of those hoping to work in the entertainment industry, and, lest we forget, the medical profession.

    John Lavernoich is the author of the novels Code Name: Chameleons (published by iUniverse/Writers Club Press) and Chameleons To The Rescue (published by Lulu Books/Highroad Books), and the recently published short story e-book collection Tales Of The Psychiatrist (published by Book Country), as well as various non-fiction articles and short stories that have been published in print and on the Internet. To learn more about Mr. Lavernoich and his writing achievements, please visit his official website (https://sites.google.com/site/johnlav65), as well as his pages on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/john.lavernoich?ref=name), MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/jlavernoich), Twitter (http://twitter.com/JLav65), and WordPress (http://johnlav.wordpress.com). Mr. Lavernoich also maintains his own video channel on YouTube’s website (http://www.youtube.com/user/JLav65?feature=mhsn), his own Author Spotlight page on Lulu Books‘ website (http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Highroad), his own Profile Page on Amazon Studios‘ website (http://studios.amazon.com/users/59488), and his Chameleons, Inc. and Pictures Shop websites via Google Sites (Chameleons, Inc. website: https://sites.google.com/site/chaminc2002; Pictures Shop website: https://sites.google.com/site/picturesshop13).

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