Although the series and both of its spin-off's aired on CBS, Return to Mayberry aired on NBC and had huge ratings putting in solidly in the top ten for TV movies of all time. The next season Andy Griffith would make his debut as Matlock on NBC and many think this movie helped revive has acting career.
Frances Bavier, who originally played Aunt Bee in the series, was ailing and homebound when this movie was made. She considered recording a brief audio segment but decided against it. Another actress does that part, which is heard as Andy lays a flower on Aunt Bee's grave
Although Elinor Donahue (Ellie Walker) and Jack Burns (Warren Furgeson) were alive and still acting at the time this film was made, neither character was included. None of the Mayberry RFD characters Ken Berry (Sam Jones), Buddy Foster (Mike Jones), and Arlene Golonka (Millie) were included. Other notable absences were Hope Summers (Clara), Howard McNear (Floyd), and Paul Hartman (Emmett) - all were deceased by 1986.
Ken Berry was set to reprise his role as Sam Jones but could not due to his commitment to Mama's Family which was on at the time.
In this episode. Sam, is standing in front of his barn. A White Barn. Yet, in the previous episode #248 (A girl for Goober).Goober, tells his computer date, about his painting skills. He says, a Red Barn is a Red Barn. I just painted Sam's last summer.
Sam's friend arrives on a Union Pacific train, even though Union Pacific goes nowhere near North Carolina.
Before agreeing to fill out the computer dating form Goober mentions he had been seeing Juanita. This is probably the same Juanita from the diner that Barney used to flirt with on the phone back during the first five seasons.
Buddy Foster is Jodie Foster's brother. He co-starred as Andy Griffith's son in the feature "Angel in My Pocket".
As Howard is letting Goober into his house for the party, the shadow of a crew member's head can clearly be seen on the wall in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
The airplane Aunt Bee flew was a 1956 Cessna 182A, registration number N5955B.
Aunt Bee took lessons from "Mac Donald's Flying School." At the beauty shop, she was reading "Aviation Journal" when others were reading magazines such as "Home Decor."
When Andy and Barney are leaving the McCabe house Andy pushes Barney into the car thru the driver's side door and the reflection of a boom mike can clearly be seen in the windshield.
One of the general themes of the Andy Griffith show demonstrating moral character of the individual. This particular episode was memorable, as Opie tries to make good after breaking a bottle of perfume, replacing it by spending all his savings, and then finding out the perfume bottle that was broken had contained colored water, not expensive perfume.
The stage manager instructed Aunt Bee that there are 2 cameras, and that she should smile towards the one with its red light on. But as Andy and Opie watch her show on TV, they see her occasionally pause, affect a smile, and cut her eyes left and right before settling on one of them -- never looking at the one that's obviously doing the actual broadcasting.
In this episode when Goober is talking to Opie he twice mentions that he is 36 years of age. This episode was broadcast on Christmas day 1967. That would mean Goober was born in 1931. However, in the episode "The Case of The Punch In The Nose", Goober told Barney he was 5 years old in 1946.
Opie takes his guitar and AMP to Emmit to adjust them. I may be wrong, but he appears to have an acoustic guitar!
The epilogue had Howard coming to Millie's defense again. A persistent customer was hitting on her. His response to Howard's showing of fists was to hit him in the stomach. Andy let the guy go. Why didn't he arrest him? This guy threw the only punch. He was definitely guilty of harassment and assault.
The name of Mayberry's bowling team is The Mayberry Rollers. This name is never mentioned but you can see it on the patch on the front of their bowling shirts.
When Howard goes back on the second night to bowl his final ball, the opposing team comes back wearing their bowling jerseys, even though they are not bowling.
This first episode of the final season focuses almost entirely on Opie, a pattern established in the very first season with "The New Housekeeper". Producers felt that Opie was the most relatable character of the series and would help bring in new viewers so they ran episodes that focused on Opie in the first episode of every single season.
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Sitcoms, altruistic behavior, southern comfort, for the aarp crowd, feel good comedy