Skip to comments.Jim Nabors Dies: ‘Gomer Pyle’ Star Was 87
Posted on 11/30/2017 11:22:42 AM PST by Eleutheria5
Jim Nabors, who gave popular culture its most enduring image of a wide-eyed, good-natured if none too bright hayseed in a character whose very name Gomer Pyle would become synonymous with lovable rube, died Thursday in Hawaii. He was 87.
Nabors husband, Stan Cadwallader...
With catchphrases Shazam! and Gollllly! (the latter drawn out to four or five lilting syllables), Nabors debuted his downhome, gas station attendant character in 1962 on The Andy Griffith Show, where the slow-going, dim-witted Gomer was a constant irritation to Don Knotts officious, high-strung Deputy Barney Fife.
The Gomer character, and Nabors odd-couple chemistry with Knotts, proved so popular with audiences that he was given his own spin-off series in 1964. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C, co-starring Frank Sutton as his ever-yelling drill sergeant Vince Carter (I cant heeearrrr youuu!) ran until 1969 on CBS. (The Gomer character was replaced on Andy Griffith with cousin Goober Pyle, played by George Lindsey in a Jughead-style cap).
Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. was an instant smash when it debuted in September 1964. The series finished No. 3 among all primetime shows that season with a 30.7 rating - ahead of Andy Griffith and was No. 2 behind Bonanza for the following 1965-66 season. The series slipped in the ratings after its move from Fridays to Wednesdays for the 1966-67 season, but CBS returned Gomer Pyle to Fridays the following season and it ranked No. 3 and No. 2 in primetime during the next two seasons.
Nabors comic persona, with his natural Alabama accent stretched to a near-cartoon drawl, evaporated when switched gears to sing, utilizing a baritone that sounded both formal and trained, a dichotomy used to great effect as far back as the Griffith show.
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RIP Mr Nabors. You and Frank gave us a lot of laughter.
He was a confused person, but seemed nice and well-intentioned.
I seriously thought he died years ago, after numerous liver transplants.
One interesting tidbit about Gomer Pyle, it showed on TV from 64-69, right in the heart of the Vietnam years, yet it never mentioned Vietnam once on the show. I guess they didn’t want to delve into politics. Entertainment not pushing political agendas, my how times have changed...
I thought he died years ago going down the Hudson.
He didn’t go around painting himself pink or any of that gay stuff. I respect that. He was an entertainer, and he focused on being entertaining, and he was.
As a kid I naively thought he was just pretending to be effeminate. We didn’t have many gays in my town, at least not that I knew of.
I liked Jim Nabors - always thought he was funny and talented. Impressed that he never made it a big deal that he was gay; neither should we.
Gomer was 37 years old as still just a Private in the USMC.
Makes you wonder about him.
BACK HOME AGAIN IN INDIANA.
“He didnt go around painting himself pink or any of that gay stuff. I respect that.”
You got to understand, that was in the days before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Shazam. Gomer Pyle reruns were a big part of my childhood TV viewing. RIP.
No joke. You can’t watch a documentary on stars and nebulas without some global warming or liberal garbage now. I can’t believe the utter garbage fiction that is passing as documentaries nowadays, too.
big deal that he was gay; neither should we.....back then it was “Leave me alone in my own bedroom.” OK. Then it was “accept me as I am.” OK. Then it was “Cater to me.” OK. Now it is “Totally embrace you or I’ll shut you down.”
Also starred in Sid & Marty Krofft show “the Lost Saucer”, for the Gen-Xers out there.
Didn’t realize he was so young. Just 87.
Actor Frank Sutton, who portrayed Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter on the show.
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