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The Andy Griffith Show

Updated on March 20, 2015
James A Watkins profile image

James Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and writer. James enjoys people, music, film, and books. He is a lifelong student of history.

The Andy Griffith Show

 

The Andy Griffith Show is my favorite television program of all time.  249 episodes were aired over eight seasons (1960-1968).  The first five years were the best, as they featured Don Knotts in the role of Deputy Barney Fife. 

The Andy Griffith Show was created by Sheldon Leonard—with a big assist from Andy Griffith, who starred as Sheriff Andy Taylor.  Sheriff Taylor is a widower with a little boy named Opie, played by Ron Howard.  In the first episode, Taylor's Aunt Bee moves in to help raise the boy. 

The Andy Griffith Show never ranked lower than 7th among all television programs during its run.  It was # 1 the final season—one of only three shows to ever go out on top, along with I love Lucy and Seinfeld.   40 years later, with hundreds of channels to choose from, the reruns were still watched by five million people each day.

THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW
THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW
SHERIFF ANDY TAYLOR
SHERIFF ANDY TAYLOR

MAYBERRY

 

The Andy Griffith Show is set in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, which appears to be based on a combination of Mount Airy, NC—where Andy Griffith grew up—and Mayberry, Virginia, a town 22 miles away that Griffith visited many times with his father as a boy. 

Mayberry is a wonderful place full of eccentric characters.  The only crime among the natives seems to be making moonshine (alcohol is illegal in the county).  Most of the law enforcement involves criminals on the lam or passing through, along with the occasional con man. 

Among the many memorable characters are the fine ladies Thelma Lou (the girlfriend of Deputy Fife) and schoolteacher Helen Crump (eventual wife of Sheriff Taylor); local mechanics Gomer and Goober; Floyd the Barber; town drunk Otis; and crazy mountain man Ernest T. Bass. 

We will focus on the first five seasons, after which—besides Don Knotts leaving—the producer and writers were replaced and the show changed from Black & White to Color. 

SHELDON LEONARD
SHELDON LEONARD
EARLE HAGEN & TOMMY DORSEY.
EARLE HAGEN & TOMMY DORSEY.

Sheldon Leonard & Earle Hagen

 

Sheldon Leonard (1907-1997) was an actor, writer, director, and producer from New York City.  As an actor he played the bad guy, including a role in the classic 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life.  Leonard also starred on the radio with The Jack Benny Program

 Sheldon Leonard produced the popular television shows Make Room for Daddy (The Danny Thomas Show); The Dick Van Dyke Show; and I Spy.  He hired Aaron Reuben to produce the first five seasons of The Andy Griffith Show

Sheldon Leonard hired Earle Hagen (1919-2008) to score the music for The Andy Griffith Show.  Hagen wrote the memorable (whistled) theme song "The Fishin' Hole."  The song appears at the beginning of the program in a half-step higher key than at the end. 

Earle Hagen played the trombone for the big bands of Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman before he moved on to write music for many television shows.  Hagen wrote the theme song for The Dick Van Dyke Show

"MAYBERRY" STATUE OF ANDY AND OPIE TAYLOR STANDS IN MOUNT AIRY, NORTH CAROLINA
"MAYBERRY" STATUE OF ANDY AND OPIE TAYLOR STANDS IN MOUNT AIRY, NORTH CAROLINA
ANDY TAYLOR WITH FUTURE WIFE HELEN CRUMP
ANDY TAYLOR WITH FUTURE WIFE HELEN CRUMP

Sheriff Andy Taylor

 

I knew many a boy who wished Sheriff Andy Taylor had been their daddy.  He had marvelous parenting skills.  Andy Taylor took his son fishing quite often and spent quality time with him every day.  He admitted when he was wrong, and he taught his boy solid values. 

Andy Taylor was loved by the whole town.  People could depend on him to help solve their problems, mediate their disputes, and provide sound counsel when they were troubled. 

Andy Taylor was polite and charming with a loving heart.  He was a master of reverse psychology, who worked to help his friends see the error of their ways—and maneuvered to help them save face. 

Sheriff Andy Taylor, in his 30s, was also the Justice of the Peace.  But he carried no gun and wore no tie.  Andy looked past the foibles of people straight into their hearts.  He went to church every Sunday, and most evenings would find him singing and strumming his guitar on the porch with his family. 

Andy Taylor was originally conceived as a country bumpkin who would make us laugh.  As the show went on, he became more sophisticated.  Griffith said, "By the second episode, I knew that Don [Knotts] should be funny and I should play straight.  I just realized that I'm the straight man to all those kooks around me." 

Andy Taylor had many phrases that stick in the mind.  Among them are "Well, I'll be dogged!" and—always said to Barney—"You beat everything. Did you know that?"

THE RECORD ALBUM THAT PROPELLED ANDY GRIFFITH TO STARDOM
THE RECORD ALBUM THAT PROPELLED ANDY GRIFFITH TO STARDOM
ANDY GRIFFITH & PATRICIA NEAL IN "A FACE IN THE CROWD"
ANDY GRIFFITH & PATRICIA NEAL IN "A FACE IN THE CROWD"
CAST OF THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW
CAST OF THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW

Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith—actor, writer, director, producer, and Grammy winning Gospel singer—was born in 1926. He grew up so poor that he slept in a drawer. Before The Andy Griffith Show, he was already a star in radio, films, and on Broadway.

Andy Griffith set out to be a preacher, but changed his college major to music. He fell in love with acting in high school and even more so in college. Upon graduation, he taught high school English at first.

Andy Griffith got his big break with a record he made in 1955 of a monologue he wrote called "What it was, was Football." It is still one of the most successful comedy records of all time, selling nearly a million copies.

