The Andy Griffith Show; where Andy had un-Andy moments..

When I was a kid, the old man turned on reruns of the Andy Griffith show. I am now about the age that he was then, and I have been hooked on the TV Land reruns.

I know, it’s not realistic, but damn if it can’t relax you and make you wish for simpler times. However, a few episodes have bothered me when it just didn’t seem like Andy would act that way.

Example #1. A swindling traveling salesman sells Aunt Bee and the Church Women’s Group an elixer that promises to cure all ills. Turns out that it is just plain booze, but instead of breaking the news easily, Andy puts the whole group in jail.

Example #2. A businessman from another town is disappointed that his car can’t get fixed on Sunday. Instead of waiting, he steals Gomer’s truck. Andy drops all charges because he knew that he was in a hurry. Come on, Ang’, you can be lenient, but vehicle theft?

Any other ones, or thoughts on the show?

Andy smoking a cigarette, then flicking the butt on the ground. It’s wonder Ron Howard turn out as well as he did.

A traveling outfit that recorded folk music and released records of it passed through Mayberry. After it turned out to be a scam, Andy scolded Helen et al for investing money in it (“And you! A teacher! With a college education!”). But then, at the last minute, we find out that he had fallen for it too.

I also remember when he appeared on the episode of “Gomer Pyle, USMC” where Opie ran away from home and ended up at Camp Pendleton. He’s totally different, a mean, sullen SOB with no sense of humor or slack for the poor kid. Sergeant Carter speaks to him, as a voice of moderation. I presume it was an attempt to flex the acting muscles he displayed in “Face in the Crowd”. It scared the 8-year-old me.

There was an episode which I can’t remember the details of. It involved the girl who was his pre-Helen sweetheart (the one who worked in the drugstore). I believe the plot had Andy thinking that she was overly eager to get married, and he got a swelled head from her attention. Can someone fill in/correct me on this one?

Whenever he would say “Barn, let’s go over to coon-town and thump us some liquored up niggers” would always bother me a little.

Or when he told Danny Thomas, in the pilot for the show, “look here, Mister Bigshot Hollywood Jew-Boy, how’d ya like me to lose you in our jail for about two weeks? Otis DOES need a girlfriend.”

(Danny was a Lebanese Catholic)

Both of those are from the first season. There are really 3 Andy’s in the series. There is season 1 Andy, or rather the first half of season one.He plays kind of a country bumpkin. In season 2-5, (most everyone’s favorite stretch of the series), Barney Fife is the comic and Andy is the straight man. When knotts leaves the series and it goes color,The Andy character becomes kind of moody and irritable. Almost like he’s really frustrated with the people of Mayberry.

What really scared me was the one where Miss Ellie disappeared and Andy made some comment about her preferring ‘dark meat,’ made some evil laugh and called her a whore. never could figure that one out.

But, if you want to see weirdness, compare the color episodes with the B and W ones. In the color episodes, he isn’t at all happy, 95 percent of the time. Totally creepy. compare them.


Andy would tend to think the worst when it came to Opie. Opie didn’t contribute to the schools charity drive, he thought Opie was a tightwad. Little did he know that Opie was saving up to buy his girlfriend a winter coat. He thought Opie was lying about Mr. Beevee. Also the Golden Rule episode where he cheated the antique dealer.

Ever noticed that none of the main characters of TAGS was single

Mr Darling
About the only reoccurring characters that was married was Otis and the mayor.

You mean every one of them, not none of them.

Maybe Floyd and Howard weren’t offically married, but in the eyes of God…

IMS (and it may not), didn’t he have a major drinking problem by the time the show went color? Or maybe he was fed to the back teeth with playing a down-home, small town sheriff…
His GF prior to Helen was Ellie, the woman in the drugstore. She also starred in a ST:TOS episode. Her name is Elinor Donahue and I loved her because she was the only other Eleanor out there for me as a kid (given that Roosevelt and Rigby were both dead). I always liked her better than Helen the drip.
It always bothered me that there were no black or other minority people in that town. Creeped the hell out of me as a teen.

The funny part is that Andy Griffith being terse, tight faced “pissed off Dad” Andy was a a very real take on how many real life fathers would react. Despite the age of the show I have seen few TV performances over time that got this more “right” than his take on it. Pissed TV dads are normally portrayed as conciliatory psychiatrists or yelling abusive manics.

BTW I don’t recall - did Otis ever dry up in the last years of the show or any of the later spin offs, or was he a chronic drunk to the end?

I noticed that too. Andy gets very unlikeable at times after Barney left. I think that mirrored Andy Griffith’s own burn out with the show. Andy had planned to leave earlier when Don Knotts left. But, changed his mind.

By the time of the reunion TV movie he had dried out. Drove an ice cream truck I think.

Wasn’t that pretty much par for the course back then? There were a lot of shows that didn’t have black people.

One answer

In my convoluted memory of it wasn’t there one show where a passing through pretty blonde woman outshoots Andy at shooting crows, and he takes it as a dire personal affront (and not in a comedic way). What the hell was that show and what was going on there?

I remember when Opie shot and killed a bird with a BB gun, Andy opened Opie’s bedroom window so that he could hear the baby birds crying for their mother all night. That was f’ing intense for a sitcom.

She was much, much! more attractive than the actress who played Helen Crump. Also, if I am not mistaken, she was actually a co-star in a Fox(?) TV sitcom a few years back (I cant remember what it was called but it may have starred Chris Elliot) and even though she was in her 60’s she still was a very attractive woman…

As I remember it, she was (unbeknownst to Andy) a skeet champion, and was angry that Andy didnt think to offer to let her shoot any crows when they went out on an olde-fashoned picnic/crow slaughter…

Jack Nicholson was in an episode as a young father and a lost baby or something along those lines.