George Lindsey spent years on television developing his “Goober” character. George’s latest contribution to the Arts is the George Lindsey Television and Film Festival held at UNA. George is an alumnus of and has an honorary Doctorate from UNA.
And now here’s George Lindsey being interview by June Cline.
June Cline: Mr. Lindsey, can you tell speakers how to develop a character?
George Lindsey: Well, it doesn’t work that way. The job comes first, then the character is developed as the confidence comes. I spent four years on “The Andy Griffith Show”, three years on “Mayberry RFD”, and 22 years on “Hee Ha”. That’s where I developed “Goober” as a character.
JC: Do you speak now?
Lindsey: I speak at banquets and fairs. I do a lot of fairs. They are the hardest. Lights and sound are how you control a crowd. And, you can’t control a hungry baby or the Ferris wheel.
JC: How do you begin?
Lindsey: That’s hard to say without seeing me. I write my own material. Its good to be funny when you are a comedian. It takes 10 million failures to find the right stuff. At first, I wasn’t very funny, but I knew I could be. I just didn’t have the tools yet. Most aren’t willing to go through the failures it takes to become funny. Nobody can tell you how to be funny. You have to find out for yourself. It’s like saying, “I think Ill be a doctor,” but not going to medical school. You have to learn your craft. I worked with Joan Rivers at a coffeehouse. I knew I wasn’t funny. I was learning how to be funny. There is no “answer” to it. I did dramatic work as well.
JC: Did that help you to become funny?
Lindsey: No. You have to develop a persona. Who am I? And who do they think I am? Jeff Foxworthy is a good example: “You Might Be a Redneck If.” My stuff has to fit me. With your accent, June, you sound a little bit like Minnie Pearl. Comedy has to come out of honesty. Minnie Pearl believed she was from Grinders Switch. Somebody once said “Minnie, I see your cousin has the measles.” She said, “No, were teaching him to use a fork!”
1. Comedy has to come out of the honesty of it.
2. Perform anywhere you can: churches, stages, clubs, fairs.
3. Don’t be afraid to fail, because you will fail.
4. Be of good faith. Its just easier that way.