"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Alan Alda - Hawkeye Pierce

Alan Alda – Hawkeye Pierce

As the basis of this series is people I admire, rather than my favourite TV show,
I have selected Alda as a suitable standard bearer for Mash as well he is an
actor I admire, in fact his 1978 movie with Ellen Burstyn, “Same Time Next
Year” is one
of my all time favourites.

Born in New York in 1936

He has led a productive life as an actor both in movies and television.

4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital

The setting for Mash was the Korean war which had been over for 18 years
America was still involved with the Vietnam war was a risky time to launch a
TV series about a war, any war.

While the Korean war lasted only 3 years, Mash survived, no, thrived for 11
years,this was due to two main factors, a brilliant cast, which, while it changed
some over the years, never lost it’s core strength, and a team of brilliant script
writers, whomaintained the same mixture of humor and pathos over the
hundreds of episodes and at all times avoiding glorifying war, Alan Alda wrote
19 of the Mash scripts.

I have chosen Alan Alda’s character, Hawkeye Pierce to be the central figure
because that’s how I saw Hawkeye’s role but again there were so many great

As a reminder, without going into who played all these rolls, remember:

Hawkeye Pierce; Brilliant surgeon, practical joker and philosopher his letters
to Dad could easily be the birth of blogging.

Trapper John McIntyre (left 1976); Brilliant doctor, tent mate in “The Swamp”
and practical joker.

Major Frank Burns (left 1977); Hopeless buffoon romantic interest for Hot

Major Margaret (Hot Lips); Houlihan; Head of nursing staff, an Army Brat,
and forsome strange reason attracted to Frank.

Col. Henry Blake (left 1975); More at home fishing or golfing, Henry would
have been lost without his company clerk Radar,

Radar O’Reilly (left 1981); Radar was innocent, and unworldly, but he seemed
to have the ability to read Henry’s mind and later Potter's as well.

Father Mulcahy; The innocent yet smart Padre to the 4077th.

Cpl. Max Klinger; Klinger spent years in dresses vainly trying for a section 8,
he finally became the new company clerk when Radar left.

Col. Potter (arrived 1975); Ex cavalry soldier Potter arrived complete with
horse, but as a career soldier he brought a new style of leadership to the

B J Hunnicut (arrived 1976); B J as a replacement for Trapper he had a hard
role to fill but he managed to do this very well.

Major. Charles Winchester (arrived 1977); Charles as the brilliant upper class
surgeon felt he was far above the MASH environment, but settled into his role.

In its 11-year run, M*A*S*H earned 14 Emmy Awards, and remains one of
TV’s most beloved series of all time.


Karen said...

M*A*S*H is one of my all-time-favorite shows. I never grow tired of it, and I just got the 9th season on DVD. M*A*S*H was one show my parents let me watch and take a break from homework. Good memories stem from watching the show with my dad.

Have a good day. I'll stop over and welcome your daughter :-)

JunieRose2005 said...

MASH was always a favorite around our place,too! It was always funny - never disappointing.


Carolyn said...

I LOVED MASH! Hawkeye was my favorite, he had some great comeback lines. I still enjoy the re-runs too ;)

mreddie said...

Enjoyed the series with its wacky antics and snappy come-back lines. It still continues on cable in the form of re-runs. ec

FTS said...

M*A*S*H was always one of my favorite shows, and I love it even today in syndication. Not only did it have a great ensemble cast, but the writing was always very well done.

bornfool said...

Still one of my all-time favorite shows. I still watch re-runs when there is nothing else on, which is most of the time. I find that I like the oldest ones the best, when Trapper and Henry were still there.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I always thought the hardest role to play on that show was that of Frank Burns. Being the butt of every joke cannot be good for the ego, even when it's acting.

StringMan said...

I think I watched every episode of the original series ... all the seasons. That intro music would just set me off. Nice post.

kenju said...

I loved Mash! I wish it would come on again.

Mr. kenju's dad knew Robert Alda
(Alan's dad); they lived in the same neighborhood when they were growing up.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

M*A*S*H was a wonderful series. There is nothing like it now.

LZ Blogger said...

One reason MASH (the show) lasted so long, was they only had to worry about laughs and ratings not bullets and shrapnel! ~ jb///

poopie said...

I love me some MASH...and also Same Time Next Year. As for Frank Burns, I think I work with him ;)

Jamie Dawn said...

MASH had some good writing, but for some reason, I never was a real fan of the show.
I'm not an Alan Alda fan either. He has always kind of bugged me. I don't know why exactly.

Hale McKay said...

Excellent. I agree about "Same Time Next Year." Radar always reminded me of my youth anytime he mentioned NeHi - I loved both the grape and orange flavors.
....This show ranks right up there as one of the best TV programs ever! There is nothing on now or since it went of the air that even comes close to it!

Marcus said...

It's interesting to remember that MASH originated as a movie starring Elliot Gould. I can't remember who else was in it but having seen it after the tv series had been around a while I was disappointed that it wasn't as funny. It was only later that I understood the anti-war black humour. I've got a vague memory that Radar may have been in the movie, or one of the cast from the tv series. I loved Klinger and his Catch-22 scenario. He was so inconruous as a woman with all that body hair and the huge nose.

There were great laughs on the show but it was the sad episodes that really stick with me, Henry being killed in the chopper crash after he'd been sent home, and the final episode when the war was more graphically portrayed and Hawkeye was severely traumatised.

Personally I thought MASH was his best work and found him a bit disappointing in movies.