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Other Jobs Ronnie Schell Could Have Excelled at Besides Show Business

Updated on June 6, 2016
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Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

Ronnie Schell is best remembered as Marine private, "Duke Slater," on the CBS sitcom, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."
Ronnie Schell is best remembered as Marine private, "Duke Slater," on the CBS sitcom, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." | Source

Ronnie Schell briefly

Ronald Ralph "Ronnie" Schell is an American actor, stand-up comedian, and cartoon voice actor (notably Peter Puck). He appeared on May 28, 1959, episode of the TV quiz program You Bet Your Life, hosted by Groucho Marx. Schell demonstrated a comic barrage of beatnik jive talk. As a stand-up comedian, he first developed his act at the world-famous Hungry I nightclub in San Francisco, California. Schell is best remembered in his 1960's television role as Duke Slater in "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."

Schell's character, "Duke Slater," on "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," was cast for three seasons as a Marine private and best friend of Gomer Pyle. Schell left for a season to star as a disc jockey in his own sitcom, "Good Morning, World," with Joby Baker, Julie Parrish, Goldie Hawn and Hollywood icon, Billy De Wolf. He then returned to "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." as a corporal for its fifth and final season. Schell played his Duke Slater character as streetwise, compared to Pyle's bucolic background as portrayed by Jim Nabors.

Schell also starred  as Mr. Wilkins a Watts  Community Committee  Chairman in an episode  of Sanford and Son
Schell also starred as Mr. Wilkins a Watts Community Committee Chairman in an episode of Sanford and Son | Source
 Schell appeared on  Andy Griffith Show as  director for television  commercial for Fosters  Furniture Polish with Aunt Bea
Schell appeared on Andy Griffith Show as director for television commercial for Fosters Furniture Polish with Aunt Bea | Source

Speaking bluntly

Ronnie Schell to me was just one of those guys who showed up as a next door neighbor, a wing man for a successful playboy or in some offbeat comedy role that you wanted to forget, but couldn't. I liked Ronnie Schell. He was not what you called arrogant, but he was sharp with a one-liner and had perfect timing when sight gags were used in scenes. Schell made it in show business by not being so show business driven.

Honestly, I was going to do this piece about Dave Madden, whom America loved as Rubin Kincaid, the manager for The Partridge Family, but I found out that he passed away Jan. 14, 2014, from congestive heart failure, so out of respect for his family, I chose to let him be.

Does anyone remember this?

CBS' sitcom, "Good Morning, World," was a hit in 1967
CBS' sitcom, "Good Morning, World," was a hit in 1967 | Source
Corp. Schell orders  Jim Nabors, "Gomer  Pyle," on a specific  marching routine
Corp. Schell orders Jim Nabors, "Gomer Pyle," on a specific marching routine | Source

What Schell did not do

Schell, although loaded with talent, did not make much of an impact on me due to the fact that I was in the seventh-grade in 1967 when his show, "Good Morning World," was on the air. I loved Schell and Joby Baker as the on-air team working for a small FM radio station in Los Angeles having to answer to a demanding station manager, "Roland Hutton, Jr.," expertly-played by Billy De Wolff.

But like I said, Schell didn't leave me with any lasting impression like that of a Marlon Brando "Stella!" (e.g. "Streetcar Named Desire), or a Gregory Peck ("To Kill a Mockingbird), but that is not to say that Schell was not happy in his own existence as a co-star on the tube. I wish I could have found out if Schell ever appeared in any films made for theater.

As I would watch Ronnie Schell in one of his many hilarious roles, it would, even in 1967, run through my mind that he put me in mind of men who did regular jobs in daily life. That is why I gave this hub the title of:

Other Jobs Ronnie Schell Could Have Excelled at Besides Show Business

Joby Baker, seated,was  "Dave Lewis," on "Good Morning World"
Joby Baker, seated,was "Dave Lewis," on "Good Morning World" | Source
Julie Parrish co-starred on "Good Morning World"
Julie Parrish co-starred on "Good Morning World"
Goldie Hawn also co-starred as "Sandy Kramer," on "Good Morning World"
Goldie Hawn also co-starred as "Sandy Kramer," on "Good Morning World" | Source

Did you like Good Morning World?

See results
  • Schell would have "made a killing" as an insurance salesman.
  • Schell would have made managing an office look as easy as a breeze.Could Ronnie Schell sell cars? Did Noah's ark float?
  • The furniture business would have had a natural salesman in Ronnie Schell with his electric demeanor.
  • Schell's voice would have served him well as a motivational speaker.
  • Schell could even have had a great following as a televaneglist.
  • Ronnie Schell reminded me of a Biology teacher who worked in the high school I attended.
  • Ronnie Schell would do great as a nightclub singer named, "Hal Breezeman."
  • Schell could have easily been a land surveyor dressed in khakis, safety helmet carrying a clipboard.
  • Schell would have made a very successful in-store sample tester.
  • If Shell was musically-talented, I seen him as a banjo player on some showboat on the Mississippi River.
  • Schell, even without changing his name, could have made a name for himself as a private eye.
  • Even a beat cop would not be beneath the multi-talented Ronnie Schell.
  • If being the host for a children's show were his desire, Schell would have been a great "Mr. Ronnie's Neck O' The Woods." Catchy name, huh?
  • Yes, I truly believe that Ronnie Schell would have amazed people as a magician or even a hypnotist.
  • With his clean-cut image, Schell would easily pass as a doctor.
  • The job of selling shoes has never seen the sales magic created by Ronnie Schell.
  • Schell working as an airline pilot? Sure. Why not? With Schell's magnetic personality he would easily master the "friendly skies" of that certain airline which I will not mention as to not get Kristi, Camille or Matt at HubPages to flag my masterpiece hub.
  • Hey, even in Schell's day, him hitting the runway as a male fashion model would be surely ahead of its time by way of a job, but Schell could handle it.
  • Schell could make a good living working for a noted circus as an animal trainer.
  • Pumping gas for a living? Why not "trust your car to Ronnie Schell who wears the star?"

But with all of these various occupations that Schell "could" do with little trouble, there is one job that he might not fare as well . . .

  • Ronnie Schell would not make a good hobo. Let me explain. With Schell's teeth, hair, looks and that confident, electric smile, no one with any sense would believe that he was a "man of the road," thus Schell would hit hard times not being able to pan handle any imperishable canned goods to prepare alongside of the interstate to have for dinner.

That's it, ladies and gentlemen.

Good night, Atlanta, Georgia.

© 2016 Kenneth Avery

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