5 little Andy Griffith Show details you never noticed in ''Barney and the Governor''

Learn how Sir Walter Raleigh and Laura Petrie's dad tie into this episode.

"Barney and the Governor" is one of the great showcases of Don Knotts' comedic skills. His by-the-books Deputy Fife shows his naive fastidiousness by giving a parking ticket to the most powerful man in the state. Later, after drinking from a water cooler spiked by town drunk Otis Campbell, Barney stumbles around in a rare drunken stupor. The physical comedy is golden. Plus, Barney even barks, "Nip it!"

Yep, this episode sure is a gem of The Andy Griffith Show. Speaking of gems, if you look closely, you will discover sparkling little details. 

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1. Andy Griffith discovered this actor who was working his former job.

 

Andy Griffith may be most associated with Mount Airy, his small hometown in North Carolina, but the actor has just as much history with Roanoke Island in the state's Outer Banks. Griffith married his first wife, Barbara Edwards, on the island. On July 3, 2012, the TV icon passed away in his 70-acre property on Roanoke. Griffith first got the acting bug as a student at UNC-Chapel Hill. In the summers, the budding thespian spent his summers on Roanoke Island performing in the historical play The Lost Colony. He began as a soldier in 1947 and worked his way up the cast to play the lead, Sir Walter Raleigh, by 1949, a role he kept through 1953. After becoming a star, Griffith made a nostalgic return to Roanoke and watched a production of The Lost Colony. A young man named Bob McQuain was Sir Walter Raleigh. Griffith liked what he saw. He befriended McQuain and gave him several small roles on The Andy Griffith Show. Look for him as a postal worker who comes to admire the governor's Cadillac in "Barney and the Governor."

2. Burt Mustin is readying a Curly Kayoe comic strip in a Mount Airy newspaper.

 

Burt Mustin is another fascinating minor player of Mayberry, most often appearing as Jud Fletcher. He sits with other townsmen jawing outside the post office. Jud flips through a newspaper in the opening scene. A close look at the paper reveals two fun facts. A small print ad proves this is, in fact, a paper from Mount Airy, North Carolina, Griffith's hometown. What a nice detail over a more easily procured Los Angeles Times. Secondly, zoom in on the funny pages and you'll see a comic strip by Sam Leff. It's few panels from Curly Kayoe, a boxing serial that dates back to 1945.

3. The Governor was also Laura Petrie's dad on The Dick Van Dyke Show.

 

What about the governor himself? Do you recognize him? Carl Benton Reid played the fictional head of North Carolina in this 1963 episode. Around the same time, he could be found on another sitcom. Reid also played the father of Mary Tyler Moore's character on The Dick Van Dyke Show! Look for "Mr. Meehan" (her maiden name) in "What's in a Middle Name?" and "The Plot Thickens."

4. Ron Howard's dad was the chauffeur.

 

Speaking of dads… a real-life celebrity father plays a key role in "Barney and the Governor." Rance Howard, father of Ron Howard (not to mention Clint Howard, the little cowboy "Leon" of Mayberry), drives the big black Cadillac belonging to the governor. Barney serves him with a parking ticket. Rance was frequently around the set with his sons, which is why you can also find him as another driver — a bus driver — in "Cousin Virgil." He also turned up in "A Black Day for Mayberry" and "The Rumor."

5. The license plate reads "DRLVE GAFTDEYE NOTH CAPOLNJA."

 

Producers of 1963 black-and-white television probably did not count on HD decades later. The insert shot of the governor's license plate perhaps did not look fishy when the episode originally aired. In the gloriously crisp remastered version, however, you can see the nonsensical details. No wonder Mayberry is not in the real North Carolina — it sits in Noth Capolnja. Is that in Eastern Europe?

