The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1/ Episode 18: Andy, The Marriage Counselor. February 6, 1961. 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS:
The episode opens with Barney in the courthouse/jail reading a book called ‘The Art Of Judo’- and practicing what hs is reading first in front of Andy and then unsuccessfully on Andy. Andy and Barney get called out to the Boone’s -where the husband and wife Fred and Jennie are having a terrible fight. The neighborhood is out in their yard when they arrive. When Andy and Barney go in- the couple are happy to see them and friendly- they are only upset with one another. Jennie had been throwing things at Fred and the room is a total wreck.
The next morning- Barney brings the Boone’s in to jail- on his patrol he came across them fighting again. Andy decides to take the counseling approach. Trying to build a habit he teaches them to speak kindly to one another- ‘Morning Dear, Morning Honey.’
As in a number of episodes their is an Opie equivalent to what is going on with the adults. Opie’s friend Billy is over at the Taylor’s and are wrestling and yelling at each other in the living room. Andy breaks it up and decides to use the approach he took on the Boone’s with the boys. Aunt Bee tells Andy that his approach is ‘brilliant’ and this really goes to Andy’s head. He thinks he has really made a difference with the Boone’s and the boys- as far as ending the fighting.
Turns out the Boone’s while being kind to one another- have turned nasty to everyone else- the opposite of how things had been. Meanwhile Opie and Billy have quit playing together – Andy had given them each a nickle each time they got together and played well- but the boys missed having the fun they used to have- playing cowboys and Indians and playing rough. Andy seeing how things were going with the Boone’s- tells Opie it is alright to go back to the way things used to be with Billy.
Two men who had been playing cards with Fred Boone come in- Fred had punched one in the face and threw a pitcher of water on the other. So Andy makes a trip out to the Boone’s and gets them fighting again since that is what seemed to make the two happy.
The episode ends with Barney again and his judo. He is in a judo outfit- and practicing on a piece of wood. When he goes to break a piece of thicker wood of course all he does his hurt his hand.
- This is a solid episode- highlighted by the opening and closing judo scenes with the always hilarious Barney- and the work of veteran television actor Jesse White who plays Fred Boone.
- This being episode 18 of the series- we are now seeing a pattern in how Sheriff Andy Taylor deals with the folks who are causing trouble- patience and understanding – a very soft approach. Of course in a town like Mayberry the calm approach is effective. Of course we are also seeing Deputy Fife’s approach- good thing he is not in charge -he is always wanting action- to throw the book at the offenders no matter what they have done- even if they have done nothing.
- In a later episode we will find out that Barney was serious with his judo-taking lessons- rather unsuccessfully.
- Jesse White who plays Fred Boone here was a veteran character actor who will no doubt look familiar from many sitcoms in that era. Also for twenty years he played the Maytag repairman on the television commercial. This would be the only appearance of the Boone’s on The Andy Griffith Show.
- Claudia Bryar who played Jennie Boone- would appear in a season 6 episode but as another character.
- The Billy character- will appear again in three more episodes- but not until season 7- when he will be played by a different actor.
Andy Griffith- Sheriff Andy Taylor
Don Knotts- Deputy Barney Fife
Rony Howard- Opie Taylor
Frances Bavier- Aunt Bee Taylor
Jesse White- Fred Boone
Claudia Bryar- Jennie Boone
Forrest Lewis- Cliff
Norman Leavitt- Gil
Tim Stevenson- Billy
Directed by Gene Reynolds
Written by Frank Tarloff
Jesse White is so funny in this episode even with his expressions alone… “a man is just made of flesh and blood you know.”
If you watch a lot of vintage TV, you’ll see Jesse White all the time. He was the original Maytag repairman, remermber?