Metro-East Living

“Gomer Pyle” tops list of favorite TV shows

Jim Nabors starred in the 1960s’ TV show “Gomer Pyle.” Frank Sutton played Sgt. Vince Carter.
Jim Nabors starred in the 1960s’ TV show “Gomer Pyle.” Frank Sutton played Sgt. Vince Carter.

I heard it was a good TV show but I never saw an episode of “Breaking Bad.”

Ditto for “Game of Thrones,” “Lost” and “West Wing.”

I never watched “The Sopranos,” either.

Just not my thing.

I’ve seen “The Simpsons” maybe a dozen times. I’m not a big animation guy beyond the old cartoons like Tom and Jerry, Roadrunner or Bugs Bunny. (Have to admit. “Family Guy” makes me chuckle, with its forever-in-fifth-grade humor.)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American watches 2.8 hours of television per day. I’m well below that average, except for a Blues hockey game, March Madness basketball, NFL football on Sundays, or golf.

I could watch golf on a big screen all day.

That and “Andy Griffith Show” reruns, which don’t have to be on the big screen to keep me focused.

Sorry. There’s not much on TV today that holds my attention. I think that’s more of an issue with my limited and decreasing attention span and available time than the quality of today’s TV shows.

Pretty Famous, a website that’s part of the Graphiq Network, recently named its Top 10 TV shows. They are ranked by its comprehensive Smart Rating, a comprehensive score that includes all sorts of metrics that only a guy who watches TV 2.8 hours every night would understand.

Six of their Top 10 shows are mentioned above. The other four “great” shows were “Frasier,” “Friends,” “Cheers” and “Modern Family.” I’m a fan of them all, especially “Cheers” and “Modern Family.” They make me laugh.

What are my Top 10 TV shows of all time?

No surprise here.

I’m living in a TV time warp, of course.

First, my honorable mentions: “Dean Martin Show,” “The Cosby Show,” “Love Boat,” “The White Shadow,” “Battle of the Network Stars,” “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In,” “Welcome Back, Kotter,” “Happy Days,” “The Flip Wilson Show,” “Marcus Welby, M.D,” “The Waltons,” “Petticoat Junction” and “Corky’s Colorama.”

Here’s my list of all-time favorites, not in order, because that was way too hard:

  • 1. “Gomer Pyle” — Shazam! One of the great mysteries of my childhood was how Gomer (Jim Nabors) could talk like Gomer but sing like an opera star.
  • 2. “F Troop” — How did the show’s Native American tribe get its name? They became lost on a journey. “Where the heck are we?” asked one of the chiefs. They became known as the Hikawi. Classic.
  • 3. “The Midnight Special” — Along with Austin City Limits on PBS, show host Wolfman Jack offered live music from some of the top rock bands well before MTV.
  • 4. “Life Goes On” — I had a soft spot for Corky. I figure that’s attributed to my days at St. Philip’s Grade School and being close to the special education class there. This series aired on ABC from 1989 to 1993. It centered on the Thatcher family living in suburban Chicago: Drew, his wife Elizabeth, and their children Paige, Rebecca, and Charles, known as Corky. “Life Goes On” was the first television series to have a major character (Corky, played by Chris Burke) with Down syndrome.
  • 5. “The Tonight Show (Starring Johnny Carson)” — It was a staple in our home, every weeknight. My two favorite guests: Don Rickles and Bob Uecker.
  • 6. “My Three Sons” — Was there any dad more calm and collected than Fred McMurray? Every family needed an Uncle Charlie. Or maybe an Uncle Joe from another favorite, “Petticoat Junction.”
  • 7. “M*A*S*H” — Some of the most memorable characters of all time, especially Radar. Doesn’t everyone know at least one Frank Burns-like guy at work?
  • 8. “Freaks & Geeks” — It lasted only one season (1999-2000). It was the 1980s at McKinley High School, where there were two types of students — freaks and geeks. The cast included James Franco and Seth Rogen. The only TV show that I’ve bought its special CD collection (and promptly lost each CD, one by one). Like a freak. Or a geek. Or maybe a little of both.
  • 9. “Leave It to Beaver” — My favorite characters, by far, were Eddie Haskell, Lumpy Rutherford and Larry Mondello.
  • 10. “The Andy Griffith Show” — I’ve spent my whole life trying to find the simpleness of Mayberry. My favorite episodes were when troublemaker Ernest T. Bass or the Darlin Family came out of the mountains and into town for a visit.

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