Andy Griffith: That was good TV; couldn't we still have it?

  • Article by: JAY AMBROSE , Scripps Howard News Service
  • Updated: July 6, 2012 - 5:51 PM

One reason I always liked Andy Griffith is that a character he played seemed in some ways like my father. Raised on a poor Kentucky farm in the early 20th century, Carl Ambrose always had a twinkle in his eye, humor in his soul and a friendliness that reached out to everyone. There was shrewdness in him at the same time, and the Andy we saw in his best-known TV show was no one's fool, either.

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beaglemomJul. 6, 12 6:01 PM

I agree that I really enjoyed it, however just last week I had the conversation with some folks over "can you imagine a regular on any family sit-com today that was the town drunk?" and playing it for laughs? We have gotten too PC!

rockoftruthJul. 6, 12 6:29 PM

You think same sex marriage, abortion, divorce, anti church, anti God in government, anti boy scouts, anti God bless America was a part of Mayberry. Let me tell you I grew up in Mayberry and our current society and government is so far removed from those times that they would not even recognize it. Such a shame............

thehoffersJul. 6, 12 6:50 PM

The war on morality and faith provides us with programming devoid of moral and faith based writing. Congratulations, liberal thinkers.

pdxtranJul. 6, 12 6:53 PM

Any tribute to Andy Griffith is incomplete if it doesn't mention his impressive performance as the sociopathic radio/TV personality Dusty Rhodes in "A Face in the Crowd." This is a completely different Andy than the amiable small town fellow that you see in "The Andy Griffith Show" and "No Time for Sergeants," and it shows you his range as an actor.

BTW, I'm fully in agreement with the author's assessment of present-day TV, which is why I mostly watch movies and foreign TV on DVD or streaming.

sunnyreaderJul. 6, 12 7:01 PM

Too many of today's sitcoms' have lost the art of genuine humor, opting for crudity instead. Writers either lack talent or their producers don't understand that funny doesn't have to be crude.

gopherfan93Jul. 6, 12 8:11 PM

Well written, Jay. It all began with increasing attacks on morality and the nuclear family by the left. Right now, good and decent human beings who have somehow retained even the slightest amount of innocence are caricatured and bullied by the left. As icons like Speilberg and Lucas die off, they are being replaced with 20-something MTV morons who have no principles, no morals, and no soul. It's more than obvious with the insane number of incredibly stupid movies and TV shows that are coming out in ever-greater numbers. They want to do away with every boundary of decency, while leaving no innuendo for the imagination; ... just raw instant gratification with no plot and no writing talent. The fact is, these days, the people with the greatest writing talent probably wouldn't be given the time of day by hollywood, because low-intellect MTV debasement is what they want now. As recently as a couple years ago, I used to go to at least 1 movie almost every single weekend. Now, I may go to 1 every 2 months. Like you Jay, I really miss the talented writing that went into those shows in the 50's and 60's, like Jack Benny, the Honemooners, phil silvers, and definitely, Andy Griffith; among many, many others. While hollywood still puts some movies out for entertainment purposes, they are far more concerned these days about driving home their radical social and political agenda, even if they lose a ton of money doing it. What I wish is that decent people everywhere would unite, and create an alternative to hollywood that could create decent, moral entertainment. There is no question it would be a massive success, and it would force hollywood to compete or die.

mplssellJul. 6, 12 8:20 PM

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus". The Andy Griffith Show was pure entertainment; just like "Married With Children, The Simpsons, & Two & A Half Men (with Charlie Sheen). We identify with main characters & laugh at the supporting cast. Longevity of a TV show is a tribute to the scripts & actors - Andy mastered his craft very well.

sjhuotJul. 6, 12 8:23 PM

Amen. Ron Howard made a comparison of his relationship on the show with Andy, compared to the insufferable brats and twerps that populate current sitcoms, and their idiotic fathers. What he essentially stated was that their relationship was a real-life, proper parent-child relationship that is almost non-existent today. Andy Griffith was one of a kind.

ronf528Jul. 6, 12 9:14 PM

I agree that things have changed, some for the worse, some for the better. But to characterize all the perceived bad things as something brought on by "liberals" is oversimplification, as well as ignorant. Plenty of jail cells are occupied by "God fearing conservatives" and no single demographic group owns morality. I loved Andy and all the folks in Mayberry, but it was a TV show for goodness sakes. While I try to live my life with the same morals, I'm glad we have the freedoms we have today. No one says you have to lose your moral compass just because it's easier to do, and labeling those who may have a different opinion than yourself has more to do with our societies ills than any changes in what is now socially acceptable. To reference another Hollywood product, some of you posters would be "black and white" in Pleasantville.

dahutysJul. 6, 12 9:28 PM

Television is not a bastion of moral instruction, it's a business in a free marketplace. And the actual customers of TV channels are not us viewers, they are the companies that advertise on those channels. The shows that get on the air are the shows that get good Nielsen ratings in the demographic group that the advertisers like. In general, advertisers love males ages TV channels cram their line-ups with shows that young guys will watch. And in general, young guys are not interested in watching gentle family humor. Also, price is a big factor. They can often put together a crappy reality show for less than they would pay for the licensing fee for an old sitcom. We can complain all we want about the quality of TV, but channels have figured out a formula for getting a good profit with minimal effort, so they're going to keep right on doing what they're doing.


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