Monday, December 11, 2017

Origin of a Classic: Gomer Pyle joins the Marines (The Andy Griffith Show, 1964)

The season 4 finale of The Andy Griffith Show served as a pilot for the spin-off series, Gomer Pyle, USMC, which bowed the following fall, as Griffith began its 5th season.

"Gomer Joins The Marines" begins with Gomer (Jim Nabors) visiting Sheriff Andy Taylor (Griffith), singing the Marine Hymn in his sing-song Southern drawl. Gomer had lost his job at Wally's Filling Station earlier in the season, only to, I presume, get it back, but this time, his job would be filled by cousin Goober (George Lindsey) once Gomer left for Camp Henderson, the setting for the spin-off. Frank Sutton debuts as Sgt. Carter, and, as you'll see, it takes a conversation between Carter and the sheriff to change Carter's mind about letting Gomer go on ahead to camp......

Edit, 9/24/19: Dailymotion deleted their video due to a copyright claim from CBS. YouTube has this excerpt, which runs 4:45:

Nabors, of course, was really from Alabama, and got 5 seasons out of Gomer before ending the series and trying his luck with his own variety show. In a way, Aaron Ruben's concept may have been partially inspired by the production that made Griffith a star---"No Time For Sergeants", which ABC picked up as a sitcom that fall, only to see it fall flat.

Rating: B.

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