sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Monday, February 27, 2006

.....N.Y. Times' Virginia Heffernan on the late, great Don Knotts:

"Actors who worked with him almost universally deferred to him as the comic grandmaster, yet his characters were not jokers but the butts of jokes. He was absolutely flappable. No one had a better tremor or double-take, and with his unmistakable homeliness — bulging eyes, receding chin, stooped shoulders, broad hips — he didn't bother to play the fool; he wisely stuck to just the fool."

What I find amazing about the artistry of "The Andy Griffith Show" is the way Knotts and Andy Griffith mastered the subtleties of rural humor after it became decidedly uncool to be a redneck.

If you watch enough episodes of Andy, you begin to notice this subtlety. So while we're celebrating Citizen's Arrest and The Loaded Goat, I'll offer a couple of my favorite line from Barney Fife.

In an early episode, when Andy is dating Ellie the druggist, a handsome young doctor moves into town. Barney's concerned that he's moving into Andy's turf, so he goes in for an undercover physical to get the scoop. The scoop is, just as Barney feared, the doctor's not married.

"Why, I don't think I ever heard of a doctor that wasn't married," Barney replied.

Then there's the motorcycle (with sidecar) episode, where Barney once again becomes the laughingstock of Mayberry. Even Andy expresses doubt about the motorcycle's value.

"Now Andy, I can expect that type of reaction from them ignorant laypeople, but not from you," Barney replies.

Goodbye to arguably the greatest television character of all time. In my book, Barney ranks only second to Archie Bunker.


June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   February 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?