Friday, November 12, 2010


Over at "Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear", Ivan has been running a weekly feature called "Mayberry Mondays", in which he takes an episode of 'Mayberry RFD' and provides running commentary to its synopsis. (If Ivan had his way, I think Mayberry might be more like "Deliverance"!)

As a spin-off sequel to 'The Andy Griffith Show', 'Mayberry RFD' shifted its focus from Sheriff Andy Taylor to farmer Sam Jones, who was urged to run not only for an open seat on the town council, but to be its president. Sam ended up winning by over 400 votes, with his only opponent being fix-it man Emmett Clark. (I think this just proves how much Mayberrians secretly hated Emmett.) Sam's farm had been in the family for over 100 years, and he had inherited it from his father. And even though he doesn't spend much time working on it (as Ivan loves to point out), it appears to be one of the most productive in the county, with corn being its chief crop. (The Venchenti family, whom Sam brought over from Italy, probably does most of the work on the farm once Sam devotes more of his time to the town council.... and to hanging around the fix-it shop.)

Sam and his son Mike were introduced in four episodes of 'The Andy Griffith Show'. But that wasn't the first time in Toobworld that we learned of their existence. A year earlier, we were introduced to Mike the Idiot Boy (as Ivan has dubbed him) - not in Mayberry, North Carolina, but just outside the town of Hooterville... wherever the heck that is!

Mike was spotted in the cornfield owned by Oliver Wendell Douglas. It happened during all the hoopla in Hooterville when farm-hand Eb allegedly made contact with the occupants of a UFO. Mr. Douglas found himself confronted by what he thought was a little green alien, but it turned out to be just Mike in a costume (which he probably wore the previous Halloween). That's basically it for Mike's participation in that episode, but why was he in Hooterville and not Mayberry? I think Sam had been searching for help on his own farm back in Mayberry for some time before he finally sponsored the Venchenti family to emigrate from Italy. He might have been in Hooterville with the express purpose of luring Eb away from his employment on the Douglas farm. (This probably happened just after the story about the UFO sighting hit the press, which is why Mike brought his Halloween costume along with him - unbeknownst to his father.)

But after seeing the type of hysteria that Eb could cause with his claims about the UFO, Sam must have thought better of the idea. Just from the incident with Mike in the costume, Sam may have decided Eb could be a bad influence on the boy. So he headed back home to Mayberry. If Sam wanted that sort of thing to happen back home, he could always count on Goober Pyle or Ernest T. Bass.....

"You were born with a bleeped out mind."
Oliver Douglas
'Green Acres'

"Dringle Burvis!"
(That means "good-bye" in the alien language.)

That picture at the top of Sam Jones and his son Mike was taken from the cover of TV Guide. I always like to look at it in a darker vein as one of those unseen moments in Toobworld.

In this case, Mike got hold of some of Jubal Foster's 'shine from Otis Campbell. And here we see Sam helping his son to puke his guts out.....

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