Home Television Comedy McHale’s Navy

McHale’s Navy

1 9 6 2 – 1 9 6 6 (USA)
138 x 30 minute episodes
1 x 60 minute episode

Lt. Commander Quinton McHale was the commander of PT73 – a World War II motor torpedo boat with the most bizarre crew ever.

The show was built around the conflict between the regulation-ignoring, con-artist McHale and his long-suffering superior officer, Captain Binghamton

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McHale was loved and admired by his men but Binghamton hated him, and the Navy put up with him because, in the South Pacific where PT 73 was originally based at the island of Taratupa, he knew the territory (and “the Japs”) like the back of his hand.

For the last season of McHale’s Navy, the entire cast was transferred to Italy where they helped maintain the occupation of the small town of Voltafiore against the possible takeover of German troops.

Binghamton now also had to deal with the town’s conniving mayor, Mario Lugatto, who was almost as much a con-man as McHale.

Nothing really changed except the locale and the gambling and racketeering that had been prevalent in the South Pacific now included the local townsfolk as well as military personnel.

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The series began life as TV play Seven Against The Sea, a 60-minute comedy/drama segment of Alcoa Premier aired in the USA by ABC on 3 April 1962. Borgnine and Flynn starred, reprising their roles when the idea became a regular half-hour sitcom.

It proved to be a durable premise, running for four years and spawning two feature film spin-offs, McHale’s Navy (1964) and McHale’s Navy Joins The Air force (1965). Borgnine was absent from the latter and the main role was taken by Tim Conway as the naive, gauche Parker.

In 1997, Hollywood released a film “version” of McHale’s Navy starring Tom Arnold. McHale was now a retired Naval officer who spent his time smuggling items like McHale’s Ale and McHale’s Ice Cream onto a modern Caribbean Navy base.

The connection to the original TV show was tenuous, to say the least, although Ernest Borgnine made a cameo appearance.

Borgnine passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of kidney failure on 9 July 2012. He was 95.

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Lt Cmdr Quinton McHale 
Ernest Borgnine
Capt. Wallace Binghamton 

Joe Flynn
Ensign Charles Parker 

Tim Conway
Lester Gruber 

Carl Ballantine
Lt Elroy Carpenter 

Bob Hastings
Col Douglas Harrigan 

Henry Beckman
George “Christy” Christopher
Gary Vinson
Harrison “Tinker” Bell 

Billy Sands
Virgil Edwards 

Edson Stroll
Joseph “Happy” Haines 

Gavin MacLeod
Willy Moss 

John Wright
General Bronson 

Simon Scott
Mayor Mario Lugatto 

Jay Novello
Fuji Kobiaji 

Yoshio Yoda
Nurse Molly Turner 

Jane Dulo
Rosa Giovanni 

Peggy Mondo