Jim Nabors reveals the one skill that eluded his talent

He could sing, he could act, he could do seemingly anything!

CBS Television Distribution

No matter who you are or how talented you may be, ultimately, nobody is good at everything.  

If you're lucky, you have one special thing that you're great at, but even that's rare. Most of us are just trying our best to get through the day and whatever tasks it presents us with. Those of us blessed with the time and energy to hone a skill know that it might not always come easy. 

Jim Nabors, though, is an exception to every preconceived notion about talent or skill that anyone has ever had. The man was so preternaturally gifted with the entertainment gene that others looked like they were slacking. He's one of the few people in the world who are actually capable of carrying an entire variety show. Most of his peers paled in comparison.

But in a 1969 interview with The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Nabors revealed that not everything came as easy as you might think.

"Let's face it, dancing isn't one of my strong points," said Nabors.

The admission came a few months after a disastrous nightclub appearance in Lake Tahoe. The night's choreography demanded a high kick. Nabors not only injured his leg but also split his pants. This, of course, wasn't close to the disaster he would've experienced had the high kick been asked for on TV.

"It was bad enough dancing with split pants before an audience of several hundred. Can you imagine what it would be like before 20 million people?"

Believe it or not, even though he was clearly one of Hollywood's true naturals, Nabors still got anxious before some shows.

"Even though I've got a bit of singing experience, I still get nervous when stretchin' my pipes.

"On Gomer, the only thing I had to get nervous about was acting. Now I have to be nervous about my acting, singing, and dancing."

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12 Comments

BradBeall 11 days ago
In the episode where he ends up dancing with Mary Grace Canfield (Thelma Lou's cousin), he seems to be quite capable!
arrowbert 12 days ago
I saw him and Ronnie Schell at the Starlight Theater in KC in the early 70s. He came running down the right aisle shaking hands an so forth on his way down to the stage. He ended up shaking my dad's hand and Dad was just over the moon. I don't remember a lot about the show, but I do remember his singing was fabulous (even to my little kid ears)
Toddmick 12 days ago
He probably didn't like dancing slow but even when he did he wasn't bad
327053 13 days ago
He was a great dancer on Gomer Pyle. My wife loved the episodes when he got down! 🕺
Kramden62 13 days ago
I remember Jim Nabors tap dancing (he seemed rather good at it) on a variety special (possibly his own) circa 1973 in a spoof of "Flying Down to Rio." Nabors was dressed as a WWII Flying ace and was hoofing with some girls on the wing of an animated airplane.

I can't find this clip on You Tube or anywhere else.
MeTvEr 13 days ago
I thought he was probably a good dancer because it takes a good dancer to "dance, badly" like he often did on TAGS and especially on Gomer. Watch "Dance Marine Dance" with the great Sylvia Lewis.
tootsieg 14 days ago
I thought Jim Nabors was a good dancer. He could cut the rug on TAGS.
JHP 14 days ago
ahhhh this confession from him does not compute

" a date for gomer?"
wolfman69 JHP 14 days ago
yeah that was my first thought too. Gomer was really cutting a rug in that one!
JHP wolfman69 13 days ago
yeah - I guess he could wash out as a deputy's assistant (even though the back of his shoes were dirty or he sure as heck couldn't hold a shotgun)
Wiseguy70005 wolfman69 13 days ago
Dancing as Gomer may be a bit different than dancing as Nabors.
JHP Wiseguy70005 6 days ago
maybe - inside the cocoon of TAGS lets Jim do his zany thing w/o being judged and then on top of it he was dancing with a "dog" and she was not
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