Tag Archives: tv

46. The Andy Griffith Show–Whistle While You Watch

28 Jun

Before “Splash,” before “Apollo 13,” before “Happy Days,” an adorable, six-year-old Ronny Howard charmed Southerners (and Yankees alike) as Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show.” He’s maybe the first and last non-Southerner to emulate the accent without causing native’s ears to bleed while screaming “The horror! The horror!” Or maybe that’s just me. Even now, I’m nostalgic for his “Awww Paaawww…” I have never actually heard a Southerner refer to their father as “Paw,” but who cares? Opie can do no wrong. (In case you are wondering, I believe fathers in the South are most frequently called “Daddy” pronounced “Dead-E.”)

For some reason, Southerners got into the habit of calling Andy Griffith “Andy Griffin.” (Hey, maybe that explains why I can never remember whether the infamous D-lister is called Kathy “Griffith” or Kathy “Griffin.”) I, for one, always wondered why the show was called “Andy Griffith” rather than “Andy Taylor.” Yes, I have since figured it out.

Growing up in the boondocks, I was always a little jealous of the town folks in Mayberry. Where was our bullet-less deputy? Our lovable drunk? Our chatty barber? Sure, as a teenager I wanted my MTV like a good Gen-Xer should. But when I was little, I wanted my Aunt Bee. (Although I must say my aunt Tommie was infinitely more fun. Especially when she switched the contents of her all-day giant sipping cup from Coke to wine coolers, due to the “New Coke” debacle.)

The most lasting lesson I learned from Andy Griffin was Barney’s motto: “Nip it! Nip it in the bud!” Of course it took more than a few non-nipped situations to make me realize the wisdom. But these days, I am quick to get out the scissors. There’s a reason one of my favorite things to say is “Goodbye.” (However, I should note that this is also one of my least favorite things to say.)

After a decade and a half living as a Southern ex-pat, you will not likely find me whistling “Dixie.” But I still do a mean rendition of the Andy Griffin theme song. It’s almost as good as this parrot’s.

Who’s your favorite Mayberrian?

26. Hee Haw (Hoots, Hollers & Hooters, Oh My!)

15 Feb

If you grew up in the South in the 70s, chances are you have fond memories of watching Hee Haw. Sure, it’s as corny as a can of Green Giant niblets but that’s part of its charm. Besides, where else are you going to see busty, scantily clad women touted as family entertainment? Certainly not Hooters.

Seeing as how Hee Haw debuted long before plastic surgery and Wonder bras, I’m still a little baffled as to how they managed to create such spectacular cleavage. I must admit that as a girl one of my goals (besides becoming a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader) was to grow myself some Hee Haw boobs. Fortunately, the Daisy Dukes and low-cut halter look was out of fashion before I reached adolescence.

If I were to watch Hee Haw today, I’d probably get all self righteous about how Southern people ought not be portrayed as simple-minded buffoons (or should i say donkeys?), but back in the day, I thought all those Dixiefied sketches were a hoot. Maybe even two hoots (i.e. slightly funnier than a hoot and a half).

While music lovers appreciated the “Pickin and Grinnin” combo of Buck Owens and Roy Clark, I was always partial to songs with meaningful lyrics. For example:

Where oh where are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over and thought I found true love.
You met another and pfft you were gone.

Sorry, I can’t provide the tune, but just imagine this sung in the twangiest twang since Foghorn Leghorn.

Or how about:

Gloom, despair and agony on me.
Deep, dark depression. Excessive misery.
If it weren’t for bad luck. I’d have no luck at all.
Gloom, despair and agony on me.

Is it any wonder I became a fan of The Smiths?

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