Mayberry's ''new doctor'' once shared advice on how to be a popular teen

The actor George Nader recommended tuning out "worthless opinions" in a teen etiquette column.

"I don't believe I've ever heard of a doctor who wasn't married," Barney Fife says, astounded to learn Mayberry's "New Doctor" is a bachelor.

In this first season episode of The Andy Griffith Show, Barney and Aunt Bee convince Andy that this new bachelor doctor is going to sweep Ellie off her feet and out of Andy's arms.

Playing the new doctor was George Nader, and you may not realize what a perfect fit he was for the role — if you managed to miss out on his short-lived NBC series The Man and the Challenge.

The Man and the Challenge starred Nader as a physician and former Marine, who's hired by the U.S. government to conduct experiments testing the limits of human endurance. The brave doctor — who, of course, was also a bachelor — frequently insisted on being his own test subject, developing a reputation among those tuned in as someone who can bear much more than the average man.

Which only figures, he could also handle much more than the average teen, right?

A year before "the new doctor" came to Mayberry, Nader was tapped to provide guest advice for a teen etiquette column called Dear Kitte, a syndicated newspaper feature put together by Kitte Turmell.

The columnist introduced him as the bachelor star of The Man and the Challenge, noting that he "thinks a lot about the importance of being an individual, not a robot."

The angsty teen who wrote in as "Miss X" asked, "Hardly anybody that I meet casually or in a group notices or remembers me. I feel like a most uninteresting person. How can I get to be a somebody?"

Nader responded, "Miss X won't be nobody when she discovers the importance of being an individual. This may take some exploring, but it doesn't require travel. The most fabulous frontier is the mind, and it can be the most exciting frontier to explore."

He stressed that Miss X was born an individual and told her, “In teens, when almost everyone is pushing conformity, it is easy to fall prey to the herd instinct. Don't forget that one thing that separates man from animals is his awareness that he is an individual and has the capacity to act like one."

"I don't mean that you should turn into a selfish, unthinking, irresponsible egotist," he went on. "But I do mean that you must not underestimate the value of your own individuality."

In Mayberry, the bachelor doctor certainly stood out as an unusual individual, and two of Mayberry's most opinionated people, Aunt Bee and Barney Fife, couldn't keep from sharing with Andy what they thought about this new addition to town. And how he posed a likely threat to Andy with Ellie.

In his column, Nader clarified that this kind of opinion-sharing takes social courage, but any teens fielding outside opinions from others shouldn't stop thinking for themselves.

Nader gave teens advice on how to be ''a somebody.''

"You should feel free to express your opinion when asked what you think and to do what suits you when you have a choice. This does not mean, though, that you should flout conventions or indulge in bad manners, or lead an isolated life. It means that you should develop the ability to be yourself in a group without creating disharmony."

In Mayberry, Nader absolutely created disharmony, and it was hilarious to see Andy feel "threatened." It will likely delight you to know that the bachelor doctor also had advice specifically on how to have successful "boy-girl relations."

"Neither [person] should try to impose his will on the other completely, by being the one to decide where to go, what to do. He may be a fine athlete, but must she never go anywhere or listen to anything, which does not involve sport? He should share her love of music or art or dancing some of the time."

Considering things didn't work out with Ellie, the doctor's sweet advice almost makes you wish the new doctor had swept her off her pharmacy-walking feet! Nader's character, judging by his appearance, certainly seemed like a keeper.

"In date life, it's important to find the one with whom you can be a happy individual, and who can do the same with you, so that both grow in depth and interest," Nader insisted.

At the end of his column, as if he was listening in on the rumors being started by Aunt Bee and Barney that the new doctor was after Ellie's heart, Nader concluded his guest column by telling Miss X how to be like Andy and resist those gossiping folks.

"If people in your crowd seem to be thwarting your efforts to be yourself, analyze the situation. If you know what is correct, moral, sociable, and follow the knowledge, you won’t be swayed by gossip, rumor and worthless opinions," Nader said.

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practicaljokerfan 35 months ago
I wish that Ed Sawyer had become a
Regular Cast member of TAGS .
practicaljokerfan 35 months ago
In one of the color episodes of TAGS
Actor William Christopher Played the
New Doctor In .Mayberry.
Kenner 35 months ago
R.I.P. Mr Nadar passed in 2002, age 80.
JHP 36 months ago
snicker snicker

of all people on that show BARNAY talks about marriage?!

one woman in his hip pocket and one shiny bullet in his shirt pocket
MrsPhilHarris 36 months ago
I have wondered why the character didn’t stay and make an occasional appearance. I don’t mean Elinor Donahue, but the character of Ellie. The drug store was under used after she left.

