Some Andy Griffith Show actors also voiced memorable product mascots
You can find Ernie Keebler, Mayor McCheese, Tony the Tiger and more in Mayberry!
If your stomach starts to growl as you watch The Andy Griffith Show, it's understandable. From fried chicken to fruit pies, the classic sitcom comes filled with Southern cooking, mostly thanks to Aunt Bee. (Well, perhaps her pickles will turn off your hunger.) The housekeeper even started a Chinese restaurant, Aunt Bee's Canton Palace, and hosted a cooking show, Mayberry Chef.
Back when the show originally aired, the cast even appeared in commercial skits at the tail end of episodes for sponsors like Post Cereals.
Here's more tasty trivia tidbit about The Andy Griffith Show to get your taste buds going. Some familiar Mayberry faces were the voices behind memorable commercial mascots! Let's take a look.
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1. Jim Nabors as Loveable Truly
Alpha-Bits has gone through several mascots over the decades. In recent years, talking alphabet letters have promoted the cereal. That makes sense. Gen-Xers (and Boomers with a sweet tooth) might remember the Alpha-Bits Wizard of the 1970s and 1980s. Before all that, though, there was a postman named… er, Loveable Truly. For some reason. Jim Nabors, forever known for playing Gomer Pyle (and his booming singing voice) provided the voice of the cartoon character for a time!
2. Parley Baer as Ernie Keebler
The Keebler Elves date back 50 years. The advertising agency Leo Burnett, king of the product mascot, came up with the characters in 1968. At first, J.J. Keebler was the king of "the Hollow Tree Factory." In 1970, Ernest "Ernie" J. Keebler became the elf in charge in the cartoon commercials. Baer, best known for playing Mayor Stoner on The Andy Griffith Show, voiced Ernie from 1969 through 1997, helping sell treats like Rich'n Chips cookies and Fudge Sticks.
3. Howard Morris as Mayor McCheese
Ernest T. Bass himself, Howard Morris was the original voice of Mayor McCheese. Plus, he took over for Larry Storch as the Hamburglar in the 1980s. How did Morris have such an in with McDonald's? Well, he happened to helm most of the McDonaldland commercials. He directed dozens of the spots. "My dad Howard Morris directed the vast majority of the original and now classic McDonaldland commercials," his son David wrote in 2018. "He helped cast some amazing actors to play the various crazy characters." Those included Billy Curtis and Jerry Maren from The Wizard of Oz.
4. Jack Burns as Vince the Dummy
For more than a decade, the U.S. Department of Transportation informed TV viewers, "You could learn a lot from a dummy." It was the government's campaign to get drivers and passengers to buckle up in automobiles. The ads featured two talking crash test dummies, Vince and Larry. Burns voiced Vince. Around the same time, Burns also voiced Sid the Squid on Animaniacs! Burns had the unenviable job of replacing Barney Fife as Andy's deputy. In hindsight, we think he was pretty underrated.
5. Dallas McKennon as Cornelius the Rooster
With his bushy, grizzled beard, McKennon was the picture-perfect actor to portray Cincinnatus, the reedy-voiced innkeeper on Daniel Boone. Looking at him, it's hard to imagine that he was also the voice of Archie in the Filmation cartoons — as in the comic book teen who sang "Sugar, Sugar." He also voiced Gumby! When Kellogg's launched Tony the Tiger in the early 1950s, McKennon was the voice for a brief period. He was replaced by the deep-voiced Thurl Ravenscroft who delivered the iconic, "They're g-r-r-r-reat!" But McKennon had more work for Kellogg's to do — he was the voice of the rooster mascot for Corn Flakes! In Mayberry, he turned up in the episode "The Sculpture."
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