HomeAmerican EntertainmentTVClassic TV‘The Andy Griffith Show’: This Reunion Special Was George Lindsey’s Final TV Role

‘The Andy Griffith Show’: This Reunion Special Was George Lindsey’s Final TV Role

by Megan Molseed
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(Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

The Andy Griffith Show found its place among the most iconic television sitcoms of all time because of its endlessly nostalgic nod to yesterday. Following the lives and adventures of one small-town sheriff named Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith); his goofy deputy, Barney Fife (Don Knotts); and members of his family including his young son Opie (Ron Howard); and his aunt – the motherly Aunt Bee (Francis Bavier).

After enjoying a successful run between 1960 and 1968, fans began to miss the classic television series. And, by the mid-1980s, a reunion show was on the way. Bringing back some of our favorite actors whose names and faces became synonymous with their Mayberry characters, 1986’s Return to Mayberry was a major hit. In fact, the special quickly gained the distinction of becoming the most-watched TV movie of the year. It was also the final Mayberry-related appearance of one Andy Griffith show favorite, George Lindsey’s Goober Pyle.

The Andy Griffith Show Brings Back Everything We Fell In Love With In Mayberry

The 1986 reunion special finds former Mayberry Sheriff Andy Taylor returning home to Mayberry to visit his son, Opie, as he is expecting his first child. While back in Mayberry the former sheriff also decides to stick around to help his former deputy, Barney Fife in his campaign to become Sheriff.

Elsewhere, George Lindsey and Jim Nabors’ flighty and slightly hair-brained characters Goober and Gomer, have spotted a sea monster. Well, a lake monster, actually. This memorable Goober and Gomer team is only the third time the characters have appeared in the series together. Fans of the Andy Griffith Show remember how Goober steps in to replace his cousin Gomer in the series. This of course happens when Gomer joins the service…moving to Gomer Pyle USMC. This was also the final Andy Griffith Show episode to ever feature George Lindsey who passed away in 2012.

George Lindsey Brings Back His Beloved Goober Pyle

Return to Mayberry may have been the actor’s final official appearance as Goober, however, George Lindsey would make an early 1990s appearance on the Nashville Now talk show’s Andy Griffith Show special on the Nashville Network. The 1991 episode was entirely devoted to the iconic classic television sitcom series. This memorable special features some of our favorite characters from the series as well as an ode to Mayberry. During the episode, viewers got a special treat as Lindsey joins some other cast members for an impromptu skit; bringing back their beloved Mayberry characters. George Lindsey also went on to guest star as himself in some popular television shows such as News Radio and Vicki!

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