Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Andy Griffith Show: What's Your Hurry?

The passing of Andy Griffith comes just weeks after a conversation I had regarding humor on television.  The 30-something person with whom I was speaking said that many people today feel that before Monty Python there was nothing funny on t.v.  I, of course, disagree.  Yes, Monty Python was funny, but so were the less jaded television programs of the 50s and 60s.  I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and The Andy Griffith Show, which pays homage to the radio program Lum and Abner, were all quite funny in their day.  And, indeed, still today can hold their own with any contemporary comedy.  I can remember watching all of these shows for the first time and laughing out loud.  (I still do laugh out loud, in fact, when watching most of them.)

The Andy Griffith Show was set in a slower, simpler time--in those days long before computers and cell phones.  Though it was a touch anachronistic even then, the message was clear:  Slow down and take time to enjoy life.  A spin-off of The Danny Thomas Show, the pilot demonstrates the waning days of languid rural living.  City slicker Danny Williams blows through a stop sign on his way back to New York and is arrested by small-town sheriff Andy Taylor.  Danny is quite rude to Andy:  He calls him a rube and, pulling a wad of cash from his jacket, slaps a five-dollar bill on Andy's desk and commands that Andy use the money to "buy a comb and rake the hayseed out of his hair."  Andy levies a hefty fine on Danny, as he feels the fine should hurt a bit so that a miscreant feel the weight of the law.  Danny is outraged.  He takes the ten days in jail instead of the $100 fine and brings a television crew down and pleads on live national television his wrongdoing at Andy's hand.  Of course, it is Andy who prevails, and in summation he waxes on about people being in a hurry all the time, going from one city to another.  He says they should slow down because there's a whole lot to see between those cities.  So, if you're looking for some really funny entertainment, take the time to watch a few episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.  (But steer clear of the later color episodes; the black and white episodes with Deputy Barney Fife are far superior.)

Incidentally, the last few weeks have seen the passing of many classic television stars, including Richard Dawson (Hogan's Heroes' Newkirk), Frank Cady (Petticoat Junction and Green Acres' Sam Drucker), Don Grady (My Three Sons' Robbie Douglas), Doris Singleton (I Love Lucy's Carolyn Appleby) and now Andy Griffith.  Rest in peace and thanks for the entertainment.

To order from Amazon, click on links below:
The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Series
The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete First Season
The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Second Season
The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Third Season
The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Fourth Season
The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Fifth Season


  1. I loved this show as a kid. It will always be a classic imho. -T

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  3. If you haven't seen it in a while, pick it up again. Opie is hilarious in the first season, often getting the best of Andy, i.e. the Horatio episode.