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70 Comments

Andybandit 4 months ago
Interesting things about this episode. Wow, Ron Howard is Rance Howard's twin.
JohnGibbons 24 months ago
Rance was the priest in Apollo 13
leannie429 40 months ago
Wait a minute—wasn’t Thelma Lou married in a later episode, where she introduced her new husband to Barney?Did they kill off the husband or was it a case of conveniently forgetting him so she could marry Barney?
dennisjs52 50 months ago
Rance Howard was also in The Loaded Goat
LisaLoveSlough Dennisjs 50 months ago
Actually, he was in Cousin Virgil, Barney and the Governor, A Black Day for Mayberry, and The Rumor. Not in The Loaded Goat at all.
dennisjs52 LisaLoveSlough 50 months ago
You are wrong
JohnBates Dennisjs 49 months ago
And he was the minister at Barney and Thelma Lou's wedding in the 1986 reunion movie.
ELEANOR Dennisjs 46 months ago
There was one episode where another actor suddenly became ill and was unable to finish the episode. Rance was quickly drafted which explains why one of the government agents suddenly was wearing a different outfit.
tomfossati 50 months ago
Why do you only air the first 5 seasons?
SoCalTVFan tomfossati 50 months ago
Because the color seasons suck? 🤔
Just turn the color to b/w and all is normal again. Btw, the color episodes without Barney are mostly bad.
Deleted 50 months ago
This comment has been removed.
CouchPotato19 50 months ago
Yeah, I know. The way the Democrats prevent the country from being run properly. It's shameful. They're an embarrassment to all of America.
Jmelonijr 17 months ago
NC is a republican state.
marsha 50 months ago
I love Don Knotts Physical comedy
I love Mayberry
I could watch it forever
Dcremp 50 months ago
MeTV, I love you, I really do! But your daily obsession with Mayberry and The Andy Griffith Show is getting to be a little much. 5 things you didn’t know about the Andy Griffith Show, 5 things your grandma never told you about the Andy Griffith Show, 5 things you wish you didn’t know about the Andy Griffith Show, 5 things we don’t even know about the Andy Griffith Show, 5 things about The Andy Griffith Show that makes the Andy Griffith Show worthy of complete and utter obsession.

I’m sorry. I do love you, but you’re losing me. You just need to change it up a bit and not let The Andy Griffith Show dominate and own a monopoly on MeTV.
DoubleNaughtSpy 50 months ago
Really, MeTV?

Is all this minutiae just a sample of what we're going to have to endure on a daily basis during MAYberry?

Maybe you folks should consider establishing a new cable service, The Mayberry Network, a 24/7 channel dedicated to all things Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. That will allow you to appease the masses who, for some inexplicable reason, just have to watch "The Pickle Story" for the 7,932nd time while allowing the rest of us to watch rarely seen episodes of other long-forgotten classics (e.g., "The Governor and J.J.," "Dusty's Trail," "Bridget Loves Bernie," "Rango," "The Chicago Teddy Bears," etc.).

Deal?
Jeffrey DoubleNaughtSpy 50 months ago
The trouble is (and I'm not defending Me-Tv) (I want thriller back) all network stations have to dumpster dive for shows
TheThirstyOne 50 months ago
It’s a shame that we will never see again any episode’s in their entirety. Back then there was only 4 minutes if commercials. That means 26 minute episides. Back in the VCR days I was able to record all the shows unedited. And years later I moved them to DVD.
Jeffrey TheThirstyOne 50 months ago
AAAAAAAAAAmen - All cable network staions chop shows. I sit and watch and there are missing scenes in the show to pimp a nose sucker or some other doodad. Me-Tv is in that group but thee worst by far is Sundance channel. Its actually robbery - you pay more for less
GeneDavis Jeffrey 50 months ago
tv land is by far the worse. that's why the programs start at odd times and they to cut the show for ads. i contacted via com about that and they said if you don't like it don't watch
kcajlijcomcast 50 months ago
what local station in Denver carries Me TV?
You folks at me tv sure screwed things up when you took it away from local channel 20-2
Wiseguy kcajlijcomcast 50 months ago
MeTV doesn't take anything away, your local station did (Channel 20.1).
RF_Burns 50 months ago
I believe the reason the characters on The Andy Griffith Show were so happy is because few of them were married. The exception was Otis, and he was always drunk. : )
RobertOhlemeyer RF_Burns 42 months ago
Emmett the fix-it man was also married.
apknight 50 months ago
Just a little correction. The DVD episode is called The Plots Thicken, not the Plot Thickens.
BarbW64925360 50 months ago
Love this show. I have seen every episode ever made, and so enjoy watching them again and again.
RobertK 50 months ago
Mayberry is a good fit in today's world. Otis Campbell was the original expert at self-quarantine. He was also knowledgeable about where to find high-proof disinfectants!

garak99 RobertK 50 months ago
Did Mayberry even have a Bar or Tavern ?
GoUTVols1961 garak99 50 months ago
I think you had to go to Mount Pilot.
garak99 GoUTVols1961 50 months ago
Figures Barney never even brough Thelma Lou home for dinner with a bottle of wine and low lighting and who knows where that might have lead
GreggTowne GoUTVols1961 50 months ago
Otis kept a still out who - knows - where.
WordsmithWorks garak99 50 months ago
I believe Mayberry was in a dry county. That's why they had an issue with moonshiners.
KirwoodDerby garak99 50 months ago
I believe that Mayberry was a dry town/County.
Jeffrey RobertK 50 months ago
Yup in a supposedly dry county. But a lot of eps had alcohol hinted in them.
Eb 50 months ago
Then don't watch it. By the way, it's too.
Jeffrey Eb 50 months ago
Old crappy shows are better than the new crappy shows
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