Cousins Goober and Gomer Pyle were among the many comical characters on The Andy Griffith Show, and they shared many similarities. Besides coming from the same family line, Goober and Gomer had the same goofy demeanor. They both worked at the Wally’s Filling Station, and they helped repair cars every now and then.
Because of their comical and innocent antics, Gomer and Goober were favorites among Andy Griffith fans. After their run on the sitcom, both characters had their own spin-offs and appeared in other comedy shows as well.
However, there is one big difference between the mechanic cousins of Mayberry. One had a significantly larger appearance on The Andy Griffith Show. Gomer Pyle was only on the show from 1962 to 1964 before starring in his own show, Gomer Pyle: USMC. Meanwhile, Goober had twice as long of a standing, appearing from 1964 to 1968. Goober appeared in 86 episodes by the show’s end, while Gomer appeared in just 23.
The number doesn’t signify which Pyle cousin was better than the other, but it does make a difference in how the characters developed over the years in the storyline. While Goober would continue to provide comic relief and innocent humor on The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer would develop his leadership capabilities in the Marine Corps.
How Goober and Gomer Pyle Differed on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’
When Gomer Pyle joined The Andy Griffith Show in Season 3, he became famous for his nonsensical catchphrases, like “Shazam!” and “Golly!” Likewise, cousin Goober had a catchphrase of his own, but it wasn’t quite as goofy.
While Gomer would later become a Marine, Goober, too served in the military, but a different branch. During his time with the North Carolina National Guard, Goober picked up his catchphrase, “Yo.”
The difference in their common phrases may seem trivial, but it points to the fact that Gomer had much more over-the-top reactions to simple things than his cousin ever did. And many times, this was the source of his comedic role on the show.
There was an even bigger difference regarding how the actors portrayed Goober and Gomer Pyle. While both men were well-liked, Gomer always acted more intelligent. While Gomer still wasn’t considered the brightest of the bunch, Goober shticks would point out his childlike intellect and backward nature. Goober’s iconic “whoopee” cap was even a reference to Jughead Jones from the Archie comics.
Regardless, both men still had their fair share of mishaps.
A popular Andy Griffith episode was when Goober adopted a stray dog and believed it could speak English. As it turned out, the pup just had a walkie-talkie tucked behind its collar.
For cousin Gomer, his antics tended to happen at the shop. From mistaking a carburetor for a hood ornament to misdiagnosing mechanical problems, it’s a wonder how the shop made any money with the Pyle men around.