Many fans expected George Lindsey to know everything about cars

Many fans thought Lindsey knew as much about cars as Goober did, but that wasn't the case.

Image credit: The Everett Collection

Taking a cross-country road trip while on vacation from The Andy Griffith Show must have been a nice way to relax after following such a hectic Hollywood schedule.

However for George Lindsey, who played the role of Goober Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show, this cross-country trip is one he wished he could've done by airplane instead of automobile.

Goober Pyle was Mayberry's finest gas station attendant and became a fan-favorite character during his 86 episodes. However, playing such a role made some moments in his private life hard to keep to himself, especially while behind the wheel of a car.

In a 1965 interview with Chicago Tribune, Lindsey talked about how The Andy Griffith Show changed his life in more ways than one, and described meeting fans during his cross-country road trip.

"Almost every time I stopped for gas, a service station attendant would do a double-take, then ask if I'd like to man the pump myself," he said.

"In Texas, I made the mistake of offering to call help for a stranded motorist. 'What's the matter, Goober?' the guy promptly said. 'Can't you fix it?'" he said. 

This is where Lindsey and his character differed the most. This kind of fix would be no problem in Mayberry, for Goober. For Lindsey, he would have rather been driving in the opposite direction. 

According to the interview, Lindsey would be stopped on the street, or in the car quite often. Mostly by fans who would ask for car advice or tire changes. 

While in Louisiana, Lindsey found himself with a flat tire. He called the motor club, and the mechanic recognized Lindsey right away. 

"All the time he was changing the wheel, he kept chuckling and saying: 'Wait'll I tell everybody whose car I fixed.'

Perhaps Lindsey's least favorite moment was while he was preparing to leave his motel in New Mexico. According to Lindsey, they had a long drive ahead of them that day. He said he had forgotten to ask the attendant to check his oil the night before.

"I raised the hood and pulled out the dip stick," he said. "Another guest at the hotel approached with a grin, and said: 'I knew you could do it, Goober. My wife says you didn't have brains enough to check your own oil. But I knew you were that smart, at least.'"

He may not have been the most talented mechanic in real life, but Lindsey was such a talented actor that many fans expected him to be just like Goober.

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6 Comments

murgatroid45 1 month ago
He was on at least 2 different episodes of Gunsmoke where he had run-ins with Festus
AgingDisgracefully 16 months ago
This helps explain why Lorraine Bracco wasn't interested in hearing about my issues.
327053 16 months ago
I would have had no problem helping this gentleman with his vehicle. He could entertain me while I fixed it. Maybe Gomer would have showed up.😄
Runeshaper 16 months ago
I can definitely grasp the concept that fans or viewers might have a difficult time separating the character from the actor.
Andybandit 16 months ago
George Lindsay played the role of Goober Pyle very well. I also liked him when he guest started on MASH.
hermanstein2015 16 months ago
Such a wonderful man!! This was a lovely story about George!
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