With the passing of Jim Nabors yesterday, I started thinking about watching Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. with my mom. We used to watch a lot of comedies together and she especially enjoyed military-themed shows. Here are a few of our favorites.
In honor of Nabors, here’s my mom’s favorite episode of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. The show ran from 1964 to 1969 and when it ended, it was the second highest rated TV series in the US. In this episode, Gomer loses the Colonel’s wild daughter while in a disco.
My favorite military comedy is absolutely Hogan’s Heroes. It ran for six seasons, from 1965 to 1971. John Banner’s Sergeant Schultz has me in stitches even today. According to Episode Ninja, this is the best episode of the series.
Based on the 1959 movie, Operation Petticoat aired on ABC from 1977 to 1979. It stared John Astin and Jamie Lee Curtis and a very pink US Navy submarine. Curtis’ father, Tony Curtis, stared alongside Cary Grant in the movie. It’s kind of hard to find the show online today, but if you have a couple hours to spare, the Blake Edwards directed movie is hysterical.
The Phil Silvers Show, which you may have heard called Sergeant Bilko, was on CBS and ran from 1955 to 1959. This show would make my dad laugh so hard, he would cry. The show won the Emmy for comedy writing and best series in all four years it was on TV. Season two’s “A Mess Sergeant Can’t Win” is considered to be one of the top 100 sitcom episodes of all time.
And of course this list couldn’t be complete without M*A*S*H* included, even though it really is a dramedy. Running longer than the war it was based on, the show ran from 1972 to 1983. The final episode is still the highest rated TV show in history. I couldn’t pick my favorite episode of the series if I tried, but here’s series star Alan Alda’s favorite episode.