I have noticed how many people from today's generation don't realize who "Gomer Pyle" really was. Most people assume he was the character from the movie, Full Metal Jacket. The character, "Gomer Pyle" actually goes way back to the 1960's. It was a television sitcom that aired on CBS, and this is how the name "Gomer" got its start.
Full Metal Jacket is not where Gomer originated from. If you watch the television series you will clearly see why they compare any clumsy slow recruit or Marine to Gomer Pyle. This is how those "special" recruits or Marines earned that name.
Today the Full Metal Jacket's Gomer Pyle, Vincent D' Onofrio, can be found on television's Law and Order Criminal Intent (as of early 2010).
Mr. Jim Nabors, the original Gomer Pyle is still alive and doing as good as he possibly can be doing as of 2013.