31 August 2004 | raysond
Classic WWII comedy series starring Ernest Borgnine!
"McHale's Navy" is probably one of the classiest and the most funniest sitcom of its day to ever depict the misadventures of a misfit band of recruits who are in command and in charge of a PT Cruiser Boat during the scenes around a Naval Military Base on a secured island in the South Pacific in World War II,under the command of Lt. Cmdr. Quinton McHale(Ernest Borgnine),and his commanding officer who keeps a watchful eye on McHale and his crew,Capt.Wallace Binghamton(Joe Flynn),and Binghamton's nerdish assistant Ensign Charles Parker(Tim Conway). This show had it all with some of the funniest stuff I've ever seen and believe me some of the hijinks that McHale and his band of recruits get into is enough right there to steal the thunder of the show,courtesy of not only the 'big smiling face' of Ernest Borgnine,but from Tim Conway who hilarious situations made the show itself stand out,and it would prove the standing point when he would go on to host his own show,and from there into an nine-year hiatus for "The Carol Burnett Show". Oh yeah,lets not forget Joe Flynn as well,since him and Conway were the perfect comedy team and with them in this series it would have not survive. This series also had some familiar faces here as well including several actors who would go on to make a name for themselves,including actor Gavin MacLeod,who played Private First Class Joesph "Happy" Haines.
It was from this series that MacLeod would go to do other roles as well including a seven-year stint on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show",and from there as Captain Stubbing on "The Love Boat". This series also had singing sensation Billy Sands as "Tinkerbell",and many more. "McHale's Navy",ran on ABC-TV for five seasons from 1962 to 1966 and produced 138 episodes,all in black and white and produced by Revue Productions/Universal Studios in Hollywood. During the show's five year-run,since studios executives at Universal,which produced the series,decided that the cast should make the jump from the small screen to the big screen,producing three theatrical features for the studio,and this time around they were to be produced in color....... "McHale's Navy"(1964),"McHale's Navy Joins The Air Force"(1965),and the final,"McHale's Navy Joins The Army"(1965)while the TV series was still on the air,and the TV series was still in black and white.
What killed McHale's Navy after being a great hit? During the show's final season(1965-1966)McHale,and his crew along with Binghamton and Parker,not to mention Binghamton's second Lt. Carpenter,were all shipped from the operations in the South Pacific to the operations of Europe,where they were shipped to Italy to fight against the Germans. In the Pacific,they were up against the Japanese,but the Germans? That what killed the show,and from there the laughter stopped after five seasons.