Long before The Andy Griffith Show, the guy who played Goober acted in his first-ever show with the woman who played America’s mother on the Brady Bunch.
George Lindsey eventually became a fan favorite on The Andy Griffith Show. He joined the cast in 1964 as Goober Pyle, cousin of Gomer and gas station attendant for Mayberry. And soon, everybody was repeating the phrase “Goober Says Hey. Hey to Goober.”
But every actor needs a good starting off story. And Lindsey recalled his first job back in 2010, when he talked to Smashing Interviews magazine.
“I went on a United States tour with Florence Henderson in Wonderful Town,” Lindsey said. “We ran on Broadway, then we went to Atlanta, San Francisco, and all of the major cities. We went by train and it paid good money.”
This was in 1957. Lindsey was 29. He served in the Air Force and was going to drama school on the G.I. Bill. He picked acting as a career for one main reason.
“I won every talent show they ever had in school,” Lindsey said. “Then I went to New York and studied acting. I figured if you were going to do it, that’s the place where you needed to go.”
And that’s where he found Broadway. He still was seven years away from The Andy Griffith Show, his big break. Meanwhile, Florence Henderson was only 23 when she went on tour with Wonderful Town. But she already was comfortable on Broadway, starring in Fanny. She still was a dozen years removed from the Brady Bunch.
George Lindsey did come to acting rather late in life. But he quickly caught on as a comedic actor. His first TV gig was in 1960 when he was on To Tell the Truth.
He earned guest starring roles in several well-known westerns — Gunsmoke, The Rifleman and Daniel Boone. But his claim to fame always will be Goober on The Andy Griffith Show.
Goober Tickled Us On The Andy Griffith Show
Goober wasn’t supposed to be very bright. And he was the perfect relative for Gomer, another character who wasn’t the sharpest tool in the drawer. But the pair were comic gold as two naive attendants working for Wally’s Filling Station. In his very first episode, Goober showed off his Cary Grant impersonation if Cary Grant had a thick southern drawl.
And after The Andy Griffith Show, George Lindsey remained Goober on the country comedy show Hee Haw.
Lindsey could do more than Goober. He once guest starred on M*A*S*H, playing a surgeon.
He died in 2012, about two months before Andy Griffith.
For some Goober flavor, check out these classic clips from The Andy Griffith Show.