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The Extra Might Be Better Than the Show...

By RD Heldenfels Published: January 2, 2007

From tonight's e-mail:

The six-time Emmy-nominated McHales Navy launches on DVD for the very first time as Shout! Factory releases the classic sitcom from television’s golden age as a five-disc, restored and re-mastered collector’s set on March 20, 2007.  To create a sea-worthy box set of the beloved series, DVD producers reunited the unsinkable crew of the P.T. 73, including Oscar-winner Ernest Borgnine (Marty, The Dirty Dozen) and four-time Emmy-winner Tim Conway (“The Carol Burnett Show”), along with fellow crew members Carl Ballantine, Edson Stroll and Bob Hastings, for a first-ever cast reunion in December 2006 with footage from the event included as an exclusive DVD featurette.

Originally aired in 1962 on the ABC network and part of the Universal Television catalog, the outstanding first season of McHale’s Navy boasted writing from the likes of Joseph Heller (Catch 22) and garnered three Emmy nominations, including “Best Comedy” and acting nods for the leads, Borgnine and Conway.  Now the original 36 episodes of this award-nominated maiden voyage can be relived on DVD for the suggested list price of $44.98.

I liked ''McHale's Navy'' back when it was originally on; erratic memory suggests I also caught a lot of daytime reruns later on. Loved Conway -- and this was long before I had any connection to NE Ohio. Also enjoyed the late, great Joe Flynn, who really knew how to do a slow burn (and a fast one) -- and was another Buckeye born, by the way.

Still, having been in the presence of Mr. Conway at press conferences (where he would often steal the show), and having interviewed him (where great stories would abound), and having seen the havoc he could cause on ''The Carol Burnett Show,'' I am very much interested in what transpired at that cast reunion.

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