38th Anniversary of Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

4 Comments

2021 marks the 38th anniversary of the end of M*A*S*H. The feature-length series finale, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” aired Monday, February 28th, 1983 on CBS. The episode earned a 60.2 Nielsen rating–a record it still holds–with roughly 106 million viewers tuning in.

CBS repeated “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” twice: on Monday, September 19th, 1983 and again on Tuesday, September 18th, 1984. It aired for the first time in local syndication in February 1993. The finale aired for the first time on cable in September 1998 when M*A*S*H debuted on FX.

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. You can also read my Goodbye, Farewell and Amen Ratings Analysis and a review of the original CBS broadcast by fan Larry Petit.

I haven’t watched “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” since 2017. When was the last time you watched the final episode of M*A*S*H?

4 Replies to “38th Anniversary of Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”

  1. I can’t remember the last time I’ve watched this episode. Probably close to 10 years…..? It makes me an almost basket-case by the end of the episode. My kids know to change the channel if it so happens to come on TV. 🙂 I’m in the group where I wished they kept on making additional episodes, so watching GFA is bittersweet. I tend to still get a bit emotional with Henry’s and Radar’s last episode, too….but, not nearly as much as with GFA. So, nope – I don’t like watching it…..

  2. The ending of GFA absolutely destroys me. I’m usually a weeping mess by then. I try not to watch it all that often, but seeing all these beloved characters so broken by their experiences getting to go home not knowing how their lives are going to turn out makes me so sad for them.

  3. I have a love-hate relationship with GFA. First the negative things:

    By this time the writers had completely given up on keeping the characters consistent. Take Hawkeye, for example. It what was his third (fourth?) breakdown on the show. When he returns, he drives the tank out of the camp, risking his life in the process. The other characters think this is crazy. No, it was vintage Hawkeye. This was definitely something he would have done in the early seasons.

    The relationship between Klinger and Soon-Li is forced and not believable at all. They have zero chemistry.

    The episode is also way too long. They could have trimmed 30-40 minutes of it. The whole fire thing and evacuation brings nothing to the story.

    Margaret is as she always did post season 5 shouting and yelling in a shrill voice. I liked the other character Loretta played on the show, Hot Lips, much better.

    Oh, and the scene where Hawkeye realises what really happened on the bus is too overacted. Alan Arbus is brilliant in it, though.

    The good:
    – Charles (any scene with Charles is a good scene)
    – The goodbye scenes, especially the kiss
    – Charles going “Gentlemeeen” before sitting down in his seat of a garbage truck
    – The very last scene from the chopper
    – All the minor characters in the mess tent telling what they will do
    – Charles saying his line about music no longer being something he can enjoy
    – BJ actually says something funny (“You deserve the best”)
    – The scene where Potter and Klinger says goodbye

    That’s what I can remember OTOH. It’s been years since I saw it.

  4. Could write a book about MASH, That Night and The Finale (and maybe will one day) but for here/now share this part of The Story.

    Was in San Diego CA then, and CBS Station there – KFMB – made focus of The Finale THE Entire Night. They started with overviews and set ups during their 6pm Local News (no ‘news’ just MASH), then (among other ‘things’) had Live Remote Reports from Navy Marine Military Sites in the area where ‘MASH Finale Watch Parties’ were happening and for some of those ‘watching’ – Korea and ‘Nam (etc) was not just some ‘Show’ (boots on ground in the ‘you know what’, salute).

    That was (imho and experience) … One of The Most Significant Nights in USA History … and those 6 Hours from KFMB are on a VHS Tape somewhere in my ‘pile of stuff’ (yea, not lost, but no easy find after all these years, grrrrrr) … and if someone can do ‘this’ – get in touch with KFMB (or any other TV Station with ‘similar broadcast focus’) perhaps they kept a ‘Recording of The Night’ and would be happy to have it Archived, for example, in Smithsonian (fill gap from Radar’s Teddy Bear 😉

    … laters, and ty for This Site

    (currahee)

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