‘The Andy Griffith Show’: This Actor Played a Similar Character on ‘Leave It to Beaver’

by Katie Maloney

If you’re a dedicated fan of The Andy Griffith Show, you’ll know the answer to this question…

If you needed a haircut in Mayberry, where did you go? If you answered, Floyd’s Barbershop, you’re correct! Everyone in Mayberry knew that Floyd was the guy to see when they wanted a new hairdo. Actor Howard McNear played Floyd for six years on the show and he was as warm and inviting as a hot towel. But McNear wasn’t the first Floyd on The Andy Griffith. He was actually the second actor to play the part. McNear replaced actor Walter Baldwin after the first season. During an interview in 2003, The Andy Griffith Show actors Andy Griffith and Don Knotts opened up about their experiences with McNear.

“Howard McNear was a genius,” said Griffith.

“He sure was,” Knotts replied. “One of the funniest men that ever lived.”

“And he didn’t even seem to try,” said Griffith. “I don’t know where he discovered that character.”

Well, it seems that McNear discovered his barber character years before landing his role on The Andy Griffith Show. In fact, McNear first played a barber in 1958 on the classic television show, Leave It To Beaver. During the episode titled “The Shave,” Wally steps into manhood and decides to start shaving. McNear’s character is there to help. Want to hear something funny? McNear’s character was named Andy! Three years later, McNear reprised his role of a barber for The Andy Griffith Show.

Howard McNear as Floyd on The Andy Griffith Show

‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Star Ron Howard Opened Up About Working With Howard McNear

Howard McNear certainly had his own style of delivering his lines on The Andy Griffith Show. He’d ramble on as if saying nothing and then all of a sudden, the joke would hit. If you weren’t paying attention the joke might just slip past you, that’s how subtle he was. And it takes talent to deliver lines like that, especially humorous lines. During the same interview, acting superstar Ron Howard talked about what made McNear such a talented actor.

“That halting, can’t-quite-finish-his-sentence, and then to come out with just that one little word,” said Howard. “He would just sit in his own chair, his own barber chair, and everyone would gather around and a wonderful scene would unfold.”

In conclusion, Howard McNear certainly delivered to the town of Mayberry. Through Floyd, residents could get both a haircut and a hilarious joke. What more can you ask for?

The cast of The Andy Griffith Show talk about their co-stars.