8 things you never noticed in The Andy Griffith Show episode ''The Mayberry Band''

Mayor Stoner and Mike Brady have something in common.

Parades are a part of small-town America. Everyone loves a parade. So it was inevitable that the ultimate all-American sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show, would get around to telling a hilarious marching band story.

"The Mayberry Band" aired in season three, bringing back some familiar names and faces. Well, the names and faces were not quite as familiar as viewers might have thought, as we shall see.

The episode delivers ample amounts of music, Barney's physical comedy, Andy's clever scheming, and charm. No wonder it is a favorite. Let's take a closer look. There are some fascinating details you likely missed.

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1. Aneta Corsaut named this character "Phil Sunkel" and the real Phil Sunkel sued.

One of the touring musicians, in particular, gets a good amount of screen time (and laughs). Like Maynard G. Krebs of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, the fellow is a certain breed of beatnik jazz head. This trumpet player sports a Van Dyke goatee and spouts lines like, "Don't worry about it, daddy." The name of this horn blower is Phil Sunkel. Aneta Corsaut, who portrayed schoolteacher and love interest Helen Crump on the show, named the character. She suggested the name to screenwriter Jim Fritzell in tribute to a friend of hers. Corsaut happened to know a cool jazz horn player named Phil Sunkel. Wouldn't it be a cute honor to have this television character named after him. Well, the real Phil Sunkel did not find it so amusing. Actually, according to sources, Sunkel sued The Andy Griffith Show for $20,000 for using his name without permission. The producers ended up settling with the jazz musician for $5,000. We suppose that's what you call a "Sunkel" cost.

2. Andre Kostelanetz was a real person.

Barney's enthusiastic cymbal playing provides big laughs. We learn that the deputy spent $18.50 on the instrument, shipped down from Cymbal City in Chicago. He boasts that they are "Andre Kostelanetz Marchers." Kostelanetz was a real Russian-born composer. After moving to the U.S. he led the New York Philharmonic and hosted his own Andre Kostelanetz Presents on CBS radio. However, he did not have his own brand of cymbals. That was a joke. The writers just thought "Andre Kostelanetz Marchers" sounded funny.

Image: AP Photo / Ralph Morgan

3. Andy Griffith played the trumpet in real life, not the tuba.

On The Andy Griffith Show, we often see the star playing the guitar. In "The Mayberry Band," he picks up a tuba. But the actor's first instrument was the trombone. As a child in Mt. Airy, Griffith learned to play at the Grace Moravian Church, where a musical minister named Ed Mickey tutored him. "He taught me to play my slide trombone and I sang too," Andy told People magazine in 1979. "He had me playing and singing solos all over town."

4. Mayor Stoner and Mike Brady went to the same college.

Here is a detail that probably went overlooked in standard-definition televisions. Mayor Roy Stoner (Parley Baer) meets with Sheriff Andy and the town council in his office early in the episode. Behind the mayor, you can spot a diploma for Roy Stoner from "Norton College." Jump forward eight years to 1970. In an episode of The Brady Bunch, "Call Me Irresponsible," we see architect Mike Brady at work in his office. Behind his desk hangs his diploma — from "Norton College." So, is there a real Norton College? Not in the United States. There is a secondary school in North Yorkshire, England, called Norton College. We like to think this is an imaginary Hollywood place of higher learning.

5. Burt Mustin was "Jubal" not "Jud" in this one episode.

Burt Mustin started his acting career at the age of 67. On Leave It to Beaver, he played Gus the Fireman in 14 episodes. On The Andy Griffith Show, he was Jud Fletcher. Well, not always. For this episode only, everyone in the barbershop calls him "Jubal." But writers on this series were not exactly known for their continuity, as we shall see…

6. "Freddy" Fleet was different by mistake but he drove the same car.

Way back in season one, "The Guitar Play" introduced Bobby Fleet and His Band with a Beat to Mayberry. The jazz band passed through town from time to time, and on this occasion, Andy helped local guitar ace Jim Lindsey join the group. Lindsey and Bobby returned in "The Guitar Player Returns." Two different actors portrayed Bobby Fleet in those episodes, Henry Slate and Herb Ellis, respectively. Things got more complicated with "The Mayberry Band." The Band with a Beat cruised into Mayberry again — only this time they were led by "Freddy Fleet" (now played by Joseph Sirola). Andy and Barney treat Freddy as the same character as Bobby. Series writer Everett Greenbaum, who wrote "The Mayberry Band," explained that they simply messed up his name. It was an honest mistake, as continuity was not a priority back then. However, the Fleet at least drives the same stretch 1947 Cadillac — it even has the same license plate, ending in 116.

7. This councilman later became the Mayberry mailman.

Let's go back to that council meeting. Ralph is a particularly eager member of the council who eagerly shouts out procedural nonsense like, "Hear, hear!" Norman Leavitt plays Ralph. In the spinoff series Mayberry R.F.D., Leavitt frequently appeared as Mr. Felton the mailman. (Mail was even in the show's title — "R.F.D." stands for Rural Free Delivery.) Was "Ralph" the first name of "Mr. Felton"? Probably not. Leavitt also played fellows named Wally, Gil and Cal on The Andy Griffith Show.

8. "Andy Gump" was a reference to a comic strip.

Andy tells the clarinet player, "Try Andy Gumpin' your chin more." This is not some strange self-referential line. The Gumps was a newspaper comic strip that ran from 1917 to 1959. Sidney Smith drew the strip for the Chicago Tribune. Most folks in the mid-century would have known Andy Gump as the chinless husband and father at the head of the Gump household. "Now you're Gumpin' it!" Sheriff Andy proclaims. Indeed! Compare the chins!

