Andy, Aunt Bee, Barney, Opie, Floyd, Goober, and Gomer. Do you know these people? I will give you a hint, they live in Mayberry just down the road from Mt. Pilot. Did that help?
Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors) died today. Gomer worked at Wally’s Service Station and occasionally filled in as a special deputy under the watchful eye of Barney Fife. With Nabors death I think Opie (Ron Howard) and Thelma Lou (Betty Lynn) are last two surviving regular cast members of The Andy Griffith Show.
The program aired on CBS from 1960 to 1971, first in black and white and then in color. I am just a fan of the black and white version and have probably seen every episode at least 100 times over the course of my life. I realize for many of you that might be a very sad fact to know about me but it is what it is.
Around my house I am known an idiot savant when it comes to Andy Griffith Show trivia a fact that I am rather proud of. This knowledge hasn’t broaden my horizons or advanced my career in any way but I take great comfort in knowing so much about one subject even if it is a silly television program.
The show is set in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina but was filmed in California a fact I realized much later in life when I noticed the trees growing around the old fishing pond looked nothing like the trees I was used to seeing in my home state of NC. Most of my favorite television programs have a cast of characters rather than just one central star and The Andy Griffith Show was filled with characters. From Otis to Ernest T. Bass each episode was pieced together with lighthearted drama, comedy and ended with some sort of life lesson, typically for Barney to ponder. The goal of the show wasn’t to change the world or highlight the turbulent times of the 1960’s but to remember the simpler days when the toughest decision you had to make on a Saturday afternoon was deciding between a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
I would suspect The Andy Griffith Show will be on the air for many more decades and I can promise you I will watch an episode once or twice a week probably for the rest of my life. I won’t learn anything I didn’t already know and I certainly won’t see an episode I have never seen. There won’t be a single surprise and that is why I watch. Life is filled with enough surprises, enough ups and downs. Sometimes it’s good to just sit on your ass for thirty minutes and know that there won’t be any surprises and that Gomer says hey.
“If there’s anything that upsets me, it’s having people say I’m sensitive.” – Barney Fife