Tuesday, July 3, 2012
A DEATH IN MAYBERRY - THE PASSING OF ANDY GRIFFITH
The kind, quaint town of Mayberry was more a mindset than a place for many of us who grew up in the big cities that were rocked by the social upheaval of the turbulent 1960's.
We knew there wasn't really a Mayberry, but we hoped that it could be real.
The death of video virtuoso Andy Griffith , at age 86, gave many of pause to recall and relish his extarordinary legacy in television, films,recording and music.
It also reminded us that Griffith, along with televisionary executive Sheldon Leonard, uber-producer Aaron Ruben and some of the medium's most accomplished and proflific comedy writers, created a place of safety and sanity, that like a bucolic Brigadoon, only existed on your 21 inch Magnavox every Monday night on CBS.
THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW ran on the TIFFANY NETWORK from 1960 to 1968 and routinely was the most watched sitcom on television. It offered simple,human tales of small town life, that were usually solved in 22 minutes, plus titles and commercials, by the moral and methodical Sheriff Andy Taylor.
As you would imagine, the key to this kind of gentle comedy is hard work.
While the fabric of the nation was tested in the 1960's, in the writer's room, on Stages 1 & 2 at Desilu-Cahuenga and on Desilu's, Culver City Back Lot, a sweet, funny tapestry of rural American life was being expertly woven.
Here,in an interview done some years back for the vast and voluble ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN TELEVISION, Griffith explains the attendtion to character and storline that helped to make THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW an American Television Classic.