(Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. It was my understanding the squad car was a 1963 Ford Galaxie, but if the show started in 1960 how could this be? Is there more than one car? Or am I just incorrect in my knowledge?

A. The producers always used the newest model available for the squad car. The cars were supplied free of charge by a nearby Ford dealer, and whenever the next year's model came out, it was sent to the studio and the old one was returned to the dealer who re-painted it and sold it as a used car.

Altogether, there were about 10 different cars used throughout the run of the series and it's spinoffs. Almost all of them were Galaxie 4-door sedans, but in the "color" years they used a Ford Custom sedan part of the time. On Gomer Pyle -- USMC and Mayberry R.F.D., a Dodge squad car could occasionally be seen on the streets of Mayberry.

My personal favorite of all the cars was the '63 model.

Q. Does anyone know the police radio frequency of Mayberry? I do remember the long whip antenna on the Ford Galaxie police car....was that particular police car loaned to the show from another community?

A. That's a mighty interesting question! Let's see if we can get us a mighty interesting answer. For starters, the cars seen on the show were not real police cars. They were loaned to the studio by a nearby Ford dealer in exchange for a mention in the closing credits which read, "Automobiles furnished by Ford Motor Company." Each year, a new Ford sedan (usually a Galaxie) was furnished to be used as the squad car, and the old one was given back to the dealer who repainted it and sold it as a used car.

About the radio frequency, I can't help you much there, but I do know that the radio used in the squad car was a Motorola. The only episode I know of in which the car radio can be seen is #34, "Barney's Replacement." It is shown very, very briefly in a "missing" scene in which Barney shows Bob Rogers the equipment in the car. I showed this video clip to a Motorola dealer, who confirmed that it was a Motorola radio from the late 40s-early 50s era. He couldn't identify the exact model, though.
--Answer by Paul Mulik (paulmulik@getonthe.net)

Q. Why did Barney (Don Knotts) leave TAGS after the 5th Season?

A. Andy had originally signed to do the show for 5 years, and I had a five year contract. He said " I'm only going to do this for 5 years and then move on." Even in the beginning of the fifth year he was still saying that. So I started self-protecting immediately and began searching out what I was going to do next. I interviewed with all networks. I was very hot with that show, so I could have had almost anything I wanted. Finally, I wound up getting a very nice feature deal with the universal to make The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. Anyway, it came down to this: I hadn't actually signed with Universal yet but had made a lot deals and negotiated for a long time. THen all of a sudden Andy turned around and changed his mind. He came to me and said, "I've decided to stay on. What do you think? We've got a new deal to offer you. Do you want to stay. But by then I had already committed myself to universal, where I had an opportunity to make features. Although I did'nt have a production company , they gave me an office, my own writers and a five year contract. It was a nice deal, and by then I thought it was time for me to move on - so I did. I came back and did a few shows with andy. I used to kid them when I came back. I'd say"Are you still working with that little screen? Then they'd yell, "here comes the movie actor."

Q. Where did the writers come up with the names used on TAGS?

A. An unusual piece of trivia was supplied by Paul Gerefi of Fort Lauderdale, FL. He observed that within a 30 mile radius of Andy's birthplace in Mt. Airy, NC, are the following towns: Lawsonville, Walkertown, Crumpler and Taylorsville. The names of such characters as Floyd Lawson, EllieWalker, Helen Crump and Andy Taylor naturally come to mind. Is this simply coincidence?

Q. I bought a TAGS video the other day and on this tape, the show starts to a different theme. It's nothing like "The Fishin' Hole" and I'd never heard it before. I was wondering if anyone has heard TAGS come on to a different theme.

A. What happens is this. Sometimes the episodes copyright expires and a video company can make a tape with the episodes with expired copyrights without having to have permission of VIACOM. The theme music has a different copyright and it doesn't expire so the company would have to pay the writer royalities. They don't want to do that so they just replace the theme music with some other music.

