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Gomer Pyle: USMC (TV Series 1964–1969) Poster

(1964–1969)

Trivia

Jim Nabors said that it was always difficult for him to watch the opening of the show, because many of the men, with whom he is seen marching, were killed in Vietnam.
In an interesting turnaround, Frank Sutton, whose best-known role was playing a Marine Sergeant, could not pass the U.S. Marine Corps physical during World War II, and ended up serving in the U.S. Army. While serving in the U.S. Army, Sutton distinguished himself by taking part in fourteen assault landings, including Leyte, Luzon, Bataan, and Corregidor.
According to Producer Sheldon Leonard, the U.S. Marines gave them unlimited access to their equipment, because they felt the series would be good for their image.
Although, the series has a military setting, and the Vietnam War was going on at the time it originally aired, the war itself is never discussed.
Carter's decorations are: Bronze Star (2), Purple Heart, Navy Presidential Unit Citation (2), Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (3), World War Two Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal (4 Campaigns), U.N. Service Medal, and a Korean Presidential Unit Citation. In addition, Carter wears Expert Rifleman and Expert Pistol marksmanship badges.
During the run of the show, Gomer's highest ranking was Private First Class. In 2001, the U.S. Marines honored Jim Nabors, with an honorary promotion to Lance Corporal. In 2007, the U.S. Marines honored him a second time, with an honorary promotion to Corporal.
The show ended after five seasons, despite good ratings, because Jim Nabors announced he wanted to do a musical-variety show, which became The Jim Nabors Hour (1969), running from 1969-1971. The producers considered continuing this show, using the remaining regular cast (much as The Andy Griffith Show (1960) became Mayberry R.F.D. (1968) after Griffith left), but when Frank Sutton and Ronnie Schell announced that they were joining Nabors on his new show, the plans were dropped.
Andy Griffith said that when they were trying to come up with an idea for a spin-off for Gomer, they wanted the toughest location or situation, in which they could put him. So they came up with the U.S. Marines. The idea was to pit Gomer's gentle character against the tough setting, and it worked.
Jim Nabors originated the role on The Andy Griffith Show (1960). Andy Griffith discovered Nabors performing in a nightclub called the Horn in Santa Monica, California.
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Ronnie Schell left in the fourth season to star in the short lived series Good Morning, World (1967). He returned in season five as the Corporal for Gomer's platoon.
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Sergeant Carter was a Korean War veteran.
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Although Gomer joining the U.S. Marines was originally depicted in a fifth season episode of the The Andy Griffith Show (1960), this was apparently ignored when the series began filming its regular run. In the Griffith episode, the character of Sergeant Carter is introduced to both the audience and Gomer. Andy Taylor tells Carter a few tall tales about Gomer's lineage in hopes he will treat him better. However, in the first regular Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964) episode, Gomer is seen getting a signature military haircut still in his civilian clothes. Carter has never met him.
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Everett Greenbaum got the name Gomer Pyle by taking the first name of writer Gomer Cool and the last name of actor Denver Pyle.
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The pilot, which aired as the season four finale of The Andy Griffith Show (1960), placed the base as Camp Wilson in North Carolina. However, when the series was launched, the location was changed to Camp Henderson in California.
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The series stayed in the top ten of the ratings for all five seasons. It was in the top three for four of the five seasons. The lone drop was in season three, when they finished tenth.
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By season four, Gomer has a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, and an Expert Rifleman Badge.
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Sergeant Carter grew up in Wichita, Kansas.
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Forrest Compton (Colonel Gray) first appeared on the show as a Captain, before obtaining the rank of Colonel, and becoming Base Commander.
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Sergeant Carter's actual rank was Gunnery Sergeant, a.k.a. "Gunny".
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The only regular character associated with the platoon not to get promoted during the series run was Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter. All Privates in the platoon were promoted by the end of the first season two episode.
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The marching of recruits scene at the beginning of each episode takes place at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in San Diego.
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Sergeant Hacker's (Allen Melvin) rank was Staff Sergeant.
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Originally, CBS rejected the show, because they felt that many female viewers would be put off by a show with a military theme. However, when Producer Danny Thomas threatened to take the show to NBC, CBS changed their minds.
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Gomer Pyle was brought to you by General Foods (now Kraft Foods) makers of Shake and Bake, Jell-O, and Good Seasons Salad Dressings.
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Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle) is the only actor to appear in all one hundred fifty episodes of the series.
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Lieutenant Colonel Gray's medals are: Silver Star, Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Legion Of Merit (Legionnaire), Navy Presidential Unit Citation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal (three Campaigns), Navy Unit Commendation, Korean Service Medal (four Campaigns), U.N. Service Medal, and Korean Unit Citation.
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Gomer often refers to the Marine Corps as Corpse. Corps is actually pronounced to sound like "core."
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Gomer's middle name begins with the letter "S", as seen on a close-up of his paycheck in the season one episode, "Pay Day".
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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