Watch: The last time Jack Nicholson appeared on a TV show was on The Andy Griffith Show
It's been 50 years since Aunt Bee found Nicholson "not guilty."
It's been 38 years since Jack Nicholson announced, "Heeere's Johnny," in the iconic 1980 movie The Shining. Four years earlier, he won his first Oscar for his role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and since then, he's won two more Oscars for roles he played in hit movies, Terms of Endearment and As Good As It Gets. He's one of the most talented actors working today, but it's likely most people don't remember the last time they saw his intense eyebrows waggle on TV.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Nicholson played a handful of guest parts on TV shows before his movie career took off. That includes spots on Mr. Lucky, Tales of Well Fargo and even a recurring role on Dr. Kildare. Yet despite his reputation for dramatic roles, it was a classic sitcom that served as the final destination for the actor in the television world before he would walk away for good in 1967 and not appear on a TV show since: That show was The Andy Griffith Show.
Nicholson appeared on The Andy Griffith Show twice, once as the father of the couple whose baby Opie cares for in "Opie Finds a Baby." That was just a bit part, but his next role would be much more prominent. In "Aunt Bee, the Juror," Nicholson plays an accused thief on trial in the tiny town of Mayberry and who should be among those sitting on the jury but sweet Aunt Bee.
It turns out that the case against Nicholson's character, Marvin Jenkins, doesn't convince Aunt Bee of his guilt, and she's the last holdout on the jury that otherwise wants to condemn Jenkins.
Not only do Nicholson's performances from the stand serve as rare dramatic moments on The Andy Griffith Show, but the scene that Nicholson shares with Aunt Bee at the end is also priceless. Watch the clip below:
Since appearing on The Andy Griffith Show, Nicholson has narrated an animated TV movie, Elephant's Child, and we've seen him appear as himself on plenty of shows from Saturday Night Live to American Idol. But in terms of actual acting, The Andy Griffith Show was the last TV series to utilize the famous actor.
We can hardly blame him, though. Once you've been to Mayberry, how can any other TV town compete?