Mail Call was a television program that appeared on the History Channel and hosted by R. Lee Ermey, a retired United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant,. The show debuted on August 4, 2002 as part of the 'Fighting Fridays' lineup. Most episodes were 30 minutes, but from 2007 through the show's end in 2009 some episodes were 60 minutes.
During each episode, Ermey read and answered questions submitted by viewers regarding weapons and equipment used by all branches of the U.S. military now or in the past, as well as by other armed forces in history. Ermey often took his viewers on location to military training areas to film demonstrations. When not on location, Ermey broadcast from a set resembling a military outpost, including a tent, a Jeep, and various other pieces of military gear which changed throughout the series. At times, he would also have a bulldog - usually symbolic of Marines, especially drill instructors - on his show as well.
Comic relief was provided as Ermey inflicted DI-style verbal abuse on his viewers or tests the effects of various weapons on watermelons and paint cans, as well as occasional appearances of "Mini-Lee", an action figure styled in Ermey's likeness, often seen berating a luckless G.I. Joe figurine. His demeanor as host was similar to the character "Gunnery Sergeant Hartman" portrayed by Ermey in the Stanley Kubrick film Full Metal Jacket, though this attitude was shown only towards his viewers and not the military special guests. Older viewers might compare him to Sergeant Vincent Carter, a character in the Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. television program..