‘M*A*S*H’ Star Alan Alda Recalled How the Cast Was Determined To Become Better Friends

by Megan Molseed
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We all know that M*A*S*H is one of television’s most iconic shows. The American war comedy and drama series had a way of drawing audiences in from the moment it first premiered on CBS in 1972.

The series featured members of the M*A*S*H (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital), 4077 team, during the Korean war.

While this war was over at the time of M*A*S*H’s airing, the series did coincide with another one. A very controversial war that was currently underway at the time in Vietnam.

Because of this, the cast of the hit CBS sitcom/drama faced a difficult task. Deliver the laughs and comedy relief written into the show, while maintaining a sense of consideration to the raw emotions that watchers felt towards the Vietnam war.

M*A*S*H Stars Worked On Their Comedic Deliveries – Both On and Off Screen

The storylines surrounding each M*A*S*H episode were often intense with the war-time topics.

Sometimes the storylines would be so raw, the actors found it difficult working between the drama portions and the comedy portions of an episode.

However, the talented cast worked hard on this balance.

Creating a kinship that made the show a classic. Their ability to work off one another in the scenes making the comedy timelessly unforgettable.

A feat, notes one of the war dramedy’s stars, that each one of them worked on for the sake of the show.

“We figured out how to relay to one another off-camera by sitting in a circle of chairs and just kidding with one another and laughing together,” notes M*A*S*H star Alan Alda.

Alda notes that each one of the cast members felt it was important that they each developed an ability to understand the on-camera styles of the other actors.

Thus learning how to work with each other’s delivery methods while filming.

“We had this connection when cameras turned on,” explains Alda. “And it turned our performances into something much more alive than it would have been otherwise.”

Forging A Valuable Connection

According to the M*A*S*H star, it was the actor’s ability to connect with one another that made the show as wonderful as it was.

“It was the essence of the show,” Alda said of the process. “Once we began talking to each other, we quickly got past that experience of sitting in chairs and sharing stories.”

After its premiere in 1972, M*A*S*H became an instant classic. Connecting with audiences during the show’s multiple season run before it finally went off the air in 1983.

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