Ensign O'Toole is a lower ranking officer on the destroyer Appleby. He keeps things lively instigating pranks while avoiding any work and trying to show up his nemesis, Lt. Rex St. John. The regular seaman are his willing accomplices.
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1963   1962  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Ensign O'Toole (32 episodes, 1962-1963)
...
 Lt. Cdr. Virgil Stoner / ... (32 episodes, 1962-1963)
...
 Chief Petty Officer Homer Nelson / ... (31 episodes, 1962-1963)
...
 Seaman Gabby Di Julio (31 episodes, 1962-1963)
...
 Lt. Rex St. John (31 episodes, 1962-1963)
Robert Sorrells ...
 Seaman Claude White / ... (29 episodes, 1962-1963)
...
 Seaman Howard Spicer (25 episodes, 1962-1963)
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Storyline

Ensign O'Toole is a lower ranking officer on the destroyer Appleby. He keeps things lively instigating pranks while avoiding any work and trying to show up his nemesis, Lt. Rex St. John. The regular seaman are his willing accomplices.

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Comedy

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23 September 1962 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Less than a year after it was canceled by NBC, the program was replayed on the ABC television network from March-August 1964 as a replacement for The Sid Caesar Show (1963) and Here's Edie (1963) (a.k.a. The Edie Adams Show). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stump the Stars: Dean Jones vs. Roger Smith (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

Pleasant 60s Service Comedy...
16 January 2004 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

Service comedies have always been a television staple, with "Sgt. Bilko" defining the genre in the 50s, and "M.A.S.H." adding tragedy to the formula in the 70s, but the true halcyon years for military humor were, undoubtedly, the 60s, a decade that produced "Gomer Pyle, USMC", "No Time for Sergeants", "McHale's Navy", "Broadside" (a women-in-uniform comedy whose title would have feminists reeling, today), "Mister Roberts", and this 1962 entry, "Ensign O'Toole", a light but very pleasant NBC comedy that ran a little over a season before being 'discharged'.

Starring a young Dean Jones as O'Toole, before he replaced Fred MacMurray as Disney's favorite leading man, the shipboard adventures generally involved schemes, concocted by rich but befuddled Lt. Rex St. John (Jack Mullaney) or conniving but likable Seaman Gabby Di Julio (Harvey Lembeck), that would inevitably fall apart, and require O'Toole's quick thinking to prevent discovery and retribution by Lt. Cmdr. Virgil Stoner (Jack Albertson, long before "Chico and the Man"). While the basic formula was predictable, veteran producer Jack Sonntag was not unwilling to experiment, occasionally offering a musical-themed episode, or a storyline geared to a guest star.

A favorite episode featured guest Stubby Kaye as an obese sailor facing discharge unless he shed his excess weight. Despite O'Toole's diet and exercise regimen, the sailor seemed to be gaining weight, not losing it (he had stashed goodies all over the ship). Finally, O'Toole, realizing he couldn't 'force' Kaye to lose weight, gave him an "It's up to you" speech, which hit home. Kaye started dieting and exercising in earnest, and passed his physical, then transferred to submarine service. "If I gain weight there," he quipped, "we'll submerge!"

Lacking the "Country Boy vs. Tough D.I." comic opportunities of "Gomer Pyle", or the 'Bilko'-like shenanigans of "McHale's Navy", "Ensign O'Toole" was, perhaps, too sweet-natured to become a hit series, but it could bring a smile, and was as affable as it's good-natured star.


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