‘M*A*S*H’: Two Stars Appeared in Both the First and Last Episode

by Matthew Memrick
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You can probably guess one of the two “M*A*S*H” stars in the first and last show episodes. Diehard fans of the show will know right away.

Star Alan Alda, of course, showed up in his Hawkeye Pierce garb for both episodes, but if you guessed “Hot Lips” Houlihan actress Loretta Swit for the other, give yourself five asterisks (as opposed to the show title’s four).

The MeTV network put together a few facts about that last episode and that fun fact.

The ‘M*A*S*H’ Fun Fact Tells All

Both actors starred in all 215 episodes of the show, but there may be some speculation about the first and last episode fact.

Alda and Swit are the only credited actors to appear in the first and last episodes because editors reused footage from Season 5’s opening episode. But some “M*A*S*H” buffs took to IMDb to note that Gary Burghoff’s Radar was in a clip from “Bug out Radar.” Also, the character Father Mulcahy was in both the first and last episodes. But, wildly, George Morgan was in the pilot while Dennis Christopher took over for the show’s long run.

Finally, Jamie Farr’s Sgt. voice is heard in the pilot while the actor plays Cpl. Max Klinger in the final episode. 

Actors’ Hooked Up’ In Korea

Life is war, man. And it’s crazy to think one could keep up with all the relationships and flings during the war drama’s run.

But Pierce and Houlihan got a little personal time with the “Comrades In Arms” episode that ran on Dec. 6, 1977. Alda also directed the on-screen time between the two. Off-screen, Swit said the two friends were “very, very close.”

Swit talked with Australia’s Studio 10 in 2015 about the hookup and how show producers didn’t want it to happen right away.

“Alan told me he had written that [episode] with the idea for quite a while before we actually did it,” Swit said. “And (executive producer) Gene Reynolds felt that the audience might not be ready for that in the earlier years. We really needed to grow into [when] they believed this could happen. And so we did finally do it. God, I loved it.”

The episode had a simple premise. Two characters who seem like opposites and get on each other’s nerves have a tender moment over time.

The two go to another medical unit by jeep. But the jeep breaks down behind enemy lines. The two huddle together as bombs rain down on the land. During the heated moment, Houlihan tells Pierce she learned her husband cheated on her, and since the two think death is imminent, they sleep together.

Now back to that “M*A*S*H” finale that Alda also directed. Fans timed the Alda-Swit kiss, and it clocked in at 34,8 seconds.

Outsider.com