In the news:
Last U.S. MASH unit bows out on humanitarian mission
“The U.S. Army bade "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" to perhaps its best-loved institution on Thursday when it decommissioned its last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) and handed it over to Pakistan.
A legendary institution that gained worldwide fame through a long-running television comedy series and a hit 1970 feature film portraying a fictional 4077th MASH, has a history dating back more than 60 years to the end of World War Two.
The field hospitals served in U.S. wars since, from Korea to Vietnam and Iraq, saving many thousands of lives.
The MASH decommissioned on Thursday -- the 212th based in Miesau, Germany -- was based in Iraq until last year.”
I spent four years working on the TV series MASH and it was an experience I will always treasure. A few years ago we had a reunion at the Museum of Broadcasting. Standing with the cast and writers I really felt like I was part of a Superbowl winning team.
A few years ago 60 MINUTES did a segment on writers facing ageism (ironic since the 60 MINUTES correspondents range in age from 65-211). One industry idiot suggested that if a writer had a MASH credit he should leave it off his resume because it made him appear too old. To me that’s insane. I could not be more proud of my association with MASH and the day I take it off my resume is the day I start selling Marie Osmond dolls on QVC. (But for the record, I was 9 when I started on that show).
How many television series have books and scholarly papers written about them? Although I must admit, I’ve read these and they’re a joke. They talk about the brilliant symbolism, our deeper philosophical and empirical meanings, the clever use of the Anti-Christ, affectionate homages to classic literature – none of that is true. We were just looking to come up with a joke so we could go to lunch or a story beat for Radar so he’d leave us alone.
But we knew this: we had the best job in Hollywood, worked with the finest people, and it’s nice to know that as the last real MASH unit fades into history the show will live on and the sacrifice and heroics of those brave doctors, nurses, and corpsmen will be appreciated and celebrated long into the future.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
In the news: