A Dreamer and His Dream

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
June 25, 2003

Let me tell you, Jesse hated this job. And you would too,I imagine, if you had to do it. Jesse was a chicken plucker.

He stood on a line in a chicken factory and spent his days pulling the feathers off dead chickens so the rest of us wouldn’t have to.It wasn’t much of a job, but, at the time, Jesse didn’t think he was much of a person. His father bullied his family and was actually thought to be mentally ill. He treated Jesse roughly all of his life.

Jesse’s older brother wasn’t much better. He was always picking on Jesse and beating him up. Obviously, Jesse grew up in a very rough home in West Virginia. Life was anything but easy, and he thought it didn’t hold much hope for him. That’s why he was standing in the chicken line doing a job that few people wanted.

In addition to all the rough treatment at home, it seemed that Jesse was always sick. Sometimes it was real physical illness, but way too often it was all in his head. He was a small child, skinny and meek, which sure didn’t help the situation any.

When he started school, he was the object of every bully on the playground. He was a hypochondriac of the first order. For Jesse, tomorrow was not always something to look forward too.

But he had dreams. He wanted to be a ventriloquist. He found books on ventriloquism. He practiced with sock puppets and saved his hard earned dollars until he could get a real ventriloquist dummy.

When he got old enough, he joined the military, and even though many of his hypochondriac symptoms persisted, the military did recognize his talents and put him in the entertainment corp.

That was when his world changed. He gained confidence.

He found that he had a talent for making people laugh, and laugh so hard they often had tears in their eyes. Yep, Jesse had found himself.

A Dreamer and his Dream you know, folks, the history books are full of people who overcame a handicap to go on and make a success of themselves, but Jesse is one of the few who didn’t overcome it. Instead he used his anxiety to make people laugh and his nervousness allowed him to create one of the best-loved characters in the history of television!

Yes, that little paranoid hypochondriac, who transferred his jitters into a successful career, still holds the record for the most Emmy Awards given in a single category.

The wonderful, gifted, talented, and nervous comedian who brought us Barney Fife was Jesse Don Knotts.

Author -  Andy Andrews   
© 2009-2012  Originally posted on AndyAndrews.com.
  1. What an awesome thought that his nervous anxiety was actually part of his ultimate success. He didnt succeed by ignoring his anxiety, he overcame it by understanding and using it. Thanks for a very inspiring story.


  2. Hey very encouraging post. I have written a one man play and I know the anxiety I feel when I think of taking it before an audience. I use to perform a lot and now I hardly have done anything but i believe God gave me this play to tell a story of hope against the odds. Dont know how qualified I feel to perform it but I know He gave it to me. So any story of people working even in the midst of fear and pressing through, is encouraging. Been a while since I’ve been on the stage but it is also the one place I feel I belong. Thank you. G


    • When you get on stage the anxiety will melt away and the God Given talent of Acting will shine thru!!!!

      Take Care, God Bless and Enjoy 🙂 Kenny T


  3. Love Dilbert today! What a hoot. Inspiring story, too. Thanks Kenny. I can always count on you to start my day off right. God bless. Connie


  4. What an interesting story. Thanks for posting…it gives such insight into the person and soul that Don Knotts was. Wish I would have known his life story sooner.


  5. klrs09 said:

    Love Don Knotts! Recently, my husband downloaded The Ghost and Mr. Chicken and we watched it with our 3 grandkids. I thought they were going to pee themselves laughing! Was so heart-warming and love-affirming to share that simple man’s gift of laughter with them.


  6. Wow. I had no idea. The laughter he brought to millions of people is remarkable.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: