McHale's Navy

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ABC (ended 1966)

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bohn007

User Score: 1863

8.1
out of 10
User Rating
171 votes
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McHale's Navy

Show Summary

A Lively, Light-Hearted Romp Through The Pacific Theater Of Operations –

An experienced South Pacific sea dog, by the name of Quinton McHale, was commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander into the U.S. Navy Reserve, at the start of World War II, and made the Skipper of the Torpedo Patrol (PT) Boat #73, stationed at the U.S. Naval Installation on the island of Taratupa, in the Southwest Pacific. Assigned to his command were 6 free-spirited, good-hearted Swabbies who loved to have fun, but who – Though they usually ignored Navy regulations – Did their jobs, and did them well, when duty called. The 73 'Family' included, among others, a con man and amateur Magician, a womanizing hunk, a dedicated Family man, a guitar-picking, moonshine-making Tennessee good ol' boy, and even a deserter from the Japanese Navy, who was an excellent cook. Second in command, was Ensign Charles Parker, a young spit-and-polish, by-the-book Officer from Chagrin Falls Ohio, who was somewhat of a klutz, but who always managed to come out on top of a situation, usually with the help of McHale and The Crew.

McHale and his men were under the command of Base Commander Captain Wallace B. Binghamton (Known as 'Old Leadbottom' to McHale and his men), in whose side, McHale and his Crew were a constant thorn. Most episodes centered around Binghamton's trying to find way to get rid of McHale and his rule-bending 'Pirates' (One would be hard-pressed to see an episode of this series without the military term 'Court Martial' being mentioned, at least once), with McHale and his fun-loving 'Eightballs' scheming to keep Binghamton from doing so, their exemplary performance in battle, more times than not, getting them out troublesome situations.

McHale's Navy was first presented a straight action drama, on ABC's Alcoa Premiere anthology series, in April of 1962. The pilot episode – Entitled Seven Against The Sea – Found enough of an audience that it was converted to a comedy series, which premiered on the ABC Television Network on the evening of Thursday, October 11th 1962, at 9:30 p.m. EST. It got off to somewhat of a slow start, opposite NBC's popular Hazel, but held it's own, and gained a small following. It cracked the top 25 in it's 2nd season ('63/'64), on Tuesday nights, in the 8:30 time-slot, with a strong lead-in from ABC's Combat, landing at #23, with a Nielsen rating of 22.8. But, from that point on, it was all uphill for McHale. In it's 3rd ('64/'65) & 4th ('65/'66) seasons, in a losing battle with CBS's powerhouse Red Skelton Hour, it was soon on it's way out. An attempt to boost it's sagging ratings, by moving McHale, his Crew, and Captain Binghamton to a base in Italy, in it's 4th and final season, proved to do more harm than good, and resulted in the cancellation of the series, in 1966.

The series was popular enough with the public to prompt the production of two full-length theatrical-release motion pictures, during it's run. McHale's Navy, released by Universal Pictures in June of 1964, featured all the regular cast members from the series, and McHale's Navy Joins The Air Force, in July of '65, this one sans Borgnine. Both were 90-minute extended episodes of the series, and mildly popular, at best. A 1997 big-budget movie, based on the series, and with Tom Arnold as McHale, was a total flop. All three are available on VHS or DVD.

Lately, it's been tough to catch McHale's Navy on TV. Programming Managers don't seem to realize just how many loyal fans the show still has, and just how many new fans the show would doubtless make, were more people allowed to experience it. However – McHale fans, rejoice! – Shout! Factory came to the rescue, and began releasing McHale's Navy, on DVD, in boxed sets, beginning on March 20th, 2007, with Season 1. Season 2 was released on September 11th, 2007, Season 3, on March 18th, 2008, and Season 4, on November 18th, '08.

With a highly talented cast including Academy Award® winner Ernest Borgnine, comic genius Tim Conway, the one-of-a-kind comic talent of Joe Flynn, and a solid supporting cast, McHale's Navy was – And is – TV comedy at it's very finest.moreless
Ernest Borgnine

Ernest Borgnine

Lt. Cdr. Quinton McHale

Joe Flynn

Joe Flynn

Capt. Wallace Burton Binghamton

Tim Conway

Tim Conway

Ensign Charles Parker

Carl Ballantine

Carl Ballantine

Lester Gruber

Gavin MacLeod

Gavin MacLeod

Joseph "Happy" Haines (1962-1964)

Billy Sands

Billy Sands

Harrison 'Tinker' Bell

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • From John Paul Jones to Davey Jones there was no one like skipper Mc Hale

    10
    THE best WW II comedy series ever, was very accurate concerning naval uniforms, its Vosper MTB was done in model by Revell along with some of its crew in 1/72 scale, however there were real PT-73s both at the Britush and American navies. Italeri presently makes a !/32 scale Vosper that can be motorized and radio controlled.
  • Joe Flynn

    8.5
    When this series started I was only 10 and was very annoyed by Capt. Binghamton interefering with everything my heros on McHales Island and the 73 were trying to do. Now that I began watching the episodes again, I realize just what a great physical comedian Joe Flynn was- especially when he was in a scene with Tim Conway. OUTSTANDING!
  • One of my favorite TV shows.

    10
    This is one of my beloved TV shows from the sixties. With a brilliant cast, McHale’s Navy sets sail always staying two steps ahead of Capt. Wallace B. Binghamton, who, along with his side kick Lt. Elroy Carpenter, never manage to out wit McHale and his crew. With the brilliant cast of Ernest Borgnine as Lt. Cmdr. Quinton McHale, Tim Conway who does a superb job of bringing Ensign Charles Parker to life. They are joined by Carl Ballantine Lester Gruber, Joe Flynn and Capt. Binghamton, Yoshio Yoda Fuji Kobiaji and other talented artists. McHale’s Navy stands out as one of the best comedies that came out of the 60’s.moreless
  • One of the all-time classic tv shows. I joined the Navy because of this show (well this and the movie Operation Petticoat). The actors and writers did a fantastic job. Even tho the story lines were far fetched at times they were funny.moreless

    10
    How to rate the comedic talents of so many wonderful actors in one show? Tim Conway was fantastic as Ensign Parker and McHale was the CO that every one wanted. The constant battle between McHale and Binghamton was a hoot. McHale was always coming out on top no matter what the scrape it was that he and his crew got into. The full-length movies were great too. I'm delighted that I finally found this show on DVD with all 4 seasons in one set. It's hard to imagine that the show only ran 4 seasons. I wish they would repeat it on TVLand at least.moreless
  • One of the funniest shows...EVER!!

    9.5
    I love watching reruns of this show. They rock so much. I have two VHS tapes recorded with the episodes. This show works so well because the cast worked really well together. I would have to say that the best charecter was Ensign Parker. Tim Conway did an excellent job of being the sweet, gullible ensign who always gets in trouble, but he always tries to what is right. He is loyal and helps his friends out. This show is one of the all time greats. I will never want to stop watching the reruns of this show. It is so AWESOME!!moreless
  • R.I.P.

    Ernest Borgnine Has Passed Away at 95

    The star of McHale's Navy and Airwolf died of kidney failure today in Los Angeles.

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    More Info About This Show

    Categories

    Comedy

    Themes

    60s, laugh track, money making schemes, tropical backdrop, war hero