Two Years of Intros In Three Clips

Posting will be sporadic for the next few days, so here as filler ™ is another example of how you can trace a show’s re-toolings through its changing title sequences. This is AFTERMASH, the M*A*S*H spinoff that Larry Gelbart created for the three M*A*S*H cast members who wanted to stay on after the original show ended (Potter, Klinger, and… Mulcahy?). In the first season, when it was actually doing pretty well in the ratings, this show kept the same main title for all 22 episodes: a montage of drawings of typical ’50s things, accompanied by a nostalgic new theme by Pat Williams (preceded by a little bit of the M*A*S*H theme for extra nostalgia).


When the show returned for a second season, having already demonstrated that it had several major flaws (it wasn’t funny enough; the new characters weren’t good; why is Mulcahy there?), it was re-tooled to be wackier, new cast members were added, Potter’s wife was re-cast, and it had an endless story arc about Klinger getting in trouble with the law and getting committed to the mental ward. (It was literally endless because the show was canceled before the arc was finished.) So the theme was re-arranged to be happier and have a more ’80s sound — complete with ’80s saxophone — and the drawings were replaced with drawings of the cast members.

But this still didn’t help re-brand this spinoff as a wacky-but-serious comedy in the vein of the early M*A*S*H (which is what the network was going for), so after a few episodes, they decided to throw out all the expensive drawings and just go with, yes, a montage of wacky clips, including a food fight. And this was the main title the show used for the rest of its run, which at this point was about six more episodes.

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