Opie and Arnold find an abandoned baby on the courthouse steps. Afraid that it will be sent to an orphanage, they try to find a home for it.

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, (as Sid Mandel)
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Opie Taylor (as Ronny Howard)
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Sheldon Collins ...
Arnold Bailey (as Sheldon Golomb)
James McCallion ...
Dr. Lou Bailey
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Mr. Garland
Janie Kelly ...
Mrs. Garland
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Storyline

When Opie and his friend Arnold Bailey find a baby apparently left on the courthouse steps, Opie's reaction is to tell his father. Arnold says he's read Oliver Twist and they should just find him a good home rather than put him in an orphanage. Opie agrees and then goes door to door around town asking people if they would like a baby. Word soon gets back to Aunt Bee who tells Andy the time has come to have a chat with Opie about the birds and the bees. Andy dreads the thought and just as he is about to do so, salvation walks in the front door of the courthouse. In the end, he decides to have the chat with him anyways, though it was perhaps not necessary after all. Written by garykmcd

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Comedy | Family

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21 November 1966 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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The first of 2 appearances by Jack Nicholson on "The Andy Griffith Show" before he became a superstar--the 2nd is Episode 7 from Season 8. See more »

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Jack Nicholson's first guest appearance on "The Andy Griffith Show:
21 July 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The episode called "Opie Finds a Baby" is a reflection of the prudish, up-tight nature of television the late 1960s and the embarrassment that adults feel when called upon to discuss with their children the origins of life.

Opie and his pal Arnold get up one morning around 6:30 AM to go fishing. Andy is awakened by Opie playing with a battery powered radio while grumpy Aunt Bee packs him a lunch and wonders why fisherman must arise at such an early hour. Andy comes downstairs looking grim and Opie leaves to join Arnold. As they pass the sheriff's office in downtown Mayberry, the boys spot a basket setting on the first door step. They discover a baby in the basket. Naturally, Opie says that they need to tell his father about the baby. Initially, Arnold objects because Sheriff Taylor will have to put the child in an orphange and Arnold warns Opie that orphanges are bad places for children. He cites the Charles Dicken's novel Oliver Twist as an example. Instead the boys decide to see if they can find the baby some parents. Meantime, they disguise the basket laden baby in a grocery cart and smuggle it into their club house in Andy's backyard.

Arnold and Opie set about trying to recruit parents, but they create a storm of controversy. Opie approaches Helen Crump, his school teacher and Andy's girlfriend, about having a baby and she gets embarrassed. Similarly, Arnold tries to convince Goober about taking the baby off their hands and poor Goober is equally embarrassed by this proposition. Helen and Goober catch Andy at home with Aunt Bee and explain their predicament. Aunt Bee tells Andy that he must tell Opie about the birds and the bees. Andy is none too enthusiastic about this chore. The boys feed the baby a bottle of milk, but Opie tells Arnold that they are running out of time and he will be forced to tell his dad. Nevertheless, the boys canvass the neighborhood and try to recruit parents. Word of their efforts reaches Aunt Bee and she calls Andy. Even Sarah, the town switchboard operator, mentions it to Aunt Bee.

Andy inquires of Arnold's father if he has told Arnold about the birds and the bees. Arnold's father says no that he hasn't. Opie comes home and Aunt Bee summons him and sends him to see Andy. Opie makes Arnold accompany him with the baby in the grocery basket. Arnold waits outside while Opie enters and Andy awkwardly tries to tell him the story. About half-way through the story, the Garlands--Jack Nicholson plays the harried father--arrive at the courtroom and Mrs. Garland is frantic because she cannot find the baby. They burst into the courtroom and ask Andy about it. Opie tells them that the baby is outside with Arnold. The Garlands are reunited with their baby boy who is apparently none the worst for wear. Naturally, Andy warns the Garlands that he will have to report the incident to the sheriff's office at Mount Pilot--presumably where the Garlands are from and that foster care will get the baby the next time they exercise poor judgment.

Nicholson shows up during the last ten minutes of the show as the upset father. Andy sends the Garlands off and resumes his story about the birds and the bees to Opie. Helen drops in as Andy finishes up and Andy feels really good about fulfilling his fatherly duty. Outside, Opie tells Arnold that his father didn't bawl him out. Instead, he reports that Andy told him about where children come from and Arnold inquires if Opie told his dad that he already knew. Opie states that he didn't want to make his dad that he already knew. What a hilarious ending!


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