‘The Andy Griffith Show’: One of the Actor’s Identities Remains a Mystery

by Emily Morgan

How is it possible that a television actor can remain unknown for nearly 60 years? That’s something fans of “The Andy Griffith Show” are still trying to figure out.

The man who played Mr. Schwamp, also referred to as Mr. Schwump, still stumps fans long after the show stopped taping. He played a Mayberry citizen in a whopping 26 episodes and even in the spin-off, “Mayberry R.F.D.”

“The Andy Griffith Show” enthusiasts believe that viewers also saw the cast member in the 1945 classic sitcom, “Christmas In Connecticut.”

So who was the mysterious Mr. Schwamp?

Considering all the books, websites, and articles dedicated to the beloved show combined with interviews with the cast and crew, it’s unfathomable to think that this topic remains a mystery.

There’s even a yearly festival devoted to the sitcom: Mayberry Days. And yet, nobody can pin down the identity of “Mr. Schwamp.”

Fans have gone so far as to ask the casting director, talent agents, writers, directors, actors from the show about the conundrum.

First, let’s look into who exactly was Mr. Schwamp, for those not familiar with the episode.

The gentleman made his first appearance in season four’s “My Fair Ernest T. Bass” on “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Fans first caught a glimpse of the toupee-wearing character at Mrs. Wiley’s tea party. Throughout the series, he continues to turn up in the background — at dances, restaurants, and benches outside the courthouse. Despite his numerous appearances, he never utters a single word.

Mystery Character Travels From ‘The Andy Griffith’s Show’s’ Mayberry To California

For years, fans came up with their own nickname for him: “Mr. Schwump,” until a script explained that his name was, in fact, “Schwamp.”

However, the enigma that is Schwamp wasn’t limited to the fictional Mayberry town.

The spin-off series “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” mostly took place at the fictional Camp Henderson in California. And as you can guess, Mr. Schwamp shows his face several times in the military sitcom.

During the episode “Gomer, the Welsh Rarebit Fiend,” viewers can see him dining in the restaurant. The waitress serves him as Gomer sits in the background.

A few episodes later, in “One Of Our Shells is Missing,” it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment when he’s seen in the Army Surplus Store.

Then, in “Gomer, the Beautiful Dreamer,” Schwamp makes another cameo, shopping in the background of a crowded grocery store.