a US comic novel, film and television series about military doctors during the Korean War. M*A*S*H is short for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. Richard Hooker wrote the novel (1968) as a way of bringing the horrors of the Vietnam War to people's attention. The film version (1970) was directed by Robert Altman and won the prize for best film at the Cannes Film Festival. The television series on CBS (1974-83) won several Emmy awards, and the final programme was watched by more than 50 million people.