The Everett Collection

George Lindsey used his country roots to his benefit in Mayberry R.F.D.

We first met George Lindsey in Mayberry during his time as Goober Pyle in The Andy Griffith Show. His quirky character quickly became a big hit with fans with his simple-minded, but well-meaning personality. He also brought a lot of humor to the tiny town.

When The Andy Griffith Show ended in 1968, many fans were sad to see Goober go. However, later that year, we'd see him again, but this time in the spin-off series Mayberry R.F.D.

Many fans watching in rural America related to Goober because of his country accent, humor, and small-town spirit. Perhaps Goober felt authentic because George Lindsey himself was a small-town boy. While he wasn't from Mayberry, he was from a place a lot like it. 

Lindsey was born in Jasper, Alabama. According to a 1970 interview with The Daily Press, the town of Jasper only had a population of about 10,000 people around the time the interview took place.

He became such a hometown hero for his portrayal of Goober in both The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D. that Jasper hosted a yearly event known as "Goober Day." "Goober Day" was a celebration of his character, Lindsey himself, and most importantly, his rural country humor that was so often on display in both series.

"When I was down home for Goober Day, I heard one lady ask another, 'How can George earn a decent living working only 30 minutes a week?' That's simple country humor, and the lady didn't know she was being funny," Lindsey said.

His country roots helped him understand his character, both in the original series and its spin-off. Not only did Lindsey have the ability to make people laugh, but he had the power to relate with people from all over rural America.

In Mayberry R.F.D., Goober was employed at the famous Wally's Filling Station, where he worked on cars as a mechanic. He was the comic relief while also being an anchor for the community. He would share all sorts of his homespun wisdom with Mayberry residents.

"Maybe there is a little bit of bumpkin in everybody outside New York City," Lindsey said. "Goober has a common sense IQ of 190 and a book learning IQ of about 50."

In the interview, Lindsey said that he and Goober shared more qualities than just their small-town charm; they shared the same country kind of humor. When he had the opportunity to come back to his role as Goober, he did it because playing the part was a part of his life.

"Bumpkin humor can be the most difficult in the world," Lindsey said. "The key is that you don't play that kind of comedy, you are it. Sure, we depend on the writers, but you have to bring your own sense of humor to the delivery, emphasizing certain words and phrases and moving your body to fit the lines."

By using our site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy