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The Andy Griffith Show

Posted By Jake Easton on July 03, 2012

Behind The Scenes Of

The REAL Mayberry

Andy Griffith Show Trees

The Andy Griffith Show is a timeless and heartwarming portrayal of American small-town life during simpler times, where traditional values were cherished, and people respected and cared for one another.

The weekly comedy featured the steady, unflappable Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith), the bumbling but hilarious deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts), Andy's young son Opie (Ron Howard), and the ever consummate homemaker Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier).

The backdrop for The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS) was the sleepy little fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina (population 1800).

Now, for the first time, we take a look behind the scenes of this small town and its residents, through countless interviews, historic film and television archives, old aerial photos of the Desilu Studio's backlot, and closeups of subsequent shows of that era, to learn much more about this euphoric spot in television history.

While perceived to be hometown, USA, the actual location of Mayberry was not in North Carolina, but in Culver City, California - just down the street from the 1965 Los Angeles race riots.  But who cares.  Many still enjoy in reruns, the wholesomeness of a make-believe world that has yet to be duplicated.

Andy Griffith Show Forty Acres Back lot

As you can see, most of the Mayberry buildings are much taller than they appear on The Andy Griffith Show. Andy and the producers felt that, by keeping the camera angles low, viewers would get more of a 'small-town feel' rather than showing the taller buildings - such as the four-story Mayberry Hotel1 (top right).

"Forty Acres" Backlot

There is significant history to the Mayberry set.  The Culver City studio opened in the early 1920's by Thomas H. Ince - his second studio in the city. 

In 1928, David Sarnoff, president of Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and Joseph P. Kennedy, merged the largest theater chain at the time, Keith-Albee-Orpheum, with Pathe Studios and the Film Booking Office of America (FBO) - a movie distribution organization acquired by Kennedy two years earlier. The new company was renamed the Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corporation, or RKO Studios.

One of RKO's first movies, The Bird of Paradise, was filmed at this location, then the studio started building up the backlot for jungle and village scenes for what later became the location for the Tarzan and King Kong movies.

Gone with the WindIn 1935, David O. Selznick leased the backlot property from RKO to construct the city of Atlanta, a railroad station, and the Tara mansion for the $4 million blockbuster movie, Gone With The Wind.

Several of the 'Atlanta' buildings used in the original Gone With The Wind set (that weren't burned down), were later used for the town of Mayberry.

In 1948, multi-millionaire tycoon and movie producer Howard Hughes acquired the studio, made a few forgettable movies, then it changed hands a few more times until 1956, when Desilu Studios purchased the studio buildings and backlot grounds then affectionately known as 'Forty Acres.'

On this 'Forty Acres' wedge of property adjacent to Ballona Creek (which was actually just under 29 acres), many popular television shows were filmed.

In addition to The Andy Griffith Show - The Adventures of Superman, Ozzie and Harriet, The Green Hornet, The Untouchables, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Hogan's Heros, Lassie, Batman, and episodes of Star Trek, were among the successful shows filmed at this location.

On Star Trek, the most-notable appearances of the forty acres lot were in the Miri episode (first airing on October 27, 1966 - season 1, episode 8) and City on the Edge of Forever (#28 originally airing on April 6, 1967). City on the Edge is a classic for The Andy Griffith Show fans where Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy end up in the early 20th century. One of the more interesting shots is where William Shatner and Joan Collins are walking down Main Street, passing right in front of Floyd's Barber Shop!

Filming of Interior Shots

Desilu Cahuenga StudiosWhile the outdoor filming was produced at Desilu Studio's '40 Acres' backlot, many of the interior shots were filmed at Desilu's Cahuenga Studios, now Ren-Mar Studios, at 846 N. Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood.  Old Desilu production schedule reports reveal that The Andy Griffith Show reserved Desilu-Cahuenga's Stage 1 and 2 for Thursday through Wednesday shoots (with weekends off) for each of the 249 episodes they produced.

In 1967, Desilu sold the studio buildings and backlot to Gulf & Western Industries, and later to Paramount Studios - a G&W subsidiary. All good things must eventually come to an end, however, and in 1976, the 'Forty Acres' backlot was bulldozed to make room for an industrial park.

