Andy / Andy Griffith

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FAQ: Andy / Andy Griffith

I've always wondered is what happened to Andy's hand where it was seriously bandaged for at least 2 shows? On one show he explained it away as having a "tussle" with a couple of prisoners?

This sort of thing is right up my alley! The bandaged hand appeared in two consecutive episodes, #55 Aunt Bee the Warden and #56 The County Nurse. Andy Taylor explained it as the result of a difficulty in apprehending the 4 Gordon boys, but what had really happened was that in a fit of rage, Andy Griffith had punched his fist through a wall in his home. It was pretty easy for the writers to work it into the script, since Andy was a lawman who conceivably might have had to "put up his dukes" every now and then. --answer by Paul Mulik

Why does Andy always seem to have the cuff of his pants caught in his boot?

Andy's getting his pants cuff caught in his boot is something that just naturally happened. Andy and the rest of the crew noticed it and, instead of changing it, realized that it was natural and real and just let it go whenever it occurred. It's amazing how many people have noticed that little touch of realism and have said things like, "I remember my Daddy's pants legs doing that very same thing on his boots when I was growing up." TAGSRWC probably averages a half a dozen letters per year about Andy's pants cuffs!

I can think of three instances where Andy fired a gun in the line of duty. Are there others?

No, those are the only three Instances we can think of:

A) Signalling the beginning of "paces" in the feud, 2) Finding out that Barney's gun really was loaded after Gentleman Dan handed it to Andy and C) Shooting the tire in the counterfeiters' station wagon. We're sure Miss Crump will be hearing about it if we've forgotten another occasion where Andy fires a revolver.

How old were Andy and Barn 'supposed' to be on the show?

In "The Darling Baby" Barney says that he's 35. That episode aired midway through the fifth season, which means that Barney was 31 when the series premiered in October of 1960 (in real life, Don Knotts was 36 at that time.) Andy Taylor's age is never given (at least not that I can remember) but we learn in "Andy and Opie's Pal" that Andy and Barney were in the fourth grade together. Also, the episodes "Class Reunion" and "The Return of Barney Fife" imply that the two graduated from Mayberry Union High at the same time. Therefore, they must be the same age, or perhaps one year apart (In real life, Andy Griffith is two years younger than Don Knotts.) -Paul Mulik

Did Andy ever use friends names on the show as a kind of "hey" message to them?

For starters, in episode #42, some of the fellows in the Esquire Club (Roger Courtney, Cliff Britton, Tom Wilson, Jim Baker, John Danby, George Bronson) were named for teachers who taught at the same school Andy Griffith did during his brief stint as a public school teacher. In "Opie Loves Helen," Andy Taylor mentions he once had a crush on a schoolgirl named Barbara Edwards. That was the name of Andy's real-life wife at that time. This same real-life Barbara appeared on TAGS (as an adult, of course) as a choir member named Sharon in "The Song Festers." Mr. Twiford (Helen's principal) was the name of someone Andy really knew. It is likely that Andy got the name of Mayberry handyman, Emmett Clark, from his friend Emmett Forrest. --Paul Mulik

Also see our page Friends_of_Cast_and_Crew_Mentioned_on_TAGS.

What is the history of Andy Taylor before we met him as Sheriff of Mayberry?

In the first episode, Andy says that Aunt Bee raised him when he was no bigger than Opie was at the time (about 6 years old.) This seems to indicate that Andy's mother died when he was very young.

There are a few more hints here and there, but they're all in scenes that are always cut out. In "Class Reunion" Andy says he used to strike matches on the soles of his daddy's boots, and in "Keeper of the Flame," Andy tells his son that he too used to be keeper of the flame for a secret club, until his (Andy's) daddy indicated that he ought to give up the job. Andy adds, "...and he indicated it REAL good, right back there" (he pats his rear end.)

There's also a scene in "A Plaque for Mayberry," that sort of fits this category. Opie asks if it's barely possible that Nathan Tibbs could have been his grandpa. Andy says it's not even remotely possible, because that would have made Nathan Tibbs his Paw, and that would make him out to be at least 170 years old.

BTW, Aunt Bee must be the sister of Andy's father. If she were the sister of Andy's mother, her last name would not be Taylor (unless Andy's mother's maiden name also happened to be Taylor.) --Paul Mulik

Andy asked one of the clarinet players to try to "Andy Gumpin' your chin", as a better method of getting a sound out of the clarinet. Does anyone know where that saying came from and what does it mean?

Andy Gump was a comic strip character who had no chin. Barney laughed aloud when reading "Andy Gump" in the Sunday funnies in episode 47, "Bailey's Bad Boy." What band director Andy Taylor meant in "The Mayberry Band" was that Carl (the clarinetist in question) should lower his chin to the point where it nearly touched his upper chest. Years ago, when every kid knew who Andy Gump was and what he looked like, it was common for band directors to instruct young bassoonists to make an Andy Gump face to achieve the proper bassoon embouchure (position of mouth muscles.) However, such an embouchure is not really suitable for the clarinet, just the bassoon. (For them that don't know, I am a band director; I don't watch TAGS 24 hours a day!)--Paul Mulik

Does anyone know what the salaries of Andy and Barney were?

The amounts of their salaries were never mentioned on the show, but here are a few clues that might give a general idea: Barney's rent is six dollars a week (later lowered to five.) In episode 90, the entire amount of Barney's savings was $300. In episode 142, Andy's house is said to be worth $24,000. In "Opie's Fortune," Andy looked at his bank book and declared it to be one of the sorriest he had ever seen. When Andy was thinking of leaving Mayberry in "Barney Runs for Sheriff," he told Barney that if he were sheriff, he would earn "a whole lot more money." Now, I'm no accountant, but maybe somebody can make a guess based on these numbers. --Paul P.S. Later, after Barney moves away and joins the Raleigh police force, he earns $95 a week, with a Christmas bonus of $125.

Don Knotts won 5 Emmys for his role as Barney Fife and Frances Bavier won as well but did Andy Griffith win one?

Andy was never even nominated, neither for TAGS or Matlock. None of the other regular cast members ever earned Emmys (Emmies?) but some of the writers and directors did, most notably James L. Brooks, who wrote two 8th season episodes. He's gotten at least a dozen Emmy awards for shows such as Mary Tyler Moore and it's many spinoffs. Sheldon Leonard has also gotten several, but none for TAGS. Richard Crenna and Earle Hagen have also earned one each.

How many times was Andy Taylor seen smoking on TAGS?

Well, off the top of my head, I can think of a few episodes in which Andy is seen smoking a cigarette:

That makes 13, unless we've missed one.

BTW, I think it's worth mentioning that this was before the dangers of cigarette smoking were widely known. In those days Andy Griffith smoked in real life, but when the surgeon general came out with the cancer warnings in the mid 1960s, he quit smoking (good for him!) -Paul Mulik

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Andy appear in Gomer Pyle, USMC?

Yes, twice in fact. One episode concerned Opie's running away to join the Marines; the other was when Gomer came back to Mayberry on leave, only to find that the Taylor family and Goober were away on a camping trip.

Many, many familiar faces from Mayberry were seen in episodes of Gomer Pyle - USMC (too many to list here; there must be at least 100 of them), but the only actors to play the same characters on both shows were Gomer, Goober, Andy, Aunt Bee, Opie, and Sgt. Carter. --Paul Mulik

I've heard Andy Griffith's wife Barbara Edwards Griffith was on an episode. Which episode and who did she play?

During the years TAGS was originally aired, Andy Griffith's real-life wife was Barbara Griffith.

She's a choir member named Sharon in "The Song Festers." That's the episode where John asks Gomer to sing "Santa Lucia." She speaks one line: "I'm sorry, Mr. Masters."

In "Opie Loves Helen," Andy Taylor mentions that as a schoolboy, he once had a crush on a girl named Barbara Edwards -- that was Mrs. Griffith's maiden name. --Paul Muilk

What is the street address of the Taylor home? It seems to change?

The Taylors live in the same house in every episode but in various episodes their address is given as 24 Elm, 332 Maple, and 14 Maple. The last one must be correct, because that's the one that Andy gives.