A smiling stranger comes to Mayberry - and danged if he don't know everything about everybody, giving the townsfolk a righteous case of the willies.




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Episode cast overview:
Opie Taylor (as Ronny Howard)
William Lanteau ...
Ed Sawyer
Walter Baldwin ...
George Dunn ...
George Sapley (as William Erwin)
Sara Seegar ...
Mrs. Buntley
Jason the Hotel Clerk
Marlene Willis ...
Lucy Matthews
Pat Colby ...
Bill Matthews


While Andy, Barney and the boys fool around at Floyd's Barbershop, the northern bus pulls up, letting off a stranger who immediately comes inside. He mysteriously seems to know Andy, Barney and Floyd and notes little things about them. Perplexed, the fellas follow him over to the hotel as he, along the way, greets other citizens of Mayberry, knowing intimate details about them, too. The man is Ed Sawyer from New York, whom no one has ever heard of. While suspicion leads some to fear he's either crazy or something supernatural - or, in Barney's case, a foreign spy - Andy wants to hold back and wait since the man seems friendly and hasn't done anything outside the law; however, the citizens really begin to lather when Ed tries to buy The Filling Station and court pretty Lucy Matthews (both unsuccessfully). When Ed stops by the courthouse, Andy finally sits him down for an explanation: It seems he had been Army buddies with one of Mayberry's own. Hearing stories about the town, Ed began ... Written by Jerry Dean Roberts <armchairoscars@hotmail.com> / edited by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family





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Release Date:

26 December 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bill Matthews, the guy who starts a fight with Ed, is played by Pat Colby who returns as Jimmy Morgan in The Andy Griffith Show: The Great Filling Station Robbery (1963). See more »


In the long courthouse scene where Ed Sawyer meets Lucy Matthews, the steam heat radiator and spittoon on the floor under the bulletin board change positions along that wall at least four times in one scene. They keep moving back and forth between the glass front bookshelf on the left and the door to the back room on the right. See more »


Andy Taylor: Folks like to take things slow. Some people don't even hold hands in public till they've had their seventh or eighth young'un.
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The Fishin' Hole
Written by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer.
Performed by Earle Hagen.
See more »

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User Reviews

A Misfire from TAGS' First Season
7 September 2015 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

This was a compelling idea for an ANDY GRIFFITH episode, but the result feels a bit undercooked. If Ed Sawyer is so eager to take up residence in Mayberry and fit in with the townsfolk, why does he go around behaving in a way that will be sure to draw suspicion towards him? Who in their right mind would go about frightening people by dropping intimate details of their lives and then walking away as if nothing was wrong? Then again, perhaps Ed Sawyer ISN't in his right mind; but if so, this should have been explored further.

There's an undercurrent here about prejudice and the outsider, a common theme in '50's-era movies and TV shows (see the TWILIGHT ZONE episode "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street"). Andy has a speech towards the end similar to Claude Akin's in "Monsters" in which he calls out the townspeople for their prejudice towards Sawyer. But the material seems strained by the 30 minute format, and the final turn-around comes too quickly. The episode has that overly broad, somewhat simplistic feel common to many first-season TAGS episodes (the townspeople all following Andy around in a huddle mouthing typical close-minded clichés, for example). Yet Andy's role as the level-headed, fair, rational pillar of the community is established, a role he would maintain for the rest of the series.

To sum up, this episode was a valiant effort to tackle a serious theme. Although it doesn't quite come off, it's still an entertaining half hour and worth seeing.

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