Remembrance Of Things Past: The Last Episode Of M*A*S*H- “Goodbye, Farewell, Amen”- February 28, 1983. I was never a huge M*A*S*H fan but I would watch the show-usually the re-runs that came on between 5pm-6pm. I show ran for 11 seasons seasons 256 episodes from 1972-83. I think the older seasons were the best-before Alan Alda became too full of himself.
There was huge hype and anticipation for the final show. The two hour finale was on Monday night February 28, 1983- and I had a sociology class that evening so it appeared I wouldn’t see it- until re-runs. This was the days before VHS recorders were widespread. We did have a youngish teacher who we all knew wanted to be hip and popular with us- so as soon as he walked into the room a few of his favorites started to work on him- to let us go early. I think the class was supposed to go from 6pm-9pm. It didn’t take much coaxing for him to give in- he’d let us go that night 20 minutes early so everyone could see the final M*A*S*H episode. Anything to get out of class. I am sure a number of those people still haven’t seen the last episode.
The final show- the ceasefire goes into effect and the 4077th throws a party and then takes down the camp for the final time. The main characters say goodbye and head their separate ways. The television rankings were off the charts with over 105 million viewers- it remains the most watched episode of any show ever. In 2011 TV Guide ranked it as the best series finale. While I wasn’t/ am not- a big M*A*S*H fan- it was a satisfying finale.