On October 15th, national treasure Alan Alda will be talking about his eleven years on the television show M*A*S*H at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. The show ran from 1972 through 1983, and Alda starred in 251 episodes (directing 32 of them, and writing 19) as Captain Hawkeye Pierce, chief surgeon of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, stationed in South Korea during the Korean War. Even if you were just a few years old when the show aired, you can still likely recall hearing this theme song coming from parent's television set:
The show went off the air thirty years ago, and "Alda created one of the most important and influential characters in television history... Captain Hawkeye Pierce, army surgeon, was incorruptibly moral, with a keen sense of the absurd and a talent for irony. His delivery was characterized by sharp wit and surgical timing. The final episode, seen by more than 125 million Americans, was the most widely viewed television episode in the nation’s history."
"Hawkeye was the medium’s first anti-establishment lead character, and M*A*S*H the first anti-war program," said Jeffrey Pancer of the Comedy Hall of Fame (which is co-presenting the discussion). "As Hawkeye, Alan Alda helped change the national conversation, and the American experience in the process."
Tickets for the conversation—which will be moderated by Jeff Greenfield (television journalist, analyst, and historian)—are now on sale ($25 public / $15 Museum members).