The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1/ Episode 7: Andy The Matchmaker: November 14, 1960. 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS:
The episode opens with a frustrated Barney quitting as deputy. This will be the first of many times he will hand over his badge – for various reasons before being convinced to stay on. This time he resigns due to a little poem he found on the wall of the bank. He believes it was written by Opie because Opie was seen with the chalk in his hand. Of course there is a problem- six year old Opie can’t write yet. But Barney continues to hand in his badge, pistol, bullet, whistle etc. Below is the poem that hurt Barney’s feelings.
There once was a deputy called Fife
Who carried a gun and a knife
The gun was all dusty
The knife was all rusty
Cause he never caught a crook in his life.”
The problem is- there just isn’t much for a law enforcement officer to do in Mayberry. Barney is feeling useless. He gets on a roll with Andy even saying maybe someone should kill someone ‘not someone we know’- Barney is in peak form. He speaks of getting a job as a brine tester at the pickle factory. Barney says his goodbyes to Andy and the jail- and in walks Rosemary.
Rosemary is an old maid who clearly thinks well of Barney. She calls him ‘Mr. Fife.” Turns out Barney walks Miss Rosemary to church each Sunday. There clearly is an attraction both ways here but both are too shy to make a move. [Which contrasts with the rest of the series where Barney it turns out thinks of himself as a real ladies man’]
Barney leaves and Andy starts working on Rosemary- trying to be the matchmaker between the two. Andy pours it on pretty heavy- and goes into the country hick act again. Annoying.
Andy decides to come up with a fake crime- arranging with Ellie at the drug store- a crime for him to work on- someone robbed the drug store- a mask man with a gun who stole a whole $24. Barney gets over excited and heads out to solve the crime. He is in his glory. Barney ends up ‘solving the case’- by dragging in a stranger who he found down along the freight trains. The stranger is from Tennessee and Andy makes a call to Chattanooga and finds out that the stranger – Tracy Crawford is wanted in Tennessee. Of course the prisoner didn’t commit the Walker crime -because there was no such thing but Barney has stumbled upon a criminal. Barney thinks he can get the prisoner to talk by tempting him with- a nice cool glass of water. When it turns out that Crawford is a big criminal- Barney lights up. The idea of leaving the force is now out of his mind. Barney makes the front page of the newspapers- he’s a big man in town now.
Andy goes back to trying to match Barney up with Miss Rosemary- but Barney is now cocky and seems to think he should look around a bit now. Rosemary brings a blueberry pie over the Andy- Barney is there and Andy changes his tactics. Since Barney isn’t acting on it-Andy acts interested in Rosemary which makes Barney jealous. Andy asks if he can call on her. Barney is ticked off and finally gets around to asking. A nervous Barney asks Rosemary out- and they end up shaking hands on it.
Barney makes this episode work. His character seemed early on to be more formed early on than Andy’s or even Aunt Bee’s. Greatest character in television sitcom history. Miss Rosemary turns out to be another character who just disappears- and in this case probably for the best. There is little chemistry that I see between Barney and Rosemary. It would have been a dull relationship that went nowhere.
- Another one of those stories that goes nowhere as the Rosemary character never appears or is mentioned on the show again. The actress who plays Miss Rosemary-Amzie Strickland would return to Mayberry in four other episodes in the future- as three other women- but never as Rosemary.
- Andy mentions when Miss Rosemary brings him a blueberry pie that blueberry pie is his favorite.
- Aunt Bee had appeared in the first six episodes- she is absent in this one.
- Andy suggests to Barney that he take Miss Rosemary to Snappy Lunch. Snappy Lunch was actually a real place located in Andy Griffith’s home town of Mt. Airy, North Carolina. It is the only establishment in his hometown that is ever mentions in the show.
Andy Griffith – Sheriff Andy Taylor
Don Knotts- Barney Fife
Rony Howard- Opie Taylor
Elinor Donahue- Ellie Walker
Amzie Strickland- Miss Rosemary
Jack Mann- Tracy Crawford
Director- Don Weis
I agree…there was no chemistry between Rosemary and Barney…they just didn’t fit.
Side note…I remember the first time I ever heard Barney’s name. I had two uncles…Fulton…who was a Sgt in the Vice Squad in Nashville…very humble guy and Denver who was a part time deputy in our small town who was abrasive and a show off.
In 1973 or so…I was sitting beside Fulton at my grandparents house talking and here comes Denver coming up the drive hitting his siren… Fulton said “Here comes Barney Fife”…I laughed but I didn’t know what I was laughing about…it wasn’t until later when I found out.
That is a great story- I bet a lot of small towns had/have their Barney.