25 years ago, on February 28, 1983, the celebrated series M*A*S*H ended its 11 year, 250 episode run with a 2-1/2 hour special episode, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” (written by many of the show’s writers and directed by Alan Alda) The bittersweet special garnered the largest audience to ever watch a single episode of a television show, with a share of 77% of all Americans watching television that night.
Click here for an excellent summary of that classic episode from Wikipedia.
In the Archive of American Television interview segment below, Alan Alda (who played “Hawkeye Pierce”) recounts the filming of the last episode. Click on the arrow to play.
Alan Alda Interview Description:
In his 6-part (3 hour) interview conducted on November 17, 2000, actor/director/writer Alan Alda spoke about his early years, which included a serious bout with polio as a child. He detailed his training as an actor, which included time at Paul Sills’s Improvisational Workshop at Second City and the Compass School of Improvisation, both in New York. He described his early appearances on television, including as a regular on That Was the Week That Was (1964) and the syndicated What’s My Line? In great detail, he described his role as actor, director, and writer of the critically-acclaimed and long-running series M*A*S*H (1972-83), in which he played “Benjamin Franklin ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce,” and for which he won multiple Emmy Awards. He talked about his later work as a writer-director of feature films including “The Four Seasons,” which he also produced as a series in 1984. He also talked about his work as an actor in feature films, notably several directed by Woody Allen. Finally, Alda discussed such recent acting work in television as the telefilms … And the Band Played On and Neil Simon’s Jake’s Women (reprising his Broadway performance), as well as series guest star on ER, for which he received his 29th Emmy nomination.