Ever wonder why Sheriff Andy wore a cast for two episodes?

We're used to seeing Andy slappin' wrists, not injuring his!

Read to Me

In "Aunt Bee the Warden," the funny premise finds town drunk Otis Campbell serving out his typical sentence not in the Mayberry jail, but in Sheriff Andy's home.

This is necessary because the Mayberry jail is full, and Andy has no room for the jail's most frequent occupant. He also doesn't have time to be in two places at once.

That's how Aunt Bee comes to serve as a guard over Otis in the Taylor home, keeping a watchful eye to make sure he serves his sentence.

"Aunt Bee the Warden" is an unusual episode of The Andy Griffith Show for a big reason other than Aunt Bee filling in as law enforcement. It's also one of the few times you actually see the Mayberry sheriff holding a gun — every Mayberry fan knows that Andy was a lawman who famously had no use for guns.

But perhaps the most unmissably out-of-place aspect of this episode is that, throughout it, Sheriff Andy's hand is all bandaged up. On the show, the audience is told that Andy hurt his hand valiantly fighting off criminals. It's seemingly just a minor detail the writers incorporated, choosing to not ever use it as a sight gag or play it for a joke.

However, it's long been whispered that the cast came on not as a creative choice but because Griffith actually hurt his hand on set one day. What actually happened is behind the scenes, the story goes, Griffith got upset and put his hand through a wall. To finish filming, the writers supplied the improvised explanation and Andy appeared throughout "Aunt Bee the Warden" wearing a cast.

Now, The Andy Griffith Show is not terribly big on continuity. At the beginning, Andy and Barney are cousins, but by the end, connected only through the bond of friendship. The actress who played Opie's beloved housekeeper in the first episode eventually comes back as a totally different Mayberry resident. Heck, even Andy and Opie go through slight character changes as the series goes on.

So clearly, one episode does not necessarily build on any other. It's more that when all The Andy Griffith Show episodes are taken together, they tell a tale of a place in time that many enjoy revisiting time and again. It's the stuff of a fond memory, not an ongoing adventure with an epic conclusion.

However, in the very next episode of The Andy Griffith Show, there is Sheriff Andy again, still wearing the cast from the prior episode when he supposedly got wounded in the line of his official duty. In this episode, the cast doesn't get a backstory, as it's already been explained in the previous episode.

That's not a common occurrence in this TV town where every day and every episode resets the clock, and the prior day's events are rarely referred to again. It's also a little bit of an eyesore in idyllic Mayberry where we rarely see anyone get seriously hurt. (Feelings got hurt way more often, but everything always got smoothed over in the end.)

By the next episode, "Andy and Barney in the Big City," the cast is off and long forgotten, and funnily enough, we actually get to see the boys go on an adventure with an epic conclusion — catching a jewel thief!

So whatever you want to say about The Andy Griffith Show, just remember: predictable it was not

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?


Post a comment
MrsPhilHarris 10 months ago
I think continuity with regard to how long Barney was a deputy. Barney has different middle names.
TomBurkhart 10 months ago
nah,he fell outta bed and broke his wrist........LOL
Wiseguy 10 months ago
"However, it's long been whispered that the cast came on not as a creative choice but because Griffith actually hurt his hand on set one day."

Of course, it wasn't a "creative choice." They wouldn't have gone to the trouble of putting a cast on his hand and then just explain it away. It would have been relevant to the plot of the episode and we would have probably even seen the injury happen.
Pacificsun 10 months ago
There was never any need for continuity in these shows. Most series were "happy" if they made it to the 2nd or 3rd season. (Most did not). And mainly because writers and directors changed. As did availability of actor-characters. If they had ever been so concerned (or distracted) they never would’ve met deadlines. Putting an episode together is complicated, meaning about coordination and maximization of peoples’ time. From concept to presentation, elements of an episode were often in simultaneous in development, per department!

However it's fun for us now because such shifts track the development and the maturity of the show in different ways. And (as the MeTV writers do so very well) is figuring out how the changes (sometimes coming from real life) are responsible. In the PM case a lot of those exceptions (which the actor powered through) were mysteries for a long time. Unless researched via the making of the show or actor's biography. Have enjoyed those kinds of books, especially around ST, before the fandom became massive!
Wiseguy Pacificsun 10 months ago
There can be some indications of continuity in any series. Even on The Honeymooners, Ralph reminded Alice and Norton of Norton's sleepwalking in a previous episode. In an episode of Amos 'n' Andy, the Kingfish was hiring a secretary and reminded Andy of what happened the last time he hired a secretary which was shown in an early episode.
MikefromJersey Pacificsun 10 months ago
I enjoyed your post. I would just say that there are series with a "Bible" with detailed histories
of the characters, plots etc for reference by the cast and writers/directors new to the series.
However you are right, some stuff you have to get from the star's bios etc.
if you were writing for Bonanza, the series "Bible" would tell you Little Joe had four brothers,
which might come in handy. Now before everyone jumps on me, it's true, Joe had 4 brothers.
And I am offering a date with Juanita from the diner if anyone here can name them.
I predict no one gets this one, especially these MeTV Quiz guys.
Pacificsun Wiseguy 10 months ago
True. 😉 And just to add to the conversation! The shows mentioned were less complicated productions, with fewer episodes. Maybe the same writers?? Or the series creator might track what was going on.

