The final day of filming on The Andy Griffith Show

The last episode filmed was not the last episode that aired!

Television shows, like all good things, must come to an end. That's the sad reality facing viewers everywhere who fall in love with long-running series. Other than The Simpsons, Hollywood has yet to crank out anything that can be wrung out in perpetuity, delighting audiences forever. 

While the citizens of Mayberry would live on to see more adventures in Mayberry R.F.D., the far more popular Andy Griffith Show wrapped production on February 21, 1968. The last day of shooting was for an episode titled "A Girl for Goober," the 249th episode in the series.

Even though it was the last episode to be filmed, "A Girl for Goober" wasn't the final episode aired on TV. That distinction is held by "Mayberry R.F.D.," an episode that sets up the spinoff. 

Journalists from a wide-ranging list of publications were on set to document the historic conclusion. According to Daniel de Visé's Andy and Don, Griffith met the reporters warmly but with little to say.

"I felt strange this morning," Andy told the reporters. "It was the same when Don [Knotts] left, three years ago."

One reporter noted that the cast and crew looked "as if [each] adjust finished running a thousand miles." 

Griffith wondered aloud, "I don't know what I'll do next week."

Luckily for young "Ronny" Howard, he wasn't yet an adult, so his options weren't quite so open-ended. Howard returned to Burbank public schools the following Monday to finish out his education.

Right around four o'clock that afternoon, the crew of The Andy Griffith Show filmed its final scene. 

Here's an excerpt from TV Guide reporting on those final moments of production:

"For one last time, Sheriff Andy Taylor stood silhouetted against the jail-cell mock-up on Stage 1 at the Desilu Studios, a six-pointed silver star pinned to the left breast of his gabardine uniform."

Griffith reportedly struggled to stay in character as he delivered his final line filmed for the show. It was a question posed to Goober about his date: "Are you gonna see her again?" 

Then, the cameras stopped rolling, the lights stopped shining, and Andy Griffith stopped being sheriff of Mayberry. He left the soundstage and removed his badge. 

That evening, 251 guests descended on Griffith's golf club in Toluca Lake for a wrap party. Andy Griffith kept his speech short while tears rolled down his cheeks. "Well, it's been awfully good. It's been the best eight years of my life. I'll see ya again."

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11 Comments

Redeye 3 months ago
Griffith lost his country persona and he just seemed like he was hacked off playing the character near the end.
EDREIMER 4 months ago
Went to Mount Airy for Mayberry reunion, This Brings, back memories when I was a Kid Watching Andy, Griffin and The People in this Town is so nice
John 4 months ago
Try buying, leading some more te episodes.
Regular viewers are growing weary
Snickers 4 months ago
Has to hard when you have done a show for years and then sadly it's all over. The people you work with for years suddenly move on to different projects and you wonder will you ever work with them again.
LoveMETV22 4 months ago
What a memorable series. However during its filming there were moments between shooting scenes that the cast could relax and be themselves. :


Pacificsun LoveMETV22 4 months ago
Thank Goodness there was a time in life when people felt they could be themselves. This one is so nicely done, when the pictures speak without a need for external commentary. TY for finding it!
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 4 months ago
A bit off topic:
Reminiscing. How time has flown. Remember last year when you and I did a little thing for Halloween and the Christmas season. That was fun.



Pacificsun LoveMETV22 4 months ago
OMG, the ambition was flowing freely last year. If I probably still have the distribution list. I wish we had Watch Parties. It would be fun to pick a Svengoolie favorite and write some trivia questions around it!! Thank you for reminding me of your outstanding graphic art! And for being such a Good Sport!!
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 4 months ago
OMG. Funny you mention Svengoolie. Have you ever visited the Svenggolie page/website. They use the same commenting system as this(MeTV) Stories & Quizzes. However all the conversations there are under their blogs. There are a group of regulars there that comment every Saturday night during the movie. I visit it sometimes, but generally watch the conversation for an hour at most. But they look like there having fun.
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 4 months ago
That's very neat to hear about!! Yes, websites and blogs and conversations really help cement a fan base. Because it generates Loyalty!
Runeshaper 4 months ago
Wow! That sounds like a very emotional moment for Andy Griffith and I can totally understand why. It must be an incredibly stressful time. I'm glad he kept making movies and TV shows.
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