TV Draft Round 5 – Pick 6 – Max Selects – The Andy Griffith Show

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by Max at https://powerpop.blog

There has been so much written about this show and the writing will never stop. It was a show about the quirky citizens of a fictional town called Mayberry. The Andy Griffith Show is not just another show. The series will be around long after we are gone and still being discovered by future generations.

Some of the love I have for the show is about escapism. The low pressure of living in Mayberry is attractive. A place where you are allowed to live slowly and friends are only a few miles away. Nowadays our lives are so full of technology and rush that it would be tempting to walk through the screen to join Andy and Opie fishing out on Meyers Lake.

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Mayberry was based on a small North Carolina town called Mount Airey where Andy grew up. Griffith has also said that although the show was in the sixties, Mayberry had a 1930s-1940s feel to it. When I’m asked where I grew up, I’ll say in a town kind of like Mayberry and they get what I’m saying.

The episode that best explains the show is… Man In A Hurry. A businessman’s car breaks down two miles from Mayberry on a Sunday. He has a business appointment in Charlotte the next morning. He walks to town and finds it deserted until church lets out. The garage is also closed on Sunday. Gomer is working but can only pump gas and Wally refuses to repair the car until Monday. The stranger can’t believe the pace of life in Mayberry and everyone’s lack of urgency. Andy tries to talk him into spending the night and getting the car fixed on Monday… he won’t have any of this non-sense… first but then he slowly realizes what great lives these people lead and ends up staying a little while longer than he could have.

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts were a great comedy team. I wish they would have made a few movies together. Knotts wanted to do that but Griffith always backed away from it. You can put them up there with other great comedy teams. Andy was a great straight man and Don played off of him well.

I’ve seen parents play episodes to their kids for lessons, schools play episodes for students, and heard of preachers writing sermons around episodes. The humor wasn’t dirty but it wasn’t sterile either. Most if not all of the first 5 season episodes are classics. It’s a show that you can catch at any time. During a rainout, between movies, and a binge-watch.

Dillards

The show offered a little of everything… One of the things I liked was the bluegrass music of The Dillards who appeared on the show as the Darlings. Denver Pyle played Briscoe Darling Jr. and played the jug with the Dillards. They were and STILL are a bluegrass band that tours and releases albums.

Andy had many girlfriends throughout the show. There was Ellie and she gave Andy all he could handle. Ellie, unfortunately, left after the first season. He saw the county nurse Mary Simpson (My favorite), Peggy McMillian, and then he met Helen Crump. Personally, I never liked Helen as much. Her nickname from some fans was Helen Grump because she could be a grump quite often. Andy ended up marrying Helen in the last season.

Thelma Lou was one of my favorite characters of the show. She put up with Barney’s shenanigans but was always there for him. Barney was foolish for letting her go but they finally got married. It didn’t happen on the show’s original run but they finally tied the knot in the reunion movie.

Aunt Bee

Then there was Aunt Bee Taylor. She took care of Andy and Opie and made sure they were fed well and came home to a clean house. Aunt Bee had a smile for everyone unless you got on her bad side. She could be stubborn and formidable when angered and she commanded the utmost respect from everyone. She was in a way, everyone’s Aunt.

Gomer and Goober

The two characters from Wally’s gas station were Gomer Pyle and Goober. Goober was a great mechanic and Gomer mostly filled your tank up with a story to go along with it. They were not the sharpest tools in the shed but both had hearts of gold and added to the show’s comedy.

Opie

Andy’s son from his only marriage was Opie Taylor. You never found out how Opie’s mother passed away but she did before we got to meet the Taylors. Opie is a super kid and Andy raised him the right way. He is kind and polite and when he does something wrong he usually had the sense to recognize that and correct the problem.

Otis Campbell

Otis Campbell… Otis was a good guy with only one problem. He was the town drunk. Andy and Barney knew him so well that they let Otis grab the jail key and let himself in when he was a bit intoxicated. During the reunion movie made in the 80s, he had given up the booze and was selling ice cream.

Seasons 1-5 were in Black and White with Don Knotts as Barney Fife. Don’s last season was the 5th season and seasons 6-8 were in color.  I have all of the Griffith Show episodes but I will admit…I don’t really watch the color episodes as much as the black and white ones. Yes, there are some good later episodes but it’s Andy. He walks around Mayberry like he is owed money. Andy later admitted on many of the later episodes he was going through the motions.

