Finding humor out of World War II can be hard to do but the people behind McHale’s Navy knew what they were doing. Ernest Borgnine stars as Lt. Commander Quinton McHale, the leader of a merry band of the military’s best on the seas. Tim Conway comes along as Ensign Charlie Parker, who watches over the PT-73 crew but isn’t that firm. Joe Flynn knocks it out of the water as Captain Wallace Binghamton. McHale at times calls him “Old Lead Bottom.”
McHale’s Navy follows the antics of the PT-73 crew. The first three seasons had them in the South Pacific. For Season 4, they moved over to Italy. But it’s the trouble that McHale’s crew gets into that brings out the laughs. Among those popping up as part of McHale’s crew are Carl Ballantine as Lester Gruber and Gavin MacLeod as “Happy” Sands. Yoshio Yoda stars as the McHale crew’s houseboy, Fuji.
‘McHale’s Navy’ Is Full of Jokes, Sight Gags
This sitcom, which ran for four seasons on ABC, is filled with jokes, sight gags, and a lot of double-crossing on Binghamton. Flynn, who also starred in some Walt Disney movies, and Borgnine are amazing in their back-and-forth dialogue. Bob Hastings serves as Binghamton’s assistant, Lt. Elroy Carpenter.
McHale’s Navy almost got a fifth season, which means it would have been filmed in color. It didn’t happen, though. But two Technicolor movies based on the TV show did get done in 1964 and 1965, respectively.
Well, let’s look and see which episodes received attention from people on IMDb.
‘The Day They Captured Santa’
In this Season 1 episode, McHale plays Santa but things turn wacky. He gets captured by a Japanese patrol. The same goes for his crew, Binghamton, and a war correspondent. All McHale wanted to do was to bring some Christmas cheer to an orphanage. How does this all work out? Only like it could be done on Mchale’s Navy.
‘Portrait of a Peerless Leader’
For this Season 1 show, McHale’s crew gets some wild news. At first, the gang thinks a Personnel Officer is there to look over Binghamton. Yeah, they believe this guy is going to get “Old Lead Bottom” gone for good with a transfer. Whoops! Not so fast. He’s there to size up McHale for a transfer. Talk about turning the tables. The PT crew then goes wild, hoping their behavior will keep McHale on board.
‘Alias Captain Binghamton’
This Season 1 episode uses a familiar (for the 1960s) casting option. Flynn does double duty here in Binghamton but also as a PT boat crewman. See, McHale and the gang want to get rid of this new crew member. But they find themselves in hot water. Well, the crewman helps to get the guys out of trouble.
‘The Big Raffle’
What’s up in this Season 1 show? Claudine Longet appears as Yvette Gerard, a French girl. She has the hots for Charlie Parker, too. Well, Yvette agrees to help the gang raise money to help cover Christy’s child’s birth. More time is available for other cast members as McHale briefly appears at the beginning and end of this episode.
For this Season 1 episode, McHale and the gang welcome in an orphaned girl. They pull out all the stops to make her feel at home. But something is afoot. Binghamton senses there’s something screwy going on here. He decides to have some psychiatrists size up McHale’s crew for “Section 8’s”.
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