The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1/ Episode 16: The Beauty Contest: January 23, 1961. 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS:
Mayberry’s annual Founder’s Day- and Floyd has the idea of adding something new- a Beauty Contest. Andy is chosen as the judge- after Ellie nominated him. Of course Andy misreads Ellie’s intentions thinking she nominated him so he would choose her as the winner. Mistake by Andy who clearly doesn’t know Ellie as well as the viewers do. Ellie doesn’t want to be in the pageant and this causes a rift between Andy and Ellie. It seems everyone in town who has a daughter is tracking Andy down wanting him to pick their daughter or niece. Even Opie has a girl from first grade who he thinks should win. Andy can find no peace- he chased down the street by a mob, Mayor Pike shows up saying he has three daughters and whichever one he chooses is fine with him. Andy is in a pickle. Aunt Bee nominates Ellie – and on her way to the stage tells Andy he better not pick her and if he does she will never speak to him again. Andy hems and haws – before finally coming up with a way out- he chooses Ms. Bishop a lady who had worked selflessly in helping behind the scenes in the pageant. All the girls are crying because they lost but Ellie is happy- Andy made the perfect choice.
The star of this episode- and the character who really saves it [Barney does not appear in this episode] is Floyd The Barber. He has the idea for the pageant and volunteers to write a song and sings that song at the pageant [“Hail to Thee Miss Mayberry] Also this is the show where early on when Andy goes to Floyd for an advertisement for Founder’s Day- wants added ‘Best Clip Joint In Town.’ – Where Aunt Bee was the star in the previous episode- Floyd is in this one. The inconsistent Andy in season 1 continues in this episode. Mid way through this season the viewers see what kind of person Ellie Walker is- but Andy obviously doesn’t. There are also signs of the hick Andy- but in the end he shows some wisdom.
- This will be the only appearance of Erma Bishop in the series.
- Opie’s girlfriend Mary Wiggins- appears in a scene in Floyd’s Barber Shop one of the few times a female will ever be seen at Floyd’s.
Andy Griffith- Andy Taylor
Rony Howard- Opie Taylor
Howard McNear- Floyd Lawson
Frances Bavier- Aunt Bee Taylor
Elinor Donahue- Ellie Walker
Dick Elliott- Mayor Pike
Frank Ferguson- Sam Lindsey
Josie Lloyd- Josephine Pike
Lillian Bronson- Erma Bishop
Joy Ellison- Mary Wiggins
Elvia Allman- Henrietta Swanson
Gail Lucas- Barbara Sue
Yvonne Adrian- Darlene Swanson
Directed by Bob Sweeney
Written by Jack Elinson and Charles Stewart