When did Mayberry turn into Potterville? In The Andy Griffith Show
's fifth season, Opie (Ronny Howard) buys silk stockings for an older woman, and publishes all of Mayberry's gossip in a scandal sheet. Sheriff Andy Taylor (Griffith) is accused of gross malfeasance. A former beau of Aunt Bee's tries to shake Andy down for $400. Bee herself (Frances Bavier) is a victim of a carny purse-snatching ring. And recidivists Otis (Hal Smith) and Ernest T. (Howard Morris) continue their drinking and rock-throwing unabated. As Bee wails in "Banjo-Playing Deputy," "What's this world coming to?" Not to worry. This is, after all, Mayberry, and Andy still has the patience, understanding and country smarts to restore calm and order. In "TV or Not TV," he sees through bank robbers (led by Gavin MacLeod) posing as a Hollywood film crew. In "Opie and the Carnival," he takes aim at two crooked barkers who have rigged a sharpshooting game. As the sheriff of Mayberry, much of his time is spent bailing out his hapless deputy, Barney Fife (Don Knotts). In "Barney's Uniform," Andy recruits a judo instructor to stand in when Barney is threatened by a disgruntled citizen.
Season 5 marked two notable lasts for this beloved series, which never fell below the Top Seven in the ratings. This was the last season in black and white. More devastating, it was multi-Emmy-winner Knotts' last season as Barney Fife. By the penultimate episode, "Opie and the Carnival," he is just gone, an unceremonious departure for an iconic character so integral to the show's success. That "Banjo-Playing Deputy" in the season finale is Jerry Van Dyke, who might have been a worthy replacement for Knotts. Instead, he reportedly turned down the role to star in his own sitcom, My Mother, the Car. The rest is TV infamy. By this time, though, The Andy Griffith Show's best years were behind it. But this season contains at least two classics, "Goodbye Sheriff Taylor," in which Barney is sheriff for a day while Andy interviews for a job in Raleigh, and "The Cast of the Punch in the Nose," in which Barney reopens an unresolved 1946 case involving Floyd the Barber and Charley Foley. And with episodes featuring the late Howard Morris' Ernest T. ("The Education of Ernest T."), the Darling family ("The Darling Baby"), Mt. Pilot "fun girls" Skippy and Daphne ("The Arrest of the Fun Girls"), and a guest star turn by Don Rickles ("The Luck of Newton Monroe"), Andy Griffith Show devotees are advised to take the Fifth. --Donald Liebenson
Hailed as "one of the greatest television shows of all time" by TV Guide, The Andy Griffith Show delighted audiences with its simple values and down-home humor. Now all 32 episodes with its landmark 5th season are available on DVD! Catch up with Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith), his son Opie (Ron Howard), his bumbling deputy Barney (Don Knotts), Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) and the rest of the gang in this classic collection that includes many fan-favorite episodes. This season also features memorable guest appearances by Don Rickles (Toy Story, Casino), Gavin MacLeod (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Love Boat) and Jerry Van Dyke (Coach) and some of the funniest moments in the show's time-honored history.