Mayberry's Fishing Hole

Myers Lake, as it was affectionately called, is shown during the opening 'fishing hole' credits and used in several episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.  The lake used on the show is actually Franklin Canyon Lake (originally Upper Franklin Canyon Reservoir), located at 2600 Franklin Canyon Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

William Mulholland began construction of the reservoirs of Franklin Canyon in 1916, where there is currently 605 acres of parkland, the three acre lake, a small duck pond, and an oak woodlands forest that remains one of the last available wilderness areas in Los Angeles.

Myers Lake - Franklin Canyon Lake

This location has been heavily used by the television and movie industry over the past fifty years.  In addition to The Andy Griffith ShowCombat, Bonanza, Star Trek, How the West Was Won, and the movie, On Golden Pond, with Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda were filmed here.  The lake and park area is now managed by the National Park Service, and is open to the public.

Myers Lake was named after Frank E. Myers, the production manager for The Andy Griffith Show.  His name was also used in episode 39, where Andy is forced to evict Frank Myers from his home only to find that Myers had kept an old Mayberry bond that is first believed to be worth over $300,000.

Colin Male was the uncredited, yet distinctive announcer for the show's opening when Andy and Opie walk to Myers Lake.  Male also acted in one episode, playing the game warden that caught Andy and Helen without a fishing license (episode 140, Andy and Helen Have Their Day).

Stars Made in Mayberry

Other than The Andy Griffith Show's (TAGS) starring roles, few television viewers were familiar with the show's supporting cast.  That, however, soon changed.   In addition to Jim Nabor's phenomenal success with Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., many famous stars today were originally noticed in the small town of "Mayberry, North Carolina."

Among the actors making guest appearances on The Andy Griffith Show in the 1960's were:  Buddy Ebsen (Barnaby Jones), Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie), Jack Nicholson (2 TAGS episodes), Bill Bixby (My Favorite Martian), Denver Pyle (Dukes of Hazzard), Edgar Buchanan (Petticoat Junction), Frank Sutton
(Gomer Pyle, USMC), Jamie Farr (MASH), Larry Hovis (Hogan's Heros), Ronnie Schell (Gomer Pyle, USMC - 2 TAGS episodes), Teri Garr, George Kennedy, Gavin MacLeod (Love Boat), Bob Denver (Gilligan's Island), Rob Reiner (All in The Family), Arte Johnson (Laugh-In), Don Rickles, Jerry Van Dyke (Coach), Morgan Brittany (Dallas), Joyce Van Patten, Sue Ane Langdon, Jesse White (The Maytag Repairman), Ruta Lee, John Dehner, Bernard Fox (Bewitched), Alan Hale (Gilligan's Island), Jack Albertson (Chico and the Man), and WKRP's Howard Hesseman (2 TAGS episodes).

TV Guide Also Makes a Guest Appearance

There were a total of eight TV Guide covers for The Andy Griffith Show that were published between January 28, 1961 and July 13, 1968.  Andy had 2 additional covers for Matlock, Don Knotts had one more in 1970, and Jim Nabors had 4 covers for Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C between 1965 and 1969.

TV Guides - The Andy Griffith Show Featured on TV Guide

As shown above, the TV Guide issues for The Andy Griffith Show included:  January 28, 1961 (Andy and Ron Howard), May 12, 1962 (Don Knotts), May 11, 1963 (Andy, Don Knotts, and Ron Howard), March 21, 1964 (Andy, Don Knotts, and Jim Nabers), April 24, 1965 (Andy Griffith), June 4, 1966 (Andy Griffith with guitar), May 20, 1967 (Andy with Anita "Helen" Corsaut), and the last TV Guide was an illustration depicting Andy on the shoulders of Don Knotts and Jim Nabers for the July 13, 1968 issue.

Like most TAGS episodes, there was considerable delay between filming and actual airing.  While shooting wrapped on the set of "The New Doctor" episode on January 25th - it didn't air until March 27, 1961 - more than 8 weeks after filming was completed.

Shazaaaam!  Gomer Becomes a Marine!

America's favorite gas station attendant, quickly became America's favorite befuddled Marine, as Jim Nabors' career change moved him less than 10 yards from the set of Wally's Service Station, to the set of the Camp Pendleton Marine Base - all on the Forty Acres backlot.

Wally's Service Station and Gomer Pyle USMC Marine Base

Jim Nabors' character, Gomer Pyle, first appeared in Mayberry during the show's third season on January 14, 1963 (#79 Man in a Hurry), then continued for one and a half seasons when Andy helped him move on to his own hit CBS series on May 18, 1964 (#127 Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.).  Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., which ran through 1969, was also a ratings hit during its six-year run.

