‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Carl Griffith, Andy’s Dad, Once Made a Brief Appearance in Mayberry

by Joe Rutland

There were a lot of interesting guest stars over the years on the classic TV show The Andy Griffith Show that would include a unique one. Would you believe that Andy Griffith was able to put his own father in an episode? Now he does not play a prominent role in this show. Yet the fact that Griffith found a spot for his dad Carl to appear is pretty cool. It’s just another great story from the world of American entertainment.

Let’s turn back the clock to an episode titled The Farmer Takes a Wife. The episode happens to also have another classic TV star playing a key role in Alan Hale Jr. This was before his three-hour tour turns into a headache on Gilligan’s Island. Hale happens to play farmer Big Jeff Pruitt and he’s looking to get hitched right now. One problem: He needs a wife. Plus the guy has to learn about being more than a farmer.

Look Closely In Episode of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ to Find Andy’s Dad

What about Carl, you say? OK, you have to watch really close to see him. In a scene that puts Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor alongside Big Jeff, Carl is shown coming out of a clothing store named Carroll’s of Mayberry. You just have to look to your left away from Andy and Jeff. In that instant, you’ll see Andy Griffith’s dad take a turn on his son’s popular sitcom. We get more from MeTV. Andy did work with his father in the Mt. Airy (N.C.) Chair Company as Carl was a carpenter. It would bring both of them closer together, and family is a theme of the TV show.

Speaking of family, did you know that Griffith once owned a dog named for a distant family member? Lemley Gilbert is this person’s name, according to another MeTV article. A bunch of previously never published photos featuring Griffith help fill in some details. In a couple of these family photos, there is a puppy that makes his appearance known. Reading the photo captions helps solve the riddle as the dog’s name is Lemley Gilbert. The man would be a Baptist minister, too, in his life.

Meanwhile, one of the show’s most popular families happened to be the Darling family. As you might remember, these cats would roll into Mayberry with some sweet bluegrass music on their minds. Charlene Darling, played by Maggie Peterson who recently died, would be a little man crazy sometimes for Andy’s affections. As we mentioned, the Darlings would play bluegrass. Would you believe there was a real bluegrass band playing those musical instruments? Yes, sir, old Briscoe Darling’s boys were actually the Dillards.