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Q&A: Goober had two last names on TV series

Goober had two last names

When Goober first appeared on The Andy Griffith Show, he was introduced as Goober Beasley. Was he related to one Juanita Beasley (who was referenced on the show)? When did his last name change to Pyle on the show?

Goober, the slow-witted cousin of Gomer Pyle played by George Lindsey, who died May 6 at age 83, was first mentioned as being named Goober Beasley in episode No. 150, in The Andy Griffith Show's fifth season. After that, he was always referred to as Goober Pyle, show historian Neal Brower told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Brower, who wrote Mayberry 101: Behind the Scenes of a TV Classic and gives lectures on the show, said the name change was "just a discrepancy," due to the fact that the show didn't employ full-time writers.

Other characters went through name changes on the show. Aunt Bee's friend Clara Johnson also was known as Clara Edwards; barber Floyd Lawson also was called Floyd Colby; and Bobby Fleet and his Band With a Beat also was Freddy Fleet and his Band With a Beat.

"There wasn't a lot of script continuity," Brower said.

Juanita Beasley was Barney Fife's never-seen love interest. Lindsey also played the Goober character on spinoff Mayberry R.F.D., which was canceled in 1971, and on Hee Haw from 1971-93.

Lombardi movie project halted

I would like to know if you know anything about a movie starring Robert De Niro as Vince Lombardi.

With more than a little fanfare, ESPN announced plans to make the film in 2010. Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Insider) was set to write the script. According to ESPN at the time, "The story's narrative arc spans from 1959 when Lombardi was given his first opportunity to be an NFL head coach, taking over the small-town (Green Bay) Packers, then the worst team in the NFL, and runs through his transformation of a group of young, talented but undisciplined losers into five-time NFL champions. Also, the story highlights the long-standing rivalry that existed between Lombardi and legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry, both of whom were assistants on the New York Giants team that lost the 1958 NFL Championship game."

But even with such a seemingly firm plan, the network later decided not to go ahead with the film; an ESPN rep offered no further explanation. Indeed, every year seems to bring projects that are announced but then stall.

Gervais appeared in cable TV ad

Unless I'm mistaken, the actor in the Time Warner Cable commercials who runs away from danger after a grenade lands looks just like the actor and comedian Ricky Gervais.

Yes, that is Gervais helping to promote the company's "Enjoy Better" campaign.

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Q&A: Goober had two last names on TV series 06/03/12 [Last modified: Sunday, June 3, 2012 5:30am]

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