6 things you never noticed in the Andy Griffith Show favorite ''Mr. McBeevee"

Did you ever catch the reunion of Opie and McBeevee on Happy Days?

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A touching moment between Andy and Opie in ’’Mr. McBeevee’’
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The best television shows can make you laugh and make you cry. The truly great ones can do both in a single episode. The mix of comedy and drama in "Mr. McBeevee" is what makes it a highlight of The Andy Griffith Show. Some fans consider it the best single episode, and that's a mighty fine opinion, as Andy himself might say.

"Mr. McBeevee" contains some of young Ron Howard's finest acting — he perfected that chin quiver — and some of the finest parenting seen in classic TV. When Andy tells Barney and Bee, "I do believe in Opie," well, maybe a little something gets in our eyes.

This season-three opener nailed every element of what made The Andy Griffith Show an instant classic. Let's take a closer look.

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1. Blackie the imaginary horse did actually make an appearance


The episode opens on Opie galloping around the backyard (more on that space later) on his imaginary horse, which he has named "Blackie." At the kitchen table, Opie describes the horse to Barney as being "big like cowboys have… black all over with a white spot on his nose." This imaginary steed plays a key part in a story about Opie's imagination. Being imaginary, Blackie is never seen. Well, not anymore. Those who watched the episode when it originally aired got to see Blackie poke his head through the kitchen window! Barney, Andy and Opie promoted Jell-O Pudding in one of the advertising spots for a show sponsor. He's just as Opie described!

2. The Taylors must have built a back porch sometime in season three


As we mentioned, "Mr. McBeevee" gives us a rare look at the back of the Taylor home. Clothing dries on a clothesline. Opie's bike stands propped on the grass. A couple of wooden chairs offer a spot to relax. However, one season later, we got another glimpse at the rear of the house in "Bargain Day," when Andy heads out back to check on the freezer. Here we see that the Taylors now have a large back porch! Maybe Andy got a bonus check for Christmas 1962?

3. Barney keeps a file on ''The Hermit''


When Opie sits in the police station and describes his new friend to Barney, pay close attention to the folders behind the boy. You can see that Barney keeps a file on "The Hermit." Could this be his dossier on "Quiet Sam" from season one? Or is it the eerie hermit with the golden arm we hear about in the ghost story during "Back to Nature"?

4. Ron Howard reunited with "Mr. McBeevee" on Happy Days


Astute classic television fans might recognize Karl Swenson as "Mr. McBeevee," even without the actor's mustache. He is best known as Lars Hanson, the founder of Walnut Grove and town elder on Little House on the Prairie. (He also played Eddie Haskell's dad, George, on Leave It to Beaver.) But we are particularly fond of his reunion with Opie himself, Ron Howard! In an early episode of Happy Days, "Richie's Car," Fonzie sells one of his dragsters to Richie, which turns out to be stolen! This lands Richie in the police station, where he confronts a detective played by — you guessed it — Karl Swenson!

…there's even a little in-joke about Blackie


Oh, there's a great little inside joke in that Happy Days scene, as well, that just might be a nod back to "Mr. McBeevee" — at least, we like to think so. Richie wears a shirt covered in horse heads. Blackie?! Perhaps! It is a call back to childhood, certainly. "That's a very cute shirt with the horseys," the Fonz notes. "I had jammies like that." 

5. Doc Harvey never appears on The Andy Griffith Show


When Andy tells Barney he too has met Mr. McBeevee, the deputy worries about the sheriff's mental health. He picks up the phone and rings "Doc Harvey." Doc Harvey is never seen throughout The Andy Griffith Show, but does get mentioned from time to time. Doc Harvey's name comes up in "A Wife for Andy" and we learn in "Barney's Physical" that the medical man once prescribed a harness for Asa Breeney that made the sleepy guard a "good half inch taller."

6. Who exactly is Thurston Holmes?


In the closing credits, you will see three names listed under "Cast" — Frances Bavier, Karl Swenson and Thurston Holmes. You might wonder about that last man. After all, the only characters we see in the episode are Andy, Opie, Bee, Barney and McBeevee. Well, it seems as if both Swenson and Holmes were Mr. McBeevee! Holmes was reportedly the stunt double shown climbing the telephone pole. Nice of them to give him a credit!

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kkodey 31 months ago
Karl Swenson is the guy in the cafe scene of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds who screams "it's the end of the world".
RedSamRackham 35 months ago
* Doc Harvey told Aunt Bee "We're no spring chickens anymore!" But who was Mr. Shwump? ☺
LeoBassy RedSamRackham 35 months ago
Mr. Schwamp (sometimes spelled "Mr. Schwump") info here, though it only deepens the mystery!
BigGiant66 43 months ago
This plot was recycled from a Seasson 6 episode of Make room For Daddy called "Linda's Giant." Linda (Angela Cartwright) has a friend named Mr. Jumbo who's 10 feet tall and gives her candy from his magic coat. Linda's teacher is worried that she's mentally ill and soon convinces Danny there's something wrong. So when Danny finally confronts Linda and is preparing to punish her, "Mr. Jumbo" appears - a doorman played by Robert 'Big Buck' Maffei (1930–1982)
RedjacArbez 43 months ago
I like how yo all go on about him playing Mr. Haskell. He did...ONE TIME!!!!!!!
BretLott 45 months ago
Thurston Holmes was my grandfather! He was a VERY bit actor, and shows up on IMDB only three times: this episode of TAGS; and then twice under his other name, Earl Holmes: he's a Western Union telegram delivery man (two lines) in Swingin' Along with Barbara Eden and Peter Marshall, and as a Confederate soldier (one line) in 13 Fighting Men with Brad Dexter and Grant Williams. Really very cool this question is here on the site--hope the mystery has been solved!
cajuntractor 49 months ago
It is also one of the few episodes that show Andy smoking.
Pvtimz 49 months ago
In the "Man In The Middle" episode there is reference to a hermit named Jed McIntyre who has lived alone in his cabin for the last 25 years. Could it be him?
BuckeyeBeth 49 months ago
I haven't seen Little House in so long I can't picture what character Karl Swenson plays, but I do recognize him as Dr. Karl Svenson the love crazed scientist Hogan is trying to get to defect in S3E7 of Hogans Heroes.
Jane 49 months ago
One of my very favorite episodes. I named one of my pet rabbits Mr. McBeevee. He doesn't climb, but he does jingle when he plays with his toys. He always accepts a dinner invitation, too. Thanks MeTV!
Dizzydude 49 months ago
Wow it mentions the jello pudding ad,in the episode pipes bully.At the end poor says a peanut butter sandwich sure taste better with a glass of milk!
Big3Fan 49 months ago
This has always my favorite TAGS episode. Ronnie's acting really showed that he was more than just a cute kid. My theory on the back porch is that Ralph and Alf came over from Hooterville and built it for the Taylor family.
HerbShanafelt 49 months ago
My GREAT WIFE, BECKY & I at present Watching the EPISODE of MR. McBEEVIE . THANK FOR THE Insight. On this EPISODE !! OUR M A I N. NETWORK For Television Entertainment. ( Secular ) The. main SPIRITUAL PROGRAMMING NETWOORK. ...IS " THE. SUNLIFE BROADCASTING. NETWORK ( SBN ).
MichaelKarberg 49 months ago
The Mr. McBeevee episode was wonderful and like is mentioned below it is nice to see a father who is trying to be a good dad make mistakes and then be humble enough to admit when he falls short. But I must politely disagree about Ward Cleaver,(ordained minister), who regularly sighs and relays to June how he falls short as a father and is always trying to learn from what his father did not or would not do for him. A regular theme on the show. I can relate because that is what I have tried to do with my 3 kids thru the years.
KirwoodDerby 49 months ago
Keep your eyes open for Karl all over classic TV including Hogan’s Heroes, where he plays a scientist who falls for a German lady singer.
MatthewAnderson 49 months ago
Mr. McBeeVee was certainly one of my favorite episodes. I also liked him as Eddie Haskell's father. By the way, is there a way to "ignore " certain posters on the comments section that you just think are just plain rude or jerks? Thanks.
harv1l 49 months ago
Karl Swenson (I think) also appeared in an episode of the Hogans Heroes. He played a scientist that fell in love with a cabaret singer. Hogan and his men smuggled them out of Germany. Don't remember the season or episode though
dwalk harv1l 49 months ago
Good eye. That does appear in his credits, along with "drunken doom sayer" in Hitchcock's The Birds. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0842425/
randalllong100 49 months ago
Who could possibly see “The Hermit” on the folder on a tv screen?
featuremom 49 months ago
Police station sounds so odd - as opposed to sheriff's office!
cburch769 49 months ago
Now I'm searching for that pudding commercial on YouTube
cburch769 cburch769 49 months ago
Found it: https://youtu.be/b-_uYxOPjSE
MonsterCrow cburch769 49 months ago
thank you for sharing the link. now I finally know why Mom trusted Jello brand pudding for desserts throughout my growing up.
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