Alcohol and Old Lace (TAGS Episode)

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Episode Info

Alcohol and Old Lace

  • Filmed: 17
  • Aired: 17
  • Original Air Date: 1961/01/30
  • Writer(s): Jack Elinson and Charles Stewart
  • Director: Gene Reynolds

Plot Summary

Based on an idea from a Broadway play, Andy and Barney run down moonshiners with the help of the Morrison sisters, Jennifer and Clarabelle. After Opie describes their "flower-making machine" the lawmen realize that the Morrison sisters are themselves running a still and promptly destroy it.

Odd Facts Known by Few

  • This is the first appearance of Jack Prince and the first of three characters he plays in six episodes of TAGS.
  • Fancy Gap (an actual NC location near Mt. Airy, which is Andy's hometown) is mentioned as a possible location for a still site they're looking for. The real Fancy Gap was the childhood home of longtime Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer, who grew up there after his family left his birthplace of Mount Airy.
  • Actress Gladys Hurlbut was a playwright in the 1930s and 1940s.
  • The reference to “Panama Canal Day” is a salute to the episode’s namesake, the Broadway hit and 1944 Frank Capra film Arsenic And Old Lace. The movie starred Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane. John Alexander plays Teddy Brewster, a crazed man who thinks he’s Theodore Roosevelt, who spends the story digging the “Panama Canal” in his aunt’s basement. In reality, he’s digging graves for their victims.
  • This is the only episode in which Otis pays a $2 fine and serves jail time.
  • This is the first episode in which we see Barney drunk.
  • Ben Sewell is a Potato Farmer and lives on Townsil Flat, 1/2 a mile down Ash Road. Clarabelle described Ben as wearing blue overall, brown felt hat and a red plaid shirt.
  • Opie's teacher's name in this episode is Miss Johnson.
  • Andy considers deputizing Orville Monroe and Reverend Akin to help in the search for stills in the area because they are "non-drinkers".
  • Mayberrian Lart Hansen pretends to be a Muslim and used the holiday of Muhammad's birthday to get the Morrison sisters to sell him moonshine.

Character List

  • Andy Griffith - Andy Taylor
  • Ronny Howard - Opie Taylor
  • Don Knotts - Barney Fife
  • Howard McNear - Floyd Lawson
  • Hal Smith - Otis Campbell
  • Charity Grace - Jennifer Morrison
  • Gladys Hurlbut - Clarabelle Morrison
  • Thom Carney - Rube Sloan
  • Jack Prince - Ben Sewell