Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
May 18, 1964
Gomer leaves Mayberry to join the United States Marine Corps.
Gomer enlists and joins the Marines. Andy tags along for his first day at boot camp, and, realizing how important it is for Gomer to succeed, plants the idea in the head of Drill Sergeant Carter that Gomer is the son of Marine General Lucis Pyle.
Carter, thinking he's being tested, takes Gomer under his wing and is stuck with him from that point on. He trains him personally, until Gomer passes all his inspections. Sgt. Carter then realizes that Gomer isn't related to Lucis Pyle after all.
- This would be Gomer's last appearance on The Andy Griffith Show although he would visit Mayberry at least once in Gomer Pyle USMC.
- When singing the Marine hymn for Sergeant Carter, Gomer says "I ain't got much of a singing voice" and indeed he's singing in very off-key southern drawl voice. However, we know from an earlier episode, "The Song Festers" that Gomer (and Jim Nabors) has a wonderful singing voice. Incidentally, Gomer's professional singing voice would reappear in later episodes of Gomer Pyle USMC.
- This episode was the pilot for the series Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
- In this episode Gomer mentions that he has either been drafted or will be very soon prompting him to go ahead and volunteer for the Marines. This episode took place in the early days of The Vietnam War, well before the draft was ended in 1973. Enrollment in the Marine Corps would have almost certainly resulted in Gomer's eventual deployment to Vietnam. However, despite spending several years in a marine infantry unit, Gomer never leaves the United States. Today, the United States military is 100% volunteer.
- This is only one of four TAGS episodes where Gomer's name appears in the title. The others being Gomer the House Guest, A Date for Gomer, and Andy Saves Gomer.
- This episode was shot at the Desilu Cahuenga lot. Stairs/steps seen behind the group of recruits as Sgt. Carter speaks to them, and a late Gomer runs up, are actually steps to the Production company where Sheldon Leonard had his office.
Andy: Psst. Hey, Gomer.
Gomer: (removes bucket) Hey, Andy. How'd you know it was me under this thing?
Andy: I just took a guess. What's wrong?
Gomer: Nothin'. Why do you ask?
Andy: Well, Gomer, whenever I see a man sittin' by hisself in a Quonset hut with a bucket on his head I've got to ask, "What's wrong?"
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