39th Anniversary of Abyssinia, Henry


Today marks the 39th anniversary of the original CBS broadcast of “Abyssinia, Henry” on Tuesday, March 18th, 1975. It instantly became one of the most memorable episodes of the series and, many would argue, in television history. If you haven’t seen the episode, stop reading this and go watch it immediately.

Everyone else, continue reading.

“Abyssinia, Henry” featured the final appearances of both McLean Stevenson and Wayne Rogers. It was well known prior to the episode airing that Stevenson was leaving the series. Back in 2011, I looked into whether or not the shocking ending of the episode was a tightly kept secret or spoiled by the media. The short answer: if you read the right newspaper columns and/or entertainment magazines, you might have known what was going to happen.

Also in 2011, I examined the urban legend that McLean Stevenson appeared on a raft in an episode of The Carol Burnett Show shortly after “Abyssinia, Henry” was aired. To date, no conclusive proof has been found that the cameo appearance actually occurred.

In December 2013, “Abyssinia, Henry” was given an Episode Spotlight here at MASH4077TV.com, which you can read here. Finally, you can find a breakdown of the music used in “Abyssinia, Henry” here.

As we celebrate this anniversary, let’s salute the late McLean Stevenson, who made Henry Blake so beloved that the character’s death has made such an impact on so many for so long.

4 Replies to “39th Anniversary of Abyssinia, Henry”

  1. Thanks for pointing out this anniversary!

    Henry and Trapper were two of my favorite characters, thus the first 3 seasons are by far my favorites of the series.

    The show had many more great moments and much critical acclaim, and both BJ and Potter were fine characters as well, but nothing touched the original cast and what they produced.

    RIP Col. Blake and McLean!

  2. McLean was so wonderful as Henry. His Henry Blake was so lovable and goofy but at the same time made him a dear character to all the viewers of the show. Till date, whenever anyone mentions memorable character moments on TV on IMDb, someone invariably mentions Henry’s death. It was just that shocking and I imagine the reaction was even more tremendous when the episode first aired.

    The sequence at the end with the music and a montage of Henry’s moments is so poignant. It feels simultaneously like a tribute to both Henry and McLean and the fact that McLean is no longer with us makes watching that sequence even more wistful.

    BTW, does anyone have that particular piece of music on file?? I’ve tried looking for it online but am unable to find it anywhere.

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