‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Star Jim Nabors Made First Appearance as Gomer Pyle on This Day in 1962

by Joe Rutland
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Fans of The Andy Griffith Show can hear “Shazam!” and know it’s Gomer Pyle coming along. Today in 1962, Jim Nabors first played him.

Toss in a “gollee!” too and that makes up some of the Pyle character. If you recall, he worked at Mayberry’s gas station along with Goober Pyle, played by George Lindsey.

Here are some more details about The Bank Job. It was the 13th episode of Season 3 for The Andy Griffith Show.

According to IMDb, here’s the episode synopsis: “Barney thinks the Mayberry Bank is a pushover for a robbery and sets out to prove it.” In case you did not know, then Barney was played by Don Knotts.

‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Star Simply Left Griffith Speechless With His Singing

Did you know who thought Nabors’ singing was incredible as something separate from The Andy Griffith Show? Andy Griffith himself.

The sitcom’s star recalls hearing Nabors sing when he and Knotts were present.

Let’s take a journey back to 1963. The Andy Griffith Show already had been on CBS for a few seasons. Griffith and Knotts would go on the road and perform as a duo. Might be hard to believe but both actors had a rich comedic background way before the sitcom.

In fact, both appeared together in the movie version of No Time for Sergeants. One time, they appeared, along with Nabors, at the famed Harrah’s Club in Lake Tahoe.

After Griffith and Knotts did their bit, Nabors came on stage in his “Gomer” hat. According to an article from MeTV, Griffith asked Nabors if he’d like to tell a joke or dance. Nabors said no. Singing? Nabors said yes.

After that, Griffith says this about his portion of the show: “That boy started to sing and you could feel the hair rising on everybody in the audience. And he only had 14 minutes of material. He’d just gotten into the business. He was a business major in school.”

Check this out. It comes from Nabors’ Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. sitcom. In it, Pyle (well Nabors) sings The Impossible Dream.

In addition, Nabors would find himself among a select few actors to have found success beyond The Andy Griffith Show.

Of course, this was a spin-off and, yes, this show did affect those who registered to serve in the military. In conclusion, the show originally ran in the 1960s right in the midst of the Vietnam War.

Therefore, according to an article in the Honolulu Civil Beat, the enlistment rate for the Marines went up between 35-40 percent in the show’s run. 

Outsider.com