The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968)
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Stranger in Town 

"Stranger in Town" is an episode of The Andy Griffith Show starring Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, and Don Knotts. 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:
... Andy Taylor
... Opie Taylor (as Ronny Howard)
... Barney Fife
William Lanteau ... Ed Sawyer
... Floyd the Barber
George Dunn ... Pete
... George Sapley (as William Erwin)
... 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 <> / 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?


Howard McNear played Floyd Lawson throughout the show except here, where he was initially played by Walter Baldwin. Here, Floyd is a sleepy, laid back individual, but thereafter an excitable individual. 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 »


Barney Fife: Next time I want a haircut, I'm gonna stick my head in a pencil sharpener.
Floyd the Barber: Yes, sir, and it'll fit, too.
See more »


The Fishin' Hole
Written by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer.
Performed by Earle Hagen.
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 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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