Every year, for the past 21 years, folks have migrated from all over the United States to Mt. Airy, N.C. to spend some quality time in "Mayberry." They flock there to participate in Mayberry Days -- an annual four-day event celebrating one of the most popular shows in the history of television, 'The Andy Griffith Show.'
Mt. Airy, which is the hometown of homespun actor Andy Griffith, was the prototype for what would become the most famous fictional southern town in the continental United States in the last 50 years -- aka America's town -- Mayberry, N.C.
Andy Griffith had already made a name for himself in movies like 'A Face in the Crowd' and 'No Time for Sergeants,' when he agreed to star in his own TV show as the widowed Sheriff Andy Taylor, who didn't have to carry a gun in the small country town of Mayberry, N.C.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of 'The Andy Griffith Show,' we thought we'd catch up with the cast members -- arguably the best character actors in the business -- who appeared on the show over the years, and who'll be forever embedded in the minds and memories of millions of Mayberry fans.
Oh, sure, they're a faceless media corporation that forwards all of my tech support calls to some far off land, finds any reason to raise my rates, and is as electrically reliable as a used Pontiac Sunfire. But the guy they hired to write their TV listings amuses me to no end. Check out this recent listing for a rerun of America's favorite old show (with an emphasis on "old"), Matlock, infused with a tasty bit of TV trivia. Who says TV is no longer the great educator?
- I do not ever, under any circumstances, wish to see Andy Griffith's "O" face. But if you're into that kind of thing, here ya go.
- For all of you Twihards out there: Cinematical has new images from New Moon.
- "Okay. It's like The Blob, but you know, without the blob thing. But it's totally a remake of The Blob. Get it?" It sounds like that's kind of how Rob Zombie's movie pitch went.
- I'm going to see The Final Destination this weekend. I have never seen any of the other movies in the series, and I do not give a single crap about the "plot" or "characters." The point is, it is in 3-D and there are crazy body parts flying around and people getting killed in very awkward ways. Movie WIN.
- Cinematical is not very happy about the Heathers TV show that is in the works.
Maybe that's because TV dads never spend much time at work. (We're pretty sure everyone's fathers would sign up for that!) Step into the wonderful make-believe world where every day is Father's Day, and join us as we count down our 20 favorite TV dads.
As much as there have been movies about the theater and movies about movies, the films that have been made about television are some of the best ever. This year alone, there are two movies nominated for Best Picture of the year by the Academy Awards that are all about television -- Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon. Without TV, neither of these films would exist. Looking back, here are the films about TV that set the standards by which Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon are measured.
I didn't really grow up with Andy Griffith, but it was quite the nostalgia trip to see Ron Howard and Henry Winkler as Richie and the Fonz again. Winkler seemed to just slip back into the character despite all the years.
In this business we call show, there are those people who never let us forget that they are involved to make money. Luckily, those people often occupy the off camera part of the business and let the performers worry about making art. Meanwhile, the business types sit back and try to think up ways they can make more money off of the performers. One of the most insidious ways is to appeal to the star's ego and convince them to make a recording. What follows are some of the best -- and by "best," I mean "WTF?"
Most people today recognize he name Phyllis Diller but have no idea why she was famous, however if they watch this clip, they can be sure that it isn't for singing.
When the Billy Bob Thornton movie The Astronaut Farmer came out, a lot of us were amazed how the plot sounded similar to Salvage 1, a TV movie and later short-lived series on ABC that starred Andy Griffith as the owner of a scrap and salvage company who builds a spaceship and goes to the moon. I don't think this show has been seen that much since the late 70s, but TVShowsOnDVD is hearing from a source that Sony is going to release the show (the pilot movie and all the episodes, including 4 never shown on ABC) some time in 2008.
But that's not the only DVD news that TV fans are going to be interested in...
You folks might recall that a man running for Sheriff in Grant County, Wisconsin changed his name from "William Harold Fenrick" to "Andrew Jackson Griffith" so he could run under the name "Andy Griffith" and hopefully use the iconic name to win the election.
He didn't win.
He did, however, have a lawsuit filed against him by Andy Griffith, the actor who played Andy Taylor on the Andy Griffith Show. Recently, however, a judge dismissed the case, saying that Fenrick did not violate any copyright and that what he did was protected under the First Amendment. I'm not a fancy big city lawyer, so I can't say much about this.
I thought of this show a few weeks ago when I started to see the commercials for Billy Bob Thornton's new movie, The Astronaut Farmer, about a guy who builds his own rocket in his barn so he can blast into space.
Salvage 1 was a short-lived show that starred Andy Griffith as a salvager who sells scrap that he finds and goes on various adventures with his cohorts (rescuing people, battling fires, getting involved with crooks, that sort of thing). The series co-starred Joel Higgins (Silver Spoons), Trish Stewart (whatever happened to her?), and Richard Jaeckel (Spenser: For Hire), and it was based on a TV movie of the same name in which Griffith built a rocket on his own and blasted off into space.
I can't tell you how much I loved this movie when I was a teen. If you had asked me in the late 70s what the best movie of all time was, I probably would have said this one. Sadly, the show died after only a season and a half. It couldn't quite match the charm of the pilot, but was pretty darn entertaining.
You want a my personal picks for the best TV stuff of 2006? Sure, no problem. You also want my personal picks for the worst TV offered in 2006? Well, that's somewhat of a challenge. If I don't like something, I don't watch it, but I agreed to list my favorite and least favorite things about TV, so let's get the negative stuff out of the way first.
This 12 disk set contains The Andy Griffith Show (16 eps), Hal Roach's Rascals (9 eps), Dick Van Dyke (6 eps), Petticoat Junction (4 eps), The Lucy Show (19 eps), The Beverly Hillbillies (20 eps), Ozzie and Harriet (18 eps), Burns and Allen (10 eps), and the Rescue From Gilligan's Island movie. All for the low low price of $9.98, new in box. It's a fun collection. While I wouldn't be in the market for season sets of any of these shows, with the possible exception of Dick Van Dyke, it's nice to have them around when the networks go all repeat on us. And finding a twenty-something Dennis Hopper guest starring as a beatnik poet on an obscure Petticoat Junction episode makes it funny in a whole new way.
Unfortunately, I can't seem to track down this exact set anywhere online. Amazon does have a similar set from the same company with a slightly different mix of episodes, and minus the Gilligan movie, new for $23.99, and used for $10.97. Still not a bad deal.
Andy Griffith, the actor best known for playing Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show and Ben Matlock on Matlock, is suing a man who ran and lost for sheriff of Grant County, Wis., for taking his name and using it during the campaign. I shit you not, TV fans: William Harold Fenrick legally changed his name to Andrew Jackson Griffith and ran for the sheriff's office under that name (the plaintiff's full name is Andy Samuel Griffith, by the way).
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