Otis Campbell is the fictional “town drunk” in Mayberry on the American TV sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. Otis was played by Hal Smith and made frequent appearances on the show from 1960 to 1967 but stopped appearing toward the end of the series because of concerns raised by the sponsors over the portrayal of excessive drinking.
Whatever Happened to Our Favorite Town Drunk Otis Campbell?
by Randy McDanie
Read More: Whatever happened to Otis Campbell from the Andy Griffith Show?
For you younger folks, let me say this: Back in what you’d call the ‘olden days’, say 50-60 years ago, it was OK to laugh at someone so drunk they could barely stand up. I know, I know, not anymore and I’m not saying it was right that we did, but….well, we did. And we loved him.
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And of course, when Otis and Barney would get together (they often had scene’s together, but were so good, it never seemed to be often enough), well that was what I would call television comedy gold.
Otis wasn’t in every episode, of course. Otis Campbell was a little like ice cream: Absolutely great to have, but you couldn’t have too much or you’d get a headache!
So who was this guy that played Otis to absolute comic perfection?
Well, again, he was Hal Smith, born in Michigan, World War II veteran and, of course, veteran character actor.
But did you know Hal was also a prolific voice actor?
Yep, you heard ‘Otis’ on such cartoon classic as Quick Draw McGraw, Huckleberry Hound, the Flintstones, as well as dozens of other Disney and Warner Brothers cartoons.
Hal Smith, you see, was a professional. And if you look close enough, through your laughter, you’ll see that professionalism on the Andy Griffith Show, too.
Hal Smith died of a heart attack in 1994 at the age of 77. But thanks to the magic of re-runs, we’ll continue to have the antic’s of one of Mayberry’s favorite residents, the town drunk, Otis Campbell.
Read More: Whatever happened to Otis Campbell from the Andy Griffith Show? |