Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Andy Griffith RIP

Today is a sad day for television history. This morning at 7 am (EST) Andy Griffith passed away, best known for his roles as Andy Taylor and Benjamin Matlock; Griffith appeared steady on screen for over 50 years with his final appearance in 2009 in the movie “Play the Game”. The passing leaves Ron Howard as the sole survior (main characters) of the television show.

I was born a couple of years after The Andy Griffith Show ended, but like some of my other favorite shows growing up The Andy Griffith Show was played on constant re-run loop and always seemed to be on during the 70s and 80s. I may have been born in the early 70s but shows from the 1960s like Gilligan’s Island, Hogan’s Heroes, the Beverly Hillbillies and the Addams Family were part of my regular television diet.

What is interesting is that we saw Sheriff Andy Taylor make an appearance on a number of shows over the years from 1960 through 2008. The character showed up first in the Danny Thomas Show in 1960 which led to the Andy Griffith Show. Spinoffs began to appear and soon Sheriff Andy Taylor showed up in episodes of Gomer Pyle, Mayberry RFD, Saturday Night Live, Return To Mayberry and finally in a Ron Howard short in 2008.

In 1990 Pacific released a 3 series set immortalizing The Andy Griffith Show, series one was released in 1990, series two in 1991 and in 1992 series three was released. The cards depicted scenes from the show including both black and white episodes and color episodes. The only other appearance for Griffith on cardboard was in a set produced by a company named Starline in 1992, the set was called “Starline Hollywood Walk of Fame”, a 250 card release centering on actors who have a star on the Walk of Fame. Neither set of cards have much value and can be found for a couple of dollars.

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