Two things stand out about “The Andy Griffith Show,” whose namesake star died this week at age 86.
One is that even today, the series that ran from 1960-68 is still funny because its humor was timeless. There were no topical jokes that require an understanding of events of those times. Instead the laughs stemmed from the various adventures of the characters — Andy, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bee and the rest.
The other takeaway from the show was the decency of Griffith’s character, Sheriff Andy Taylor. Andy always found a way to make others feel good, even if they had done something hurtful to him. The episode where Barney runs for sheriff is a prime example.
Griffith had film success before the series debuted, and more TV success with “Matlock” afterward. But nothing approached “The Andy Griffith Show.” Longtime friend Craig Fincannon said the role of Sheriff Taylor “put heavy pressure on him because everyone felt like he was their best friend.” Not a bad legacy.