An Editorial on Mayberry's Longevity

January 3, 2010
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The Andy Griffith Show- it's a classic television program that has been around for almost fifty years. Timeless episodes never cease to inspire, amaze, and forever etch their influence into the hearts of Americans everywhere. From Andy's kind and wise sage as the unofficial leader of this small town, to Ernest T. Bass's loveable insanity, this town and show brought out the best in every viewer.

The fact that this show has lasted so long is a bit hard to believe for some; but if you've ever had the pleasure to see even one episode, you could probably understand why. People, places, and fads have changed and continue to constantly do so every day- but the way these characters make us feel, the lessons that each and every one of them have to teach us, and their adventures have remained a constant throughout the last four and a half decades. This is because they have captured a unique innocence and comical genius (mostly thanks to Don Knotts as Barney) that no other television sitcom really has before or after this show's 1960 debut. Plus, the concept for the show was such an unprecedented and non-formulaic one that "Griffith" indeed had no problem holding a viewer's interest. A few of the cast and crew have commented on their program in Mayberry Memories, a photographic account of the show's most memorable moments.

"I have always characterized the Griffith show as the grownup's Oz. Imagine living in a town free of gangs, violence, and drugs, a town where people are friendly, trusting and loving. It's Over the Rainbow. All I can say is I am proud to have been a part of what has become a legend" stated Aaron Ruben, a key producer.

Ruben is correct in attributing the show's great success to its ability to abstain from the inclusion of violence or things that have a very negative influence on society. It created something that was almost like a refuge for the common man, without being too cutesy or juvenile. It's become more than just simply entertainment- it's a dream we wish could come true for our world today, and hope it does for our children tomorrow, as stated by John Oszustowicz in Mayberry Memories.

"To me, The Andy Griffith Show means..." he states.

- " Being warm, safe, and happy with my family on a cold winter Monday night, watching Mayberry come to life on a fifteen-inch black-and-white TV

- Being able to solve Andy Griffith Showmost of life's problems by wondering "What would Andy do?"

- Sitting on the from porch counting cars

- Being greeted by strolling towsfolk

- Searching for the goodness in people

- Knowing that the best of us are as loyal as Goober, as compassionate as Aunt Bee, as human as Barney, as incorruptible as Floyd, and as wise as Andy

- Truly believing that Mayberry was not a fictional town on television, but a dream of civility, friendship and simple living that we can wish on our children."
I believe that the last statement has certainly come to fruition not just in my own heart, but in the hearts of those across the nation, maybe even across the world. There's a reason that people turn back to this show in their darkest hour, make sure that their children grow up with it, and never seem to forget all its wonderful stories. "Griffith" was simply one of a kind- it taught us not just how to survive our lives with the people around us; but how to truly live them the right way and get something out of the experience along the way. It will go down in history as one of the greatest shows on television; perhaps the greatest of all time.

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