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Small Town Police

Mayberry, North Carolina - The situation comedy THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW/CBS/1960-68 follows the day-to-day events in the small North Carolina town of Mayberry.

Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife - THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW
Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife

Mayberry's principal citizen is Andy Taylor, the easy-going town sheriff. who rarely used a gun. Andy would rather talk his way out of a situation than resort to violence. An article in The National Sheriff's Magazine called him "the sheriff without a gun."

Assisting Andy was his cousin Bernard "Barney Fife" (Don Knotts). Because Sheriff Taylor wouldn't trust Barney with a loaded gun, for fear of accidentally shooting himself or an innocent bystander, Barney never carried a loaded gun, but rather kept one bullet in his left shirt breast pocket.

The only time Narney used his gun was to start the potato sack races for the annual Mason's picnic. Barney was jokingly called Barney the Beast, Barney the Fierce, Crazy Gun Barney and Fearless Fife by his fellow townsfolk's.

Someone in town wrote the following limerick on the side of the Mayberry bank: "There once was a deputy called Fife, Who carried a gun and a knife. The gun was all dusty, And his knife was all rusty, Because he never caught a crook in his life."

Otis Campbell (Hal Smith), the town drunk was a regular at the jail. He had a self-service arrangement with Andy Taylor. Whenever Otis had too much to drink, he voluntarily came to the jail, grabbed the keys to the cell, and settled in for the night to sleep off his binge.

Deputy Barney Fife, Otis Campbell and Sheriff Andy Taylor - THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW
Barney & Andy struggle with town drunk Otis Campbell

Other visitors to the jail were Andy's little boy, Opie and Aunt Bee Taylor who dropped on baskets of fried chicken lunches for Andy, Barney and sometimes, the prisoners. Aunt Bee became Andy's housekeeper and surrogate mother for Opie after Andy's wife died.

When Barney Fife left Mayberry for a job as a detective in Mount Pilot, his position was filled by Deputy Warren Ferguson (Jack Burns), an equally bumbling character.

Whenever Andy needed extra help, he deputized town locals like gas station attendant, Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors); his cousin Goober Pyle (George Lindsey), a car mechanic; and even Otis Campbell.

Andy and Barney patrolled the town by foot but when they needed a car, they drove a four-door black and white Ford Galaxie sedan (license plate: JL-327).

Eventually, Andy left Mayberry, but he returned years later and once again became sheriff with Barney as his deputy. 

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