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Andy Griffith Show Memories : Episode #20 - Andy Saves Barney's Morale

Updated on January 31, 2008

Andy Saves Barney's Morale


When Andy has to go out of town for half a day, he leaves Barney in charge as acting sheriff for the first time. This results in the jailing of a good part of the town and Barney being the butt of every joke. Andy has to take action to prove Barney's value to the town.

Episode Number: 20 Season Number: 1

First Aired: February 20, 1961

Writer: David Adler

Director: Bob Sweeney

Cast/Crew/Guest Stars

Ron Howard (Opie Taylor)

Don Knotts (Barney Fife)

Andy Griffith (Sheriff Andy Taylor)

Frances Bavier (Aunt Bee Taylor)

Hal Smith (Otis Campbell)

Howard McNear (Floyd Lawson)

Burt Mustin (Jud Fletcher)

Dick Elliott (Mayor Pike)

Florence MacMichael (Hilda Mae)

Joseph Hamilton (Chester Jones)

George Dunn (Pete)

Episode Summary

It's Barney's big chance - his first opportunity to be sheriff. Despite being reluctant to leave Barney in charge, Andy gives Barney a chance. He returns to Mayberry that afternoon to find things outside the courthouse quiet and peaceful. He congratulates Barn on a job well done. But it's a different story inside the courthouse. It seems that Barney has arrested about half the town! Having not been sworn in as Justice of the Peace, Barney was unable to process anyone and has them stuffed into the Mayberry's two cells like sardines in a can! The prisoners include the bank president, the Mayor, and even Opie and Aunt Bee. After Andy dismisses all charges for various reasons and sends everyone on their way, he convinces Barney to keep his chin up because it was his first time being sheriff and he's learned a lot about what not to do. Barney seems convinced but quickly finds that he's the laughing stock of the entire town, being made fun of and picked at almost constantly. The toll on Barney's pride is considerable, which culminates his decision to quit the force. However, Andy, realizing that most people don't realize how their friendly picking is hurting Barney, tells everyone in town he's got to fire Barney because he can't have a deputy that nobody respects. Andy's plan works perfectly! The townspeople start filing into the jail and arresting themselves in support of Barney.


  • The series was filmed entirely in Hollywood, at Desilu Productions on the former RKO Pictures lot. Mayberry exteriors were shot on the former Selznick International Pictures lot, later known as Forty Acres. The rural fishing hole that opened each episode was Franklin Canyon Lake, just north of Beverly Hills. Franklin Canyon was also the site of the show's Myers Lake and other outdoor locales.
  • The whistled theme song, "The Fishin' Hole" was composed by Earle Hagen (the music coordinator and famous whistler of the show) and Herbert Spencer, with unsung lyrics by Everett Sloane. Hagen also wrote the music for the series.

Barney: "It's like they say, Once burnt, lesson learnt... one mistake, better cake... once bit, best forget."

More From Mayberry

Come join in the fun of The Andy Griffith Show Online Hangman Game. It's therapetic! Just take the link below:

The Andy Griffith Show Online Hangman Game

Also see:

Episode #1 - The New Housekeeper

Episode #2 - The Manhunt

Episode #3 - The Guitar Player

Episode #4 - Ellie Comes to Town

Episode #5 - Irresistible Andy

Episode #6 - Runaway Kid

Episode #7 - Andy the Matchmaker

Episode #8 - Opie's Charity

Episode #9 - A Feud is a Feud

Episode #10 - Ellie for Council

Episode #11 - Christmas Story

Episode #12 - Stranger in Town

Episode #13 - Mayberry Goes Hollywood

Episode #14 - The Horse Trader

Episode #15 - Those Gossipin' Men

Episode #16 - The Beauty Contest

Episode #17 - Alcohol and Old Lace

Episode #18 - Andy the Marriage Counselor

Episode #19 - Mayberry on Record


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