- Birth name:
- George Leslie Gobel
- Date of Birth:
- 24 February 1919 Chicago, Illinois, USA
Squat, easygoing, brushcut-blond George Gobel first won Midwest attention singing as "Little Georgie Gobel" on radio. He also toured with country music bands while billed as "The Littlest Cowboy." His career was interrupted by WWII, in which he served as a pilot instructor. He also began doing standup for his fellow servicemen and took to the nightclub, hotel and county fair circuit in subsequent years. Gobel's mild-mannered comic delivery coupled with a warm, cracker-barrel styled feel caught fire when he hit the TV waves in 1952 and he subsequently starred on his own "The George Gobel Show" (1954), winning an Emmy award for his efforts. His alter-ego was this hapless, unassuming, hen-pecked husband who tried to breeze through life the best he could. Gobel's folksy, non-threatening 'little man' appeal did not extend into film, however, finding little success in the two lightweight comedy showcases offered him -- The Birds and the Bees (1956) and I Married a Woman (1958). After his TV series, Gobel lost severe momentum, occasionally appearing in guest spots or as a talk show guest. In 1974, he regained a bit of notice after replacing the late Charley Weaver as the bottom left square on the popular game show Hollywood Squares and went on to win a role on the short-lived series "Harper Valley" (1981) as a tipsy mayor. The comedian died at age 71 in 1991 following bypass surgery.