The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1, Episode 12

Stranger in Town (26 Dec. 1960)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Family
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When a stranger comes to town and knows people's name and all about them, folks become scared and suspicious and want Andy to do something about him. Since Ed Sawyer has broken no laws, ... See full summary »



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Title: Stranger in Town (26 Dec 1960)

Stranger in Town (26 Dec 1960) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Episode cast overview:
Opie Taylor (as Ronnie 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


When a stranger comes to town and knows people's name and all about them, folks become scared and suspicious and want Andy to do something about him. Since Ed Sawyer has broken no laws, Andy refuses. Things get even more curious when he tells Andy that Mayberry is his hometown, even though he has never been there before. After being rejected by everyone, Lucy Matthews in particular, Ed asks Andy for help and tells him how Mayberry became his hometown. As Andy is calling the newspaper with the story, Ed is confronted by a group of townsfolk who want to run him out of town. Andy steps in and tells his story to the crowd, which backs down and welcomes him to town. Written by bobbymaxwell

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family





Release Date:

26 December 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Floyd the Barber was first played by Walter Baldwin. Howard McNear played the character after that. 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 their positions along that wall at least 4 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 »

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User Reviews

I love this show, but feel this episode actually is a bit of a rip-off.
11 October 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Today, I watched a DVD of old teleplays from the 1950s. One of them was "Studio One in Hollywood: The Death and Life of Larry Benson (#6.37)". I was very shocked as I watched, as I soon noticed that this 1954 drama clearly must have inspired this episode of "The Andy Griffith Show"--albeit the Griffith episode was a lot less dark since the show was a comedy. I was even more shocked when I saw the 1943 film "The Human Comedy"--as, apparently, "The Death and Life of Larry Benson" was a ripoff of this MGM movie!! Clearly, this plot lacks originality.

Just like in "Studio One", a guy shows up in town and seems to know everyone--though no one recognizes him. The net effect is pretty .creepy and eventually the townsfolk are curious and furious that a total stranger could take such liberties as to refer to them by first names and act so familiar.

Unlike most episodes of the show, this one isn't particularly funny nor is it easy to believe. While the plot idea worked okay with "Studio One", here in a comedy it seemed to fall just a bit flat. One of the few disappointments in season one.

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