Andy Griffith became a movie star after his film debut in A Face in the Crowd (1958) with Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau. This was also Lee Remick's first film.

Andy Griffith had already starred in a 1956 television play of No Time for Sergeants, and a play of the same name in which he performed for 796 shows on Broadway. Griffith played a country rube in the Air Force. In 1958, it was made into a major motion picture. In the picture and the Broadway play the co-star was Don Knotts—thus began a lifelong friendship.

Andy Griffith was next in a 1958 film that flopped entitled Onionhead (again with Walter Matthau). In it he would play a similar character but this time in the Coast Guard. If not for that flop Griffith might not have gone into television.

After The Andy Griffith Show he starred in the TV series Matlock for nine years, and continued to make some motion pictures—notably the western spoof Rustler's Rhapsody (1985).

SHERIFF ANDY TAYLOR GETS A RIDE IN DEPUTY BARNEY FIFE'S SIDECAR
SHERIFF ANDY TAYLOR GETS A RIDE IN DEPUTY BARNEY FIFE'S SIDECAR
BARNEY FIFE
BARNEY FIFE
THELMA LOU GIVES BARNEY FIFE KISSES
THELMA LOU GIVES BARNEY FIFE KISSES

Deputy Barney Fife

Deputy Barney Fife often called his boss "Ange." Sheriff Taylor often called him "Barn." Deputy Fife said many memorable things on the show, among them: "You've got to nip it! Nip it in the bud!" and "Guess! Come on, guess!" and "This is big, big, big, big; really big!" and "It beats all, Andy. It just beats all!" and "You're really funny. Do you know that?" But my favorite was: "All the women here are dogs! If you flew a quail through this room, every woman in it would point."

Barney once hooked Andy up on a blind date with a woman that Andy said looked like Benjamin Franklin.

Barney Fife was the best man at Andy Taylor's weddings. He was also his cousin, but it must have been on Andy's deceased first wife's side because Barney was not related to Aunt Bee. Andy was also his best friend and mentor. They had been Boy Scouts together, and both had served in the army during World War II—though Andy served in Africa and in France, while Barney co-ran the PX Library on Staten Island.

Barney Fife may have been the funniest television character ever—and one of the most complex. He was the skinny, wiry guy with a Napoleon Complex we have all known, who suffered from delusions of grandeur and an inappropriate self-image.

Barney Fife was hyperkinetic and comically inept. He presented himself as an expert on everything as a smokescreen for his deep-seated insecurities. He fancied himself a great singer but was always off-key—as his girlfriend Thelma Lou said, "He can't sing a lick."

Barney Fife was a goofball who was easily alarmed, quick to gossip, naïve, a blabbermouth—and as a deputy, overzealous over the most minor infractions. In other words—Barney is endearing.

Barney Fife saw Mayberry as too small to exercise his overarching talents. He was always learning Judo or Karate, but was utterly inept at both. We had to wonder where else he could have survived.

Barney Fife was not a complete rube. He read good books and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal; quoted Shakespeare; and smoked cigars. After he left the show, it was explained he had become a detective for the police force in the capital of North Carolina, Raleigh.


DON KNOTTS RECEIVES HIS FIRST EMMY AWARD FOR PORTRAYING DEPUTY BARNEY FIFE IN 1961
DON KNOTTS RECEIVES HIS FIRST EMMY AWARD FOR PORTRAYING DEPUTY BARNEY FIFE IN 1961
DON KNOTTS
DON KNOTTS

Don Knotts

 

Don Knotts (1924-2006) grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia.  His farmer father died when Don was 13 from alcoholism; his mother ran a boardinghouse. 

Don Knotts broke into show business as a ventriloquist.  He landed his first acting role in 1953 on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow.   Knotts was then featured on The Steve Allen Show as an extremely nervous man who was alternately either a brain surgeon or an explosives expert. 

Don Knotts heard Andy Griffith was putting together a new TV show, with him as a sheriff, and called him to suggest he needed a deputy.  Knotts was signed to a five year contract and would go on to win five Emmy Awards as Barney Fife. 

Andy Griffith had early on told Don Knotts that the show would not run past five years.  Therefore, Knotts signed a long-term deal to star in motion pictures before Andy decided to extend the run of The Andy Griffith Show.  The program would not be the same without him.  It was still above average; but nowhere near the high bar the show had set the first five years. 

Don Knotts was successful in films, especially in The Incredible Mr. Limpet and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.  He also had a fine three-year stint in the TV show Three's Company

Don Knotts went blind a few years before he died of lung cancer. 

OPIE TAYLOR IN THE FIRST EPISODE OF THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW "THE NEW HOUSEKEEPER"
OPIE TAYLOR IN THE FIRST EPISODE OF THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW "THE NEW HOUSEKEEPER"

Opie Taylor

 

Opie Taylor was a good-hearted, generous, self-sacrificing boy who was respectful to his elders.  He was six-years-old when the series started in 1960.  Barney Fife was his Godfather.  Opie appeared in 209 of the 249 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.

Opie Taylor had lost his momma to death when he was just "the least wee speck of a boy."  So, he never knew her. 

Opie Taylor was played by Ron Howard—the most successful child star of all time.  His little brother, Clint Howard, is on the show a few times as a boy who keeps trying to share his already-bitten-into peanut butter sandwich with Barney Fife.  Clint would later star in the television program Gentle Ben.  His father, Rance Howard, also appears in The Andy Griffith Show here and there as various characters. 

RON HOWARD'S FATHER RANCE AND BROTHER CLINT
RON HOWARD'S FATHER RANCE AND BROTHER CLINT

Ron Howard

 

Ron Howard was born in 1954 in Oklahoma to parents who are both actors.  Ron would surpass his fame as a child star on The Andy Griffith Show as an actor, director, and producer. 

