On This Day: ‘Gomer Pyle’ Aired Its Final Episode in 1969

by Keeli Parkey

After five years on television, the popular sitcom Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. aired its final episode 52 years ago today (May 2, 2021).

The final episode was titled “Goodbye Camp Henderson, Hello Sergeant Carter.” And, of course, it starred Jim Nabors as the lovable Gomer Pyle. Also appearing in the final episode was Frank Sutton as Sgt. Vince Carter and Ronnie Schell as Duke Slater. The episode was written by Aaron Ruben and directed by Frank Rich.

So, what was the plot of the show’s final episode? According to IMDB, “As the series ends Gomer requests a transfer to get out of Sergeant Carter’s hair and the sergeant kills the transfer.” It was the 30th episode of the show’s fifth and final season. One of the more popular quotes from the finale of the series reflected back on the beginning of the show. It also summed up the relationship between Pyle and Carter pretty well.

“Exactly five years ago today at 11 o’clock I met Sgt. Carter and at 11:05 he called me a knucklehead for the first time,” Gomer said.

Sounds pretty accurate, right?

Watch The Heartwarming Final Scene Of Gomer Pyle

You can watch the final scene of the final episode of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. below. During the episode, Sgt. Carter approaches Gomer Pyle as Gomer is “shellacking his chair.”

During the brief – and last – conversation between the two very opposite characters on the show, Gomer tells his sergeant that he is happy to be staying on in the platoon. Then, he makes a vow to his superior officer.

“So, I’m going to make you a promise, sergeant, and I’m going to do my best to live up to it” Gomer said. “I’m going to try harder than ever to do the right thing and never give you any reason to be disappointed in me.”

Unsurprisingly, Sergeant Carter is elated with this news. And, in an effort to make sure Gomer lives up to his promise, he tells him to shake on it. And, because it’s Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C, the handshake can’t just be a simple handshake. Gomer has to cause Sergeant Carter some grief as well. Looks like some things never change no matter how much you might want them to.

As all you dedicated fans probably already know, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. was not the first time Jim Nabors played the famous character. The character actually originated on The Andy Griffith Show. The character started as an auto mechanic in Mayberry. His first appearance came during the third season on The Andy Griffith Show in 1962. Nabors remained on the show until the creation of his own spinoff started in 1964.