The Mount Airy Connection

While Griffith often dismissed any ties between his show and the sleepy little town of Mount Airy, North Carolina, even Andy can't deny the many similarities.

For example, if you've wondered where the talented TAGS writers came up with the various names, it's apparent they didn't have to look far from Andy's hometown.  The small towns surrounding Mount Airy - where Andy Griffith was born in 1926 - were a treasure trove for many of the now-familiar characters and locations seen on the show.

Andy Griffith - As a child through his Matlock Days

Among the names too obvious to ignore are:  Mulberry, NC (Mayberry), Pilot Mountain, NC (Mount Pilot), Taylorsville, NC (Andy Taylor), Lawsonville, NC (Floyd Lawson), Crumpler, NC (Helen Crump), Walkertown, NC (Ellie Walker), Jonesville, NC (Sam Jones), Warrensville, NC (Warren Ferguson), and Stoneville, NC - Mayor Stoner (That's 'Stoner,' for those who recall the "Barney and the Governor" episode).  All of these little municipalities are less than 25 miles from where Andy grew up.

Other TAGS characters were named after real people, including childhood friends, family and acquaintances such as Andy's best buddy since grammar school - Emmitt Forrest, and former Mount Airy mayor E.T. Clark (collectively "Emmett Clark"), Jim Slate (Jim Slater), the Beasleys (Juanita, and Goober in one episode), the Roundtrees (Miss Roundtree), Earl Gilley - and to keep his in-laws happy - Andy's then-wife Barbara 'Edwards' Griffith (Clara Edwards, who was in 21 episodes).

In addition to the real North Carolina cities of Charlotte, Raleigh, Bannertown, and Siler City, there were many streets that were shared between fact and tv fantasy.  There's Haymore Street (Andy and his parents, Carl and Geneva, lived at 711 Haymore), Rockford Street (where Andy's grammar school was located), Main Street, Turner Mountain (Turner's Grade - speed limit 35mph), Oak, Elm, Maple, Willow, Orchard, and River Road - all the rural byways of Mount Airy.

The Town With An Identity Crisis

Mount Airy, North Carolina comes from established roots in the heart of the Blue Ridge foothills.  The town was incorporated in 1885, and over the next fifty years, the Surry County area was among the state's largest producers of tobacco, furniture manufacturing, textiles, and granite.

With more than a century having passed, and all the big industries long gone, Mount Airy - population 8,484 - is now home to a few hosiery manufacturers, some scattered wineries, and a dozen small manufacturing companies.  One of the town's largest employers, NCFI, manufactures polyurethane foam insulation products - and yes - they were the foam supplier to NASA for the space shuttle fuel tanks.

Crime has also become an issue recently, when Betty Lou Lynn (Barney's girlfriend Thelma Lou) was robbed of her wallet and $130 on the streets of Mount Airy after moving from Los Angeles. Lynn said she had moved to “Mayberry” after becoming fed up with crime in Los Angeles. She reported being victimized by a series of incidents. “I’d been robbed on the street twice, and once in a department store,” Lynn said during the interview, and had her home broken in to twice.

To offset its weakened economy, it seems like the whole town of Mount Airy has turned to tourism as a way to fan the demand flame for 'everything Andy.'

Starting in the early 1980s - twenty years after The Andy Griffith Show was produced - Mount Airy's City Barber Shop became Floyd's City Barber Shop, the Mount Airy Inn became The Mayberry Inn, then came the Mayberry Mall, Mayberry Cinema, Mayberry Antiques, Mayberry Alarm & Lock Co., Mayberry Waterworks (Car Wash), Mayberry Country Hair World, Mayberry Candle Shop, Mayberry Coffee Company, Mayberry Embroidery, Mayberry Learning Center, Mayberry Square, Mayberry R.F.D. Developers, Mayberry Collectors Center, Mayberry Bed & Breakfast, Simply Mayberry Gifts, Andy's Homeplace Bed & Breakfast, The Andy Griffith Museum, The Andy Griffith Theater, Aunt Bea's Barbeque (albeit misspelled), Aunt Bee's Room, Wally's Service Station, Bluebird Diner, the Old Mayberry Jail, and Knight's Inn Mayberry.