Ron Howard starred in the seminal film American Graffiti in 1973.  He also had a nice role before The Andy Griffith Show in the fine film The Music Man (1962). 

In 1974, Ron Howard began a six year run as Richie Cunningham in the popular TV series Happy Days.   He would then broaden his horizons by becoming a major film director. Among his movies are Night Shift; Splash; Cocoon; Willow; Backdraft; Apollo 13; and A Beautiful Mind (for which he won an Oscar as Best Director). 

Ron Howard married his high school sweetheart in 1975.  They have four children and reside in Greenwich, Connecticut. 

AUNT BEE
AUNT BEE

Aunt Bee

Aunt Bee Taylor is a teetotaler who sings in the church choir; plays the piano; recites poetry; and dotes on her nephew Andy and his son Opie. In an earlier time, Aunt Bee had also raised Andy as a boy.

Aunt Bee is a terrific cook who is always baking something. She is in her 50s; active in church and town social functions; a prominent figure in Mayberry, where everyone call her Aunt Bee.

Aunt Bee is a good-natured woman who becomes a surrogate mother to Opie. She brings a picnic basket of food to the county jail every day for Sheriff Andy, Deputy Barney, and the prisoners—if there are any. In later color episodes, she establishes her own restaurant and a cooking show on television.

 

FRANCES BAVIER HEADSTONE
FRANCES BAVIER HEADSTONE

Frances Bavier

Frances Bavier (1902-1989) was from New York City. Before she won an Emmy Award as Aunt Bee, she had a long career in Vaudeville, Broadway, and in films. She also made many guest appearances on various television programs.

Frances Bavier long thought her dramatic talents were wasted on The Andy Griffith Show. She was known on the show as quite thin-skinned and it was said the staff "walked on eggshells" around her. Four months before she died, she called Andy Griffith to apologize for "being so difficult" while making the show.

Frances Bavier said her favorite episode of The Andy Griffith Show was "Wedding Bells for Aunt Bee." She died in the area of North Carolina where the show was set, saying "I fell in love with North Carolina; and the pretty roads and trees."

GOOBER
GOOBER
SHERIFF TAYLOR, DEPUTY FIFE, AND GOMER PYLE
SHERIFF TAYLOR, DEPUTY FIFE, AND GOMER PYLE

Best Episodes of the Andy Griffith Show

I reviewed all the episodes of The Andy Griffith Show before I decided on 29 episodes that are my favorites. Eight of these are agreed upon by the cast and producers of the show, based on a 17 episode DVD that was released as the Greatest Hits of The Andy Griffith Show.

The top eight episodes are:

"The Pickle Story" ( season two) where Aunt Bee produces "kerosene cucumbers" that Andy and Barney brag about to make her feel good even though they are awful, which backfires horribly.

"Barney and the Choir" (season two) where Barney is invited to join the choir; ruins it by singing off-key; Andy doesn't want to hurt Barney's feelings and so tells him he is ill and has to bow out because of a "growth" in the back of his throat; but Barney foils Andy's deception when he comes back just before the concert with the discovery that the flap is "just a uvula; I got a uvula, you got a uvula, everybody's got a uvula!"

"Convicts at Large" (season three) where three female convicts hold Barney and Floyd the Barber hostage in a cabin until rescued by Andy.

"The Darlings are Coming" (season three) where a clan of mountain musicians descends upon Mayberry.

"Dogs, dogs, dogs" (season three) where Opie rescues a dog, and then, encouraged by Andy and Barney, brings in a whole gang of stray dogs to the jailhouse.

"Opie the Birdman" (season four) where Opie kills a mother bird with his slingshot and learns from Andy about life, death, and nurturing the young.

"Citizen's Arrest" (season four) where Barney and Gomer Pyle go at each other about strict adherence to rules (Jim Nabors' [Gomer] favorite episode).

"Barney's Sidecar" (season four) where Barney adds a vintage motorcycle to the Sheriff Department.

Gomer Pyle Can Dance!

OTIS
OTIS
FLOYD THE BARBER
FLOYD THE BARBER
ERNEST T BASS
ERNEST T BASS

The Darlings Play "salty Dog"

My Favorite Episodes of the Andy Griffith Show

 

Besides the eight above, I have 21 more favorite episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. These are:

SEASON ONE:  "Mayberry goes Hollywood" in which Mayberry is chosen for the location of a motion picture but the townspeople get so excited for fame that they transform the town into anything but what the producer wanted when he scouted the location.

"Andy and the Gentleman Crook" in which world class con man "Gentleman Dan" hoodwinks everybody in Mayberry except Andy Taylor.

"Andy Forecloses" in which Sheriff Taylor is obliged to evict people from their home and the great lengths he goes to avoid it.

SEASON TWO:  "The Clubmen" in which Andy is invited to join a prestigious private club but Barney is rejected.

"Bailey's Bad Boy" in which a spoiled rich kid from New York (Bill Bixby) learns the virtues of small town America.

"The Manicurist" in which every man in Mayberry suddenly wants a manicure due to the incredible beauty of a newcomer to town (Barbara Eden).

"The Merchant of Mayberry" in which Andy helps a struggling peddler to survive.

"Andy on Trial" is one of the most dramatic episodes in which Andy is accused of malfeasance.

SEASON THREE:  "The Cow Thief" in which Sheriff Andy Taylor outwits city detectives through good old country horse sense.

"The Bed Jacket" in which Andy self-sacrifices to make Aunt Bee happy on her birthday.

"Andy Discovers America" is the favorite episode of former President Eisenhower in which Barney brags about his self aggrandized knowledge of history. 

SEASON FOUR: "The Haunted House" in which Andy, Barney and Gomer venture into the local haunted house.