I'm just saying on those more involved productions (like TAGS) a lot of things are going on simultaneously, lining up stories, creating teleplays, coordinating sets, guests, wardrobe, blocking, etc.. Meaning a lot (more) details require attention, and unless there's a script (including continuity) supervisor (position) who's very apt, minor things aren't as important.
Pacificsun MikefromJersey 10 months ago
The subject of a Bible (or Cannon) is fascinating unto itself. For awhile ST:TOS had one. Mostly in GR’s head. But fans fleshed it out quickly, in order to fully enjoy the series, and profess expertise. Norman Felton asked Sam Rolf to develop one for MFU as part of the pitch being made to Network Executives. But the series never had enough time to flesh it out. Then for other types of shows, there is a long term development in the form of a Story Arc. A grand plan from pilot through season by season to a finality. To some degree Dallas had one. But depending on actor complications, seasons needed to be reshaped. It’s funny but MeTV writers haven’t gone much deeper into the subject than at the point of “continuity” conflicts. But mostly they focus on sitcoms anyway.
Pacificsun MikefromJersey 10 months ago
Who was the fourth brother on Bonanza?
Mitch Vogel (born January 17, 1956) is a United States former child actor who left show business at the age of 20. He is best known for his 1970-73 Bonanza role, where he played the teen orphan Jamie Hunter Cartwright.

Mitch Vogel | Bonanza Wiki | Fandombonanza.fandom.com (just to be honest about my answer)!! 😉😉
MikefromJersey Pacificsun 10 months ago
Mitch Vogel, as you note, was Little Joe's bro, but I didn't mean "who was the 4th brother on Bonanza", as in Adam, Eric(Hoss), Joe and Jamie. Rather, Joe had 4 brothers! Ha, ask those guys
at the Bonanza site to renew their Bonanza credentials, they ain't getting a date with Juanita
as a prize. They don't even rate a peck on the cheek from Hop Sing.
The MeTV guys, phooey, they never rise to a challenge, but maybe someone here will come up
with the name of Little Joe's other brother.
jo 10 months ago
A little birdie tells us all the noise coming from AG's is not from prize fights on the radio. Most be true, I read it in "Mayberry After Midnight"
LisaLoveSlough jo 10 months ago
That's the same section that had Andy getting engaged to Helen via the Count. I wonder if she contributed to any of the "noise."
JHP 10 months ago
Gee and I thought I was the only one that the lack of continuity was irritating
dbalius 10 months ago
Linda Purl told me many years ago that Griffith had quite a temper, so I can believe he put his hand through a wall very easily. She also was very glad to get off Matlock.
Drich 10 months ago
I once read on another outlet somewhere that Andy broke his hand while on set because he had heard on the news that Kennedy had been assassinated during rehearsals 🤷
MichaelSkaggs Drich 10 months ago
The timeline is all wrong. JFK died on November 22, 1963. Andy Griffith wore the cast for the two episodes in March, 1962, and most likely at the time, they filmed the episodes six to eight weeks in advance.
stephaniestavr5 10 months ago
I wonder if Andy punching his hand through a wall, wasn't the inspiration behind Mike Nesmith doing the same thing?!?! He got wind of this story and figured "That's one way to get a point across/to let off some steam. If it worked for the Sheriff of Mayberry, It'll work for me!" {I know these incidents happened years apart, it's just a thought!}
I know the inspiration behind the punch, {I even think Mike said something like "This could've been your face," but I think I'm wrong about this;} was Don Kirshner, and how mad he was at him. The correct word I should've used was "idea."
You’re not totally wrong about Nesmith threatening Don Kirshner. But Mike actually uttered those sinister words to Herb Moelis, who was Kirshner’s lawyer. Admittedly, Kirshner was a jerk but he never tried his heavy-handed tactics on Kansas. Those boys from the Midwestern US would have flattened Don in a millisecond.
SalIanni 10 months ago
There was a little continuity in the episodes during the 5th season. The 2nd-last episode is "Opie and the Carnival" where Andy pursues a pair of crooks who tried to con Opie at a carnival. The next episode "Banjo Playing Deputy" begins at the same carnival where Andy finds guest star Jerry Van Dyke looking for work.
MrsPhilHarris SalIanni 10 months ago
I always thought the Banjo episode should have come before Opie at the carnival.
Tony MrsPhilHarris 6 months ago
I think it was meant to introduce Jerry Van Dyke as the new deputy before he went with "My Mother, the Car" instead. Also, I believe it was the final B&W episode.
MrsPhilHarris Tony 6 months ago
You are probably right.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?