One notable exception to the madness, is the Snappy Lunch diner.  On November 14, 1960, in the seventh show to air (episode 9 - "Andy the Matchmaker"), Barney had been walking shy seamstress, Miss Rosemary to church every Sunday.  Andy decided it was time to get them together and suggested they "take in a movie, then go down to the Snappy Lunch to eat, have some coffee, and talk."

Charles Dowell, Owner of Snappy Lunch DinerThe real life Snappy Lunch diner is Mount Airy's oldest business whose southern heritage goes back to 1923, and a spot where Andy himself ate as a young boy.  The diner's owner, Charles Dowell, nearly fell off his couch when he saw that episode in 1960 - and business at the Snappy Lunch diner has prospered ever since.

While subsequent episodes often have Andy and Barn going to 'the diner,' it's clear to Mount Airy residents that they were referring to their very own little Snappy Lunch eatery.

Epicurean note:  If you're in the neighborhood, be sure to try Snappy Lunch's tasty cheeseburger for $1.55, or if you're feeling particularly decadent, go all out for the mouth-watering World Famous Pork Chop sandwich for $3.50.  They're open Monday through Saturday for breakfast and lunch - and just like Wally - they don't work on Sundays.

While continuously dismissing any ties between The Andy Griffith Show and Mount Airy for decades, on October 16, 2002, Andy Griffith publicly returned to Mount Airy for the first time in 45 years to be honored by North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley in renaming a ten mile stretch of Highway 52 to Andy Griffith Parkway.

During the dedication ceremony, Andy, then 76, said "I'm proud to be from the great state of North Carolina. I'm proud to be from Mount Airy. I think of you often, and I won't be such a stranger from here on out."

Then he gave the local residents what they had been hoping for, for years: Validation.  "People started saying that Mayberry was based on Mount Airy," Griffith said. Then pausing with a sly grin, he added:  "It sure sounds like it, doesn't it?"

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"The Andy Griffith Show; The Real Mayberry" by Jake Easton
Copyright (c) 2004-2012 by Jake Easton. All rights reserved.
Originally posted By Jake Easton on September 03, 2009.
Updated on July 3, 2012.

My name is Jason and i am 19 years old and grew up watching these old shows. Andy Griffith was my favorite out of all the other ones on TV Land. I would come home after school and all i wanted to do was watch what andy, opie, or barney would be getting themeselves in this time. Not too many people my age watch this type of television but that is what is missing these days. Just some good old fashion, clean TV.

I wonder if Andy smoked in real life. A lot of people did in the 60's. He would light up on occasion on the show and it didn't seem to be part of the story. Does anyone know?

He was a two pack a day man.

Awesome and reallife in the 60's.Thanks to all the cast and all the fans.

I'm 55 yrs. old and still watch this show every chance I get. I loved the " Darling" and "Rafe Hollister" characters. Can anyone tell me anything about these actors , maybe something from their personal lives or where they lived? Thanks.

wish i could..... but in the episode "the county nurse" when rafe shoots at barney where the shell went after he cocked the gun for the second shot. i love detail

Unless Andy reads any of this, I havent any idea how to find info without using the ancestory site to look up ancestors. I want absolutely nothing from him only to know if hes family. He does look like my older brother. we are related to Mickey, Swaggart and Jerry Lee. My mothers maiden name was Gilley. I was on the computer one day while listening to tv of an interview with a Mareen I believe, talking about her cousin Andy. I happen to look up at the time a picture was being shown of Andys mother. I got out of my seat and stared at the picture it look like an identical twin of my mother. then when it went back to the interview it showed her name at the bottom which was a married name and also it said Gilley. I couldnt believe what I saw. my great grandpa was zacheria gilley. I dont push to find out alot although it would be nice. I have no interest in his fame. thats how I also know theres that big possiblity we are related. Im just interested for family purposes. I think the gilleys originated out in Miss. and then spread out. to Ms and alround. one of the ancestors on the gilley side was a zacheria peterson bush. I have another brother who looks more like Jimmy Swaggart than his own kids. people still ask my brother if hes related to Jimmy and of course he is.. andy also has the humor like my would be nice to validate this and nothing more. I waited to many years not knowing who my ancestors and family were. well thanks for listening folks..and yes, I love andys shows and his acting. you can see his true self in the things he does.

this show is a timeless classic.i own every episode of the original black and white shows(the ones where don knotts was still a regular on the show)this show launched the careers of 3 future oscar winners (4 if you include ron howard)and countless sitcom thanks andy for the past and future memories.