"Barney and the Cave Rescue" in which Andy pretends to let Barney rescue him so that he might be a hero.

"Bargain Day" in which Aunt Bee goes to great lengths to buy in bulk to "save" money (reminds me of my grandma).

"Back to Nature" in which Barney brags to kids about his non-existent wilderness survival skills.

SEASON FIVE:  "Barney's Uniform" in which Barney wears his uniform every waking hour because of a threat by a bully.

"Three Wishes for Opie" in which Barney believes in fortune telling apparati. 

"TV or not TV" in which the denizens of Mayberry forego their wisdom to accommodate people who claim they want to make a TV show about their lives.

"Guest in the House" in which Helen Crump becomes rightfully jealous of Andy's new house guest, his pseudo-cousin.

"Opie's Newspaper" in which Opie takes the advice of his elders and makes a school newspaper full of gossip about the townsfolk.

"Opie and the Carnival" in which a carnival is operating a scam of a shooting gallery.   

THE STUNNING JAN SHUTAN (AS GLORIA) MADE HELEN CRUMP JEALOUS WHEN SHE CAME TO VISIT THE TAYLORS (I CANNOT IMAGINE WHY)
THE STUNNING JAN SHUTAN (AS GLORIA) MADE HELEN CRUMP JEALOUS WHEN SHE CAME TO VISIT THE TAYLORS (I CANNOT IMAGINE WHY)
THE GORGEOUS JOANNA MOORE GAVE ME A THRILL GOING UP MY LEG AS PEGGY MCMILLAN, FIRST GIRLFRIEND OF ANDY TAYLOR
THE GORGEOUS JOANNA MOORE GAVE ME A THRILL GOING UP MY LEG AS PEGGY MCMILLAN, FIRST GIRLFRIEND OF ANDY TAYLOR

The Andy Griffith Show


The Andy Griffith Show featured many guest stars during its run. Among them were Jack Nicholson; Bill Bixby; Barbara Eden; Bob Denver; Alan Hale Jr.; Rob Reiner; Buddy Ebsen; Don Rickles; and Jerry Van Dyke. Appalachian Music featured prominently in the show. It launched the careers of the Kentucky Colonels and the Dillards.



Andy Taylor eventually marries Helen Crump in the series, but my favorite ladies ever on the show—matchless beauties inside and out—are his early girlfriend in four episodes, Peggy McMillan (Joanna Moore), and his pseudo-cousin in one episode, Gloria (Jan Shutan).



The Andy Griffith Show was built around making us laugh. But the show, if you pay attention, is really about love. The characters on the show all love each other unconditionally—and show it by their actions.



Andy Taylor accepts everybody as they are. The characters have manners and morals. The show is as funny as any television show ever produced. But it is the Love—not the funny stuff—that makes The Andy Griffith Show abide in our hearts through the ages.

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      C Stephenson 6 months ago

      The first few years of the Andy Griffith Show was the best show ever on television. But it went to hell in a hand basket when they brought the Helen Crump character on the show. That's when Andy became a boring straight man. They should have done what ever it took to keep the Ellie character on the show. She would have by far made a better girlfriend for Andy on the show. I found it very difficult to watch the episodes with the Helen Crump character. She was incredibly boring. And the actress who played her left a lot to be desired.

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      sv 7 months ago

      beautifully stated

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      I liked this hub because I've been watching re-runs of the show and laughing out loud in some cases. Your details are in depth and give a greater understanding to the actors and characters on the show.

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

      Tisa— I am so glad that you enjoyed my Hub. I love both of the episodes you mentioned. Just yesterday I turned on the television and there was the episode where they pretend to let Barney sing a solo with the church choir while a man backstage really sings it. It is both hilarious and heartwarming. It is touching.

      As you put it so succinctly, the Andy Griffith Show featured "Simple, brilliant writing, great casting along with thoughtful, detailed character development."

      Amen. I don't think it has ever been matched in the history of television. And that's saying something. Considering how many programs have come and gone that is an incredible accomplishment.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I very much appreciate your excellent coments.

      james :-)

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      Tisa 4 years ago

      I really enjoyed the information that your provided about the show. I watch it every day and never get tired of it. My 2 favorite episodes are Opie raising the birds and Opie's Hobo Friend. Both episodes dealt with comedy, some heartfelt emotion and the wisdom of Andy. When Opie asked Andy how would he know if the birds were happy, Andy answered that Winkin would tell Blinkin, Blinkin would tell Nod and Nod would tell Barney. You had to have seen the episode to get the joke. Simple, brilliant writing, great casting along with thoughtful, detailed character development. Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, Seinfeld, they all had it. Today, if there is no violence or murder writers and producers think no one would watch. What a loss for today's viewers.

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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      Levertis Steele— You are quite welcome. I sincerely appreciate this visitation from you to my Andy Griffith Show Hub. The few weeks after Andy passed away saw a huge spike in traffic here.

      Thank you for your thoughtful remarks.

      I always enjoy hearing from you. :-)

      James

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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      PH— I surely appreciate that information. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I am grateful for the visit and your comments.

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      Levertis Steele 5 years ago

      "Well, I'll be dogged!" So, this is your hub, a job well done! I was researching a poet and came across it. Your account of the show is packed, and the pictures are perfect. "It took me way back, back down memory lane. Andy and Barn were great, but Ernie T, was it! He didn't want to join the army; all he wanted was his "unifirm." That was such a simple request and, of course, my favorite Andy Griffith Show.

      Thanks for the memories!

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      PH 5 years ago

      FYI, the "ole steel trap" line was used in Barney Buys a Car ... Mrs. Lesch episode

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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      PH— I am shocked and amazed! I cannot say that personally remember said episode but all indications from my research were as I earlier stated. Hmmm . . . now I am baffled.

