What is it?
Bertling, Paul. M*A*S*H: The Official 4077 Quiz Manual. New York: New American Library, 1984.
Why should M*A*S*H fans care?
Published in 1984, this book was put out quickly following the finale to help answer the questions asked most by fans. In his introduction, M*A*S*H producer Burt Metcalfe says that shortly after the finale people called CBS and Fox to find out various things about the show and finale. This book doesn’t just cover the finale, but the whole series!
As a M*A*S*H fan, what part should I read?
Every page! Then, you should keep it close by so you can quiz yourself daily.
This the a fun way to test your M*A*S*H knowledge, and perhaps learn things that you missed when watching the series.
When I chose this book for this week’s post, I pulled it off the shelf for the first time in, probably, five or six years. It had been awhile, but I was instantly drawn in. I flipped open to a random quiz and tested my knowledge. I did well, but there are some tough, detail questions in this book!
Before I get too detailed and start spouting off quiz questions, let’s get a few details out of the way. This book contains 101 separate quizzes about M*A*S*H which means this book must have over 1,000 questions since most quizzes have at least ten questions. Each quiz has a theme that are typically related to a character, an episode, guest stars, and plenty of other random topics. There are also more than 30 black and white photographs throughout the book with several being included with character quizzes. The author, Paul Bertling, really went for details when he created this book. That is impressive considering the book was published in 1984, long before the M*A*S*H was available on VHS, DVD, and on demand!
He must have gotten some help from Twentieth Century Fox and that is likely why it is called the official quiz manual. The fact that producer Bert Metcalfe wrote the introduction also gives credence to the idea that this was an approved book. That being said, there isn’t a logo for Twentieth Century Fox, and the only time I see it mentioned is on the copyright page. But that’s enough with the technical details, let’s get on to the quizzes!
The first quiz is called “The Easy Stuff” and all you have to do is name the actor who played the 15 characters listed. And Berling didn’t only include the main cast, but reoccurring characters such as Igor, Zale, and Rizzo are included. That one was fairly easy, but the second quiz is where I was stumped. The quiz, “In the Beginning” is about the pilot episode. Question number three stumped me, and it is: What was Lt. Dish’s first name. I didn’t even remember her having a first name, but it turns out it was Maggie (this is different from the film where she was named Maria). So I was learning things already, and I was only on page five!
The book continues with some fun quizzes as well. There’s a quiz related to the pranks that were played on Frank Burns, a quiz about the details of the fictitious Captain Tuttle, questions about Radar’s many animals, songs sung by characters, and so much more. Questions range from multiple choice, true/false, fill in the blank, matching, and short answer. There’s something for every fan in this book.
The only thing I have not been able to do is fully review every question and answer for accuracy. I would imagine there might be some mistakes since we know there were inconsistencies in the series itself (Potter’s hometown, the name of Henry’s wife, Hawkeyes’ home state, just to name a few). Given that this book was published just a year after M*A*S*H ended, there’s a chance some errors were made. I have found anything yet, but I have gone through the hundreds of questions to check! Nevertheless, if you can find a copy, I highly recommend picking one of these up for you M*A*S*H collection.
Below, I have included photos of several quizzes from the book. The first photo is the quiz, and the next photo will have the answers to the quiz in the previous photo. I have included several quizzes to give a sample of what the book is like. Try your luck and comment below with how you did!
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