Workplace nickname of baby-faced Yeoman-Purser Burl “Gopher” Smith (Fred Grandy) one of the friendly cruise line workers on the ocean-going romance comedy THE LOVE BOAT/ABC/1977-1986.


The Gopher character left the series on the episode titled “Mr. Smith Goes to Mini Kulu,” to manage a hotel on an isolated South Pacific Island. He delivered an emotional farewell speech to the ship’s crew in the cocktail lounge of the Pacific Princess.

Note:  After his role as Gopher on THE LOVE BOAT, Fredrick Lawrence “Fred” Grandy served four terms in Congress (1987-1995) as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives for Iowa’s the Sixth District. In 1992. he ran for governor of Iowa, but was unsuccessful. Grandy told People magazine that, “if there were no Gopher, there would be no Fred Grandy for Congress.”

In 1997, Fred Grandy became president and CEO of Goodwill Industries. From 2003 to 2011, he hosted “The Grandy & Andy Morning Show” (later “The Grandy Group”), a conservative morning drive time radio talk show on 630 WMAL in Washington, D.C.

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2007, Grandy revealed this bit of trivia about his character on THE LOVE BOAT: “They said the character’s name is Gopher. I assumed because he runs around, does odd jobs, and is considered to be the fool. I don’t care if you call him Dorothy — as long as the job is steady.”

Fred Grandy was born June 29, 1948, in Sioux City, Iowa.


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Personal Nicknames, Romance, Workplace Nickname

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