Here's the one trait Howard McNear had in common with Floyd the Barber

The actor and his character may not have been so different!

CBS Television Distribution

The Andy Griffith Show is at its best when Sheriff Taylor has a foil. As Taylor, Andy Griffith shines brightest when he's able to be the voice of reason. Griffith's strengths as a performer are clearest when he's not what's wacky in a scene. All of his most memorable efforts are when Andy Taylor is paired with a sillier, more manic energy. Whether it's Barney, Gomer, or Goober, Sheriff Taylor is his most compelling when he's playing off a bold performance. Griffith's measured response to others' zany antics grounds the funniness, especially after the show's first season.

While Don Knotts' Barney Fife is rightly cited as the series' funniest character, a lot of Andy Griffith Show episodes are actually buoyed by a different nervous guy. Howard McNear's Floyd the Barber consistently provides some of the funniest, most watchable Mayberry moments.

In a 1961 interview with a United Press International Hollywood correspondent, McNear celebrated the role and the recognition it brought him.

"I can't understand it," said McNear. "After all these years, now people are beginning to recognize me on the street and in restaurants. They even mistake my brother for me and he's quite flattered."

McNear also revealed something he had in common with his onscreen character. It turns out that all of Floyd's fretting and fussing might not have been so difficult to conjure for the veteran actor. 

McNear first hints at his nerves when discussing his television debut.

"My first TV show was with George Gobel," he said. "I was scared going out there in front of 30 million people —all at once— but George was very helpful to me."

That nervous streak predated TV, though, and has followed McNear from the time of his first dramatic training with Pati Power, mother of movie star Tyrone Power.

"My mother agreed to let me go to the school," said McNear, "but I was so shy I walked up and down in front of it for three days before I had the courage to go inside."

It's so easy to picture a younger McNear, barber shears still in hand, pacing the courtyard and biting his fingernails, years before he'd ever arrive in Mayberry. 

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4 Comments

KMT6600 1 month ago
I remember watching a Elvis Presley movie Ithink it was called Blue Hawaii hope I'm not to wrong I remember enjoy it
KMT6600 KMT6600 1 month ago
Howard Mcnear was in it also
FrankensteinLover 1 month ago
McNear was Wonderful, what a cast that show had. Floyd, Otis, Goober, Andy, Barney, Bee, Thelma Lou,Opie, T Bass are you kidding me
Runeshaper 1 month ago
McNear was a great actor who played a fun character!
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