Alan Alda of MAS*H recalls its last episode and there is something interesting about the classic TV show’s final scene. It has a cool backstory. In fact, Alda, who played Hawkeye Pierce on the CBS show, remembers it quite well. There was something to the final half-hour episode shot that would be interesting to note.
Alan Alda of ‘M*A*S*H’ Recalls Last Episode of Show
“But the last show that we shot was shown right before that,” Alda said in an interview with the Archive of American Television. “It was a show having to do with burying a chest of memorabilia. And the last scene of that show that we shot was as we buried the chest. And since that was the last week, we had the idea of let’s bury a real chest ourselves and we’ll put stuff in it and we’ll leave a note for whoever finds it.”
Alan Alda said he and his M*A*S*H castmates who were part of filming the last episode thought someone would find it 50 years later. You know, it would become something that people could talk about with their friends. That was until the studio 20th Century Fox stepped into the fray.
“We didn’t realize that 20th Century Fox in its incredible greed was selling off everything that they had,” he said. “And they sold off half of their commissary…They cut it in right in half and they sold that off for a building, to build an office building.”
Press People Show Up To Watch Final Scene Being Filmed
The studio would start digging some months after the capsule is buried. It turns out that a construction worker would find the magical capsule. Alda said the construction worker calls him up and says, “‘Ah, I got this thing. You want it?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t want it. It’s for whoever found it.’
“He said, ‘Well, what’ll I do with it?’ It’s probably being sold on eBay right now for a fortune,” Alda said. “I thought it would be fun for someone.” At the time of this scene being shot, cast members included Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr, and Harry Morgan. There was another element to this final scene that stands out in Alda’s memory.
“Shooting that last scene, the last scene that we shot, which was burying that time capsule, was on a soundstage,” M*A*S*H star Alan Alda said about shooting the last episode. “Stage 10 where we shot all our shows. And it really was an unnerving experience because there were about 300 people from the press, which shocked us. We didn’t know there was going to be this much interest in us.”