Comment: I have been a fan of the Andy Griffith Show virtually all my life. I'm 28, so I certainly never saw it during its original airing period.
I was intrigued by an assertion which I read at a website for fans of the show. In the "FAQ" section of this web site, the author, in response to the question of whether in one episode Barney made reference to "happy weed," responds in the affirmative. Purportedly, the reference was to marijuana, and was in the original version of the episode, but has been cut from the syndicated version. However, the explanation offered there was sketchy.
This intrigues me because I do not recall a sitcom of that era which used the subject of illegal drugs as an object of humor. Although I am told that marijuana use was quite prevalent by the early 60's, I did not think the TV establishment of that day would have felt comfortable working marijuana into the script of a sitcom, much less a "wholesome" sitcom like The Andy Griffith Show.
Well, they certainly didn't tap dance around that other illicit drug, moonshine, or its abusers.
I seem to remember that Mayberry had very few black folks for a Southern town. If that was intentional it would seem likely that those responsible would also be uncomfortable with the mention of a drug that was largely associated with blacks before the hippie era.
That said, there is something about that genre of folksy comedy that seems to bring to mind scenes of boys smoking cornsilk or loco weed behind the woodshed.
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A cursory check of a few books devoted to "The Andy Griffith Show" leads me to believe that the only things "significant" about Episode 29, which aired 1 May 1961, are that 1) this featured the first baby born on the show (he was named after Andy); 2) we learn about Barney's service in WWII ("he and a corporal were in charge of more than 3,000 books in the PX library" at Staten Island, NY), and 3) this was the episode that introduced what would become a running gag between the writers -– the inclusion of a rock (of some shape or size) in some episodes (go figure). Nothing's said, though, about "happy weed."
Nevertheless, a few folks on a message-board devoted to (as they say) TAGS tell me that, yes, on some less-edited versions of that episode, Barn does indeed mention to Andy his suspicions about Sam Becker, the quiet farmer, growing an odd crop, but nobody can remember the exact line, nor can they agree on whether Barn even specifically mentions "marijuana" or "happy weed." Yet the Parkersburg, West Virginia, Chapter of The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club is named "Sam's Planting a Little Happy Weed," so –- unless this a "Mr. Ed" kind of thing –- we may be on to something.
This fellow tells me that TVLand has aired the more complete (i.e., relatively uncut) version of "Quiet Sam"; it's on that network that he's heard the line, but he can't remember the precise wording. (He's promised to do what he can to make it available in .wav format, however.) We'll see.
In the meantime, considering that TVLand has just about finished airing all 249 episodes (in sequence; #234 aired today) and assuming that the network will start over again, we should be at Episode 29 in about a month and a half.
I mean, if folks will watch an entire "Leave It to Beaver" marathon just to look for the first instance of a toilet being shown on TV ...
quote:Andy and Barney park at a distance when they arrive at Sam's house. They watch as Sam plows his field in the middle of the night. Barney suggests that Sam’s behavior may be due to the fact that Sam is growing marijuana.
That is somewhat surprising dialogue for 1961, especially in a small Southern town. "I think we wrote the script about the same time marijuana was in the news because Robert Mitchum had been arrested for possession," explains [episode co-writer Everett Greenbaum]. "Barney’s comment was inspired by the extensive news coverage of the incident." [Pg. 6]
Hmmph. Which just goes to show how long it takes news to reach sleepy, innocent, little Mayberry: Robert Mitchum had been arrested for marijuana possession back in 1948.
Bonnie "Citizen's arrest! Citizen’s arrest!" Taylor
-------------------- Se non è vero, è ben trovato. Posts: -99014 | From: Chapel Hill, North Carolina | Registered: Feb 2000
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quote:Originally posted by snopes: Comment: ...I do not recall a sitcom of that era which used the subject of illegal drugs as an object of humor.
Probably the late 60's, but The Beverly Hillbillies had a gag going when some hippies wanted to "smoke some crawdads" with Jethro.
They go out in the woods somewhere to "smoke" and Jethro says, "First we need a little pot" (as in a kettle) and the hippy's eyes light up as the canned audience roars with laughter.
-------------------- No man has a right in America to treat any other man "tolerantly" for tolerance is the assumption of superiority. -Wendell L. Willkie Posts: 3833 | From: Virginia | Registered: Oct 2001
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