Q. 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?

A. 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 (paulmulik@getonthe.net)

Q. What was Thelma Lou's occupation, last name, and where did she live?

A. There are several things about Thelma Lou that are a mystery to this day. The only thing we know about what she did for a living is that she worked in an office in town. Her phone number a work was 596. We also never were told her last name. We don't know exactly what Thel's address was but we do know that her house number was 830 and that the phone number there was 247. She had one brother and two cousins that we know of. (Karen Moore & Mary Grace Gossage)

Q. Where did Barney meet Thelma Lou?

A. Well, this is a hard question because the show isn't consistent. The answer you're looking for is, they met at Wilton Blair's funeral. That was the first mention of them meeting. In a later color episode we find out that Thelma Lou was a classmate of Andy and Barney at Mayberry Union High so they must have met there but became reacquainted at Wilton Blair's funeral.

Q. Who was the announcer at the beginning of the show that said, "The Andy Griffith Show...staring, Andy Griffith....with Ronny Howard. Also starring, Don Knotts.

A. This answer avoided us for years but thanks to TAGS fan Dennis Hasty we now have an answer. The name of the announcer is Colin Male. He was a former radio announcer in Cincinnati who moved to Hollywood to be part of the motion picture business.  Colin appeared in the TAGS episode where Andy and Helen are caught fishing without a licenses by the game warden (#140 "Andy and Helen Have Their Day") . Colin was the game warden.

Q. I have a tape that  starts out saying "Andy of Mayberry" instead of "The Andy Griffith Show". Why the name change?

A. During the original run of "The Andy Griffith Show," CBS began to show reruns of TAGS during the daytime hours. To reduce confusion they re-titled the show "Andy of Mayberry." When TAGS original run was over the titles were changed back but when VIACOM began looking for "uncut" episodes, some of the best ones still had the "Andy of Mayberry" title on them and the tape distributors didn't fix it. They sometimes show up on your local stations, too, so be on the lookout.

Q. What happened to Andy Taylor's first wife (Opie's mother)?

A. All we were ever told is that she died and that was told us on the pilot for "The Andy Griffith Show" which appeared on "The Danny Thomas Show". Opie's pet turtle , Wilford, was stepped on and killed by "Mrs. Balford" out in front of the ice cream parlor and he wants Andy to arrest her for 'murder', give her a fair trial and "hang her." Andy tries to help Opie deal with the loss by talking about how it was when Opie's 'ma' died.  Opie looks to Andy and says, "Who stepped on Ma?" That was the only time Andy's first wife was mentioned.

Besides the pilot, she is also mentioned in "Wedding Bells for Aunt Bee." Opie asks Andy, "Did you and Ma have that kind of love?" Andy replies, "Yes, son, we did." - Added by Paul Mulik(paulmulik@getonthe.net)

Q. What was the origin of the name Opie? Was it short for something?

A. Jim Clark once told me that Opie Taylor was most likely named for Opie Cates, a prominent bandleader of the '40s or '50s whom Andy Griffith and Sheldon Leonard both admired. I have never figured out if Mr. Cates' name was short for something else, or if it was really "O.P." Opie Taylor did spell his name O-P-I-E. It can be seen on the love note he wrote to Miss Crump in "Opie Loves Helen", and on the board he burned his name into in "Barney's Sidecar."
--Paul Mulik(paulmulik@getonthe.net)

Q. I was wondering what the name of the Darling boys was on the show?

A. Other (pronounced Othor), Jebbin, Ward, & Frankie Darling were the names given to the boy in the "Mountain Wedding" script but only Other and Jebbin were ever used in their early appearances. In "The Darling Fortune" (#193) Andy refered to the boys as Mitch, Dean, Rodney, and Doug....the 'real' names of the Dillards.

