One of the lessons from The Andy Griffith Show that we learned was to appreciate those little things in life. Well, we are taking that literally. Here are 11 little details you might have missed on The Andy Griffith Show. We placed a magnifying glass on the screen to show you some tiny information from the beloved sitcom that your eyes may have missed the first time around.
Your attention to Andy, Barney, Floyd, Opie, Aunt Bee, Helen, etc. is the main focus when you watch The Andy Griffith Show. So minor details like what is hanging on the wall go unnoticed.
Let’s zoom on in on some of the series’ intriguing trivia.
1. Andy Griffith was wearing a bandage on his side after punching a wall for two episodes.
Andy sports a bandage on his correct side for two episodes in the second season, “Aunt Bee and the Warden” and “The County Nurse.” As a result of a scuffle, this is quickly explained off onscreen, but in real life, in a moment of anger, the star had put his fist through a wall.
2. Andy has Idaho and Nevada upside-down maps behind his desk.
Hey, North Carolina isn’t. The map seen here is actually an inverted depiction of Idaho and western Montana. When we flip it, you can recognize the state’s panhandle shape. Similarly, there is another map to the right that shows an angular boundary in the early episodes. This is the line that has also turned upside-down between Nevada and California.
3. The phone book for Mayberry was a phone book for Mount Airy.
Barney picked up a telephone book called “Mayberry” in the episode “A Black Day for Mayberry.” If you look carefully, it’s actually a directory that inspired the bucolic TV hamlet for Mount Airy, North Carolina, Griffith’s hometown.
4. The presidential poster has been updated by the police station.
In the first season, Woodrow Wilson’s illustration hangs above the police station’s bookcase. It must have been there for a while, as Wilson was president during the First World War. In later seasons this artwork was replaced by a poster showing a timeline from Washington to Eisenhower for all presidents. This was actually the U.S. presidents ‘ 1952 Woman’s Day Chart. Look here at a true copy.
5. The identity of this actor is still a mystery to this day.
The person who performed Mr. Schwamp (sometimes called Mr. Schwump) continues to be a mystery to this day. Mayberry’s silent citizen appears in 26 episodes as well as in one or two Mayberry R.F.D. and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. The extra also pops up in Connecticut’s Christmas movie. A few years ago, a fan club from TAGS claimed to disclose this man’s real identity as a joke from April Fool.
6. The dad of Ron Howard played a driver twice.
Yeah, that’s Rance Howard, Ron Howard’s dad. In “Cousin Virgil,” he drove a bus and chauffeured the governor in “Barney and the Governor.” In two other episodes, he also had some roles. Occasionally, Ron’s brother, Clint, also pops up.
7. Mayberry’s got mysterious license plates.
Talking about “Barney and the Governor,” look closely at the black car’s license plate. Where is “North Capolnia” located?
8. There was a beauty shop next to Floyd’s shop.
Early on in the series, when we first walk into Floyd’s Barbershop, just to the left of the waiting chairs, there’s a “Beauty Shop” door. Of course, that’s not the only big difference in “Stranger in Town” — there’s another actor playing Floyd as well. In later episodes, the “Beauty Shop” disappears from the door and the door eventually completely disappears. What ever happened to the other company?
9. In his hit movies Don Knotts wore the same suit.
He spiffs up with a white hat, salt-and-pepper blazer, and bow tie when Barney has a hot date with Thelma Lou. This unique look became a trademark of Don Knotts, who in big-screen comedies like The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, The Reluctant Astronaut and How to Frame a Figg wore the same outfit.
10. The girlfriend of Andy, Peggy was the first woman on the show to wear pants.
Peggy is the ignored lover played by Joanna Moore. However, she has one claim to fame. As seen in “Opie’s Rival,” she was the first female protagonist to wear trousers.
11. Rockne Tarkington was the first black actor on the show to play a speaking part.
The first black actor with a credited appearance on the show was Rockne Tarkington, who has a name any football historian would love to have. He would be the only African American to engage in a sitcom dialog when he appears in “Opie’s Piano Lesson” late in season seven.