My wife has a hard time sleeping without some kind of noise in the background. I have a hard time sleeping if there are any noises unless the sound is familiar and comforting. This has led to one of the biggest compromises of our marriage - “The Andy Griffith Show.”
I’m a very big fan of the show and have seen every episode so many times that its sound provides a comforting sort of white noise that I can easily sleep through. So each night as we’re turning in, we turn on the 24/7 Andy Griffith channel on Pluto and let it play all night.
Having a show play all night long every night for years means I’ve picked up on a few new things. The most surprising detail I've noticed is there was actually someone credited with being in charge of continuity. As much as I love the show, I’ve never seen a show with more continuity issues than “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Andy’s show didn’t let continuity get in the way of a good gag or stop them from recasting a favorite actor in a multitude of different roles. For instance, in the first episode of the show (other than the pilot), bumbling Deputy Barney Fife mentions being Sheriff Andy Taylor’s cousin as a punchline to a joke about nepotism and the relationship is never brought up again after the first two episodes. Allan Melvin, best remembered as Sam the butcher from The Brady Bunch, appeared as nine different characters, usually as a bad guy.
In more continuity issues, sometimes Barney is referred to as Bernard P. Fife, when at other times he is called Bernard Milton Fife or Bernard Oliver Fife. In some episodes Barney can sing quite well while in others, entire episodes are built around him being a horrible singer.
Andy, along with Aunt Bee and Opie, live in the same house throughout the run of the series but sometimes the address is 332 Maple Rd. and other times it is at 24 Elm St. - what a continuity nightmare! And there are also plenty of problems with beloved character Floyd the Barber, played by the great comic actor Howard McNear. In one episode, however, he is portrayed by a different actor, Whitney Huffman. And, speaking of Floyd, sometimes he is married with a son, Norman. In other episodes he is single without a child with no mention of him being divorced or widowed. In an episode where Barney gives the governor’s car a ticket, the license plate on the limo says “Noth Capolina.”
I could probably fill at least three more columns talking about inconsistencies on “The Andy Griffith Show,” but none of these things takes away from its status as one of the greatest shows in TV history. They are just interesting tidbits which are telling of the very different way in which we consume media now. While I definitely love shows like “Lost” or “The Mandalorian” which build a highly detailed world of their own with plenty of fodder to spend hours obsessing over, the old-school simplicity of shows that were wholesome and funny just for the sake of being wholesome and funny is something I think we could use more of.
So, every night, my wife and I will continue to take a trip to a simpler time in Mayberry, Noth Capolina.
Standard Managing Editor Seth Wright can be reached at (931) 473-2191