37th Anniversary of Goodbye, Farewell and Amen


M*A*S*H came to an end after 11 seasons 37 years ago today. Were you one of the roughly 106 million viewers who watched “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”–the movie-length series finale–on Monday, February 28th, 1983?

Still from the MASH episode Goodbye, Farewell and Amen showing GOODBYE written in stones.
The iconic GOODBYE from the end of “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen.”

Check out my Episode Spotlight review of “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” from October 2017.

If you didn’t watch “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” during its original CBS broadcast 37 years ago, when did you see it for the first time?

4 Replies to “37th Anniversary of Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”

  1. I did watch it on 2/28/1983. I sat on the floor in my parents’ bedroom and we all watched it. It was Newhart at 8p (I believe) and then M*A*S*H GFA from 8:30-11 p.m. I remember being emotional at the end as I watched the clear end of the story for my favorite show. That show did a 60.3 rating and 77 share, with 106 million people (on average) watching. Just to unpack what that means – 60.3% of US households were watching M*A*S*H… that’s in the absolute, some people were on vacation, some people were doing laundry, some people were watching something else, some people were at a movie, etc. 77% of the people watching TV at the time (meaning 8:30p-11p on 2/28/83) were watching M*A*S*H. There is nothing that will get that rating or that share, ever, due to the growth in viewing options. There were 3 networks, no internet, so the number of choices were limited. The number of people watching an event will go up – but in 1983, there were 233 million people in the US. Today (2020) it’s about 100 million more. It’s a fascinating moment in time, not just for M*A*S*H, but for popular culture.

  2. I started watching Mash in 1972 at the age of 13 and I was 1 year of college when it end. Never missed an episode and would watch reunions in the summer. I lived in a 4 apartment building one block from the Beach in San Diego (Pacific Beach). The entire building was in our apartment watching the final episode 2/28/1983. We all cried in the end, it was difficult to describe, so emotionally attached to a TV show. I cherished all the seasons, but still to this day I treasure the first 3 .

  3. I did watch it that night; I had just recently turned 15. I remember being slightly disappointed because our local newspaper had revealed a few plot points ahead of time and I happened to read that article. I also remember being in suspense for a few seconds at the end when BJ leaves Hawkeye his goodbye rock display; as the camera cut to BJ riding down the hill I was convinced he was about to wipe out for real and that the producers would decide to leave the crash in a la CHIPS and Erik Estrada’s bike wipeout. Ironically, just tonight I finished re watching season 11 up until Goodbye Farewell, Amen not realizing today was the exact anniversary. Funny how life goes sometimes!

    1. Always found BJ’s ride down the hill a bit scary but also a bit comical. He really does look like he’s about to lose control and wipe out. Always wondered why they didn’t film that again.

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