Where Was the Iconic 'M*A*S*H' TV Show Filmed?

The location was over 5,000 miles away from where the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital would have been.

Melissa Willets - Author

Mar. 8 2024, Published 12:13 p.m. ET

Scene from 'M*A*S*H'
Source: CBS

Even though M*A*S*H went off air over 40 years ago, people still talk about the iconic TV show starring Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, and Loretta Swit.

Of course, the series was set in South Korea — but was it filmed there?

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Here's where M*A*S*H was actually filmed, which was a location over 5,000 miles away from where the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Uijeongbu would really have been.

The last episode of MASH,'Goodbye, Farewell and Amen'. 'Goodbye, Farewell and Amen' remained the most watched television broadcast in American history. From second left: Loretta Swit, Mike Farrell, David Ogden Stiers, Jamie Farr, Harry Morgan, Alan Alda, William Christopher and Judy Farrell at Fox Ranch, June 18, 1984 at the Malibu Creek State Park in California
Source: Getty Images
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So, where was the TV show 'M*A*S*H' filmed if not in South Korea?

You may have guessed that with a big Hollywood star like Alan, the show was filmed near, well, Hollywood. And, you'd be right.

Indeed, the exterior shots for the popular CBS show was filmed in Malibu Creek State Park, with the Santa Monica Mountains serving as a backdrop.

In 2022, Alan told People about an early experience filming the show, and how he became recognizable, except maybe at the L.A.-based studio where the interior shots for the show were filmed.

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"Everybody was warning me that after the first episode aired, I'd have to get used to suddenly being known. So the day after the first show aired, I pulled up to the guardhouse at the entrance to the studio," he shared. "The guard looked at me with no hint of recognition, even though I'd been seeing him there every morning for a month. 'Name?' he asked. 'Alan Alda,' I said. He looked puzzled and said, 'Alan Ogre?'"

Aerial view of a valley stream near the 8055th MASH (Mobile Army Surgery Hospital), South Korea, June 1952.
Source: Getty Images

Aerial view of a valley stream near the 8055th MASH, South Korea, June 1952.

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'M*A*S*H' was based on a real person and war experience.

Of course, the mobile army hospital unit that the show centered around was fictional.

Hawkeye Pierce, the character Alan played, was based on the real person H. Richard Hornberger, who wrote the book that led to the TV show, per History. He worked in the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital 8055 during the Korean War, with the tent being situated right at the border of North and South Korea.

Although the series was adapted from his writing, the author later said that the Emmy-nominated show, “tramples on my memories."

Meanwhile, his son William Hornberger also told The New York Times, “My father was a political conservative, and he did not like the liberal tendencies that Alan Alda portrayed Hawkeye Pierce as having.”

Of course, the show aired during the Vietnam War, and many considered M*A*S*H to be a touchstone for their anger and fear.

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'M*A*S*H' remains a part of our cultural fabric.

Considering that Alan joined TikTok in 2021 and his first post was a clip from M*A*S*H, it's easy to surmise that the show is still a major part of our culture, despite any blood with the creator.

In the comments of the actor's share, people said they still watch the show.

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Meanwhile, many of the cast members are still friends, with Alan having posted a photo of himself with Mike Farrell, who played Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt, on the 50th anniversary of the show.

"Mike Farrell and I today toasting the 50th anniversary of the show that changed our lives — and our brilliant pals who made it what it was. M*A*S*H was a great gift to us," he captioned the iconic shot.

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