Oh My Marriage!

Jim NaborsI know that not long ago, I checked Wikipedia to find out if Jim Nabors was openly gay. And as I recall, there was really nothing about it. Of course, I assumed he was. I don’t know why. There are those stories about Rock Hudson. Everyone assumed. And maybe it is just that no one cared, Nabors being so obviously such a good boy.

Regardless, open secret or just no one caring, it seemed to me that Nabors was kind of living as a closeted gay man. And that always makes me sad. Well yesterday, he told Hawaii News Now that he got married to his longtime boyfriend Stan Cadwallader.[1] And I am almost giddy with joy!

But let me nip one nasty rumor that is going around. Nabors is quite a lot older than Cadwallader. When they first got together Cadwallder was 26 and Nabors was 44. This is not an unreasonable age difference, even at that young age. By the half plus seven rule, we have: 44/2+7 = 29. And that means that their relationship is officially not creepy. [Oops! I got that wrong! It was a little creepy. -FM]

So in honor of their marriage, I offer you Jim Nabors performing Oh My Papa!


Look at the direction of that clip. That is a lot better than other TV of that time.

[1] Hawaii has some kind of civil union, but not same-sex marriage. As a result, Nabors and Cadwallader were married in Washington state.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Oh My Marriage!

  1. A digression . . .

    I never saw Nabors as gay (I’m glad he is happy with who he is, and I too allow myself to feel less creepy about crushes on bright young public intellectuals/performers by invoking the 1/2+7 rule, even though it might have come from complete creepazoid Elijah Muhammed. Doesn’t matter hugely, as I’m not going to act on it.) Probably because I never saw much of "Gomer Pyle" after I became too old to be amused by it. Like, say, at the age of six.

    As an adult, I never watched much "classic TV" until the last 15 years or so, where I’ve worked with older disabled people who often enjoy the past shows they grew up with more than the stuff of today. And, to me, most of the "golden age of television" stuff is just stone garbage.

    I think TV ages so badly because it is written and put on tape/film so fast that there just isn’t time to rewrite, rehearse and refine the scripts. Because of this, jokes in comedy and plot points in drama tend to be things that just reflect the attitudes of the audience. Carping to their sensibilities is like a kind of shorthand; it makes a scene work without much careful construction. Your prolific friend Shakes used this sort of thing as filler all the time. His best moments, and the best moments of all drama/comedy, are the ones which force audiences to look at their preconceptions in another way.

    While the writing in "golden age" television is truly terrible, some of the performers have personalities which shine through despite the simplistic scripts. Nabors is not one of them (except as a precursor to Jim Carrey?) but I’m finding myself tolerant of "Newhart" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" on cable. Suzanne Pleshette is quite a cutie, Bob Newhart quite a skilled straight man, and just about everyone on "MTM" is vibrant in their one-note characters except, well, MTM.

    Maybe that’s just my Ed Asner man-crush coming through. I think he’s too old for the 1/2+7 rule to apply to me, so I’m safe.

  2. @JMF – On the issue of Shakespeare, he actually wrote very little. That is one of the amazing things about him. He wrote mostly terrible comedies–and so few of them! De Vega wrote something like 500 plays. But you are right: the early days of TV were very much like that age of theater.

    I think one thing that makes older sitcoms weak is that they had so few writers. [i]The Dick Van Dyke Show[/i] was written almost entirely by Carl Reiner. And it speaks rather well of him and many other writers of the period. I still think the average sitcom of today is no better than the average sitcom of yesterday. But the best of today is better than the best of yesterday.

    You are referring to [i]The Bob Newhart[/i] show. [i]Newhart[/i] was his second major series. Both of them were quite good as I recall. So too was MTM. And I’m with you on Asner. I was a big fan of [i]Lou Grant[/i] when I was a kid. But none of it quite does it for me like [i]Arrested Development[/i] or [i]Futurama[/i] (which is also a James L. Brooks’ show).

    Is that really where the 1/2+7 rule comes from?

  3. I avoided "Arrested Development" for years. It was well-regarded by hipsters, and I am not hip. It dealt with a rich family, and if there’s one thing I don’t want to see, it’s the sympathetic trials of a lovable rich family.

    I finally bit the bullet. It’s hilarious. Every time Will Arnett intones "Michael" in his sonorous dipshit voice, I almost cry from laughing. And at some of the episode denouements, I actually did cry from laughing. Incidentally, I understand Ron Howard’s contribution was insisting the shows had multiple rewrites and rehearsals, things not usually done on TV.

    I’ll probably see the new Netflix versions of it later this year, but I’m nervous about them.

    Yes, EM did advocate the 1/2+7 rule. Whether he was the first, I dunno. Since the rest of us are using that barometer as a "what performers we can have the hots for" measure, and EM actually meant it as a marriage guide, I think we’re safe on the "creepy old dude" scale.

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