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texasluva MrsPhilHarris 35 months ago
It is. I am watching it now. Groovy. He's on a psychedelic plane trying to get this woman and she is so put off and on that bed that changes colors. I am laughing so hard. Too much.

I don't have to worry about Fireworks. I blew both my hands off 6 years ago. Ha ha, not really. Though as a kid I put one in an orange and it went off near my ear when I threw it. Whew. Like using Head Phone its decibels turned to the max . It might be against the law now that the weather is so hot. We have no fires like in CA, yet. Sorry about that town you talked about the other day. Happens when weather is hot, dry and windy.

Thanks for the 4th message.
ELEANOR MrsPhilHarris 35 months ago
Well, that's real easy to explain. Ellie and Andy just didn't have the chemistry and did not work out. So how many times have you seen two people just not have the chemistry and so she'll say, Let's be friends. And that's even worse and never works at all. So you couldn't really have Ellie even appearing, so she got written out. And the drug store appeared as needed.
MrsPhilHarris ELEANOR 35 months ago
After Ellie up sticks and left, I can remember Bee and Emma in the drugstore (the shoe salesman episode) but that is about it. I don’t remember an other episodes taking place in the drugstore. 🤔
practicaljokerfan JHP 35 months ago
EMMA Brand (Cheerio Meredith) was
A funny character and it is too bad
The writers and producers didnt .make
Emma a regular cast member.
In some episodes.of The Andy Griffith Show Emma Brand was called
Emma Watson instead of .Emma Brand
ETristanBooth 36 months ago
"things didn't work out with Ellie"

That's because the doctor already had a fiance who was soon going to be joining him in Mayberry. He was never interested in Ellie.
JHP ETristanBooth 36 months ago
he didnt like her sundaes
JHP 35 months ago
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Andybandit 36 months ago
Interesting story. I like Elle, too bad she left after one season. She was for Women's right.
harlow1313 36 months ago
I am glad to see that he encouraged Miss X to wave her freak flag high. Wave on.
Pacificsun harlow1313 36 months ago
"Hardly anybody that I meet casually or in a group notices or remembers me. I feel like a most uninteresting person. How can I get to be a somebody?"

Long gone in the dust, is the author of that question.

And that’s assuming the teen was a freak. Or just feeling that way. Before social media thrust a mirror into every young person’s face, compelling them to be like everyone else if they felt deficient in some way. There was movies and TV (which is what we enjoy retroactively). No other medium could do so well, as to present unique characters and memorable actors, who shined in their roles! They became legends in some cases, sometimes just because of one opportunity. My hunch is that in these cases, they didn’t (because they couldn't) stray too far from the essence of their own personality! Being unique and individual, was a gift!

But if another teen cares about such advice today, I would say, develop the art of conversation. Listen to what people are saying. Try to build on the exchange, thoughtfully. Intelligence and sensitivity will make you stand out. There is so little of it today. Be authentic and confident. And proud of yourself.

Happy Fourth!
harlow1313 Pacificsun 36 months ago
I was subtlety referencing the fierce independence of Jimi Hendrix's "If Six was Nine." There is great strength and satisfaction in kindly being oneself, within or without the herd. Wave on.
LoveMETV22 36 months ago
I like Elinor Donahue as Ellie on TAGS as opposed to some of her other roles.
teire LoveMETV22 36 months ago
I agree. She comes across as her most genuine as Ellie.
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 36 months ago
I agree,
We've had this discussion here before too. It was said that Donahue and AG lacked personal chemistry. But in reading more and more about AG, my hunch is, she was too good of an actress/personality, to which he was afraid of being upstaged. A very good episode was in how she played the role of running for City Council. She had heads turning (at least the females) in Mayberry. Because she played the role with strength and intelligence. Had she won, would've been a foretelling of the direction that her relationship with Andy Taylor would've taken. Less deference being paid to him (as did Helen Crump) and more focus on her in the community. I think she played it well. But it could certainly be said that she wasn't "folksy" enough. A different day and age!!
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 36 months ago
Yeah especially when the episode first aired back in 1960. That was probably a somewhat heated topic.
JHP Pacificsun 35 months ago
she could maybe play the guitar better than him too
practicaljokerfan JHP 35 months ago
You Tube did a survey s while back
And Peggy MacMillan(Joanna Moore)
Was voted by the majority of voters
As The most popular girlfriend of
Andy Taylor
Was that really Elinor Donahue's
Voice singing .Away On A .Manger
On the Christmas episode ?
In one episode Peggy and Andy sang
Down In the Valley.
JHP practicaljokerfan 35 months ago
yeah she was yummo - too good for Andy tho - Mayor pikes daughter would a been a good fit (haha) - even though she hates the guitar and cant bowl
JHP practicaljokerfan 35 months ago
and one more thing - THEE funniest scene on TV is in "Barney's Sidecar" so so good
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