Series: The Andy Griffith Show
This idyllic Sitcom
, which ran on CBS
from 1960 to 1968, starred Andy Griffith as Andy Taylor. It remains enormously
popular in reruns. At any hour of any day, some television station in the US is playing the show (If you live in North Carolina, you cannot go a week without finding it in your local TV listings... which is not a bad thing).
Andy is The Sheriff
of a small, friendly town called Mayberry, in North Carolina. Despite his authoritarian role, Andy is an easy-going, good-humored guy. He can be tough when the situation demands it, but he prefers to play loose with the rules, and adapt punishments according to the nature of the crime and the individual. His deputy and
friend Barney Fife prefers the opposite approach, but since he is clumsy and totally lacking in gravitas, no one takes him seriously. Most of the humor from the early years of the show comes from Barney's attempts to bring law and order to an already lawful and orderly town, and Andy's subsequent ribbing of Barney when his plans go wrong. Very frequently, Andy will resort to a counter-scheme to protect Barney's fragile ego and what's left of his reputation as a lawman.
The series also focuses on the widowed Andy's relationship with his young son Opie, with Andy trying to strike a balance between being a fun confidant
and instilling a strong sense of right and wrong. Andy dated a few women over the course of the series, but Opie's mother figure was Aunt Bea, who lived in the Taylor home and took care of the housework. Andy was also alternately amused and exasperated by the eccentricities of the townfolk, like gossipy barber Floyd, highly repressed bureaucrat Howard Sprague, and totally moronic hayseed Gomer Pyle, who was spun off and replaced with his even more idiotic cousin Goober.
Supporting actors included Don Knotts
as Deputy Barney Fife; Ronny Howard
) as Andy's son, Opie; Frances Bavier as Andy's Aunt Bee Taylor, and George Lindsey and Jim Nabors as the Pyle cousins, Goober and Gomer Pyle.
This series provides examples of: