Hawaii resident and longtime entertainer Jim Nabors enjoyed a special honor on Tuesday night from the U.S. Marine Corps for his character Gomer Pyle.
The television show Gomer Pyle USMC premiered in 1964. Gomer Pyle was a bumbling but lovable private who put a humorous and human face on the U.S. Marine Corps.
The Marines brought out the band, brought in the dignitaries and put on a heck of a promotion ceremony for one of Hawaii's best-known residents.
"I know we're going to talk about Gomer Pyle, but this ceremony is really about the man, the entertainer, the philanthropist, and most importantly the American we know as Jim Nabors," Gen. John Goodman said.
Nabors has been an active resident of Hawaii for decades. He filmed a nationally televised Christmas special here and has helped out in numerous performances and charity events.
Nabors was beaming as the general pinned on the chevrons officially promoting him to the rank of honorary corporal.
"I'm in the fast lane now. Boy. Are you kidding? It's been 43 years. I love it. Everything's just been great," Nabors said.
There were plenty of fans on hand to witness the ceremony, and then they got a chance to talk with the famous actor and get an autograph.
"He's getting a promotion. He's moving up in the world. It's about time," fan Ann Ruby said. "And I loved his comedy, his humor, loved his show. He's a great asset to Hawaii."
The Marines said Gomer Pyle embodied qualities Marines respect: honesty, loyalty and devotion to duty.
"What's Gomer think about this? Well golly!" Nabors said.
The show lasted five years and since then has been popular in syndication.
Nabors' character originated on "The Andy Griffith Show." Gomer Pyle had reoccurring appearances before he signed up and joined the Marines.
The "Gomer Pyle USMC" show spin-off was a product of Andy Griffith's production company.