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Mr. McBeevee

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You believe me, don't you, Pa? Andy Griffith and Ron Howard have a heart to heart talk in "Mr. McBeevee"
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Mr. McBeeveeThe Andy Griffith Show season 3

Is Opie’s new friend, Mr. McBeevee, “a man that walks around in the trees, blows smoke out of his ears, wears a shiny silver hat” and has “twelve extra hands” imaginary … or not?

Mr. McBeevee is an interesting episode of The Andy Griffith Show. It deals with Opie’s imagination, and whether or not his father can believe him. It begins with “cowboy” Opie telling Barney Fife about his new, imaginary pet horse. At first, Barney believes him, until Barney’s exposed as a doofus. But then, Opie tells his Pa about the strange man he met in the woods — Mr. McBeevee.

A seemingly impossible man, who walks around in the trees, blows smoke out of his ears, and has twelve extra hands. But then …. The mysterious Mr. McBeevee gives Opie an old hatchet. Andy assumes that Opie found it in the woods, and makes him put it back. Then, to replace it, Mr. McBeevee gives Opie a quarter. And Andy confronts his son, planning on giving him a whipping, if he doesn’t tell the truth.

Andy Taylor: Ope, uh, ‘member the fun you was havin’ this mornin’ gollopin’ around the backyard on… Blackie? We was both enjoyin’ that little game. Course, now-now the truth is they… they never was any real Blackie. That’s just somethin’ that you made up. That right? Well, about, uh, about this Mr. McBeevee. Maybe the same thing happened there. Maybe you, uh, made him up, too, just for fun, and… They-they’s nothin’ wrong with that. What’s wrong is usin’ a Mr. McBeevee to get out of work and to explain things that seem to come from nowhere. Ope, they, uh, they comes a time when you have to stop the play actin’ and tell the truth. And that time’s now. Right now.

Opie sticks to his story

Even knowing that he’s facing punishment for his story about Mr. McBeeVee, Opie’s an honest young man. Almost on the verge of tears, he won’t lie to his father.

Opie Taylor: Don’t you believe me, Pa? Don’t you, Pa?

And Andy …. Walks away.

Andy Taylor: I told him I believed him.
Barney Fife: You told him you beli… But Andy, what he told you’s impossible!
Andy Taylor: Well, a whole lotta times I’ve asked him to believe things that, to his mind, musta seemed just as impossible.
Barney Fife: Oh, but, Andy… this silver hat, and the jinglin’, and the smoke from his ears – what about all that?
Andy Taylor: Ohh, I don’t know, Barn. I guess it’s a time like this when you’re asked to believe somethin’ that just don’t seem possible. That’s the moment that decides whether you got faith in somebody or not.
Barney Fife: Yeah, but how can you explain it all?
Andy Taylor: I cain’t.
Barney Fife: But you do believe in Mr. McBeevee?
Andy Taylor: No, no, no. I do believe in Opie.

Frustrated, Andy goes out to the woods, to the tree where Opie earlier told him he met Mr. McBeevee. And in frustration, Andy says, “Mr. McBeevee!” And from the treetops — Mr. McBeevee answers! And Andy learns what the audience has already known: Mr. McBeevee is quite real.

And at the end, there’s a bit of humor, as Barney Fife thinks Andy’s cracking up, since he now believes in the “imaginary” McBeeVee! Until Mr. McBeeVee calls …

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