He started to get a little tenser on screen in the 5th season but Barney was still there and kept things light. In the 6th season with Barney gone, Andy acted impatient with his fellow quirky citizens where at one time he enjoyed them. The show just changed dramatically with color. It remained at number 1 but it just wasn’t the same.

It was one of the most successful television shows ever. The Series went out on top and had a successful spinoff called Mayberry RFD.

In the early 70s Mayberry RFD and other shows such as  The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Mister Ed, Lassie, Petticoat Junction, and Hee Haw were canceled because of the rural purge the network did… everything that had a tree got canceled it seemed. More important shows were coming like All In The Family and others but there was always room for others. In syndication these shows do great.

So follow me to Mayberry and don’t look back.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

29 thoughts on “TV Draft Round 5 – Pick 6 – Max Selects – The Andy Griffith Show”

  1. This is a show I remember enjoying a lot as a kid. So many likeable characters, there wasn’t even one I didn’t like. I agree with you about the comedy team of Andy and Barney. Don Knotts is a genuinely funny guy and I liked how these two connected and played off of each other. I loved Don Knotts movies also (The Incredible Mr. Limpett and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.) I liked Beverly Hillbillies, Lassie, and loved HeeHaw, and I’m guessing most of these shows are available on cable TV to watch whenever. Like Paula said in a previous post,(paraphrasing) I’m not sure I want to go back and revisit them because I want to keep them as precious jewels in my memory. It is a shame that, “everything that had a tree got canceled it seemed.” Another way to distance humans from nature or genuinely bonding intimacy with other people 😦 A wonderful write-up, Max, and I can tell you love this show by how you write about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Some of these shows I never watched as a kid…somehow….I don’t know how! I never watched this show until I was in my 20s..I also just discovered Columbo! It never appealed to me as a kid.
      Yea the more modern shows came on and they cut all of the innocent rural ones out in the early seventies.
      Thank you Lisa! I do binge on it once every couple of years.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great writeup! Even in the 60s, people yearned for the ‘good old days’ it seems. Every once in awhile I catch an episode (B&W, was surprised any were made in color) on TV and quite like it but never was a regular viewer. Nothing wrong with the gentle humor & ‘old fashioned’ lifestyles it offered up though. And a classic TV theme…no one who whistles hasn’t found themselves whistling it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know….I can watch this show at anytime of the day or night…as long as it’s black and white I know it’s going to be good!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the line “Andy walks around town like someone owes him money.” I haven’t seen the color episodes in years, but oddly, I remember a couple of them: the one where they get a rocker to play Aunt Bee and Clara’s song about Mayberry, the ones where they went to Hawaii, the one where Opie breaks Aunt Bee’s flower that should win first prize… Didn’t Thelma Lou marry another guy not long after Barney left for Raleigh?

    My favorite line from the show was Gomer saying “Goober’s not stupid. He’s ugly, but he’s not stupid.” HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. YES she did get married but it only lasted a year I believe….I think that is what the story was. Andy was just stern and frowned constantly. He hinted at it right before Barney left but really started with the color episodes.
      That is a great line from Gomer!

      It was easy to write this one because I know it so well.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s just as well…a few of them are alright…but yea…the black and white ones are the winners

      Like

  4. I remember seeing episodes as a kid…B&W & color, at either of my grandmothers’ homes. My hometown had Mayberry ice cream shops (and still does). Mt. Airy was only an hour & a half from my hometown. And, Mount Pilot was Pilot Mountain. I was working at a Postal Connections in 2012. We had a contract with Leland Little Auctions and a frequent customer was Cindi Knight Griffith, Andy’s third wife. I mailed her many, many packages and I remember when we got the notice that Andy had died on July 3. They were living at the coast. He passed in Manteo and is buried on Roanoke Island.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is cool that you live so close to Mt. Airy… I would like to visit it one day.
      Yea I read where he was buried the next day…really quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it was different for sure…Matlock was closer to the “color” Andy Taylor than the b&w one…man without Barney he was a grouch.

        Like

      2. I read a book about him and Don Knotts. If he would have just offered Don a little more earlier he would have stayed…by the time he did Don had already signed up to do movies.

        I think Andy…this is just my opinion…wanted to see how he would do on his own…he knew he was pretty much the straight man to Don.

        Like

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