The Andy Griffith Show

by Erika Cox
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The Andy Griffith show is one of my all-time favorite television shows. Because of its immense popularity it is now in syndication on popular cable networks and people like myself who were born in the late 1960's are able to enjoy the show today.

In my spare time, I like to watch either Tvlands' rerun programs or the real Forensic and Cold Case Files detective shows on cable television. Since the real life detective shows display the raw, ugly side of life with all their real life murders and unsolved cases, I need a break and switch over to watch some of my favorite old-time TV shows, like the Andy Griffith show.

The Andy Griffith show was one of the most popular TV shows during the 1960's. This show, like many others during this period, displayed the innocent lives of hometown residents. It seemed to me that television producers wanted to portray innocence and naivety among Americans despite what was going on in the real world during the turbulent sixties.

Along with The Andy Griffith Show, other popular shows were the Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and Hee Haw. The Andy Griffith show took place in small town, USA, a town called Mayberry in North Carolina. The town is similar to the one Andy Griffith grew up in.

The Andy Griffith Show consisted of Andy Taylor, the laid-back, equality consensus and easygoing small town sheriff played by Andy Griffith. Andy Taylor was also fair-minded and most of the time made the right choices by considering all the information and evidence he gathered from various citizens.

Taylor almost never carried a gun, nor had any reason to use one. The small town never really had any crime, just an occasional disorderly or the town drunk, Otis, who often turned himself in for being too drunk and then let himself out of jail once he sobered up enough.

Although the town rarely had any problems or crime, Andy Taylor's deputy and sidekick, Barney Fife, which was played by Don Knotts, was more than ready to lock up anyone who he suspected of committing the most minor of crimes, or in his mind, serious crime.

Most of the laughs from the show come from the character, Barney Fife. Unlike most sheriffs, Andy Taylors' main concern was getting his over zealous, clumsy, and often mistaken deputy out of his numerous problems he found himself in because of his over zealousness or noticeable inabilities.

Don Knotts played the funniest character on the show and probably helped the show remain as popular as it did. The two main characters, Andy Taylor and Barney Fife, were so different that it helped make the show a success.

Andy Taylor was competent, intelligent, fair-minded, and capable, whereas, Barney Fife was the complete opposite in all aspects.

There were a number of other characters, including Bea Taylor, Andy's aunt, Opie Taylor, Andy's son, played by Ron Howard, Goober Pyle, the name itself describes the character, and his cousin Gomer Pyle, played by Jim Nabors.

Both cousins played the stereotypical small town hillbilly bumpkins. Because of the success of the Andy Griffith show, Jim Nabors' would eventually star in his own television show, Gomer Pyle, which portrayed the hillbilly Gomer Pyle character joining the Army.

The Andy Griffith Show was popular because it portrayed characteristics of real small-town people sitting on front porches, in the barber or beauty shops, engaging in small talk about everyone in the town with the occasional excitement taking place to stir things up.

I'm glad Tvland and other networks continue to show these programs in today's world, it is much needed to provide us with wholesome and clean television shows, not to mention some good laughs with wholesome humor.

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