Christmas Story – The Andy Griffith Show season 1, Original airdate: December 19, 1960
In Christmas Story, Andy and Barney give a Christmas party in the jail for a prisoner and his family, and in doing so melt the heart of the town scrooge.
Review of Christmas Story
Mean old Ben Weaver catches Sam Muggins moonshining and insists Andy lock him up, even though it’s Christmas Eve. Being the softhearted Sheriff that he is, Andy tries to talk Ben out of it — to no avail. In order to keep Ben off his back, keep Sam’s family together for Christmas, and still have the party they had planned, Andy has a plan. He arrests Sam’s wife and children as “accessories before, during, and after the fact”, and deputizes Ellie, Opie, and Aunt Bee to help watch the prisoners.
Everyone is having a good time except Ben, who spies on the party, and tries to get himself arrested. He’s simply too stubborn to admit he wants to join in the fun. Andy finally arrests him after he figures it out. But he lets Ben stop by his store first, to pick up a few things he might need. Presents for the others.
In short, Christmas Show is the sweet type of story that we expect from The Andy Griffith Show. Ben was (and continues to be) the typical Scrooge. But, he softens a little in this episode. Will Wright deserves recognition for his performance. The rest of the regular cast shines as well, especially in singing Christmas songs for the “jailbirds”.
Songs in Christmas Show
- Away in a Manger (sung by Elinor Donahue/Ellie, Andy Griffith/Sheriff Andy Taylor, & Will Wright/Ben Weaver)
- Jingle Bells (sung by Don Knotts)
- Deck the Halls (sung by Andy Griffith & cast)
Cast of characters
- Andy Griffith (A Face in the Crowd, Matlock) … Andy Taylor
- Ron Howard (The Music Man) … Opie Taylor
- Don Knotts (The Incredible Mr. Limpet) … Barney Fife
- Frances Bavier (The Stooge, The Day the Earth Stood Still) … Aunt Bee Taylor
- Elinor Donahue (Dear God, Father Knows Best) … Ellie Walker
- Will Wright (The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock) … Ben Weaver
- Sam Edwards (Twelve O’Clock High) … Sam Muggins
- Margaret Kerry … Bess Muggins