‘The Waltons’: Judy Norton Points Out One Set Inconsistency in ‘The Graduation’ Episode

by Joe Rutland

Television shows do their best to make sure every scene looks its best. “The Waltons” star Judy Norton, though, found one inconsistency.

Norton, who hosts a YouTube series called “Behind the Scenes of ‘The Waltons,'” happened to point out one specific set issue in an episode titled “The Graduation.”

“In this scene, when you see John-Boy [Richard Thomas] go to the window and look out the first thing in the morning, you see that there are branches right outside this window,” Norton said. “That caught my attention because when you are outside the house, although there is a tree in the front yard, those branches do not reach far enough to be right outside John-Boy’s room.

“So, obviously, John-Boy’s bedroom was shot on the soundstage,” “The Waltons” star said. “Well, obvious to me because I was there.”

“The Graduation” is about John-Boy’s graduation from high school but the young man needs a suit. Here comes Grandpa [Will Geer] to the rescue with one of his suits. Mind you, Geer and Thomas were not of the same height or weight. This episode first aired on Feb. 21, 1974, in the show’s second season.

‘The Waltons’ Only Had Four Actors Appear In Every Episode

If you didn’t know anything about “The Waltons,” then you might guess that Thomas stayed until the bitter end. He did not.

Even Norton herself didn’t appear in all of the show’s episodes. But four actors did out of the entire cast. Who were they?

Mary McDonough [Erin Walton], Eric Scott [Ben Walton], Kami Cotler [Elizabeth Walton], and Jon Walmsley [Jason Walton] made it into every single episode. For her sake, Norton and co-star David W. Norton [Jim-Bob Walton] appeared in 211 “The Waltons” episodes.

This show found an endearing audience during its initial run. It was not an immediate hit for CBS. Once it started gaining both attention and viewers, the family who is simply trying to survive The Great Depression and World War II in the Virginia mountains was recognized.

Ron Howard Guest-Starring Role Impressed Norton A Lot

When Ron Howard appeared on “The Waltons” as a guest star, it happened to be in a space of time between “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Happy Days.”

Norton found herself becoming a bit of a fangirl when it came to having such a star like Howard on the show. She talked about it in an episode of her YouTube series.

“It was such a thrill to have Ron Howard as a guest on ‘The Waltons,'” she said. 

“I had watched him since the early beginnings of his career on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and various different other shows,” Norton said. “[I] loved him in ‘The Music Man.’ He was just such a talent, right from the beginning of his career.”

Howard would go on to play Richie Cunningham on “Happy Days.”