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      PH 5 years ago

      I just now closely re-watched the episode, "Mayberry on Record," on DVD since it was also my understanding that it was episode where Barney said that. However, he does not. Either it is a myth that Barney ever used the phrase "Ol'Steel Trap" or I have an edited version of that episode. I want to confirm this because I named our TAGSRWC chapter 'The Ol' Steel Traps'.

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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      kmkellum-- Thank you! Thank you very much. :)

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      PH— Season 1, Episode 19, entltled "Mayberry on Record." Barney says, ""Ange, when the ol' steel trap in here has made up its mind, there's no turning back."

      :D

      Thanks for asking.

    • kmkellum profile image

      kmkellum 5 years ago

      I agree! The sitcom ever made they don't make them like they use to.

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      PH 5 years ago

      In what episode did Barney refer to his mind as the "ole steel trap?"

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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      Big Glenn— You are most welcome. Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your excellent comments and your gracious compliments.

      I think Asa was the old timer who was hired to guard the bank but he mostly slept all the time.

      I am glad you enoyed the journey. Y'all come back now! Here? :)

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      Big Glenn 5 years ago

      Thank you for a wonderful, well written trip down memory lane. My dad and I watched these episodes together and would just 'heehaw' laughing. Actually, Andy lives here in the town where I do. I do have a question. There was a character named 'ASA' in one episode. I don't remember any more than that. Can you feel in the blanks for me? Thank you again for "the trip".

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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      Billrrrr— Thank you ever much for visiting this Hub of mine. I appreciate your thoughtful and insightful comments. I am well pleased to find that we are kindred spirits when it comes to the Andy Griffith Show.

      My Grandpa absolutely loved Jack Benny on the radio. I very much enjoyed his television appearances in the 1960s.

      I agree with you that " the chemistry between Don Knotts & Andy was really what made the show."

      I did not know that "'Floyd the Barber' was Gunsmoke's original Doc Adams." Fascinating. Thank you as well for that illumination. I am glad you came and enjoyed my Hub.

      James

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      Bill Russo 5 years ago from Cape Cod

      I too loved Mayberry and the show. Your comments about Sheldon Leonard reminded me how much I loved the old Jack Benny radio show. When I was a child, (There was no TV then) I listened to Jack every Sunday night and Sheldon Leonard's spots as the Racetrack Tout were my favorite parts. The Benny show ran on radio up to the mid 1950s. At the end, it was on both radio and tv.

      As for the Andy Griffith show, you are smack on, the chemistry between Don Knotts & Andy was really what made the show.

      One final note, 'Floyd the Barber' was Gunsmoke's original Doc Adams. He played the part on the radio series for about ten years starting in 1952. When the show moved to tv a few seasons later, he stayed with the radio cast until it finally went off the air in the 1960s.

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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      Stessily— What!? Naw! You've got to be kidding. I thought all red-blooded Americans had seen the Andy Griffith Show. Fascinating.

      You can rent the episodes and watch them in order. That is what I did just before I wrote this Hub. I think it is well worth it.

      That Barney is a funny guy and you quoted what to me is one of his most memorable lines.

      Thank you ever much for taking this time to come by and read this Hub. I always appreciate your excellent comments. And you are welcome. :-)

      Faithfully Yours,

      James

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      stessily 5 years ago

      James, Would you believe . . . that I've never seen any episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show"? That would be true. I've seen snippets here and there but never a complete episode! Some day I just might have to remedy that oversight, which wasn't intentional; it's just something that happened where my schedule never seemed to jive with rerun times.

      Your favourite statement by Barney is brutal but is funny for its imagery: "All the women here are dogs! If you flew a quail through this room, every woman in it would point."

      Thank you for sharing this iconic series. I slightly feel as though I've vicariously watched it through your pithy descriptions.

      Kind regards, Stessily

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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      teacherjoe52— Thank you!!! Thank you very much!! :D

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      teacherjoe52 5 years ago

      That was and still is my favourite shows. I wish I could download a couple of episodes to share with my class to show them what a real classic show looked like.

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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      trusouldj— Thank you for the compliment. I will check out your Mayberry Hub very soon.

      I remember the "foreclosure episode" quite well. It is thought-provoking and well done. I rented the whole set on DVD and watched it all just before I wrote this article.

      I appreciate the visit and your comments!

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      trusouldj 5 years ago from Indiana

      Very nice. I just watched a couple of episodes this morning on DVD; the ones about the farmer's daughter who wanted some "female decorations" and the episode where Weaver wanted him to forclose on a family. Check out my my Mayberry hub.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Dolores Monet— Hello there, dear.

      I am so glad that you enjoyed this Hub. As you put it perfectly well:

      "people love it for the picture of small town living in the South - the simplicity of life, the goodness of people, and the importance of moral behavior"

      Amen!

      I would surely like to live in a place like Mayberry. I really would. Oh, I might miss big city culture and activities. But I've been there and done that.

      Thank you for coming by to visit. I enjoyed your comments. :)

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      Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi, James - I loved this wonderfully in depth tribute to the Andy Griffith Show, one of my all time favorites. Of course the actors were excellent, but I think people love it for the picture of small town living in the South - the simplicity of life, the goodness of people, and the importance of moral behavior. Wouldn't we all like to live like that? (Of course, if we all really did, every place would be like Mayberry.)

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Lady Blah Blah— Welcome to HubPages! Thank you for this high praise indeed!! I am well pleased to meet a kindred spirit. I enjoyed reading your thoughtful words, and you are most welcome.

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      Lady Blah Blah 6 years ago from South Carolina

      The best tribute to The Andy Griffith Show I've ever seen! Love this show. It used to show here years ago every night at 11 pm and was part of my sleep ritual. When they changed up the schedule, Ted Turner actually got hate mail. Apparently I wasn't the only one that couldn't get to sleep without Andy! Thanks for all your hard work!