When I was a LE Officer in LA County (many years ago), I heard from several sources, in the entertainment industry, that 'Ol Andy was a complete Penis Erecti. Is this true or false?

I was told in one conversation, that the real Griffith, was more like the bad guy in 'Murder In Coweta County' with Johnny Cash.

I would sure like to hear the truth on the matter.



Thanks andy

for showing us that life can be simple again if and only if you take the time to make it simple.

So sad Andy had to step in to polotics led by Opie with his rooting for the current President. So? How do you like your change so far?
God save the Republic!

TAGS was a wonderful show. I watched it as a kid and still watch it 50 years later! I loved Barney Fife. There will never be another Don Knotts. He was truely one of a kind.

I think Andy gave the good people of Mt. Airy validation long before Oct 16, 2002. In the episode entitled "Aunt Bee's Invisible Beau", there's a scene where Aunt Bee is in the kitchen and Andy is sitting on the sofa in the living room reading the newspaper. The kitchen door is open and you can see him through it. Andy is trying to get Aunt Bee to come with him to Helen's that evening. When Aunt Bee says that she can't because she has a date, they cut to a close-up of Andy and I'm certain that the paper he is reading is the Mt. Airy News.

You're right... I just watched it and it is the Mt Airy Times....Freaky huh?

I own a Mirror / Shelf that has been in my family for as long as I remember. I was watching the episode called "Barney Joins the Choir" and there it was on the wall. Is there anyone who might tell me if I have something special or just something there were alot of copies of. I have infact never seen this piece anywhere else in my 49 years.

I enjoyed this show as a child due to the humor and family feeling. I appreciated this show as a parent for the life lessons taught. For a time we even used episodes as discussion starters for a Bible study. You can't say this about any show since.

Thank you Sheldon Leonard




Clara was first called Bertha.

There are a lot of "mistakes" in TAGS and upon watching more and more you find them. Barney has two middle names, either Milton or Bernard P Fife. When Barney buys his first car a shot of Barney driving shows Aunt Bee in the back. Her lips are not moving but she makes a comment. In the first few episodes there is a window in the cell to the left but that'ss impossible as its a strip mall. I love the show.

We all regard TAGS with a sense of nostalgia, but paradoxically, this show was wistfully nostalgic even back in 1960. Even then, Mayberry was a small town blissfully lost in a bygone era (the 1930s I would dare say). There were "candlestick" telephones all over town and completing a phone call required the help of a gossipy operator. One could often see 1930s era cars parked along the streets (remember Floyd's old car?) as well as the Darling's 1930ish stake truck chuffing along. None of Mayberry's buildings or houses had even a hint of post-war modernism. Simple pleasures like a bottle of pop or strumming a guitar were the order of the day, and a parade could be justified at the drop of a hat. The butter-and-egg-man probably had to keep the choir's practice schedule in his truck just so he wouldn't try to make deliveries when the women were all busy singing Amazing Grace at Clara's. This was all pretty old-fashioned stuff even by the standards of the early 1960's and I think this nuance is often lost on younger generations who watch TAGS.

Born in 1960, living in a small town, 1965 telephone operators completed all calls, we had a party line, and a milk man!

Mayberry reminds me of the town where I grew up. I, too, was born in 1960. We also had party lines and milk men. Feels like going back to my childhood when I watch. Aunt Bee and her friends remind me of my grandmother' set.

This is my all-time favorite show and I watch it every morning and every night without fail, just ask my husband. I read somewhere that Andy Griffith's father appeared in an episode but I cannot remember which one it was. I know his wife was in Song Festers as "Sharon", but I can't remember the episode that was mentioned where his father was a stand in. Does anyone know which episode that was?

He was in the episode that featured the Skipper, from Gilligan's Island. coming to town to find him a wife.As Andy is entering the store to buy the suite. His Daddy is the gentlemen coming out of the store as Andy is entering. Remember the suite that was about 4 sizes to small?

You said Andy was buying a suite...where was he staying?I think you mean suit...don't you?

