the Federal Witness Protection Program has relocated thousands of witnesses,
some criminal, some not, to neighborhoods all across the country. Every one of
those individuals shares a unique attribute, distinguishing them from the rest
of the general population. And that is, somebody wants them
buddy Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. has a regular feature in his "Thrilling Days Of
Yesteryear" (link to the left, Team Toobworld) called "Mayberry Mondays" Each week he focuses on a particular
episode of 'Mayberry RFD' (in broadcast order) and not only gives us the play by
play of "wha' hoppint"*, but he comes up with some great dialogue wish-craft
that would have made for a far more interesting show!
A few weeks
back he wrote about an episode entitled "Howard The Dream-Spinner" in which he
pointed the spotlight on guest star Maggie Peterson:
her as “Edna Pritchard” (no explanation as to how they met—something I’m sure
his girlfriend would be interested in) and “nice to meetcha’s” are exchanged.
But Edna must think we’ve been asleep for eight years…because we know she’s no
stranger to Mayberry—she’s Charlene Darling-Wash, object of affection to
demented hillbilly Ernest T. Bass (Howard Morris)!
Peterson's] most frequent boob tube gig was doing what she does in this
episode—in the second season of The Bill Dana Show; Peterson
joined the cast as coffee shop waitress Susie.
I could probably do something with this idea, and I immediately got back to him
with my new premise:
I'm thinking - NYC... falls in with a bad crowd, or at the very least witnessed
something bad going down, enters witness protection (started in 1970 according
to In Plain Sight, so she'd be one of the first). Looking like the Darling girl
might have been an unfortunate coincidence for Susie aka "Edna Pritchard" and
for Mrs. Darling-Wash as well......
And that's how
I'm going to combine these two characters played by Maggie Peterson Mancuso
despite the fact that they had different names. (Susie was listed only as
"Susie the Waitress" on 'The Bill Dana Show' so we don't know what her last name
a crime committed by some TV gangster located in New York City (probably one of
the many played by Sheldon Leonard, like Big Max Calvada from 'The Dick Van Dyke
Show'.) She was put into the Witness Relocation Program in exchange for her
testimony and that's how Susie ended up in Mayberry as "Edna
As the program
was in its infancy, there were still kinks to be worked out. In Susie's - that
is, in Edna's - case, the town of Mayberry wasn't thoroughly vetted to make sure
it was a safe environment in which she could live unnoticed. As such, the U.S.
Marshals never noticed that there was already a woman living on the outskirts of
town who looked exactly like Susie - Charlene
identity crisis came to light (probably with comedic results involving the whole
Darling brood), the marshals had no choice but to relocate Susie once again
under a new name in another small town.
By October of
1977, it looks like she had either gone on a trip to Blackpool in England, or
had permanently moved there to avoid the gangsters still looking for her. In
the first episode of 'Odd Man Out', she was seen in Neville Sutcliffe's chip
shop. And we don't learn what name she was using there.
Unless of course
there's an English actress named Maggie Peterson and once again the IMDb is
If so, then go home, IMDb.
At any rate, the WITSEC program serves as an excellent splainin as to why two characters who look alike (because they're played by the same actor) have different names.
And since he was responsible for this identity check, I'm dedicating this post to Ivan G. Shreve!