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Pink Mingos— You are most welcome! My family has deep roots in Tennessee, BTW.

      Wasn't Festus a great character!? Yes he and Barney had endearing mannerisms. I do remember the episode to which you refer! Hilarious!

      Thank you very much for visiting my Hub and leaving your fine comments. I'll be over soon to see what you've been writing. :-)

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      Pink Mingos 6 years ago from Mars

      Oh the memories! Thank you for this wonderful hub!

      I grew up watching the reruns!

      Barney (like Festus of Gunsmoke) was one of my favorite law enforcement characters back in these days! Barney with the way he sniffed his nose in an air of accomplishment, and Festus' cocked eyebrow and squinched eye as if reassuring he was right.

      Since you touched on one of Barney's most notable traits (that he fancied himself a great singer) then you must remember the episode that he was planning to sing, Andy came up with a plan to save the show by explaining that the microphone was so sensitive that Barney almost had to whisper into it, meanwhile Andy was behind a curtain doing the actual singing.. when Barney "heard himself" he really threw drama into the performance!

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Beth Godwin— I certainly agree with you. Thank you ever much for making these insightful comments. I appreciate the visitation. :-)

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      Beth Godwin 6 years ago

      Andy Griffith is a perfect portrait of small town America in the 60's, and one of my all time favorite shows. The show always had a moral message. Today's shows would benefit with a " blast from the past" promoting values and less violence, crime, and sex.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Peter Owen— There is an Owen family in my hometown in Michigan that numbers among my best friends. Fine Welsh folks, as myself.

      Thank you for visiting my Hub, and commenting. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

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      Peter Owen 6 years ago from West Hempstead, NY

      Most of the Boomers grew up with Andy and Barney. I can still picture many of the episodes

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      David Everette— You are quite welcome. Thank you for coming along. I appreciate your comments.

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      David Everette 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Great Tribute.Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      RandomLife— I certainly agree with you wholeheartedly. Thank you for visiting and especially for your kind compliments.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      vocalcoach— It is a pleasure to receive your comments. Thank you for your warm words. I surely appreciate the "rated up" and "awesome!" Thanks again and you are most welcome. :)

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Amy Becherer— Thank you for taking the time to come over and read my article. I am glad you enjoyed the subject and my work. I enjoy hearing from you.

      That is a "cool" story about Opie that you related. Your comments are thoughtful and insightful. I hope all is well for you! :-)

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      RTalloni— Thank you!! Thank you very much! :D

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Wayne Brown— You are very welcome, WB! It is great to see you here. I appreciate the recognition of my work, and your kind compliments, brother. Thank you for coming by and taking the time to read my Hub, as well as leaving your excellent remarks. :D

      JAW

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      DeBorrah K. Ogans— You are welcome. I am glad you enjoyed this little stroll down memory lane. I so appreciate your gracious accolades. It is always good to hear from you. I love your insightful, thoughtful remarks. I like everything you wrote, but especially this:

      "It was full of love, humor, morals, values and a stunning cast of great characters.

      I believe the beauty of the show was its simplicity and the candid sincere open expressions."

      Amen!

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      v_kahleranderson— Hello, VKA! It is good to see you again. I completely understand; I have been off line the last few days too. Thank you for the kind compliments and your blessings. I enjoy hearing your voice. :D

      JAW

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      RandomLife 6 years ago from Nashville TN

      Awesome hub! I love this show and wish some of the shows today had some morals and values like this one did.

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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      A magnificent history of "The Andy Griffith Show" and such great pictures. I still watch the re-runs. After getting to know him as "sherrif Andy", I just never could get into "Matlock". Thanks James. Well done and rated up and awesome! (Oh, forgot to mention that I drove through "Mayberry" on a trip to N.C.

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      Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Great trip into nostalgia. Yes, the show was about unconditional love. Andy's character reminds me of Mr. Rogers...all about accepting the reality of each person, good and bad. I have to laugh as I recently saw Ron Howard on TV explaining his invitation from Jamie Fox to join in a party video. Ron laughed as he explained he was "all smiles" for the video until Jamie explained he needed to be "cool", complete with serious party face and attitude. It worked and Ron Howard, for the first time I ever noticed, looked "cool". I believe that the goodness of Andy Griffith and Ron Howard in their roles in Mayberry extends beyond their television persona...I think it's really who they are! Great subject for a great read.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Lisa HW— Thank you! Thank you very much. I know: Aunt Bee does look to be much older by today's standards. Women in the 50s did look that way back then though. :D

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      To Start Again— Gosh, I just don't know. But I'm glad we have reconnected. :)

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      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Your work is always interesting.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      RTalloni— Thank you very much! I humbly accept the award. And I appreciate this visitation from you. :)

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      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      What a great review of such a fine entertainment series. I especially loved the way you addressed the characters and then discussed the person behind them. So often, we only know the character and think we know the person doing the acting. I loved the series but in real life Andy Griffith and I go our separate ways in that he is a rabid liberal and I a conservative. Still, I take nothing away from the show and I still am drawn to watch it when I am flipping the channels. Thanks for some great memories. WB

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 6 years ago

      James, What an Enjoyable Review of this classic show! Thank you for the wonderful trip down memory lane. The Andy Griffith Show was indeed marvelous. It was full of love, humor, morals, values and a stunning cast of great characters.

      I believe the beauty of the show was its simplicity and the candid sincere open expressions. The characters invited us into their lives and you looked forward to their genuineness. Issues were dealt with firmly but lovingly. You can even recall the tone of some of their voices…The show also seem to have a peacefulness about it regardless as to what was going on… As you stated: But it is the Love—not the funny stuff—that makes The Andy Griffith Show abide in our hearts through the ages.

      Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings! Again, GREAT JOB!

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      v_kahleranderson 6 years ago from San Jose, California

      Hello Mr. Watkins, I'm sorry to have been absent from your hubs for some time now ~ family duties has kept me very busy. Lol!

      Just wanted to stop by and see your latest hub and, WOW!, another awesome hub. How all the memories just came flooding. Where have the years gone?

      I hope all is going well with you, and that you are taking care of yourself. I pray God continues to bless you, keeping you healthy and at least content. :)

      VKA

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      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Nicely done Hub. (Aunt Bea was in her FIFTIES??!!! OMG!! I thought she was in her seventies at the time! LOL :) )

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      Selina Kyle 6 years ago

      Nope. Not Sylvia :) We started here around the same time. I was about a month behind you. I've been away for a year almost now.

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      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Embarrassment to NC, indeed. Not too surprising considering all the lying that went on in so many of the shows.

      Now that I have your dander up, you did a nice thing bringing up such fond memories for so many people. Simply everyone smiles when they hear that whistling tune that opens the show. Andy's easy going character made for many special moments in the hearts of people wishing for the best in life, wishing for what really counts. You definitely get the good-deed-doer award!

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Polly— God Bless You in all your endeavors!

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      To Start Again— OK. I am probably wrong but . . . Sylvia?

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      Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

      I am proud to call you friend, James, I respect your work and who you are and that you don't go off in left field like I do all the time (wish I could stop that!). I have been learning to work on my own site changing things around, adding better songs and tomorrow I will put better poems, well in my opinion but I am most excited about my Sassy Creek site even if it is for kids, it has become my baby. Then a third site based on a book I have had written over a year, who knows when but being busy never felt so good. Hope all is well with you and yours.

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      Selina Kyle 6 years ago

      Female, James. Now I'm curious about who you were thinking...

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      To Start Again— You've got me baffled. I read your profile page but I can't figure out who you are.

      Thank you for coming by to visit. I had one thought who you might be. How about a clue: male or female?

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Dusty Snoke— You are most welcome. Thank you for the voted up and the kind compliment. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Polly— I hope my answer was helpful. I'm no expert on that subject or any other, for that matter. But I putter along and do the best I can. My journey is made easier by the support and encouragement of persons such as you. Thank you for being my internet friend and Hubber Buddy. :-)

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Ingenira— Thank you for your kind comments. I see there is quite a bit on YouTube, as you noted. I appreciate the visitation very much. :)

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      Selina Kyle 6 years ago

      I don't know how many times I heard Andy Griffith on at my house growing up. That show definitely plays on the soundtrack of my life. Well done James. Hope life is finding you well these days :) Much love from an old friend...

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      Dusty Snoke 6 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      Great Hub. voted up. and thanks for the walk down memory lane

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

      Sorry I haven't thanked you for answering my question, I keep meaning to and I think I have the answer and if you think about it; it really could only be one I think and I have been after this answer soooo many years but I just have been busy trying to take off on two sites and two books. You did help me see what I think is the answer though, thank you. I will let you know if it fits, whenever I get time to study it out. Again thanks so much for whatever you said that put it in the right place.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Mrs. J. B.— My, you are well connected. You've had some pretty cool neighbors. I am glad you loved my article. It was a pleasure to put together. Thank you for visiting. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community! :-)

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Rhonda Waits— Thank you very much for the compliments, voted up, and sweet wishes, Rhonda. I like Andy, too—Taylor and Griffith. I appreciate your comments, especially this:

      "I wish everybody had a town like Mayberry. It seemed to be a perfect place to live."

      You know that's right!

      james

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      justmesuzanne— I am pleased to find a kindred spirit! I did not know Oprah held this show in such high regard. Thank you for your kind comments! I'll come over and check out your Hubs ASAP.

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      Ingenira 6 years ago

      Great hub, nice to see the familiar characters in the show again. I like to watch Andy Griffith shows when I was young too. Some of the shows are available in youtube too !

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      GPAGE! How great to see you here! I very much enjoyed Red Skelton, too. I am quite surprised to hear there might be a town that brings to mind Mayberry—in California? In 2011?!

      Do Knotts is the greatest! I'm glad you came by today. Thank you for your comments. And you are welcome. :D

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Betty Wilson— I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for saying so, Betty. And you are from North Carolina, right? I appreciate the visit and your kind words.

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      Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

      When I first moved to Los Angeles, I lived in Toluca Lake. Rance Howard was my neighbor along with Ethan Philips who played Nelix on Star Trek. I met them both became friends and I can say what nice men they both are. Also I worked with Clint Howard's ex-wife Annie as I used to be a nutritionist. Also Chuck Cusamano another friend actually bought Andy Griffith's house. I loved your article. It was informative and a blast to the past.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Dennis AuBuchon— Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I sincerely appreciate your kind compliments.

      I am also glad you enjoyed the background information. I am always curious who these people are in films or television programs. I figured there might be some others who were curious as well. I am well pleased to hear from another fan of The Andy Griffith Show.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Kindacrazy— Welcome to the Hub Pages Community! My daddy is from Lexington, Tennessee and I have cousins in Nashville and over your way in Kingsport.

      I sure appreciate the accolades, and the "voted up" and "awesome." :D

      I agree with every word you wrote in your comments, and I thank you for them.

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      Rhonda Musch 6 years ago from The Emerald Coast

      Great tribute James. I grew up watching reruns from the show. I truly enjoyed it. I wish everybody had a town like Mayberry. It seemed to be a perfect place to live. Andy was awesome. I don't agree with some of the other critics about his character he was and is a great actor and man. Voted up.

