Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C - Situation Comedy 1964 - 1969
Gomer Pyle was a character from The Andy Griffith Show, another situation comedy from CBS. The gas station attendant, played by Jim Nabors was so popular that CBS decided to give him his own show. In the pilot show, which was an episode of The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer enlists in the Marines and the fun begins. The very first episode of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. aired on 25th September 1964 on CBS.
After living a simple life as a gas station attendant, Gomer decides to enlist in the Marine Corps. He is stationed at Camp Henderson, California. The Drill Sergeant, Vince Carter, doesn't know what to do with this bumbling simple country boy. Gomer manages to get himself into all kinds of scrapes while the tough sergeant does his best to keep him in check. Gomer is actually a good man at heart and his naivety gradually wins over his fellow recruits and even Sergeant Carter (played by Frank Sutton).
A versatile all round entertainer, Jim Nabors has been at the top of his profession for over 40 years. He was born in Sylacauga, Alabama. After leaving high school, he attended The University of Alabama where he majored in business administration. His first job was as a typist for the United Nations in New York - quite a way from the town of his birth. He then became an Apprentice Film Cutter, firstly in Chattanooga, Tennessee and then in Los Angeles.
It was here that he started to do some moonlighting as a singer in a cabaret venue called The Horn. His well toned baritone voice was beginning to be noticed, not to mention his witty monologues. Bill Dana spotted his talent and signed Nabors up for The Steve Allen Show after a successful audition. By this time Jim decided to quit his day job - he was well and truly bitten by the show business bug.
After The Steve Allen Show folded he eventually returned to The Horn as a regular performer and was spotted by Andy Griffith who asked him to audition for the part of Gomer Pyle. He was an immediate hit and after The Andy Griffith Show had been on the air for only a short while it was obvious that a spin off series was a real possibility (not a usual thing in those early days of TV). In 1964 CBS began its run of Gomer Pyle - USMC.
Since the series ended in 1969, Jim Nabors has had countless guest appearances on TV and on film, has hosted his own TV show and has further developed his very successful singing career.
1986 - and Gomer Returns:
Many of the originals from The Andy Griffith Show were reunited in the critically acclaimed comedy movie Return to Mayberry. The cast included Jim Nabors, playing an older, but just as funny, half-witted gas station attendant, Gomer Pyle.