The Andy Griffith Show

Season 1 Episode 10

Ellie for Council

Aired Monday 9:30 PM Dec 12, 1960 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
35 votes

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Episode Summary

Discovering that the Mayberry Town Council is comprised entirely of men and that no woman has ever been on the council or even been considered, Ellie decides to throw her hat into the ring - sparking a full-blown battle of the sexes!

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  • Andy undergoes a Scrooge-like transformation.

    In this episode the population of Mayberry becomes divided into two hostile camps defined by gender on learning that pharmacist Ellie Walker intends to run for town council. There follows a Lysistrata-like insurrection of the women and Andy reacts by spewing male chauvinist pig rhetoric. That is, until he hears his son Opie parroting these comments and his eyes are opened to his shameful attitude. Andy publicly confesses and a small step is made on the long road of social progress.

    Ahead of its time and even Andrea Dworkin would have approved. It is regrettable that Andy would not deal with the issue of racial segregation as he did with gender bias.

  • An episode that hasn't dated well

    In the very early episodes of the series, Andy Griffith plays Andy Taylor as a bit of a rube. He talks with an exagerated accent and is hardly the all-knowing Andy we've come to love.

    With this in mind, all is wrong in Mayberry. Otis is in jail--not for drinking, but for taking a swing at his wife with a leg of lamb. Luckily, he missed and hit his mother-in-law in the mouth with the mutton weapon. Marital violence doesn't exactly spell comedy, even in Mayberry.

    During a conversation between Andy and his date Ellie, he expresses of the most condescending ideas about women since Ralph Kramden declared himself 'king of the castle'. Sure, it's small-town America in the pre women's lib era, but to hear it come out of Andy's mouth is quite ugly.

    Luckily, they quickly fine-tuned Andy's character and soon he would be THE smart guy in the town full of kooks. Until then, we have these few odd episodes that seem to not fit with the rest of the series.moreless
  • The Politics of Mayberry!

    There just isn't too much that is funny in this episode. The episode is very dated and is actually quite disturbing to see our Andy profess such sexist views. Andy's speech at the end is alright, but a half-hearted endorsement of a woman's right to run for office isn't a truly ringing endorsement. I've given it a 4.5 rating--only because it's important to see how people USED to think about things.moreless
Florence MacMichael

Florence MacMichael

Hilda Mae

Guest Star

Frank Ferguson

Frank Ferguson

Sam Lindsey

Guest Star

Mary Treen

Mary Treen

Clara Lindsey

Guest Star

Hal Smith

Hal Smith

Otis Campbell

Recurring Role

Elinor Donahue

Elinor Donahue

Ellie Walker

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Otis (about fighting with his wife): She threw a dish at me!
      Andy: You swung at her with a leg of lamb!
      Otis: I missed her!
      Andy: But you hit her mother.
      Otis (smiling): Right in the mouth …

    • Andy (exasperated): Otis was right - the only thing they understand is a leg of lamb!

  • NOTES (2)

    • In this episode Otis is in jail not for drunkenness, but assault (with a leg of lamb). This is the only time we ever see Otis in jail for anything other than being drunk.

    • Growing up in a more "PC-rated" time, younger viewers may not see this as an early TV editorial on feminism, but it was. Although not as far-reaching as the slightly-earlier and more radical Maverick, this episode, showing Andy's personal growth, was part of a large chorus calling for change. Andy, after all, always gravitated toward professional women who worked and thought for themselves - things which are sometimes taken for granted now, but which were the exception to the rule in the b&w America of the 1950's and early-'60's - especially in rural America. Seeing the "rural rube" Andy played in the beginning of the series actually change was a necessary part of change - especially since it occurred because Andy was concerned for the future - as viewed through the prism of Opie's young troglodyte attitude. Change happened on TV before it happened in reality. Remember, women weren't exactly burning their bra's yet - but this tiny, fictional change was a part of that long, slow process. And in the end, the women of Mayberry did bring about change - and the world went on, which perhaps was the message.