Alan Alda Set for ICONIC CHARACTERS OF COMEDY at Museum of the Moving Image, 10/15
As Captain Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H (1972-1983), Alan Alda created one of the most important and influential characters in television history. On Tuesday, October 15, at 7:00 p.m., Museum of the Moving Image and The Comedy Hall of Fame will present an evening with Alda to celebrate and examine the story and the legacy of his iconic creation and how it transformed the audience's experience of the Vietnam War. The discussion, "The Rationalist: Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H," presented with clips, will be moderated by Jeff Greenfield, television journalist and historian. This program is the inaugural event in a new series of high-profile personal appearances, Iconic Characters of Comedy, focused on the impact of comedy delivered through the medium of television on the consciousness of the American public.
In eleven years, Alan Alda starred in all 251 episodes of M*A*S*H, 32 of which he directed, 19 of which he wrote. He won five Emmys and was nominated for 21. The character of Hawkeye, an army surgeon, was incorruptibly moral with a keen sense of the absurd and he had a talent for irony. His delivery was characterized by sharp wit and surgical timing. As a nation, the American public could not help but side with him as he smashed old stereotypes and perspectives that glorified war by forcing a generation to personalize the loss of life. The final episode, seen by more than 125 million Americans, was the most widely viewed TV episode in the nation's history.
"Hawkeye was the first anti-establishment character on television, and M*A*S*H the first anti-war program," said Jeffrey Pancer, Director of The Comedy Hall of Fame. "Alan accomplished this through his fearless ability to redress and redefine the political, social, and moral issues of war, often through humor. As Hawkeye, he helped change the national conversation, and the American experience in the process. We are thrilled to partner with Museum of the Moving Image on the Iconic Characters of Comedy series and honored to be presenting Alan as the first guest."
"We are very pleased to be working with The Comedy Hall of Fame, which has a deep understanding of the cultural and historic significance of great comedy," said David Schwartz, Chief Curator of Museum of the Moving Image. "The best comedy brings audiences together in laughter, in order to reveal truths about the way we live, as individuals and as a society. The Iconic Characters series will look at this first-hand, bringing together an amazing group of comedians and commentators."
Tickets for "The Rationalist: Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H" are $25 public / $15 Museum members / Free for Silver Screen members and above. Tickets are available online at movingimage.us or by phone at 718 777 6800.
Photo credit: Steve & Anita Shevett