My first post might be a stupid idea, but does anyone think (Charles) David Forrest could have been Mr. Schwump? I gathered the following from IMDB.com:
- He was the uncredited music mixer for Christmas in Connecticut (1945), where Mr. Schwump apparently appeared briefly.
- He was also the sound engineer for nearly all of the Andy Griffith Show episodes during the first four seasons.
- He would have been 61 years old at the time of My Fair Ernest T. Bass, Mr. Schwump's first appearance.
- After that, he did a lot less sound department work.
As David Forrest's sound engineer career was winding down, Mr. Schwump began appearing. Could he have appeared as Mr. Schwump for fun?
My searches for Schwump / Schwamp & David Forrest didn't return anything, so I'm hoping this hasn't already been ruled out. However, I won't be too surprised if everyone else knows that he looks nothing like Mr. Schwump!
The person that was identified to being Mr. Schwump
On April 1, 2012 The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC) played a "April Fools" joke on the visitors to their Facebook fan page . What follows is the content of the post:
Mr. Schwamp’s Identity Discovered!!! After decades of painstaking investigation and research by dozens of Mayberry enthusiasts, we have finally identified the actor who played Mr. Schwamp! With funding from TAGSRWC’S own Weaver’s Dept. Store (thanks, ol’ Ben!) and with several people working to assemble small pieces of the puzzle from a huge number of sources, we finally solved Mayberry’s Greatest Mystery!
An obscure mention in the credits of an episode of “The Danny Thomas Show” from 1956 was the key breakthrough. That, combined with Census records and the power of Google and Ancestry.com and eventually Screen Actors Guild records led us to a definite conclusion.
We’re pleased to announce that the actor who played Mr. Schwamp was a man named…Patch S. Wimmers. Through U.S. Census records from 1950 and 1960 (found on Ancestry.com), we found that Patch S. Wimmers lived in North Hollywood, just blocks from the Desilu-Cahuenga Studios, where “The Andy Griffith Show” was filmed. He could’ve literally walked to work in Mayberry, which means he could’ve been available to work as an extra on a given episode on very short notice.
We further found that a Patch S. Wimmers lived in and was perhaps born in Camp Threw, Miss. The earliest listing we found for him was the 1920 Census, which says he was 16 years old and living with his parents (his father was in the Army Air Corps) and two siblings in Mississippi. At some point the young Wimmers moved to California. We speculate that maybe his father was transferred to a military base in California. (We’re not sure about that because his father is listed as residing in Poi Falls, OR, during some of that period.)
Patch is already spotted acting very Mr. Schwamp-ish (which is to say, not acting much at all) in “Christmas in Connecticut” in 1945 and in the 1946 Three Stooges feature film “Swing Parade.” He would have been 41 to 42 during that time. He doesn’t pop again in our research until the 1956 “Danny Thomas Show.” And then in TAGS in “My Fair Ernest T. Bass” in 1964. And the rest is history…26 episodes of TAGS and a few episodes of “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” and “Mayberry R.F.D.” and similar appearances.
We’re hopeful that we’ll now find many more appearances by “Mr. Schwamp/Patch S. Wimmers. But for now, on this here day, April 1, 2012, we’re just pleased to finally announce that Mr. Schwamp is Patch S. Wimmers of Camp Threw, Miss. (and most probably Poi Falls, OR).
I had local papers researched in towns where it looked like he lived, worked and died and came up empty on all three. I sent for his death certificate today but it looks like that could take awhile to get.
Glad you're on the case, Bobby.
HA! on the Patch S. Wimmers option:)
Good question, Thelscuz ; I'm also curious as to whether Betty Lynn knows the identity of Mr. Schwump.
Well we aren't exactly sure yet that Patch S. Wimmers isn't Mr. Schwamp. It's still about 50/50. We kind of are at the stage with Charles David Forrest that people were at in the Patch S. Wimmers debate. So in reality, the fact is that neither one has been ruled out and that either could in fact be our very own Mr. Schwamp.
Makes me kinda sad that we may be on the verge of solving the Mr. Schump identity mystery :( I like just knowing him as Mr. Schump.
I see your point, Sandra. But I'd really like to know. If Charles David Forrest IS Mr. Schwamp then we can try to find out more about him and how he came to be on camera. If CDF is Mr. S he must have been a frustrated actor who enjoyed having his place in the sun...not just doing good work behind the scenes. It will be interesting to see what we find out.
In any case, we likely wouldn't have known who Charles David Forrest was if we hadn't been trying to investigate Mr. Schwamp!
I know the feeling, Sandra. Sort of like when Boston finally won the World Series.
I am sure that Betty Lynn has been asked.
I recall in what I think was the 1993 cast reunion special on CBS, Andy and Jack Dodson spoke about Mr. Schwump. Neither of course recalled his name, but Dodson says, "He had the worst toupee I've ever scene in my life," and Andy breaks up in laughter.
Also, I see several references above seemingly taking the 2012 "Patch S. Wimmers" April Fool's hoax seriously, but this was indeed a hoax, which is documented here:
http://www.mayberry.info/history/index.php?title=Mr._Schwamp (be sure to read in its entirety)
After seeing the above vintage photo of Charles David Forrest, I believe that is startlingly similar to the smile we saw from Mr. Schwamp at Mrs. Wiley's front door when he was introduced.