Monday, May 7, 2012
Hey to Goober...one last time.
I was deeply saddened to read this morning that George Lindsey, aka Goober, died yesterday in Nashville at the age of 83. Unlike so many other actors, George never tried to detach himself from the role that made him famous on a world stage. He was Pee-Wee Herman/Paul Rueben or Mr. Bean/Rowan Atkinson before those personas were ever imagined.
George Lindsey was the lovable buffoon Goober Pyle.
He had originally auditioned for the role that eventually went to Jim Nabors. The two men grew up in Alabama practically real neighbors until the latter moved to Southern California. Jim Nabors is 81 and lives in Hawaii today. The two men will be linked forever as the cousins from Mayberry that both worked at Wally's Filling Station.
Goober Pyle: Yo.
From 1964 until 1992, George played Goober on The Andy Griffith Show and later on the long running Hee Haw. I've always loved the first and have grown to love the latter, but after years of loathing the standard response when meeting people and saying I was from Tennessee...Oh, like Hee Haw?
We sorely miss genuine characters like Goober on television today. Simpleton in the most innocent of terms. Living life with a sense of wonder and almost childlike. That fact is personified in pop culture slang whenever you call someone a goober. While maybe not fair to the purity of the role, Lindsey's character is a direct result of the slang label. On the other hand, I'm not sure of the origin when using the word in referring to a part of the male anatomy. But I digress...
Much like Elvis Presley, Jughead Jones or even Bugs Bunny, Goober Pyle will live on as a recognizable character for many, many years to comes. Maybe, just maybe, not only because he continues to entertain most all of us with his lovable shenanigans in syndication...but because most everyone has at one time or another had a Goober moment or two themselves.
Lord knows I've had plenty...