Gomer Pyle (played by the comedian Jim Nabors) was the bumbling gas-station attendant on The Andy Griffith Show
. However, Gomer became so popular, he was eventually put right in his own spin-off. The series ran on CBS
from 1964 to 1969, a total of 150 episodes in 5 seasons.
Here, Pyle enlists in the U.S. Marine Corps
. Every episode has Pyle doing something crazy, mostly enraging his superior, Sergeant Vince Carter (No, Not the Basketball player!) (Frank Sutton).
- Armed Farces
- Artistic License - Military: This is a sitcom, after all, and follows the Rule of Funny. Getting details of military life exactly right are of ... secondary importance.
- Breakout Character: Gomer Pyle broke from The Andy Griffith Show.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Notably Subverted by Sgt. Carter, Carter does shout a lot and is angry sometimes but he is kind at heart. And the troops respect him a lot more than they let on.
- Epic Fail: The plots frequently revolve around Pyle's ability to turn even the simplest assignments into major crises, such as the time a simple errand into town ended up as a twenty-four-hour transatlantic odyssey.
- Large Ham: Carter, Again.
- Loud Last Name: "PYYYYYLLEEEEE!!"
- Name's the Same: So this is where Sgt. Hartmann from Full Metal Jacket got the idea to call Pvt. Lawrence "Gomer Pyle". It helps that both Pyle and Lawrence are idiotic and bumbling when it comes in serious situations.
- While Lawrence was nothing but a complete screw-up until the end, Pyle did manage on several occasions to come up with innovative solutions (usually grounded in his back-country upbringing) to a problem he, Carter, or the unit as a whole faced.
- Larry Hovis has a few appearances on this show as a private. He would go on to play a Sgt. Carter in another show
- Peeling Potatoes: Weeks of K.P. were the very first punishment inflicted by Sergeant Carter on the laid-back Pyle, all the way back in the pilot episode.
- Which is totally lost on Pyle: "Goollee, Sarge, you're right! This IS fun!"
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: The show's premise was established in an episode of The Andy Griffith Show itself, also titled "Gomer Pyle, USMC".
- Southern-Fried Private: Gomer, of course, is a quintessential example.
- Shout-Out: Gomer makes frequent reference to his friends from Mayberry, and characters from the earlier series make crossover appearances about once a season.
- Spiritual Successor: To The Phil Silvers Show, with more antics and less zany schemes.
- Tranquil Fury: Sgt. Carter usually got extra loud when he was angry, but if he got quiet, it meant he was really angry.