In a 2022 interview with The New York Times, Alan Alda, who won five of the series’ 14 Primetime Emmys throughout its 11 season run (three for acting, one for directing and another for writing), said that Gelbart bristled when a censor struck at the use of a word that has a sexual connotation but was not being deployed in a sexual manner.
According to Alda:
This ticked off Gelbart, which prompted him to mess with the censor. As Alda recalled, “So the next week, Gelbart wrote a little scene that had nothing to do with anything. A patient is being carried through on a stretcher. And I say, ‘Where you from, son?’ And he says, ‘The Virgin Islands, sir.'”
Again, once “M*A*S*H” rocketed into the Nielsen ratings’ top 10 and started winning Emmys, the series got a little more leeway and, for a network sitcom, formally adventurous. And that’s why the show is every bit as watchable today as it was during its initial run.