|I think one of these Big Bang Boys discovered|
something important to science. I didn't get
the full story.
It wasn't one of those biggies, but I still received buttloads of salutations, thank you social media. Just as I was reveling in the realization that hundreds of people were taking the time to press some buttons on my behalf, my day was hijacked by this guy:
|Don't look so cute and innocent. You know what you did.|
|Anderson Cooper and his flame dame Kathy Griffin are appointment television for me on New Year's Eve.|
|Coop's news dropped on a day when|
news is not a top priority. My birthday.
These are days which surround a national holiday, when the general public is concerned with things other than current events, and when difficult news is often announced, in hopes that the majority of Americans are too busy to make much fuss. But my overall point here, Coop, is that there are several Take Out The Trash Days this week, since Independence day fell on Wednesday. Did you have to pick my birthday?
|OK, I kinda forgive you.|
|Griffith, directed by Elia Kazan, held his own|
opposite Patricia Neal. For a while, he was considered
a successor to Brando.
Film roles followed, including a strong dramatic turn in A Face In The Crowd, and a career-changing role in No Time For Sergeants, which Andy played on Broadway and on film. He was pegged to star in his own comedy series by way of a back-door pilot episode of The Danny Thomas Show.
|Danny Thomas was stranded in Mayberry, and served up a pilot for The Andy Griffith Show.|
|I couldn't stand these "gentle sitcoms." Give|
me the sophistication of That Girl.
It was part of a generation of gentle sitcoms which peppered the landscape at that time (My Three Sons, Family Affair, Ozzie and Harriet, and a bit later, The Doris Day Show, were all part of that genre, as were the Paul Henning programs like The Beverly Hillbillies and its descendants). I was more excited by modern-seeming sitcoms of the time, like Bewitched, That Girl, and later, the MTM stable of shows. I thought these shows were more sophisticated with their humor, a claim which I'm not sure holds true in retrospect.
|The show's progeny included a sequel,|
Mayberry RFD, and this spinoff, Gomer Pyle.
The latter took place on a Marine training base
during the 60s, but never mentioned Vietnam.
There is another reason I tended to avoid the "ruralcoms" of the day. In the 60s, I spent significant time in a small town in the North Carolina mountains, where the fictional Mayberry was located. My parents were born and raised in Hendersonville, which was exponentially larger than Mayberry, but had similarities to that small town.
|Not Mayberry, this is Hendersonville, where I spent many summers during the late 60s. There is a similarity.|
|I appreciate Griffith's supporting cast|
now, though at the time, I missed
I did begin to enjoy Andy Griffith's show much later, in reruns, when the chemistry among the cast was evident to me, and the gentle humor of the show, though cornpone, had its own charm. This week's clip comes from one of the many scenes which included a song. As I've noted before in these pages, when sitcoms of the day starred someone who was also known as a singer, those talents were put to use.
|Don Knotts won 5 Emmys for the show.|
It's interesting to note that Don Knotts, as Andy's sidekick, sings quite well in this and other clips from the series. But if memory serves, there were at least a couple of episodes along the line which centered on Barney Fife's inability to carry a tune. Whatever, we don't expect that kind of consistency from these shows.
And the contributions of Andy Griffith to this series were substantial. His decision to place himself in the central paternal role, and surround himself with more comedic characters, meant that he robbed himself of many of the laughs, but in doing so, he created a lasting legacy of gentle homespun humor.