‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Andy and Barney Fife’s Famous Trip to Raleigh Featured Shots of Seattle Instead

by Taylor Cunningham

Close to the end of The Andy Griffith Show season two, our two favorite Mayberry P.D. officers left their Utopian town and headed to Raleigh, North Carolina. Or so they claimed. The episode, titled Andy and Barney in the Big City, ended up being a major goof for the series because the guys were clearly not in North Carolina.

During the episode, Barney and Andy went to their state capital on official business. And Barney quite enjoyed the city life–he even questioned if Mayberry the right home for him.

“You know, Andy, this is where I really belong,” Barney said as he took in the sites and sounds of Raleigh.”Barney Fife in the asphalt jungle.”

But the downtown clips that were featured on the episode looked nothing like Raleigh or any part of the Southeastern region for that matter. Instead, it looked like the guys were all the way on the other side of the country in Seattle.

One particular shot featured the Seattle Tower, The Rhodes Brothers Department Store, and the Savoy Hotel. And of course, you’re not going to find those buildings in North Carolina. But there was something missing from the shot, the Space Needle. The landmark was nearly completed when the episode was filmed. So it should have been featured along the skyline.

The closing credits wrote that Don Knotts and Andy Griffith filmed the particular episode in Culver City, California. And that added even more confusion.

Sixty years later, sleuthing fans are still scratching their heads over the inconsistencies of Andy and Barney in the Big City. And we can only assume the producers grabbed some old stock footage for the shot. Perhaps they thought no one would notice.

‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Stars Once Joked About Lack of Crime in Mayberry

The Mayberry, NC, police officers on The Andy Griffith Show had a pretty cush job. They lived in a perfect 1960s small town where practically everyone took the law seriously. No one liked to give Sherrif Taylor or his goofy deputy any trouble. And when they did, it was usually just a hilarious misunderstanding.

And it seemed like all the residents like living in a safe community. But during a 1996 Today Show interview, Andy Griffith admitted that Sherrif Taylor was bored. He wished Mayberry saw more action.

“You had some bank capers and few things like that,” the actor said. “But nobody got killed!”

But while Griffith would have loved filming high-speed chases and shootouts, he knew those plotlines would have ruined the series. So he accepted the gig as it was.

“Well, though we never said it, and though it was shot in the ’60s, it had a feeling of the ’30s,” Andy Griffith admitted. “It was when we were doing it, a time gone by.”