‘M*A*S*H’ 40 years later: Must-know trivia
Forty years ago, on September 17, 1972, "M*A*S*H" premiered. Here are some answers to a few nagging questions about this iconic TV series.
Where did Hawkeye get his nickname?
According to the book on which the movie and TV series were based, "MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors," by Richard Hooker, Benjamin Franklin Pierce got his nickname from his dad. It came from the main character in the only piece of fiction his father ever read. In James Fenimore Cooper's novel "The Last of the Mohicans," Natty Bumppo is nicknamed Hawkeye. In the film version of "Mohicans," the character of Hawkeye is played by Daniel Day-Lewis.
Was there a real 4077th?
Although there were seven Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals operating during the Korean War, the 4077th is fictional. Hooker, author of the novel "MASH," served in the 8055th MASH. The other actual MASH units were the 8054th, 8063rd, 8076th, 8209th, 8225th, and 8228th.
[ Related: 'M*A*S*H' cast: Where are they now? ]
What does MASH stand for?
MASH stands for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. These truck-borne facilities were created at the end of World War II but not put into action until the Korean War. They were mobile units that placed surgeons and medical equipment as close to the front lines as possible, providing critical medical care to wounded soldiers in a more timely manner.
Who gave Major Margaret Houlihan her nickname, Hot Lips?
Major Margaret Houlihan got her nickname in the "M*A*S*H" movie during a scene where she and Major Burns were sharing a passionate moment in her tent. Unbeknownst to them, a microphone had been placed under the cot, and their encounter was being broadcast to the entire unit over the loudspeaker. When she said to Frank, "My lips are hot. Kiss my hot lips," a new nickname was born.
Whose voice is it really on the loud speaker?
Although Radar (Gary Burghoff) and Klinger (Jamie Farr) occasionally stepped up to the mic, the voice heard over the PA at the 4077th belonged to one of two actors hired for the gig -- Sal Viscuso and Todd Susman. Both men also made at least one onscreen appearance during the run of the show.
Why is the tent occupied by Hawkeye and Trapper John (and later B.J.) called the Swamp?
The name came from the novel "MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors." Author Richard Hooker wrote, "It became known as The Swamp, partly because it looked like the kind of haunt one might come across in a bog." He also said the name was given to Hawkeye's college digs by his friends, and he adopted it at the 4077th.