What a wonderfully insightful article you have written on TAGS. Seems like I am very close to much of the Mayberry effect. One of my neighbors, David Browning carries on the Barney tradition playing the role of "Mayberry Deputy" at various events all over the country. Another friend, David Vaught and his VW Boys got together with Browning and recorded the song "Whatever happened to Mayberry?" It is on the CD "Snappy Lunch."

Yes, I have partaken of the world famous Snappy Lunch "Pork Chop Sandwich." It is a bit of a drive, however, it is a unique delight. I am a bit surprised that someone in the fast food industry has not jumped on this as it is such a tasty treat and can't be found anywhere except Mt.Airy! FYI it is the chow-chow relish that really makes it come alive.

I got to see Don Knotts at probably one of his last performances before his untimely demise. Don appeared at a Mayberry festival with the VW Boys and George "Goober" Lindsey. Goober is a riot! But, I must say that Don took the place by storm, riding in the passenger seat of the classic Galaxie police cruiser which was driven inside the Meadowview Convention Center in Kingsport TN. Don did several skits from various roles, including the nervous character from the Steve Allen show. He did a brief Q and A with the audience.

Here it the thing. As much as we are mesmerized about the world of Mayberry, Don put it into perspective. He said that he enjoyed the years that he worked on the show, but eluded that it was just one of many roles he had played over the years. I drew from that comment that he did not see it at the time as being any more different or special from any other role, and desired not to be defined or confined by it.

The wake up call to this was when one of the guests at the Meadowview event asked about one of those trivia questions about some tiny detail of TAGS. He just looked at the audience in disbelief and stated that he could not recall the specific details. As we have watched these shows over and over in re-runs over the years, those like Mr. Knotts were off doing other things and may have never seen the actual final product.

The lesson in this - instead of trying to capture the past by just watching the show, why don't we take an equal amount of time to move forward and use these great moral plays to make our own Mayberry where we live today. This would be the greatest tribute to Andy and the gang. Yes, be a good neighbor... care about someone besides yourself and learn to cook a mean pork chop sandwich and the world could be a better place. Outstanding!

I certainly appreciate the kind words.

You added a lot of perspective and insight to the TAGS story. I would agree with your synopsis that most of us have seen TAGS episodes many, MANY more times than the stars did themselves - if they did at all.

While I have the entire TAGS collection on DVD, I tend to prefer watching them on regular programming TV for some reason, since there is very little else today that seems worth watching.

I'm glad you enjoyed the article, and thank you for contributing to the TAGS story!


YOU WILL HAVE TO ACCCEPT THAT WE ARE DEALING WITH TODAY TECHNOLOGY TO WATCH THE SHOW IN DVD. And somehow watching the episodes sort of keeps the illusion alive.
I never get enough of this show of so much human values

Where did the name Opie come from?

I`m like alot of you who love the show and I always feel better after watching it. The humor was outstanding as well as great acting.As many times as I`ve seen every episode I will always stop when it`s on TV Land and watch it. I own the first 5 seasons on dvd and they are sincerely cherished, in most part, since quite a few of the characters are now gone from us. Long live TAGS!!!

I have been called Barney for ever!!! With the last name of Fyffe (Fife) spelled different thought, I loved the show! I'm 37!!!

I am 69 years and have 3 generations that watch the show on a routine basis. We have the entire series on DVD and enjoy each one. They never get old. We always learn something new each time we watch the show. The lessons learned from the show are extremely valuable. It would be nice to live in the Mayberry setting these days. God bless.

Barney took the fall for all of us when searching for our significance in the meaning of our lives. I really felt for his character when he found the poem inscribed by some school children..."There once was a deputy named Fife, who carried a gun and a knife. His gun was all dusty and his knife was all rusty cause he never caught a crook in his life."
That poem made me look at other peoples' doubt in themselves. It helped me be more empathetic.

You are all what american television is about, when family values were there, and families watched television, and there was a message or lesson to be learned at the end of the show.
TV producers and directors should take a note or two and some strong hints, this is what our youth needs to see more of.

I watched this show when I was growing up, and laughed and enjoyed myself, and the same goes on now when I watch it, except now I tell my great neice and nephews about what a great show it is, and now they watch it. This is when television was quality programing for adults as well as the whole family. TV producers could take a few notes on this one. i

I am currently watching season 3 - I could and will watch this show for the rest of my life. Don't most of us want to go back to a simpler life of good neighbors, friends, box socials and taking the morning off to go fishing? I love this show!

