Andy Griffith was against adding this character to the show

He disagreed over a technical detail.

Read to Me

What would the town of Mayberry be without its coloful array of residents? Who could forget the musical Darlings, the good-hearted Gomer, or Floyd the barber? There's no doubt that the citizens of Mayberry are just as important to the charm of The Andy Griffith Show as Andy, Opie, or Barney.

However, there's one resident that Andy was against adding from the beginning.

It led to "the only fight" that Griffith and show creator Sheldon Leonard ever had in their working relationship. "He wanted to introduce a character that I knew wasn't going to work," Griffith said. "And it didn't."

The character that led to their only fight? The mayor of Mayberry!

"They wanted me to have a boss figure," Griffith said. "They wanted to introduce a mayor as a boss figure."

Griffith agreed that "it's a good idea for the lead to have a boss figure." So why was he so against the addition of the mayor? It came down to a flaw in realism. 

"I told them before we started, 'That can't work because the mayor cannot be the boss to the sheriff.' A sheriff is a county official. A mayor is just a little local town official. So, it didn't work."

Andy Griffith Show fans know that in the end Leonard got his way and Mayor Pike joined the cast of Mayberry. After Dick Elliott's death in 1961, he was replaced by Parley Baer as Mayor Stoner. 

Then after season three's "Rafe Hollister Sings", the mayor was never seen again. So maybe Andy got the last word in this character debate after all.

Watch The Andy Griffith Show on MeTV!

Weeknights at 8 PM & 8:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
 
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

27 Comments

Post a comment
David 3 months ago
For some reason that has bugged me for years. County sheriffs are not supervised by town mayors
3 months ago
Mayor Pike was a sweet, vulnerable character. Mayor Stoner was NOT! He did not belong in Mayberry.
JHP 3 months ago
stoner and pike - both irritating characters for sure - and then throw in the choir director to boot
kimmer 3 months ago
Some shows need a wrench in the cogs of life to engage enthusiasm. Seeing some of the comments...it worked....lol
TinaMarina 3 months ago
I really enjoyed the Mayor’s character on the show…. Both actors added some funny conflict on every episode they played in. Mayor Stoner really seemed to have chemistry with Andy.
scp 3 months ago
"Then after season three's 'Rafe Hollister Sings', the mayor was never seen again. So maybe Andy got the last word in this character debate after all."

Well, it helps being the person who's supposed to look for missing persons if you want someone to go missing.
JosephScarbrough 3 months ago
I thought both Mayors brought something unique to the show . . . Mayor Pike seemed very much like the kind of Mayor one might expect to find in a little sleepy hamlet such as Mayberry: a little indecisive, somewhat incompetent, yet quirky and a little out there. Mayor Stoner, on the other hand, seemed to be a little more with the times and was wanting to bring some 20th century modern conveniences to Mayberry so it could grow and expand, which resulted in him butting heads with Andy a lot - that brought us some conflict, and as everybody knows, if you have no conflict, you have no story.

Luckily, both were also rather expendable characters, so obviously, the show really didn't lose much of anything when we saw the last of either character.
jorel 3 months ago
Mayor Pike was very funny. I especially liked that he didn't seem to have a strong will, he went along with whatever others said.
MarthaWashington 3 months ago
What about the episode where the town council wants to evict Frank Meyers and the Mayor tells the bank president to "pay him". I'm not sure where they mayors office has any jurisdiction of property taxes.
Tommygunz 3 months ago
Best Mayor episode, when Barney gave a parking ticket to the Governor’s car. The Governor was coming to Mayberry to see Barney, not to scold him but to shake his hand for doing his job. Otis was drunk and put in the cell to sober up, but he ended up poring the booze in the water cooler and poor Mayor Stoner got stone drunk.
olddogg 3 months ago
I did like the episode where they fooled the mayor into sending the town band to the competition in Raleigh. With Tommy Fleet and his Band with a Beat.
DeborahRoberts 3 months ago
Andy was right. I loved Dick Elliott's benign Mayor Pike, but Leonard got his way with Baer's Mayor Stoner and it didn't work at all. Baer was a wonderful character actor, but Mayor Stoner's attempts to boss Andy were annoying. A town mayor might be able to dictate whether the town budget were used to send the Mayberry band on a trip, but he'd have had no jurisdiction to dictate when county prisoners were released or call in reinforcements on a county cattle-theft case. I'm so glad the character's appearances were limited.
FLETCH DeborahRoberts 3 months ago
Well said. I find Mayor Stoner not just unfunny but incredibly annoying.
WordsmithWorks 3 months ago
Griffith was absolutely right. While the sheriff's office was located in Mayberry, their jurisdiction was the whole county. The sheriff is an elected position and Andy is beholden to the voters. I imagine to only way to "fire" a sheriff is by a recall or some action initiated by the state.
Andybandit 3 months ago
I liked Mayor Pike. He always had Andy's back and he was a nice guy. The new Mayor was rude and getting Andy in trouble. I didn't like him. Sorry about that.
Load previous comments
FLETCH Andybandit 3 months ago
Nothing to be sorry about. Mayor Stoner is incredibly annoying
Gary harlow1313 3 months ago
Of course, you do.
Zip WordsmithWorks 3 months ago
Well, in all fairness to Mayor Stoner, the band was pretty bad. :)
LH WordsmithWorks 3 months ago
Andy got even with him when he got Aunt Bea’s bed jacket AND ol’ “eagle eye Annie” outta Mayor Stoner!!
Maverick66 3 months ago
I wonder if Griffith told Leonard, "You beat everything. You know that?" (As he did to Mayor Stoner in Parley Baer's first episode).
Pacificsun 3 months ago
I think it was wise to keep the Sherriff autonomous. The fact that he was, was a good counterpoint to Andy Taylor using so much restraint in how he exercised his authority. The problem with an elected official is that politics gets in the way. And AG probably had a good instinct about not introducing that element. SL did well with the Mayor figure however. He was a little bit of a goof, meaning being annoyed over trite things. Which did add a bit of conflict that TAGs needed occasionally. Afterall, the people of Mayberry also needed some kind of recourse for their issues. So it was a good balance.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?