It's 1969 and you've got the top sitcom in the country, after 5 seasons the ratings are even higher than the year before. But you're sick of playing the same character week after week so what do you do?
That was where Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle, USMC) found himself in '69, he chose to leverage his ratings clout by getting CBS to green light his own variety hour, ala Carol Burnett. This way Nabors got to display his considerable singing talents between the requisite comedy skits where he played - basically the same Gomer Pyle character week after week. The Jim Nabors Hour finished season one at a highly respectable number 12 but lasted only two seasons thanks to the one-two punch of dropping out of the top 25 in year 2 along with CBS' desire to rid itself of the network's country bumpkin image.
Video from the series is very rare there have been no DVD releases planned, here's a musical salute to Dixie:
The Jackson 5 were guests on the show, Jim Nabors is still doing that Gomer voice, it's the only character he ever played.
Here's the opening from the 1967 Friends & Nabors special.
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