Forty Years Ago Today, Thousands In Berkshire County Said Goodbye To This
Hard to believe that it's been 4 decades since we said goodbye to this beloved institution, Berkshire County. And it was a goodbye that millions of Americans took part in. Around 106 million Americans, as a matter of fact.
I was one of those millions of Americans who took part in saying goodbye and thanks for the many laughs over the years. Just what in heaven's name am I talking about, for crying out loud?
Well, if the above picture didn't give it away, I'll go ahead and tell you. Forty years ago on February 28th, 1983, TV's long-running comedy M*A*S*H broadcast its final episode, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen."
It may be hard for you younger readers of this post to believe but having over 100 million people watching the same thing on television(and it wasn't the Superbowl!) was pretty amazing.
And the fact that it was a war-set comedy was even more amazing! Granted, the show did bring forth tears now and again(that final episode alone had some grown adults blatting like sheep) but there were usually plenty of laughs to balance out the sad moments.
The cast was amazing whether they were there for the entire run of the show(Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, William Christopher, and Jamie Farr. Farr wasn't made a series regular until the fourth season but sure enough, he was there for all 11) or just for part of the run(Wayne Rogers, Gary Burghoff, Harry Morgan, Mike Farrell, McLean Stevenson, Larry Linville, David Ogden Stiers, etc.).
If YOU were glued to the television that February evening 40 years ago to watch that final episode to share some laughs, maybe shed some tears then know this: Approximately 106 million Americans were doing the exact same thing. That's roughly 77% of the television viewing audience which was, at the time anyway, a record number.
Thanks and a big shout-out to the numerous actors, actresses, creators, writers, and directors throughout the run of M*A*S*H for bringing us one of the greatest TV shows of all time. I still have trouble saying "goodbye" or even "farewell" to M*A*S*H, but I can definitely say "Amen" to that!