‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Christmas Episode Featured Actors Who Later Returned for Different Roles

by Allison Hambrick
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The Andy Griffith Show is known for its particular brand of feel-good comedy, with a reliable cast of quirky characters. From Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife to Gomer Pile and Floyd Lawson, the show has no shortage of likable characters.

While this is normally the case, fans did dislike one minor character: Ben Weaver. Now, Weaver acts as an instigator on the show. He always has something to complain about. Unsurprisingly, this is even the case in the show’s acclaimed holiday episode, “Christmas Story.”

In “Christmas Story,” Weaver accuses Sam Muggins of selling moonshine. Andy tries to get out of jailing Muggins and his wife over the holiday, but Weaver is relentless. As a result, Christmas is brought to the jail. After seeing the festivities, Weaver then tries to get himself jailed.

Interestingly, the actors featured in the episode appear more than once. However, they don’t play the same characters. Sam Edwards and Margaret Kerry played Sam and Bess Muggins, while Joy Ellison played their daughter Effie. Later in the same season, all three actors appear once again in “Andy Forecloses.”

In the episode, Weaver once again causes trouble. He wants Andy to kick a family out of a house he owns because they are behind on their rent. Edwards, Kerry, and Ellison play the family, called the Scobeys. Of course, Andy finds a solution that keeps them from losing their home.

Additionally, they aren’t the only actors to appear in multiple roles on the show. In fact, one actress, in particular, played 13 different roles.

The Andy Griffith Show Actress with the Most Roles

Aside from the main cast, Mary Lansing appeared on The Andy Griffith Show more than any other actor. She was such a fixture on the show that fans may not realize that her 13 characters were different. 

Her most notable role on the series was Martha Clark, who recurred on the show. In fact, Martha Car was even brought over to the spinoff series, Mayberry R.F.D.. Before Lansing became Clark, her roles were largely one-off appearances. While many of her appearances were spread out, two aired back to back. One week she was Mrs. Lukens, owner of a clothing store that Aunt Bee frequents. The next, sh was Mrs. Rodenbach, a woman getting her hair done. Other characters Lansing played on The Andy Griffith Show include: Miss Primrose, Miss Roundtree, Dorothy, Mary, and Mrs. Mason. 

If The Andy Griffith Show had a subreddit, there would for sure be theories about Lansing. Maybe she plays the town black widow. All of her characters had different last names because she was married so many times over. Or perhaps, like Law & Order, The Andy Griffith Show reuses actors simply because it is easy.

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