Shazam! It was fifty years ago today- Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. ended its five year run on CBS television with its 150th and final episode. The series which started in September 1964 was a spin-off of The Andy Griffith Show. It was filmed in black and white the first season and in color the remaining four. The show did very well in the ratings- each season finished in the Top 10- the final season being the strongest when it was #2 for the year. The show didn’t end due to cancellation but because its star Jim Nabors wanted to move on to something else.
I am sure I watched every episode of Gomer while I was growing up and probably more than once. Now and then I will catch an episode and I still can remember the plots to each show. I didn’t notice it as a kid but isn’t it kind of odd that Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. was on during the heart of the Vietnam War- and it is never mentioned on the show? Kind of like with The Andy Griffith Show how Opey’s mother was very rarely mentioned or even Andy’s family other than Aunt Bee. And why did everyone in town call her Aunt Bee?
Back To Gomer- as Don Knotts was the key to The Andy Griffith Show- with Gomer- Frank Sutton as Sgt. Carter was the glue to that show’s success in my opinion. Was Gomer Pyle a great show? I certainly wouldn’t put it up there with other great sitcom’s of the era- it was no Andy Griffith Show or Dick Van Dyke Show- but it was a fun show and it was much better than Gilligan’s Island [ I am sure I have seen every episode of that one too}