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!

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madmark1 10 days ago
I don’t know if anybody remembers the old McDonald’s commercials but he was also the voice of the hamburgular.
utvols2069 15 days ago
He was an excellent director as well. he directed some of the best Hogan’s heroes episodes in the first season. You could tell by the up tempo of the cast and bob crane was more animated. Morris was a great talent.
utvols2069 13 days ago
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DustinLeeZimmerman 15 days ago
I believe he also voiced Wade on Garfield and Friends (US Acres)
cperrynaples 16 days ago
Howard Morris was not the only Masked Singer on '60's TV! Merv Griffin gave national exposure to a young pop singer working with his face covered! It was David Soul, later to star on Here Come The Brides and Starsky And Hutch! He even made the pop charts unmasked in the mid '70's! He's still alive, maybe he'll be a masked singer again!
PS Yes, he is in "The Apple" episode of Star Trek!
harlow1313 16 days ago
I love Leonard Blush's rendition of Rick James' "Super Freak." It's super freaky...
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