The ''Stranger'' of Mayberry later became of mayor of 'Newhart'
Really, Floyd the Barber was the true stranger in this tale.
They teach you at a young age to beware of "stranger danger." The citizens of Mayberry, particularly Deputy Barney Fife, take that credo to extremes in "Stranger in Town," one of the earliest episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.
A nice fellow named Ed Sawyer shows up in town… but is he perhaps too nice? Ol' Ed seems to know everything about everyone in Mayberry, and it's giving folks the willies. It turns out, the man, like many of us, was merely a big fan of Mayberry and subscribed to the newspaper. He learned everybody's business through small-town journalism.
A relative newcomer named William Lanteau portrayed Ed Sawyer. The actor only had a couple of credits to his name at the time, but he would remain a presence on television for decades.
His other notable role was one of his last — that of Chester Wanamaker on Newhart. Mayor Wanamaker ran the small Vermont hamlet in which Dick Loudon (Bob Newhart) lived. You might not have matched the Andy Griffith character with this elder fellow because of the glasses — and, well, the intervening years.
So, he wasn't a stranger at all. Really, the only "stranger" that stands out in "Stranger in Town" is a familiar name! Floyd the Barber!
Yep, this is the one episode in which a different actor played Floyd the Barber. It also happened to be the character's debut. Walter Baldwin filled the role for just this single episode. He later went on to play Grandpappy Miller on Petticoat Junction.
In hindsight, he's truly the most shockingly unfamiliar face in Mayberry for that story!