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The Best Time That Hawkeye Ever Broke Character On MASH

The 1970 film "M*A*S*H" and the long-running television series, which first aired in 1972, both drew inspiration from the novel "MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors" by Richard Hooker. The series is a comedy-drama about military personnel who are working out of the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean war.

The irreverent personality of the show's main character, Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce (Alan Alda), offsets the darker aspects of the Korean war with the show's sense of comedic relief with tact and ease. Alda has been nominated for many awards throughout his acting career and won five Emmys for his various work on "M*A*S*H." He worked on the show from its beginning in 1972 until its end in 1983. "M*A*S*H" aired a total of 251 episodes, some of which Alda wrote and directed himself.

The dedication and skill that Alda breathed into the series are nothing to be taken lightly. However, "M*A*S*H" is a comedy, which means that the legendary Alda also knows how to get a laugh out of people. Filming a comedy series is, in fact, a laughing matter, and sometimes those laughs just can't wait for the scene to finish filming before they happen. There are plenty of "M*A*S*H" bloopers that are easily found online, but there is one particularly hilarious time Alda broke character while filming.

Alan Alda forgot his lines while filming a medical examination

While filming an episode where Hawkeye performs a medical examination on a soldier, Hawkeye informs the man he's examining that the procedure will be painless. At least, he tries to. What actually happens is Alan Alda forgot the following line and instead says to the soldier, "the only pain you're gonna feel is when you find out that I don't know the rest of this line."

The cast and crew burst into laughter at Alda's forgetfulness before cutting and trying again. But, of course, with so many lines on each episode, it's only normal for a few to get lost here and there, and with "M*A*S*H" being the fun-loving show that it is, a few laughs on set are always encouraged. 

"M*A*S*H" is a tremendous hit that continues to have enduring appeal. The quality jokes on the show not only make viewers crack up but cast members as well. Sometimes a joke isn't even needed, and the atmosphere alone is enough to give the cast and crew the giggles.