The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968)
6 user

Christmas Story 

Crotchety old businessman Ben Weaver wants moonshiner Sam Muggins locked up for Christmas but, after seeing the holiday spirit in Andy's jail, he tries to be arrested himself.


Bob Sweeney


Frank Tarloff (as David Adler)




Episode cast overview:
Andy Griffith ... Andy Taylor
Ron Howard ... Opie Taylor (as Ronny Howard)
Don Knotts ... Barney Fife
Frances Bavier ... Aunt Bee Taylor
Will Wright ... Ben Weaver
Sam Edwards ... Sam Muggins
Margaret Kerry ... Bess Muggins


Christmas Eve gets Barney and Andy excited about getting together with loved ones to enjoy the holiday. Feeling especially generous, Andy lets all the prisoners out of jail for a Christmas break on the promise to return as soon as it's over. Their yuletide joy is only dimmed when mean old Ben Weaver makes a citizen's arrest of Sam Muggins for making a batch of white lightening to put some merry in his Christmas, stubbornly insisting that Sam get the required 24 hours in jail despite reasoning objections from Andy that, after all, it's Christmas. Andy comes up with a plan to arrest Sam's wife and kids on conspiracy charges so they can spend Christmas together in his cell, further bringing Aunt Bee, Opie and Ellie into the courthouse for the party. All night, Ben tries again and again to break into the proceedings, till Andy - after he and Ellie have a lovely sing-a-long of "Away in the Manger" - finally realizes what Ben's up to and arrests him, allowing him to first drop by his store ... Written by Jerry Dean Roberts <bothan2001@hotmail.> / revised by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family







Release Date:

19 December 1960 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mayberry Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Will Wright makes his first of three appearances here as stubborn old Ben Weaver. Previously Wright had appeared as Mr. Johnson on the Danny Thomas Show episode "Danny Meets Andy Griffith," the episode that led to "The Andy Griffith Show." See more »


When Andy is talking to Aunt Bee about Christmas Eve he tells her that "Elinor" is bringing the egg nog. Elinor is the name of the actress (Elinor Donahue). The character was named Ellie. See more »


Barney Fife: Hey Andy, remember the Hubacher brothers?
Andy Taylor: Oh yeah, they sent us a card this year, did they?
Andy Taylor: Yeah, they always send out such nice family pictures.
Andy Taylor: Where are they now?
Barney Fife: Up in State Prison.
Andy Taylor: [looking at the picture on the card] Hey, look at that Elmer.
Barney Fife: He's the baby, ain't he?
Andy Taylor: Yeah.
[reading the card]
Andy Taylor: Merry Christmas from State Prison.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVDs released by Raintree Home Video replaces the classic Andy Griffith Show theme with a generic instrumental song. See more »


Featured in The Andy Griffith Show Christmas Special (2015) See more »


Jingle Bells
Written by James Pierpont
Sung by Don Knotts
See more »

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User Reviews

Sheriff Andy Taylor understood people...
26 October 2019 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

...with the wisdom of Solomon and a feel for the spirit of the law as well as the letter.

The rich grouchy old man of the town - Ben - insists that Andy throw a moonshiner in jail in spite of Andy's pleas that this matter can wait until after Christmas. That not only ruins the Christmas of the jailed and his family, but of Andy too since he and Barney have to stay near the jail to guard him.

So Andy gets the idea to bring Christmas to the jail. He brings in the jailed guy's family, Aunt Bea and her cooking, Andy's current girlfriend, presents, a Christmas tree, and a very skinny Santa who is big in Christmas Spirit - Barney (Don Knotts).

So Ben comes in and out of the jail all day, at first annoyed that the debtor isn't really being punished by being in jail, but later because he is attracted to all of the family warmth of a real Christmas celebration.

Ben comes and goes as a character during the early years of the Andy Griffith show, and nothing is really ever said about his background, but perhaps he has never seen a real Christmas before or experienced real family? The way he acts you could easily believe he was raised by bankers just like Charles Kane was in "Citizen Kane". So what happens here? Watch and find out.

This used to play every Christmas on syndicated TV in Dallas when I was a child back in the 1960s, and it still sticks out as a warm family TV episode. It is absolutely worth seeking out, especially during the holidays.

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