Fans of classic sitcoms suffered the passing of one of the most memorable characters in the genre, as Mike Minor died on January 28, 2016. The actor, most widely-known for playing Steve Elliot on “Petticoat Junction,” was 75 years of age.
The role on the show, which was a spin off of both “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Green Acres, cast Elliot as a crop dusting farmer who flew his very own plane. He also became romantically involved with two of the three Bradley sisters at the Shady Rest Hotel, starting with Billie Jo (played by Meredith MacRae) and ending with a marriage to Billie Jo (played by Linda Kaye Henning).
In addition to the aviation and romantic prowess, Minor’s character also showed himself to be an excellent singer. His voice resembled that of Frank Sinatra, so his singing served as a highlight on numerous episodes.
In remembrance of the actor who played Steve Elliot, here is a list of other “Minor” sitcom characters who proved to be vocally gifted on their shows.
Gomer Pyle from “The Andy Griffith Show”
Jim Nabors portrayed this simple minded garage mechanic who, much to Barney Fife’s disappointment, won the job of singing the solo for the Mayberry church choir. Nabors was so lovable in the role that he even went on to have his own sitcom, “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”
Andy Bernard from “The Office”
He lost out on office blonde Angela and later on red headed secretary Erin, but by the show’s last season he became their boss. The most surprising of his talents, though, was his singing ability. The voice and character belonged to actor Ed Helms, who went on to star in “The Hangover” films.
Apu from “The Simpsons”
Homer and several of his pals overcame their mid life crisis by forming a covers band in the episode titled “Covercraft” after the name of the band. Holding auditions for a singer, the group was skeptical when Apu of the Kwik-E Mart showed up. The unlikely candidate, however, went on to earn the role of lead singer.
Barney Rubble from “The Flintstones”
He could only sing while in the bathtub, a limitation that the ingenious Fred managed to overcome. He placed Barney in a tub when they took the stage, earning the cash from being selected as the group representing the Soft Soap company in their ads.
Potsie Webber from “Happy Days”
The most likely candidate for lead singer when Richie Cunningham (played by Ron Howard) and Ralph Malph (played by Donnie Most) would have been Fonzie (played by Henry Winkler), who was the epitome of cool. The most gifted character vocally, however, turned out to be the gullible Potsie (played by Anson Williams).
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