‘The Andy Griffith Show’: The Series Finale Wasn’t Special, But Served One Specific Purpose

by Emily Morgan
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When The Andy Griffith Show ended after eight seasons, there were no goodbyes— for the characters, it was just another typical day in Mayberry.

However, there was a purpose behind the finale’s anticlimactic moment.

In the finale, farmer Sam sponsors his former Army pal Mario to come from Italy and help him on his farm. Unfortunately, Mario brings along his father and sister as well, without Sam’s approval. 

As Sam is about to suggest the family might be better in a more spacious town, Andy talks Sam into letting them stay. The new arrivals love the quaint town of Mayberry, and the sleepy town has taken to them as well. They agree to stay in Mayberry, although they’re never seen again on the spin-off show,  Mayberry, R.F.D.

Why Mayberry Lost Its Iconic Sherrif On ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

Andy Griffith, who played the show’s protagonist, announced he would be turning in his character’s fictional badge following season eight. Meanwhile, Mayberry R.F.D. was revealed to be a spun off from The Andy Griffith Show.

When asked why he left the series, Griffith told the Archive of American Television in 1998, “Barney Fife was gone, and the show had gone into color from black and white,” Griffith said. “And it was getting like a regular situation comedy. And I was afraid I wasn’t holding up my end of it any longer. Also, I wanted to try my wings outside.”

Griffith’s manager agreed the series had been tiring on Griffith. In an interview with Richard Kelly, he said“Andy had gotten to the point where he was physically and mentally tired and felt he couldn’t add any more to the character,” he said.

The beloved show left television as quietly as it arrived. Instead of long, drawn-out speeches, the final episode served as the pilot for its spin-off. In addition, the familiar faces of Goober, Emmett, Howard, and Aunt Bee would also appear in the new series. 

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