The series starred "insult comic" Don Rickles as a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy. Sharkey was an abrasive, sharp-tongued veteran in charge of a company of new Seaman Recruits on a San Diego naval base. Rickles is famous for his jokes about various ethnicities and this show provided him with a vehicle for his politically incorrect humor. The young company consisted of Daniels, an African-American; Kowalski, a Polish-American; Skolnick, a Jewish-American, Mignone, an Italian-American and Rodriguez, an Hispanic-American. Sharkey's best friend on the base was Chief Robinson (Harrison Page) who was African-American.
Rickles as Sharkey also put his insult humor to good use with the other characters. Sharkey's assistant, Seaman Pruitt (Peter Isacksen), was 6' 7" and simple-minded. His immediate superior was the smug and buck-toothed Lt. Whipple. The base commander was the female Capt. Quinlan (Elizabeth Allen), whom Sharkey never insulted to her face. But Sharkey was really a nice guy beneath his harsh exterior and often went to extreme measures to help his recruits with their problems.
In the first season, Sharkey's first name was never revealed until in one episode, he referred to himself as "Seymour". In the second season, he was named Otto.
Reruns aired on Comedy Central in the early 1990s.
Brooks, Tim; Earl Marsh (2003). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
SUBMERGED IN MEDIOCRITY FROM "MCHALE'S NAVY" TO "JAG," THE SEA SERVICE HAS SUFFERED ON THE SMALL SCREEN.(DAILY BREAK)
Dec 11, 1997; Byline: Larry Bonko TELEVISION GIVES us great shows about doctors, lawyers, cops and angels. But what has TV done for sailors?...