Gomer Pyle is a television character played by Jim Nabors and introduced in the middle of the third season of The Andy Griffith Show. Pyle, a simpleminded and gentle auto mechanic, became a character when actor Howard McNear, who portrayed Floyd the Barber, took a respite from the show due to health reasons. Nabors played Pyle for 23 episodes from 1962 to 1964. After two seasons on The Andy Griffith Show, McNear returned and Griffith proposed a show based on the Gomer Pyle character. In 1964, the character was spun off into Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., which ran until 1969.