George Lindsey loved playing the role of Goober on The Andy Griffith Show
George Lindsey played the role of Goober so well that he had a hard time separating his real life and his Mayberry life.
George Lindsey played Goober for 86 episodes on The Andy Griffith Show. During the show's eight season run, Goober became one of the most beloved characters in Mayberry. With all that screen time, Lindsey even considered himself a real-life Goober.
In a 1966 interview with The Post-Standard, Lindsey said The Andy Griffith Show came at the right time in his career, and once he had the role, he essentially played himself on TV.
"I don't know where Goober begins and George Lindsey ends," he said. "I can't say enough about the people I work for. And I hope to stay with Andy as long as he will have me. He's the most important thing that happened to me."
According to the interview, Griffith's love for the show spread among the entire cast. Lindsey said he looked forward to mornings on set.
"At script conferences, which we have all day Thursday, Andy gives grades," he said. "The accepted suggestions get an A. One Thursday, I made seven F's."
Grades and Goober go together. Before pursuing an acting career, Lindsey was a teacher and a football coach at Hazel Green High School in Alabama. Lindsey then decided to move to New York to begin his career.
"I studied two years to lose my accent, and when I got on this show, it took me about two or three months to get it back," he said.
In a 1967 interview with Nashua Telegraph, Lindsey said he would frequently get recognized for his role as Goober. Just one of the many perks he enjoyed about his job.
"When I go out to radios and fairs, people always want me to wear my beanie because they recognize me that way," he said. "When I don't wear it they always say 'without the hat, you don't look very funny!'"
Lindsey played the role so well that he was awarded the key to the city in his hometown of Jasper, AL, in 1965. Goober or George, it doesn't matter. The actor wasn't acting as much as he was just being himself.
"You know, I'm Goober so much now that I can't seperate the character from George Lindsey," he said.