I am a huge, huge fan, and completely agree The Andy Griffith Show is greatest television show in history. I enjoy many other shows, but Andy is and will forever be Number #1 in my book. And I am extremely confident there will never be a better television show in the future.
I have been to two live events where cast members appeared, discussed the show, and told what the show meant to him or her. I have seen:
Barney: he mainly talked about himself, silent acting, theater acting, television acting, and movie acting.....not so much about the show.
Thelma Lou: she talked the most about the show as well as told several stories about the show. An audience member asked if she and Helen were friends in real life in which Thelma Lou said yes and then she shed tears while saying the day Helen passed-away was one of the saddest days in her life. I would say everyone in the audience, included myself, shed tears with her.
Goober: he performed a comedy routine, talked about his adventures as a boy, and told stories about the show.
Ernest T. Bass: he came through the audience throwing "rocks" made of sponge. He talked about the show and his directing career.
The Darling Boys: they picked and sang several songs. Rodney did all the talking and told stories about playing concerts around the world.....he gave Andy and the show credit for their success. Also, he said Andy was a true music lover. The Dillards is the real name of the band.
Charlene: she talked about the show as well as how she, Mr. Darling, and the Darling Boys meshed so well.....like they were an actual family. She appeared to truly enjoy her time on the show. She was not at the same show as the Darling Boys so she did not sing although it was requested by audience members.
I believe I am leaving a cast member out, but I cannot remember who it was.
There were two guys, who impersonated Barney and Floyd extremely well, at both events. Each walked around portraying his character with precision while posing for photos. Also, Floyd worked the audience for questions.
The best thing about these live events was the stories being told. One cast member would begin telling a story and suddenly other cast members would contribute to the story.....and then another story would immediately get started.
I do not remember what these live events were called, but they were very, very entertaining. I am truly fortunate to have been apart of both events.
One of the things that made the show great was how much of the humor was character driven. There were so many laughs that came not from punchlines or typical jokes but rather from just playing on the viewers’ familiarity with the characters and their particular foibles and eccentricities. It was a very smartly written show that didn’t underestimate its audience.
And of course, all of that only works with top notch acting. Everyone in that cast was so talented and dead-on in the creation of their characters. One personal favorite was Jim Nabors as Gomer. As beloved as he was, I always felt like his performance was under-appreciated. There was a lot more depth and subtlety in there than people seemed to talk about.
Not a terribly far haul from east tn is mt airy ,nc Andy’s boyhood home and the loose model for Mayberry and just up the road from pilot mtn nc ( known as mount pilot on the AGS). I have a place about 30 mins from Mt airy and there is a Mayberry festival every summer and a plethora of memories from the show. Floyd’s barbershop, the blue bird diner, a museum, goobers garage, some of it touristy but some of it just small town Americana. They even have a couple of fellows that do tours using an old police car like from the show. If you are a fan of the show you should go once.
I still love the show and watch it when I come across it. Brings back lots of good memories Playing in the floor at my grandparents house as a kid watching reruns. They didn’t watch much tv, but that was always their favorite show. I was disappointed when I found out Aint Bee didn’t get along with Andy in real life. You get so used to their characters, you forget they are different people in real life.