The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1965): S01E01 – Shakedown


The Wackiest Ship in the Army is an American comedy-adventure series that aired for one season on NBC between 19 September 1965, and 17 April 1966. Produced by Harry Ackerman and Herbert Hirschman, the series is loosely based on the 1960 film starring Jack Lemmon and Ricky Nelson. Although often referred to as a comedy series, the show violated three unwritten rules which unofficially defined TV sitcoms at the time: it was an hour in length (almost all comedy series were only a half-hour, and the few attempts at hour sitcoms were unsuccessful), it had no laugh track, and characters were sometimes killed in it.

Outline of Series 01, Episode 01

Butcher (Jack Warden) is introduced to his assignment, ship and crew—and instantly loathes them all.

The Wackiest Ship in the Army Series


  • The USS Kiwi was based on the real-life USS Echo, a 40-year-old schooner or scow that was transferred to the United States Navy from the government of New Zealand. It was returned to New Zealand in 1944.
  • A paperback based on the series, by Lee Bergman, was released in 1965.

Production & Filming Details

  • Creator: Danny Arnold.
  • Producers: Harry Ackerman, Herbert Hirschman, and Joseph Dackow.
  • Theme Music: Howard Greenfield, Jack Keller, and Helen Miller.
  • Composer: Nelson Riddle.
  • Production: Herbert Margolis Productions, Jospeh M. Schenck Productions, and Screen Gems.
  • Distributor: Screen Gems.
  • Original Network: NBC.
  • Release Date: 19 September 1965 (US).
  • Running Time: 45-48 minutes (per episode).
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

YouTube Link

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