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(September 25, 1964 - May 2, 1969)
(CBS Situation Comedy - 150 Episodes)

Easily the best spin off series ever and one of the greatest all time classic tv series. Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. hit on a long standing successful comedy formula of pitting two vastly different personalities together. Just as Andy Taylor was to Barney Fife, so too did Frank Sutton fill the role of arch nemesis to Gomer Pyle. Both were vastly different, yet each had respect for the other. This led to some of the greatest comedy seen on the small screen as well as some heartfelt moments.

Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. is one of those classic television shows that contains nice wholesome comedy with great acting. There were no cheap shots or insults used for cheap laughs nor was there any pushing the envelope as most TV shows seem to do today. There won't be another Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. is an American situation comedy that originally aired on CBS from September 25, 1964 to May 2, 1969. The series was a spinoff of The Andy Griffith Show, where the premise was introduced in an episode which aired on May 19, 1964. The show featured Jim Nabors reprising his role as the bumbling but lovable Gomer Pyle, who had left the town of Mayberry and joined the U.S. Marine Corps (Gomer's cousin, Goober Pyle, replaced him back home at Wally's filling station).

The series mostly revolved around Pyle's misadventures in the Marines, usually ending with his good-naturedness winning over adversity, especially his hard-nosed Drill Instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter (played by Frank Sutton). Ronnie Schell played Gomer's best friend Private Duke Slater, who later returns to the series as a corporal (after starring in "Good Morning World" for a year). Other semi-regular characters were Sergeant Hacker, Bunny Wilson (Carter's girlfriend) and Lu Ann Poovie (Gomer's girlfriend). Some of the actors who played Gomer's fellow marines included Larry Hovis (Hogan's Heroes), Joe E. Tata (Beverly Hills, 90210), William Christopher (M*A*S*H), Ted Bessell (That Girl) and Jack Larson (Superman).

To preserve ratings, CBS sought to sidestep the growing Vietnam War/conflict and retain the lightheartedness of the series. Due to Gomer's humility, he never sought promotion beyond the rank of Private First Class. Gomer, therefore, mostly remained at his California base. While Aunt Bee Taylor, Grandpa Pyle and cousin Goober visited Gomer at his barracks, Gomer only returned to Mayberry once during the series run but the Taylors and Goober were away on a trip. Gomer was given the opportunity to sing in some episodes, as he had done in Mayberry, thus showcasing Nabors' rich baritone voice. The talent seemed at odds with the slow-witted, country boy persona. Producer Sheldon Leonard would later say, "Gomer and Crazy Googenheimer were America's favorite savants".

Jim Nabors believes that Gomer was embraced because he was uncomplicated and innocent. After 37 years as a private, on August 9, 2001 Gomer Pyle was finally "promoted" to Lance Corporal with Commandant Gen. James L. Jones pinning the insignia on Jim Nabors at a ceremony at Camp Smith.



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