Howard Morris also played Mayberry's very own Masked Singer
Eat your heart out, reality television. The Andy Griffith Show did it first.
Mel Blanc may have earned the nickname "The Man of a Thousand Voices," but Howard Morris was certainly up there numbers-wise, too. You probably know him best as Ernest T. Bass on The Andy Griffith Show, but the actor was also the voice behind Atom Ant, Mr. Peebles on Magilla Gorilla, Mayor McCheese, Jughead Jones of The Archies, Gopher in Winnie the Pooh, and even a koala in Qantas Airlines commercials.
Oh, and he also voiced more than 100 characters on The Flintstones.
Even in Mayberry, Morris sneakily played multiple roles. He turned up as a television repairman in "Andy and Helen Have Their Day," and could be heard as the radio announcer on WMPD - "The Voice of Mt. Pilot" in a couple of episodes, "The Family Visit" and "Barney's Bloodhound."
The later tale also gave Morris a chance to show off another of his vocal skills — singing. He was no stranger to belting tunes on TV. Two years prior, the Bronx native could be heard belting out "Eep opp ork ah ah!" as Jet Screamer on The Jetsons.
But in the hilarious "Barney's Bloodhound," Morris was an entirely different kind of crooner. He was Leonard Blush, "The Masked Singer."
That's right, The Andy Griffith Show had a Masked Singer long before it was a modern reality show sensation. Blush twinkles his piano keys and begins to coo, "Who is Sylvia—" just as a news bulletin interrupts the song to declare that a convict has escaped the state penitentiary. You can watch the scene in the clip above.
Blush is also mentioned in "The Song Festers." Alas, he is never seen! Not even in his mask. What kind of mask did he wear? Was he a giant banana or a bedazzled bear like on The Masked Singer? We'll never know. But we can imagine!