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"The M*A*S*H Death That Stunned America" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2023 7:49 p.m. PST

"In an episode titled "Abyssinia, Henry," the producers of M*A*S*H (1972-83) decided that McLean Stevenson's character, Henry Blake, was to depart from the show. It would be one of the first times a character was killed off from a television show and became one of the most shocking surprises in the history of the medium…"


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bandit86 Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2023 8:32 p.m. PST

I remember that episode when it first aired and crying when that was announced, it really was shocking at the time

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2023 10:02 p.m. PST

Yep, me, too, on all counts. I got angry about it. I loved his character on the show. It changed the dynamic of the storyline and nobody knew what would happen after that. Viewers realized no character was safe… Cheers!

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian19 Nov 2023 5:13 a.m. PST

It was McLean Stevenson's desire to leave the show and seek success on his own. Gutsy. link

14Bore19 Nov 2023 8:23 a.m. PST

Was a big MASH fan so remember it, if anything think I was more yeah whatever. Going to kill off someone don't send him off camera and say he got killed. Should have had a artillery barrage or something and show it.

Stryderg19 Nov 2023 9:09 a.m. PST

I sort of disagree with 14Bore. We, as viewers, got the news the way the other characters would have gotten it. It may be that I've watched far to much video since then, but seeing yet another on-screen death would not have the impact that the episode got.

The series is running on MeTV, right around supper time. So the wife and I are kind of reliving our childhoods, at least for 30 minutes a day.

Andrew Walters19 Nov 2023 9:45 a.m. PST

What I remember is that it made no sense. Not just the "retirony" aspect, but that it happened off camera, with no foreshadowing. It just happened. That in itself was really poignant.

14Bore19 Nov 2023 10:49 a.m. PST

Aired March 18, 1975
Would have been 14 but almost positive had read Hell in a Very Small Place before this aired.

Michael May19 Nov 2023 11:56 a.m. PST

My mother (RIP) was a VFW member and used to get the monthly magazine. Somewhere I still have the issue where they interview H. Richard Hornberger, pen name Richard Hooker, author of the book and the "real life" Hawkeye Pierce. He was asked what he thought about the TV show and he replied the series, "sometimes trampled on my memories." My characters weren't so liberal. The series seems to make the North Koreans heroes and the Americans bad guys." He also said "After they killed off Colonel Blake I quit watching. They didn't have to do that."
My dad did two tours of Korea and liked the movie very much. He said it was a very authentic depiction of Army life in the 1950's. My sister and I, still young tweenagers said,"Can we go see it?" and he said, "Nope, too nasty." Which, of course, just made us want to see it even more.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2023 2:18 p.m. PST



ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2023 1:10 p.m. PST

Never cared for MASH and do not watch reruns now either.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2023 2:39 p.m. PST



abelp0124 Nov 2023 10:51 a.m. PST

Really disliked that episode. What a crappy way of getting rid of a character that I enjoyed.

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