– a stranger comes to Mayberry, and seems to know all about the various people in town. But how? And why?
Stranger in Town – The Andy Griffith Show season 1
When a stranger comes to town and knows people’s name and all about them, folks become scared and suspicious. They want Andy to do something about him. Since Ed Sawyer has broken no laws, Andy refuses. Things get even more curious when he tells Andy that Mayberry is his hometown …. Even though he has never been there before. After being rejected by everyone, Lucy Matthews in particular, Ed asks Andy for help. And he tells him how Mayberry became his hometown. As Andy is calling the newspaper with the story, Ed is confronted by a group of townsfolk who want to run him out of town. Andy steps in and tells his story to the crowd, which backs down and welcomes him to town. Original airdate: December 26, 1960
Andy Taylor: Am I right, or… or-or-or wrong? Uh, you… you never have been in Mayberry before, have you?
Ed Sawyer: No, never.
Andy Taylor: But you figure to be happy here?
Ed Sawyer: Are you kiddin’? Why shouldn’t I be?
Andy Taylor: Oh, I… I don’t know. Why should you be?
Ed Sawyer: Why, because Mayberry’s my hometown. So long, Andy.
And that’s what’s at the center of the conflict in “Stranger in Town”. A nice young man Ed Sawyer, has come to town. And he knows lots of things about Mayberry and its citizens. Despite never having been there. And this makes a lot of the citizens suspicious. Including, of course, Deputy Fife:
Barney Fife: And I still think he’s some kind of a spy.
Andy Taylor: Oh, you do?
Barney Fife: Yes, I do.
Andy Taylor: And you figure somebody here in town is his contact, and maybe between ’em they’re tryin’ to figure out some of our secrets, like h-how we make possum pie, or how me make turnip jam… Laaa-aaaw! You DON’T reckin’ he’s here snoopin’ around tryin’ to find out how we make fried chicken and johnnycake, do you?
As normal, Sheriff Andy Taylor’s the voice of reason. But even he’s put off a little bit about the stranger. But eventually, he learns that Ed Sawyer’s simply a lonely young man. He’s never had a “home town” of his own, and moved from town to town. While serving in the U.S. Army, he became friends with one of the young men from Mayberry. And the more he heard about Mayberry, the more he fell in love with it. He even started to subscribe to the newspaper. After his discharge, he decided to move there and run a small business.
But the people of Mayberry have grown increasingly nervous, and a small group of them want him to leave town. Forcibly, if necessary. But Sheriff Andy’s found out Ed’s story, tells them, and they’re now the warm, inviting folks they’ve always been. And Ed’s come home at last.
One funny thing is that Ed’s fallen in love with pretty young Lucy Matthews. And been too eager, to the point of frightening her. So much so that she was going to ask the Sheriff to keep him away! But now … She invites him to call on her.
The episode is bookended at Floyd’s barbershop. At the beginning, Barney’s getting his hair cut — poorly. And at the end, it’s Ed’s turn! This Floyd is not the character we know and love. Here, Here, Floyd is a sleepy, laid back individual. But in all other episodes, played by Howard McNair, he’s an excitable individual.
Cast of characters
- Andy Griffith (A Face in the Crowd, Matlock) … Andy Taylor
- Ron Howard (The Music Man) … Opie Taylor (as Ronny Howard)
- Don Knotts (The Incredible Mr. Limpet) … Barney Fife
- Frances Bavier (The Stooge, The Day the Earth Stood Still) … Aunt Bee Taylor
- William Lanteau (Li’l Abner 1959) … Ed Sawyer
- Walter Baldwin (Christmas in Connecticut) … Floyd the Barber
- George Dunn … Pete
- Bill Erwin … George Sapley
- Sara Seegar (The Music Man) … Mrs. Buntley
- Phil Chambers (The Mole People) … Jason the Hotel Clerk
- Marlene Willis … Lucy Matthews
- Pat Colby … Bill Matthews