By the way, thank you for a great article Mister Easton.

Anything about "The Andy Griffith Show" always takes me back to a simpler, less complicated time. I do remember Captain James T. Kirk and Edith Keeler walking past Floyd's Barber Shop!

You've done your research well!

I'm in my late 40's now and I grew up with Sheriff Andy Taylor, Deputy Barney Fife, and all the other wonderfully quirky residents of Mayberry, NC. Growing up in a small town in the South, I have always been able to relate to "The Andy Griffith Show." That series, even though dated, will always remain one of the greatest, most beloved "tentpoles" of Classic American Television.
I reside in the Northern states now, but I am often referred to as a Southern gentleman. I credit that to Andy and company. There will never be another show as charming and funny, or with as many morals as "The Andy Griffith Show" had.
I'm proud to be a child of the 1960's!

I am a latent fan of this great show. I have often wondered what was the correct spelling of the Nursing Home that sounds like "Mt. Eidy".

Too bad the days of good, wholesome family shows like TAGS are gone. My kids were both in the 90's, and they love the show! They say it's "old school". It is that! But it's also the most clever show ever to grace prime time television.


This show has given me so much entertainment over the years. Barney Fife is without a doubt the most talented and my favorite actor of all time. His facial expressions, body movements and all around personality is simply amazing.

Thank you to Andy Griffith and Don Knotts the best team ever.

michael hammrich

You are so right Michael.Andy and Barney are the best at what they did.RIP Don Knotts.

I heard Andy Griffith say in an interview about Don Knotts shortly after Knot's death, "Nobody could do what Don did. Lots of people have tried, but nobody could do what he did."

A soured love affair may have led an ex-convict to gun down four men in the town that inspired the idyllic community of Mayberry on the 1960s TV series "The Andy Griffith Show," police said.

Marcos Chavez Gonzalez, 29, was charged with four counts of murder in the slayings outside a television store in Mount Airy, NC about 100 miles north of Charlotte.

Ref: Tampa Bay Online

What a show it was. I still enjoy the reruns.

It was an awesome show!!!!!!!!! I am 53 yrs. old and i still love watching it

talking to our neighbors, socializing and holding block parties and garage sales from time to time, comingling with the neighbors on our streets, taking the time to say hi and chat a little. doing all this and more will turn all of our towns into mayberries.
with love and warmth in our hearts for our families,neighbors and friends every thing is possible !!!!!!!!

I have seen an early episode of TAGS where Andy refers to Barney as his cousin, but don't hear of that relationship in later years. Do you suppose that may have been a change in writing? I have loved this show since it's origins. I actually just watched a couple of episodes on TVLand this evening. Love it!

You guys missed one. In one episode Anny told Barney, "I thought your middle name was Oliver". I believe it was the episode that featured Otis as a descendant of Nathan Tibbs.

Can anyone tell me what year and model Barney's patrol car was? Thanks for the help.

The squad car was a model Ford Galaxy. The story is that a local Ford Dealship always supplied the series with the latest model.

I'm 57 years old and have watched THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW from the time it first appeared on tv in 1960.To this day I still watch it over and over. No matter how many times I see the same episodes, they are still very, very funny. With all the comedy( probably the best comedy in History)the show had morals that just aren/t found today. In my opinion, there has never been or will there ever be a better TV or Movie Production in the history of Entertainment.
I'm very proud to have grown up in MAYBERRY,and remain a resident. In my heart, I'll always live in MAYBERRY. To Andy,and all the cast and crew, Thanks for making life wonderful.

I thought Bernard P. Fife was Barney's real name. I alway's wanted to know what the P stood for

Some continuity slip-ups can be expected, as the series had several writers. An illustration of this is with the various middle names given for both Barney and Andy. In the episode "Class Reunion," Barney's middle name is Milton, though at other times he is called "Bernard P. Fife." In another episode, where he believes he is the descendant of Nathan Tibbs, a Mayberry Revolutionary hero, he says his name is "Barney 'Tibbs' Fife." Andy jokingly says, "I thought your middle name was Oliver."

When used, the name for "P" in Barney's middle name is never revealed in any episodes that I'm aware of.

Bernard "Milton Fife" is named after two towns here in Washington state........The town of Fife and the town of Milton........only a few miles separates these towns...Maybe a coincidence?