Me-TV presents THESE ‘GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C.’ FACTS WILL MAKE YOU SAY ”SHAZAM!’ Here are three of my favorites…
IT WAS A SPIN-OFF OF A SPIN-OFF, OF SORTS.
The characters from The Andy Griffith Show were first introduced to American audiences in a 1960 episode of The Danny Thomas Show (Make Room for Daddy), “Danny Meets Andy Griffith.” It was more of a marketing maneuver, but technically that makes Andy Griffith a spin-off. The pilot episode of Gomer Pyle arrived as the season four finale of Andy Griffith in 1964.
IT WAS INCREDIBLY POPULAR, RIGHT UP UNTIL THE END.
The show finished outside the top three only once in its five-year run, when it slipped to No. 10 in the Nielsen ratings in 1967. Yet it bounced back strong, gaining some of its best ratings in its final season. In fact, Gomer Pyle was the second most watched show in television when it shut down.
FRANK SUTTON WAS A BLACK BELT IN JUDO AND SERVED IN THE ARMY.
As Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter, Sutton set the mold for the hard-as-nails, shouting drill sergeant so common to military narratives. Ironically, in real life, the actor failed a Marine physical and instead served in the Army during WWII, where he proved himself in taking part in over a dozen assault landings around the Philippines. He also had a black belt. That’s some man. Sadly, Sutton passed away too soon at 50 from a heart attack.