Wednesday, April 1, 2020




From the IMDb:
As Perry prepares to go to Scotland on vacation, a little girl arrives in his office asking him to determine who she is. His search takes him to Switzerland where he meets a woman who becomes his client after a murder.



From the IMDb:
Pride in what other people think presents itself to Andy two-fold when he hears that Opie only gave a measly three cents to a school charity fund and when a two-years-dead husband walks up to say hello.

It may not seem evident from the summaries for these two episodes, but this was one of the first CBS crossovers.

If you check the cast lists for each episode, you’ll notice that Ray Collins (Lt. Arthur Tragg of ‘Perry Mason’) and Don Knotts (Deputy Barney Fife in ‘The Andy Griffith Show’) were both absent from their respective episodes.

At the time both of these episodes were filmed, both actors were busy on the sets of each other’s show.  They filmed cameo appearances allegedly as their characters although they went unnamed.

In the ‘Perry Mason’ episode, while Perry was at the airport, Barney could be seen in the concourse struggling with luggage as he departed a flight from North Carolina. It was a silent routine, full of the usual Barney ticks and mannerisms which only lasted a minute at best.

Meanwhile, in “Opie’s Charity”, Lt. Tragg showed up at the Taylor home and asked Aunt Bee where he could find the Sheriff.  Apparently he had some questions about the character of Tom Silby, the long-missing husband played by Stuart Erwin (who made several appearances on ‘Perry Mason’.)  He left but we never saw him later with Sheriff Andy.

This was a way to hype the new show by having a well-established series like ‘Perry Mason’ give ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ some free two-way publicity.

In order for it to have the full impact, CBS hyped the exchange of characters all through the summer with a promo in heavy rotation.  It was from that I was able to track down the still picture seen in this post, thanks to a collector I know from Facebook.

Don’t waste your time trying to track down those scenes in either show.  They only got one broadcast before being edited out.  With eventual syndication in mind, the network thought it might be confusing to the audience to see one part of the crossover without the other, even though they weren’t really connected.  And they were structured in such a way so that they could be easily excised from the episodes.

This practice would be repeated by CBS nearly forty years later.  In May of 1998, archival footage of classic CBS characters were blended into scenes of various top shows which were then on the air so that they interacted with the current stars.
  • Edward R. Murrow (‘Murphy Brown’)
  • James Arness (‘Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman’)
  • Lucille Ball (‘The Nanny’)
  • Jack Benny (‘Cosby’)
  • Chad Everett ('Chicago Hope')
  • Steve McQueen (‘Walker, Texas Ranger’)
  • Dick Van Dyke (‘Diagnosis Murder’)
Here are two examples:

Those special episodes were broadcast only the one time and then were excised for future reruns and syndication.

Someday I hope I’ll be able to see those two scenes linking ‘Perry Mason’ to ‘The Andy Griffith Show’.  When I lived in Manhattan, I was a member of the Paley Center for Media and every time I visited, I would check to see if they had gained those holy grails.  For all I know, they finally got them now that I’m no longer there to view them.

That would be typical for me…..

1 comment:

Hugh said...

And Happy ________ ______ Day to you!