      Sweet wishes Rhonda

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      justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

      Great! One of my favorite shows (running even with the Dick Van Dyke Show)! You know, Oprah Winfrey says that the Andy Griffith Show is the best show ever made! I keep it on a continuous loop in my Netflix queue!

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      stars439— Thank you for your gracious compliments. I especially like your description of the show: "Honesty, clean humor, good acting, and education in good moral living."

      Indeed! I am glad you also enjoy this program. I appreciate the visitation. God Bless You! :D

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Oh my gosh!— I appreciate your comments. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is surely an excellent film. Many Americans do indeed love liberty. Liberty is not found in the Daddy State, or in Marxism, or in totalitarianism—these are antithetical to liberty by nature. To be a Conservative is merely to wish to conserve what made America great. You may disagree that America ever was great but that does not make Conservative ideas "loony tunes."

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      MonaVieAileen— You are quite welcome. Yes, television was good clean fun. As a technology it is neutral. It can be used for good or evil. Thank you for coming by to read my article.

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      GPAGE 6 years ago from California

      JAMES! This was one of my favorite shows when I was a child along with watching "I Love Lucy" and "Red Skelton" Specials! All were VERY entertaining and full of unforgettable characters! Without mentioning where I live in California, I often call my little town "Mayberry." There are THOSE sort of characters all around here! Anyway, I really loved Don Knotts. He always made me laugh and I loved the innocence of it all. Thank you again for a great trip down "memory lane!" Gx

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      Betty Wilson 6 years ago

      James - Great job! I viewed so many of the shows when they were being aired. So enjoyed the "Mental Stroll" back through those years. That show was one of the best. Thanks.

    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 6 years ago

      Great hub

      This was also one of my favorite shows. The detailed information you provided in this hub adds to the history of the program. The information about the various actors/actresses on the program was great. Often we watch programs but have no clue as to the background of how the individuals were brought together or what they have done. Another great piece of information is how you made the connection to locations whether fictional or real.

      Keep up the good work.

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      Kindacrazy 6 years ago from Tennessee

      I watched this show when I was growing up and watch the re-runs, when I can. They always "tickle my funny bone" and I enjoy EVERYONE of the them (before Don Knotts left). What a GREAT family show, yes it was a classic. I just wish there were still shows on TV with more morals and values to them for the FAMILY to watch. There were life lessons in every episode. Thank you, voted up and awesome. GREAT JOB, James.

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      stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      And Excellent hub, and no details missed. This was one of my favorite shows. Probably seen them a million times. Good clean fun. Honesty, clean humor, good acting, and education in good moral living. I thought it was educational in many simple ways. It was and all around decent little program. James, you did so well in describing the roles and characters of the show. God Bless You.

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      Oh my gosh! 6 years ago

      Wow, lots of ignorance about who Andy Griffin is here. He has always been a liberal, and there were quite a few liberal ideals on the show. You know not all southerners are conservatives, or narrow minded. To Kill A Mockingbird is quite a popular, and liberal, tale about a southern family. It is not Obama care, it was called healthcare reform. The way all of you Americans talk about your American president Obama is sick, and no of you truly love liberty. I find your conservative ideals a bit loney tunes, but as Americans you are welcome to have them. I am sure Andy Griffin and Ron Howard would laugh if they read the ignorant comments here. There have been liberal Americans for years, you just can't see beyond your conservative prejudice.

    • MonaVieAileen profile image

      MonaVieAileen 6 years ago from New York

      I also grew up watching this wonderful program. Reading this hub takes me back to the good old days where television was good clean fun to watch. Thank you for sharing this information about the show and the cast.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      duffsmom— I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for visiting my Hub and leaving your remarks. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Tuckerp— I know you are a creative artist. I have no idea why the play "No Time For Sergeants" would be disallowed by anyone.

      I remember the episode to which you refer. It is excellent! I appreciate your thoughtful and insightful comments. Thank you for visiting my Hub. Your remarks are much appreciated. :)

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Stan Fletcher— Do you now!? I would expect no less. Thank you for letting me know. And you are most welcome. :D

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      P. Thorpe Christiansen 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      I really enjoyed this Hub. It was like walking down memory lane--this show, and I Love Lucy were my favorites.

    • Tuckerp profile image

      Tuckerp 6 years ago from Clifton Tx

      No time for sergeants is still my favorite comedy . It started as a play . I've been in many plays . (Currently Hank Williams lost Highway ) . I tried to do the play No time for sergeants . But it is not allowed to be done . have no idea why .

      Mayberry and Andy had a way of leaving audiences' with a funny lesson . Or a real one . A good one was when , The lady got the speeding ticket and used her charmed to sway the town to her side . Finally Andy gave up . Said she'd won .And knew when he'd been lick . He made her feel so bad . He showed power by not using power .

      Also Andy was to play the Deputy first , Cause he was really a comic at the time . But fit the Andy bill so well , they put him there . least I heard that somewhere .

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      Stan Fletcher 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

      I still do a 'Barney sniff' occasionally when I'm impressed with myself. :) Great stuff. Thanks for this one.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      2besure— Thank you! I am glad to have brought back such fond memories of the heart. I appreciate your warm words.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      SirDent— Good to see you here, brother. Ernest T Bass was good with them rocks. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      heart4theword— You are quite welcome. Thank you for taking the time to come over and visit my Hub. Aunt Bee had a legion of fans, that's for sure. As you say, life in Mayberry was simple. Without so many exciting distractions, the people interacted every day in person with each other. I think that is missed today.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Great job of the topic! As I read the hub and looked at all the familiar pictures, my heart melts remember my childhood and how much I still love the program.

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      SirDent 6 years ago

      Memories galore. Watched Andy and Barney all the while they were aired and still watch them from time to time today.

      I used to love watching Ernest T Bass throw rocks.