The Andy Griffith Show

Season 8 Episode 15

Howard's New Life

Aired Monday 9:30 PM Dec 18, 1967 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

Write A Review
out of 10
37 votes
  • Tired of his mundane job as County Clerk, Howard sees a documentary about life in the Carribean and decides to leave the rat race and live on an island.

    It's kind of odd to think of anyone considering life in Mayberry a rat race where people have to work all the time. Most people think of Mayberry as a sleepy little town that is just the type of place people escape to, not from.
    In any case, Howard picks up all his belongings (they fit in a suitcase) and moves to an island, already inhabited by island rats like Harry Dean Stanton! His time on the island includes the only dream sequence I can recall in the entire history of the show. It's kind of odd Howard makes this move and there is no reaction from his mother. This is kind of inconsistant with the rest of the series (though in "Howard and Millie" mom is also nowhere to be found). A nice moment comes when Opie visits Howard to get his bike license renewed and asks Howard if he expects to still be in the County Clerk's office in 20 years. In "Return to Mayberry" that's exactly where we find him!
  • The shy home boy follows the rainbow, and it leads right back home.

    I was finally prompted review this episode after it recently aired on TV Land, but it's long been a favorite (and of my older brother's too).

    After spending an evening with Andy and company and watching a TV travelogue about the Carribean, Howard dreams for the island life. After giving it some thought, he quits his job, packs his bags, says good-bye to his friends, and moves there. Once there, he finds it isn't all it's cracked up to be. The island's residents aren't terribly friendly, and there's nothing to do except except soak up the sun. In a dream sequence he loses his mind from boredom, and Andy and Aunt Bea visit and are shocked to see him in this state. Aunt Bea asks how he could give up a good job and decent life for this, and then he wakes up, realizing he made a mistake. Next thing you know, he's back in Mayberry. Andy says, "What about following the rainbow?", and Howard says his pot of gold is right there in Mayberry.

    The part about this episode that attracts me is that Howard at least pursued a dream. It wasn't quite what he expected, but he ventured, and only then realized how lucky he was, not altogether unlike George Bailey in the classic movie "It's A Wonderful Life". Not all of us can feel that way about our own lives or our own jobs, mind you, but seeing this episode might plant a seed of courage in those of us who yearn to break out of our ruts and at least pursue the life for us, whatever it may be.
  • The Grass is Greener..

    For Howard Sprague fans in particular. This episode finally allows Howard to break out of his mold as the timid and oh so correct county clerk. Howard sees a travel program at Andy's and begins to dream about what life would be like if he made a bold move. When he looks around at the sameness of his life, he realizes that he needs to make soem dramatic changes. He quits his job, packs up his things and heads off to Tahiti, to live a life of simple things and adventure. The trouble is that when he gets there, he realizes there is really nothing to do, and no one to talk to. In a hysterical dream sequence he imagines what he would be like if he stays there a long time. The next sequence is Howard returning home to Mayberry and with an exquisite close up, "my pot of gold is right here in Mayberry" It's a poignant moment, and one that does try to teach a lesson about looking at one's life in a new way. This is a timeless message, and one that is still topical today. A must for Howard Sprague fans (of which you can tell I am!)