Q. Whatever happened to the actress who played Charlene?

A. That was Maggie Peterson, aka Margaret Ann Peterson. She appeared on a few other shows, like Gomer Pyle -- USMC and Mayberry RFD (not as Charlene Darling). She also appeared in the movie "Angel in My Pocket," which starred Andy Griffith and several other TAGS alumni. Now-a-days, she works for the Nevada Film Commission. Whenever a movie company wants to film on location in the state of Nevada, she's the person in charge of arranging the necessary permits and stuff. BTW, she's still as pretty as ever (actually, I'd say she's even prettier now!)
-- Paul Mulik(paulmulik@getonthe.net)

Q. Count Istvan Teleky

A. You may want to let folks asking about the spelling of Count Istvan Teleky that this is the correct spelling. (Goobers Beck and Clark had a different spelling in the early editions of The Andy Griffith Show Book, but later found the correct spelling in a copy of the episode's script. Istvan is the Hungarian equivalent of Stephen.) The corrected spelling of the Count's name is in the 35th Anniversary edition of the book, along with other corrections discovered through the years. The research continues.
--Jim Clark(Presiding Goober of TAGSRWC)

Q. Who played the old thin white haired gentleman who sung for Barney he was behind the curtain while Barney thought he was singing.

A. The character's name was Glenn Cripe, and he was played by actor Delos Jewkes. He appeared in several episodes, but he was never given screen credit. He always appeared in a group, such as the choir or the church congregation.
--Paul Mulik(paulmulik@getonthe.net)

Q. Was there ever more than one person that played Asa?

A. Asa was played by only one actor, Charles Thompson. Asa's name changed from Breeney to Bascomb at times and Charles Thompson played another character on the show, Dr. Roberts (#214 "Goodbye Dolly" and #233 "Suppose Andy Gets Sick").

Q. I saw the movie "TITANIC" and thought I saw Malcolm Meriwether. Which character did he play?

A. He played Colonel Archibald Gracie. BTW, Bernard Fox also appeared in "A Night to Remember," another good film about the Titanic disaster, made (I think) in 1954. --Paul Mulik(paulmulik@getonthe.net)

Q. Why do the outfits worn by the two "G-men" on the episode "A Black Day for Mayberry" change?

A. This one is for those of you that don't get The Mayberry Times. Rance Howard told me about this blooper in the episode "A Black Day For Mayberry." It seems that originally there were two other actors that were cast as the U.S. Treasury agents. During the filming one of them stood up and said, "I apologize if I have offended anyone" and at that point collapsed into a seizure. It was then that Rance was asked to fill in, but the suit for the part didn't fit Mr. Howard, so that's when they put him in one of Andy's suits. Rance said that the reason that they didn't edit the other gentleman out had something to do with a contractual agreement. That's why you see two different men, wearing different clothes, playing the same part in the same scene. - Mike Creech (MayberyFAN@aol.com)

Q. Do you know in what episode a dart board was hanging from the bulletin board? It was only shown once.

A. That's in episode #70, "Lawman Barney." Opie beats Andy in a game of darts, and then asks his Paw if he'd like to play for money. Andy says that would ruin Opie's amateur standing, which prompts Opie to ask what an "amateur" is. Andy explains that an amateur plays for fun, while a professional plays because he wants to get paid. Opie decides he wants to be a professional amateur.

(More information)
The TAGS crew kept a dart board backstage. In between takes Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, and Hal Smith used to like to play darts. Hal Smith always wanted Andy and Don to play for "big stakes," but they would never play for more than a dime. Apparently, at some point Ronny Howard started playing too, which probably inspired the writers to write in the aforementioned scene. The entire scene was cut to make more room for commercials, so many folks may not have ever seen it.
--Paul Mulik

Q. Is it true that Don Knotts was a Drill Instructor in the Marine Corps?

A. To the best of my knowledge, Don Knotts was attending college when he enlisted in the Army. He served two years in the Special Service division. I don't believe he was ever a drill instructor, or ever in the Marine Corps.
--Dale Robinson (co-author of "The Definitive Andy Griffith Show Reference")

Q. What episode was it when barney recited--or tried to--the preamble to the constitution?

A. The episode title is "Opie's Ill-Gotten Gain" and its episode #103. Air date November 18, 1963. This is the episode when Miss Crump mistakenly gave Opie straight A's. He actually had not gotten all A's. In fact, he got a F in arithmetic.

