Wednesday, December 6, 2017


From Deadline:
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.

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 can’t 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.

Gomer Pyle will be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for the following appearances in Earth Prime-Time.


"The Andy Griffith Show"
23 episodes

"Gomer Pyle: USMC" 
150 episodes

"The Lucy Show" 
    - Lucy Gets Caught Up in the Draft (1966) 

Return to Mayberry (1986) 

"The Single Guy"
    - Vegas Finale (1997) TV episode, Played by Evan Arnold

If I saw this episode I don't remember it.  I'm assuming, since this is a Vegas episode, "Gomer Pyle" was a stage show impression.  But why would Gomer be relevant to the audience?  I'm assuming that, like so many other citizens of Toobworld, a TV show was made about their life.  

We've had plenty of evidence that there was a Toobworld TV show about the "real" Gomer Pyle AND we know that Jim Nabors played the part:

The Lucy Show:
Lucy Helps Danny Thomas (1965)
still photo seen hanging on wall

Green Acres:
Parity Begins at Home (1965)
mentioned throughout the episode

Standing in the Shadows of Love (1989)

ALF refers to the series.

My Secret Identity:
1] Give the Guy a Chance (1989)
Nina describes Doug as "such a Gomer."

2 Calendar Boy (1990)
Erin refers to Andrew as "Gomer."

Night Court:
Blue Suede Bull (1989)
"Surprise, surprise, surprise!'"

The Keys (1992)
Kramer mentions watching this show

Smart Guy:
Rooferman, Take One (1998)
Mentioned by TJ

Can't Buy Me Love (1994)
Renata refers to the "Gomers" on Frasier's radio show

Que SerĂ¡ SerĂ¡ (2006)
House calls a cop 'Gomer Pyle'

American Dreams:
California Dreamin' (2005)
Roxanne refers to the series.

Home Improvement:
Tanks for the Memories (1996)
Tim refers to the series and imitates Gomer

Law & Order:
Pro Se (1996)
The detectives are told that Smith was nicknamed "Gomer Pyle" at the shelter.

You Can't Handle This Episode (2010)
Shawn refers to the army base security guard as "Gomer."

Hard Time on Planet Earth:
All That You Can Be (1989)
Control plays a clip on his screen, from the series, to Jesse to show him perfect behavior in the U.S. military

Mad Men:
The Forecast (2015)
Dee mentions the character of Gomer Pyle in a military context.

The Newsroom:
The 112th Congress (2012)
Maggie Jordan calls Jim Harper, "Gomer Pyle".

The Muppet Show:
Jim Nabors (1976)
Jim Nabors says he played Gomer Pyle for so long he nearly forgot his real name.

With these next two references, they don’t necessarily mean that they are directly connected to ‘Gomer Pyle, USMC’…..

Parker Lewis Can't Lose:
Future Shock (1991)
Parker says, "Drafted into ROTC? Mental note: Shazam!"

Arrested Development:
Switch Hitter (2005)
Buster and his Drill Sergeant recreate the marching scene from the opening credits of the show.

Here are some other Toobworlds in which Gomer Pyle was either referenced as a TV show, or as an actual person.

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In:
Episode #2.13 (1968)
Dan mentions Secretary of the interior Gomer Pyle during the news of the future

Saturday Night Live:
Bill Murray/Sting (1993)
Gomer Pyle mentioned by Hank Fielding on Weekend Update

"The Simpsons"
    - Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes? (1992)
    - Bart the Lover (1992)
Played by Dan Castellaneta
Rod and Todd watch "Gomer Pyle."

The Simpsons:
Bart Gets an Elephant (1994)
Homer reads about this show in an old TV guide and reminisces about it.

Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man:
Clip Job (1995)
One of the characters Duckman turns into when he's hooked up to the TV transmitting device is Gomer Pyle.

"Hi Honey, I'm Home"
    - Hi Mom, I'm Not Home (1991) 

The Andy Griffith Show Reunion: Back to Mayberry (2003) 

(All this information is from the IMDb....)

Good night and may God bless Jim Nabors……

1 comment:

Jim Peyton said...

Thank you. Lovable character and a really nice man to boot. Man he sure could sing