Image: Chicago Tribune Syndicate

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AnnaRentzVandenhazel 1 month ago
"3. Andy Griffith played the trumpet in real life, not the tuba."

Then the paragraph talks him playing about a trombone. A trombone is not a trumpet, they are totally different musical instruments!
MeTV writers are not known for their continuity.
Andy is not playing a Tuba in the Mayberry Band. He is playing a Baritone Horn. Even if he did play a Tuba, it would have been almost impossible to march in a band with a Tuba. The instruments we commonly see in marching bands are called Sousaphones. They were designed by John Philip Sousa to be lighter and more manageable in a marching band, but would give the same deep bass song as a traditional Tuba. The Baritone Horn has a mellow sound somewhat between that of a Trombone and a French Horn.
ELEANOR 1 month ago
During the '70's or maybe even the '60's, Andre Kostelanetz's music was played in elevators.
marcb 1 month ago
Andy Griffith, in real life, was a high school band director and chorus teacher, for a very short period of time in North Carolina. He was also a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity.
msdemos 1 month ago
.

"Wouldn't it be a cute honor to have this television character named after him. Well, the real Phil Sunkel did not find it so amusing. Actually, according to sources, Sunkel sued The Andy Griffith Show for $20,000 for using his name without permission. The producers ended up settling with the jazz musician for $5,000."



I'm just curious how you not only make a case like this "stick", but spend the amount of money I'm guessing it would take to get it all the way to court, and follow it through all the way to the end.

Seriously.....how do you "prove" that the producers in question didn't just randomly come up with a name that just happened to be the same as the person who is suing them? Isn't that why they always seem to stick the generic disclaimer, "Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead or actual events is purely coincidental. " on all their productions.......just so they can ALWAYS claim it was only a "coincidence" ??

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Dauchsund 1 month ago
I love that show. Really enjoy it always have. Andy Griffith and Don Knott worked wonderful together.

psm446 1 month ago
keep an eye out for the Ford F1 pickup truck it's in a lot of the episodes driven by different people
mcj28043 1 month ago
"R.F.D." does NOT stand for Rural Free Delivery! It stands for "Rural Farm District"!
JimmyOrsino mcj28043 1 month ago
From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Rural Free Delivery (RFD), service begun in the United States in 1896 to deliver mail directly to farm families. Before RFD, rural inhabitants had to pick up mail themselves at sometimes distant post offices or pay private express companies for delivery.


Jeffrey 1 month ago
That show is riddled with soooo many inconsistencies...
You got O'malley who's a local business man in one ep
He's Fletch in another - he brings arrow sets and fried chicken to the camp in "back to nature"
You got Andys back porch which isnt there in Mr Mc Beevee
But its there in the Aunt Bee freezer ep (bargain time)
There are two Ben Weavers
The shop next to Floyd's is a funeral parlor and a TV fix-it shop and then maybe a beauty salon
The bank to the left of the cop shop seems to move around
Elenora Poultice is a con and a voice teacher
Barney is running around in a trailer park spying on newlyweds
But the window to the trailer was too high to peer into but he does it
In that same ep they used two different station wagons - both ford - on with "wood" siding (which seems to be in every ep) and then a solid colored one. The ep is called Jailbreak
Barneys gun is always a "dangerous" weapon - but the keeps the bullet in his pocket
You got Asa Breen and Asa Baskin (same character)
And I swear Thelma Lou and Clara live in the same house
booster 1 month ago
There may not have been a Norton College in the U.S., but there was a Morton College, in Cicero, Il. I graduated from there many years ago.
marcb booster 1 month ago
What does that have to do with anything?
Utzaake 1 month ago
2. The name Andre Kostelanetz sounds so much like Andre Castellanos.
4. What's the name of Norton College's athletics teams? Sewer Rats?
JimmyOrsino 1 month ago
Item 1 doesn't make sense, Aneta Corsaut wasn't part of the series when this episode was produced. This was episode 8 of season 3, she joined the series months later, her first appearance came in the episode "Andy Discovers America" episode 23 of season 3 (the episodes were filmed four months apart!).
Jeffrey JimmyOrsino 1 month ago
its true - I did read it someplace on the net - maybe an AG fan site? IMDB?
RottyAngel 1 month ago
Aneta's "friend" must have been a real tool. What a jerk. Especially since that character was so cool. Talk about taking yourself too seriously.
He just saw Dollar Signs where her face used to be.
olddogg 1 month ago
I believe that was a Sousaphone. A tuba is a monstrosity with a huge bell that hovers over your head.
DougDavis olddogg 1 month ago
Actually, pictured is a 'Baritone Horn' (google it for a better image). A Tuba looks similar but larger. The 'monstrosity' with a huge bell over your head is actually a Sousaphone. John Phillip Sousa, know for his popular 'march' compositions, had it designed by J.W. Pepper to be easier to carry while marching.
stagebandman 1 month ago
A trumpet is not a trombone. Morons.
igsjr 1 month ago
I believe Mr. Felton's first name was "George" on R.F.D.
OldTVfanatic 1 month ago
As a side-note, from 1948 to 1951 The Gumps was drawn by none other than Martin Landau (yes, the one from Space 1999 and Ed Wood fame).
SalIanni OldTVfanatic 1 month ago
The comic strip character Andy Gump (which has nothing to do with the movie Forrest Gump) was the inspiration for one of my favorite sports nicknames of all time. When NHL Hall Of Famer Lorne Worsley was a child, his friends would tease him that he looked like Andy Gump so they kept calling him Gump. When he made the NHL, everyone called him Gump and he was known as Gump Worsley throughout his entire career!

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