This week on DVD from Time Life is one of the 1970s hilarious television comedies with Don Rickles as “CPO Sharkey.”
U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Otto Sharkey (Don Rickles) is a veteran who is taking over new seaman recruits in San Diego. Sharkey has seen everything and heard even more. Taking his job seriously, he attempts to get his recruits into shape and has no problem calling it as he sees it.
His men, Daniels (Jeff Hollis), Kowalski (Tom Ruben), Skolnick (David Landsbergh), Mignone (Barry Pearl) and Rodriguez (Richard Beauchamp) — Company 144 — are considered bunglers and blockheads.
Joined by friend Chief Dave Robinson (Harrison Page) and Seaman Pruitt (Peter Isacksen), he deals with his own superior, Lt. Whipple (Jonathan Daly).
Dealing with Sharkey keeps everyone on their toes, but he also goes above and beyond the call of duty for his men — no matter what trouble they seem to get into!
‘CPO Sharkey’ first aired in 1976 and was created by Aaron Ruben for NBC. In the two seasons it appeared on television, fans saw the best of Rickles. Serving in the Navy during World War II, this role was perfect for the comedian.
Season One aired fifteen episodes (yes, remember the days when a season had 15 episodes?) consisting of: “Oh Captain, My Captain,” “Shimokawa Ships Out,” “The Dear John Letter,” “Goodbye Dolly,” “Skolnick in Love,” “Mignone’s Mutiny,” “Kowalski, the Somnamulist,” “Sunday in Tijuana” (Parts 1 & 2), “Rodriguez and His Mamacita,” “Sharkey Boogies on Down,” “Sharkey Finds Peace and Quiet,” “Sharkey the Marriage Counselor,” “Sharkey’s Secret Life,” “The Pizza Party” and “A Wino is Loose.”
The DVD includes a legendary ’70s clip from “The Tonight Show” featuring Johnny Carson storming into the “CPO Sharkey” set that is hilarious. Time Life has brought this never before released anywhere classic collection of the series to fans. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “CPO Sharkey” four tubs of popcorn out of five. This really does bring back memories of my father, a chief in the United States Navy, waiting weekly to have a few laughs. Of course there was a little extra love with the premise of the series taking place on a San Diego naval base!
I have to say that “CPO Sharkey” on DVD is an experience in pushing the limits like no other. The television show didn’t hesitate to push boundaries and even took on having a female superior officer — to which Rickles character doesn’t hesitate to have a few words for, but never to her face. He’s mouthy, not crazy!
These 15 episodes are filled with Rickles, who was also known as Mr. Warmth, who played every episode to its fullest. Quite honestly there isn’t anyone who could get away with the lines Rickles could — and still can. The cast, with Rickles at the helm, all had such a sense of comedic timing. “Enjoy the adventures of CPO Sharkey and company!” says the leader of the pack himself — Don Rickles.
In the end — get ready to set sail once again!