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The Andy Griffith Show is one of the all-time classic television shows, a series that ran from 1960 until 1968. The show takes place in a peaceful country town called Mayberry, and while it starred Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor, the show’s real strength was the host of supporting actors and colorful characters that had recurring roles on the show.

One of those characters was Floyd Lawson, the town barber who was infamous for his habit of giving terrible haircuts. Floyd is actually the subject of one of the most twisted songs of the late eighties, a song written by the iconic band Nirvana

What was ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ about?

Ron Howard, left, and Andy Griffith in a scene from 'The Andy Griffith Show'
Ron Howard, left, and Andy Griffith in a scene from ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ | CBS via Getty Images

The Andy Griffith Show debuted in 1960 and starred the folksy actor and storyteller Andy Griffith. The series also starred comedian Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife and young Ronny Howard as Andy’s son, Opie. Howard would of course go on to become a well-known Hollywood director and the father of actress Bryce Dallas Howard. 

The series became instantly popular and remained one of the most-watched shows on television throughout its eight years on the air. The Andy Griffith Show ultimately spawned a reunion movie and several spinoff series, including Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

Many of the actors went on to other projects, especially Don Knotts, who became the star of a series of popular film comedies — but many fans still remember Griffith, Knotts, and the rest of the cast best as the good citizens of Mayberry. 

Who played Floyd the Barber on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’?

Howard McNear was one of the talented actors who starred on The Andy Griffith Show. He played Floyd the Barber, a character who was first introduced in the twelfth episode of the series. Floyd was the subject of several long-running jokes, including his inability to trim any of his customers’ sideburns correctly, and a habit of speaking extremely slowly.

Although McNear was a fan-favorite actor on the show, and many fans counted on an appearance from Floyd the Barber on episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, the veteran performer started to suffer from bad health in later seasons of the show. He was able to make small appearances on the series from time to time.

But ultimately, in the seventh season, McNear’s health worsened, and he was forced to leave the show, passing away less than a year later. His loss was a blow to fans as well as his co-stars, but to this day, viewers can still enjoy his classic performance as Floyd in the form of reruns. 

Nirvana wrote a twisted song about Floyd from ‘The Andy Griffith Show’


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By the late ’80s, The Andy Griffith Show was already a classic, running in syndication on several networks. The show had made many new fans, even those who might not have watched it during its original run on television.

One such fan was a young Kurt Cobain, who, along with his band Nirvana, wrote a song that paid tribute to Howard McNear’s Floyd the Barber in a truly bizarre way.

The song is titled “Floyd the Barber” and was included on the band’s 1989 debut album, Bleach. The disturbing song tells of an alternate reality where Kurt Cobain visits Floyd’s barbershop, only to be molested and tortured by Mayberry’s citizens, including Aunt Bee, Barney, and Andy.

The song was a twisted satire about life in small-town America, and to this day, it stands as one of the strangest tributes to The Andy Griffith Show that has ever been produced.