Actor Ernest Borgnine passed away last month during our Christmas in July celebration here on the blog. However, I don't want to forget the wonderful legacy he's left behind, including this classic Christmas episode from the TV series McHale's Navy. This episode is 50 YEARS OLD this year!? Isn't it wonderful that we can still watch and enjoy these older programs. You can find this comedy episode on the first season DVD set.
|This comedy takes place in the South Pacific during World War II and ran on television from 1962-66. In its final season, the PT crew and Cpt. Binghamton moved to Italy|
In this 1962 episode "The day They Captured Santa Claus," Lt. Commander McHale and his crew prepare for a Christmas celebration for a local island mission for orphans.
|Ensign Parker (Tim Conway) left, Lt. Cmdr. McHale (Ernest Borgnine) center, and Tinker (Billy Sands) right.|
Their PT boat is decorated as Santa’s sleigh, the crew are all costumed for the season, and they even steal roasted turkeys from the officer’s mess to provide a traditional dinner for the kids.
|McHale is Santa Claus while the rest of the crew dresses in costumes as brownies (or elves) for the kids.|
|Tim Conway and Joe Flynn (Ensign Parker and Cpt. Binghamton)|
But when Santa McHale parachutes onto the island to surprise the orphan children, he is greeted by invading Japanese soldiers who take him as their prisoner of war!
|I guess these soldiers don't have much Christmas spirit.|
Santa Claus does a lot of fast talking with the Japanese soldiers--even offering the hungry men their own turkey meals. In the end, it's the arrival of the mission's head mistress Ms. Parfrey with the British navy that saves the day!
|Ms. Parfrey is grateful that McHale and his men help her out with the orphan children in the mission.|
|In the end, the Christmas party goes off as planned!|