Host: Allan Newsome
Running time: 0:11:58
I have been looking around the Internet for podcasts to listen to and I found The Great Gildersleeve Replay. Said to be both the first spin-off program, and one of the first situation comedies, The Great Gildersleeve was a spin-off from Fibber McGee and Molly. The radio show ran for 16 years (1941-1957) on NBC Radio.
What does any of this have to do with The Andy Griffith Show? Well, I was listening recently and noticed two names that were used on The Great Gildersleeve that will draw the attention of Mayberry fans. The Great Glidersleeve is set in the town of Summerfield and Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve is the main character. I had noticed that one of the supporting characters is Floyd Munson and that he is the barber in Summerfield. They even call him “Floyd the barber” but while I notice the name and smiled it wasn’t until I heard the episode titled “Sleigh Ride” (Feb 6, 1944) that I really took notice. It turns out Floyd’s brother is mentioned and his name is Otis.
I started digging to try and see if this show might have been where Andy and the writers of The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS) came up with the names Floyd the barber and Otis. I spoke with Jim Clark and Ken Beck recently and neither had heard about Gildersleeve being a source for the names. I checked the writers to see if there were any in common between the Gildersleeve and TAGS but could find none.
I did find that the person who played Floyd on Gildersleeve was Arthur Q. Bryan. Mr. Bryan, it turns out, was the voice of Elmer Fudd on the Warner Brothers cartoons. When Mr. Bryan passed away onNovember 18, 1959, Hal Smith (Mayberry’s Otis)assumed the voice of Elmer Fudd in later Looney Tunes productions.
I can’t say for sure what the tie in between the towns of Summerfield and Mayberry might be but there seems to be enought there to make it worth continuing to dig.
Don’t forget to leave comments or ask questions on the iMayberry.com/podcasts website or using the contact information given in the podcast. We’d love to have you be a part of our next feedback episode.
- The Great Gildersleeve – Wikipedia story with background on The Great Gildersleeve.
- Arthur Q. Bryan – Voiced “Floyd the Barber” on The Great Gildersleeve. Wikipedia has a very nice write-up.
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