Alan Alda has revealed the reason why he thinks M*A*S*H is still so popular today despite airing in 1972.

The actor credits “good writing, good performances and good direction” as to why the show is successful.

“Something that is seldom thought about or talked about is that we were telling the stories of people who had really lived and had lived through a horrendous experience in war-time,” the 85-year-old told Today.

“Sometimes we told the stories in a silly way, sometimes in a dramatic way, but most of the stories either were based on things we were told or things that could have happened.”

The six-time Emmy award winner reflected on the show’s final episode, which was a groundbreaking moment for TV.

“The final episode had a huge audience, so big that during the commercial breaks in New York everybody got up and went to the bathroom and they almost broke the waterworks,” Alda recalled, laughing.

The final episode aired on the 28th of February 1983 and had more than 106 million people watching to say goodbye to the cast.

It remains the most-watched scripted television episode of all-time.

Photo credits: 9NOW

This article originally appeared on Over60.