Aired: September 17, 1972 - February 28, 1983 (CBS)
Theme Song: Johnny Mandel & Mike Altman "Theme from M*A*S*H" (Suicide is Painless)"
The memorable music for the critically acclaimed television series M*A*S*H is the instrumental version of the song “Suicide Is Painless” from filmmaker Robert Altman's same-named, 1970 stand-out motion picture that gave birth to the TV series.
Even without the lyrics, which were written by the director's son when he was just 14-years-old, the track has the feel of a hopeful protest song with a melancholy underbelly, which suited the CBS dramedy set during the Korean War since the often funny program could turn serious at the drop of a dime. The acoustic-led arrangement is so synonymous with that helicopter flying over the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the show's intro that you might imagine the sounds of swirling blades even when they are not there.