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The Jim Nabors Hour put one of televisions funniest characters (Gomer Pyle) in a completely new light. Back in the early sixties, many viewers of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW thought that when Gomer Pyle sang on an episode that it was someone else's voice and Jim Nabors was only lip-syncing. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! Jim Nabors had an unbelievable voice and THE JIM NABORS HOUR allowed him to showcase that talent. Jim would begin and end each episode singing "Tomorrow Never Comes" as well as perform other songs during the hour either alone or with a special guest star, such as Kate Smith, Shirley Jones and even Phyllis Diller. I have 3 episodes of this series and it still is fun to watch today. The following information was given to me by Richard O. Linke, the Executive Producer of the show and Jim Nabors agent. At the end of the final season, Jim Nabors was approached by the producers and told that he needed to let Frank Sutton go, that he was dragging the show down. When Jim Nabors refused to "fire" his good friend, he was given the ultimatum, let him go or we will cancel the show. Jim stood his ground and the show was canceled. It was unfortunate that a compromise could not be worked out, it would have been nice to have this first class variety show around a little longer than it was.
After the huge success of "Gomer Pyle,U.S.M.C." in the spring of 1969, CBS executives gave the green light to give Jim Nabors his own weekly variety series and it was one of those type of shows that did very well giving Jim Nabors the opportunity to sing and do musical numbers and so forth. The show premiered on CBS-TV in the fall of 1969,and I had a chance to catch this seldom seen variety series on the E! network. The first show was excellent from the series,and his guest stars were Andy Griffith,Don Knotts,and his co-star from "Gomer Pyle" Frank Sutton. Here is a rare opportunity to catch Jim Nabors as what he does best: singing broadway and classical tunes and his voice was like no other I ever heard before. Truly outstanding! However,his show didn't stay very long and it was cut from the network in the spring of 1971 due to cuts in the programming(the overall elimination of all its shows). Catch it if it comes on.
He used to always tell everyone "keep the dogs tied up, I'm coming
home" and then end of each episode by singing "Tomorrow never comes".
Best skit was with Carol Burnett in the bathtub. Jim Nabors was a plumber and she was having problems with the drain. She kept dropping the screwdriver into the water, then he would search around in the water for the tool. The look on CBs face was priceless and classic. Pretty risqué for back then, but funny.
I go to the Indianapolis 500 every year and I can't imagine a race without him.
Didn't care too much for Gomer Pyle, save the Louann Poubie episodes. But loved the variety hour.
Frank Sutton was quite the foil in the variety show.
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