Home Television Comedy Broadside


1 9 6 4 – 1 9 6 5 (USA)
32 x 30 minute episodes

A spin-off from McHale’s Navy, where Kathleen Nolan’s lead character Lt. Anne Morgan had made her debut, Broadside told tales of the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), during WWII.

In an experiment to release more men for combat, women were called upon as replacements for non-combat roles in 1944.

Lt. Morgan and her fellow beautiful WAVES are posted to a newly created motor pool on the backwater South Pacific navy base on Ranakai, much to the displeasure of Commander Adrian (Edward Andrews) who constantly schemes to transfer the women from his tropical paradise.

Before all of the new arrivals, Adrian had it made. There was very little action on Ranakai, and he lived extremely well. He was served lobster or steak for dinner each night and had a rather impressive vintage wine collection behind a curtain in his office.

Lt. Morgan heads up a group of girls comprising the morale-deficient Molly McGuire (Lois Roberts), former exotic dancer Roberta Love (Joan Staley, who had played Okie Annie on Batman) and Selma Kowalski (Sheila James, formerly Zelda Gilroy of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, here in her final regular TV role).

Also in her team is Marion Botnik (Jimmy Boyd) – the sole male WAVE, due to a clerical error when a personnel clerk mistook his name for that of a female.

Lieutenant Maxwell Trotter (Dick Sargent) opposes Adrian’s manipulation of the girls. Stanley Stubbs (Arnold Stang) is the base cook.

Despite the groan-worthy pun of the title, this pioneering women-driven comedy deserves more notice. Unfortunately, the show was scheduled against ratings giant The Ed Sullivan Show, which sealed the show’s fate.

Lt. Anne Morgan
Kathleen Nolan
Cmdr. Roger Adrian
Edward Andrews
Lt. Maxwell Trotter
Dick Sargent
Selma Kowalski
Sheila James Kuehl
Molly McGuire
Lois Roberts
Roberta Love
Joan Staley
Marion Botnik
Jimmy Boyd
Ensign Beasley
George Furth
Nicky D’Angelo
Don Edmonds
Stanley Stubbs
Arnold Stang