The Lucy Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.


The Lucy Show (1962 - 1968)
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C (1964 - 1970)
Type: Crossover
Group 2

   This is a very simple crossover but with complicated implications. Also, the entire crossover is built on the crossover popping up as a surprise. So in explaining it the way I have to I'm basically stepping on the joke. Awkwaaaard.

   Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. was a spin off of The Andy Griffith Show in which simple country boy and filling station attendant Gomer Pyle joins the United States Marine Corps. The running joke of the show was that Gomer was such a simple, friendly dope not Marine material at all that he drove his superiors crazy. The show was modeled on a play/movie Andy Griffith had starred in called No Time For Sergeants where he was the simple country recruit.

   The Lucy Show was Lucille Ball's follow up series to I Love Lucy. Lucy played a widowed mother named Lucy Carmichael, raising her kids and working for the irascible Mr. Mooney. Mr. Mooney took over for Ricky Ricardo as the guy Lucy would make crazy.

   The season 5 episode Lucy Gets Caught Up In The Draft found Lucy getting a draft notice from the government. In a syntax mistake the government thought Lucy Carmichael was actually Lou C. Carmichael. Heading down to the U.S. Army's offices Lucy tries to get the mistake sorted out but everyone she meets will only say it's not their department and she'll have to go along with the situation until it gets sorted out. Instead of getting sorted out the problem only gets worse and worse with the doctor administering the induction physicals telling her she isn't supposed to be in the Army, she's supposed to be in the Marines.

   This leads to a sequence with Lucy training as a Marine. This sequence is really the point of the episode. The whole point of the story is to get to the point where Lucy can clown around on the training course and annoy her instructor. I have to say, there is something weird production-wise about this scene. Okay, lots of sitcoms film in a studio. But usually they do all they can to disguise that. But here the scene is supposed to be outside in a Marine training area and it in no way looks believable in that regard. It looks like a stage with a wall painted like the outside with various pieces of training equipment plopped into place. The real weird though is it's supposed to be an outside workout area but the floor is clearly a polished floor. Strange.

   Anyway, Lucy causes nine kinds of trouble before Mr. Mooney shows up to save her. He hasn't sorted out the mistake that got her into this situation but has gotten her excused from service because she is the sole support to two children. Her sergeant is thrilled, declaring that after training Lucy he couldn't possibly get a bigger knucklehead in his outfit. Enter Gomer Pyle. Technically they never say it's Gomer Pyle but it's Jim Neighbors dressed as a Marine when Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. was in the middle of its run so... it was clearly intended to be Gomer Pyle.

   Here's why this has some complicated implications. Gomer Pyle was a spin off of The Andy Griffith Show. The Andy Griffith Show was a spin off of The Danny Thomas Show/Make Room For Daddy. The Danny Thomas Show also did a crossover with I Love Lucy. The upshot of all of this is that Lucy Ricardo and Lucy Carmichael both exist in the same world. That's just weird.

Other Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Show Crossover Links
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and The Andy Griffith Show

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