Q. Didn't I hear one show refer to him as Goober Beasley and not Pyle?

A. You sure did. On episode #150 "TV or Not TV" Goober was called Goober Beasley....That's the episode where "Law and Order" magazine had written the story about Andy called "Sheriff Without a Gun" and the fake TV crew came to town to do a show about Ange. HOWEVER, after that...in all the other episodes, his name was Goober Pyle. That first mention of his last name was an error by the writers that was never caught and since Goober was Gomer's cousin, it just seemed more likely that his name would be Pyle..thus the change.

Q. What are the words to the tongue twister that Barney recites for Opie?

A. Some one asked about Barney using a tongue twister. I remember the line well (it was an episode I wrote). That twister was taught to me by a private elocution teacher way back when I was a teen-ager in high school...in the thirties!I...and my folks paid her standard fee...50 cents an hour. Why my parents did were concerned about my speech, I never did find out. The twister went:


Keep up the great work on the bulletin board, best to all from Mayberry
--Harvey Bullock

Q. Was the song that Barney played on his harmonica in the loaded goat episode the same tune as the "Juanita" song?

A. Yes, that was the same song. It was written by Mrs. Caroline Norton. Here are the lyrics:
verse 1:
Soft o'er the fountain, ling'ring falls the southern moon;
Far o'er the mountain, breaks the day too soon!
In thy dark eyes splendor, where the warm light loves to dwell,
Weary looks, yet tender, speak their fond farewell.

Refrain 1:
Nita! Juanita! Ask they should if we should part!
NIta! Juanita! Lean though on my heart.

verse 2:
When in thy dreaming moons like these shall shine again,
And daylight beaming, prove thy dreams are vain.
Wilt thou not, relenting, for thine absent lover sigh?
In thy heart consenting to a prayer gone by.

Refrain 2:
NIta! Juanita! Let me linger by thy side!
Nita! Juanita! Be my own Fair Bride.

Thanks a bunch to Nancy Thornton for sending me that song!

Q. How do you spell Aunt Bee's name?

A. The correct spelling is B-E-E. The spelling can be seen on a couple of episodes, color ones. When she had the Chinese Restaurant ("Aunt Bee's Restaurant" episode #209) and when she ran for council ("Politics Begin at Home" episode #200). The spelling can also be seen on the closing credits of almost every episode of TAGS.

Sure, Bee is short for Beatrice but she still spelled her name B-E-E. I guess if you can get Bill from the name William or Jim from James, you can get Bee from Beatrice. Bee is list as a short form of Beatrice in "The Name Book" which list names for expecting parents. 

Q. Where can I get a complete set of TAGS video tapes?

A. The "store bought" videos of The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS) are no longer being produced. The company that had been producing the tapes lost their license 1996 and at this time there are no plans by VIACOM to issure a license to anyone. The only tapes you can still get are those you'll find already in stock in a particular store.

Another thing you should know is that there has never been a "complete set" of episodes released on "store bought" tapes.
There are a few places you can look for the TAGS tapes that are still in stock......

First, check at Weaver's Dept. Store here online.
Weaver's (the name we gave The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watcher Club's (TAGSRWC) online presence) still has some of the TAGS video tapes and they are listed so you'll be able to see exactly what they still have before you order.

The Mayberry Collection Online.
The Mayberry Collection still has several videos but you'll have to call their 800 # to find out exactly which ones they have.

More Mayberry FAQ's can be found in TAGSRWC's newsletter, The Bullet,  in their Emmett's Fix-It Shop Talk stories. Subscribe today .

Allan Newsome (Anewsome@aol.com)
"Mother Figure" Chapter - Huntsville, AL &
"Who's Been Messin' Up the Bulletin Board?" Chapter - Internet