I thought it was long overdue to hand out awards centered on the Andy Griffith Show. But, instead of the Oscar, we’ll be giving out the Andy! The statue for the Andy represents a lawman that doesn’t have a gun…fitting image for this prestigious honor.
So picture this…The whole town of Mayberry is gathered in the auditorium at Mayberry High School. Everyone has their Sunday best on. Aunt Bee has on the shawl that Andy bought her for her birthday when he first thought she wanted canning jars. Rafe Hollister has a clean shirt on under his overalls. And Barney…well he’s in the ole salt & pepper of course.
Andy is the host of the awards show and really is uncomfortable with the award being named after him.
The first award of the night is for the category:
- “Best Bad Guy/Bad Girl in a Single Episode Appearance!” The nominees are…
- Big Maude Tyler (Reta Shaw) in “Convicts at Large” season #3 episode #11 – Three escaped female convicts hold Barney and Floyd hostage.
- Luke Comstock (Leo Gordon) in “High Noon in Mayberry” season #3 episode #17 – A man Andy put behind bars returns to Mayberry and Barney deputizes Gomer and Otis to help protect Andy.
- Gentleman Dan Caldwell (Dan Tobin) in “Andy and the Gentleman Crook” season #1 episode #21 – A dapper criminal tries to fool Barney, Opie, and Aunt Bee.
- Little Old Lady (Lurene Tuttle) in “The Shoplifters” season #4 episode #21 – Barney goes undercover to capture a little old lady stealing Ben Weaver blind.
And the Andy goes to…Big Maude Tyler! The scene where Barney dances with Big Maude after he utters the classic line, “you’re starting to get to me,” is as good as it gets.
Our next category is:
- “Best Performance in a “Just Passing Through” Episode!” The nominees are…
- David Browne (Buddy Ebsen) in “Opie’s Hobo Friend” season #2 episode #6 – Opie befriends an easy-going hobo.
- Malcolm Tucker (Robert Emhardt) in “Man in a Hurry” season #3 episode 16 – A stranded motorist becomes frustrated with Mayberry’s simple, relaxed ways.
- Colonel Harvey (John Dehner) in “Aunt Bee’s Medicine Man” season #3 episode #24 – A traveling medicine man comes to Mayberry and captivates Aunt Bee.
- Malcolm Merriweather (Bernard Fox) in “Andy’s English Valet” season #3 episode #26 – An Englishman works off a fine by acting as Andy’s valet.
And the Andy goes to…Malcolm Merriweather! This was a very close race as Malcolm Tucker in the classic episode “Man in a Hurry” finished a close second. But, in the end the British butler brought a bit of culture to Mayberry that had us all laughing…and his performance was good enough to earn him a second episode the next season.
Our next Category is:
- “Best Andy Love Interest not Named Helen Crump.” The nominees are…
- Charlene Darling (Maggie Mancuso) in “The Darlings are Coming” season #3 episode #25 – A backwoods young woman develops a crush on Andy – much to her father’s dismay.
- Karen Moore (Gail Davis) in “The Perfect Female” season #2 episode #8 – Andy dates Thelma Lou’s skeet shooting cousin Karen.
- Ellen Brown (Barbara Eden) in “The manicurist” season #2 episode #16 – An attractive manicurist sets herself up in business at Floyd’s Barber Shop.
- Ellie Walker (Elinor Donahue) in “Ellie Comes to Town” season #1 episode #4 – The new pharmacist refuses to dispense pills to Emma Brand.
And the Andy goes to…Ellie Walker! Another tough category. It’s hard to not to give it to a “looker” like Barbara Eden, but Ellie had smarts and beauty. Not sure why Andy let Eliie get away?
And our final category is:
- “Best Musical Guest Appearance!” And the nominees are
- Big Jim Lindsay (James Best) in “The Guitar Player” season #1 episode #3 – Local country boy guitar player auditions for a well-known bandleader.
- Rafe Hollister (Jack Prince II) in “Rafe Hollister Sings” season #3 episode #20 – Rafe Hollister represents Mayberry at a formal musical event.
- Jerry (Jerry Van Dyke) in “Banjo-Playing Deputy” season #5 episode #32 – Andy hires an unemployed musician to be his deputy.
- Briscoe Darling and The Boys (Denver Pyle) in “Briscoe declares for Aunt Bee” season 4 episode #5 – Briscoe Darling woos Aunt Bee and carries her off to his mountain cabin.
And the Andy goes to…Rafe Hollister! In a mild upset, Rafe beats out the Darlings in this category. When the country oaf Rafe surprisingly exposes his classically trained voice, it made for great TV.
Those are the very first Andy Awards. Do you agree with them? Do you have other categories and winners? Share your thoughts here!
Now let’s all go over to the diner for the after party!