“The Andy Griffith Show” is arguably one of the most wholesome shows in TV history. Much of this stems from Sheriff Taylor’s even-handed way of dealing with things. Whether he was dealing with Opie or Otis, Andy always played fair. He generally stayed pretty calm. In fact, when he got stern, you knew things were serious. It turns out that Andy Griffith may have been a little more hot-headed than his television counterpart.
For two episodes in the second season of the show, Andy Griffith wore a bandage on his right hand. You can see the bandage in “Aunt Bee the Warden,” and “The County Nurse.” It’s explained away pretty easily. In the show, it is said that the sheriff was in a tussle with some criminals offscreen. Even the laid-back Sheriff Taylor has to take action from time to time, after all. The tussle led to a minor hand injury. In reality, Andy Griffith injured his hand in real life. He did so by putting his fist through a wall. The story goes that Griffith got mad while shooting season two of the show and took his frustrations out on a wall.
Andy Griffith’s Injury Forced the Show to Have Continuity
“The Andy Griffith Show” wasn’t big on continuity. In fact, that’s a fairly recent development in television. Back then, most shows weren’t concerned with telling a cohesive story. Instead, they focused on situations in which characters found themselves.
“The Andy Griffith Show” set out to show viewers a day in the life of a small North Carolina town each week. It told small stories about Andy, Opie, and the other residents of Mayberry. When Griffith injured his hand, it caused a short period of continuity in the show. Andy’s moment of behind-the-scenes rage forced writers to think outside the box in order to explain the injury. They couldn’t just ignore it and hope viewers didn’t notice.
The bandage stuck out like a sore thumb. However, it had been explained in “Aunt Bee the Warden,” so it didn’t come up again in “The County Nurse.” Writers relied on the explanation from the earlier episode to carry over into the second. They did so with a couple of lines of dialog that would otherwise be overlooked. however, constant watchers of the show would see Andy’s injury for the second week in a row and remember that the lawman was injured in the line of duty. Other than the bandage, the episodes were as unrelated as any other episodes of the show. But the bandage being there for two straight weeks made things seem a little more real and cohesive.
This creative quick thinking by showrunners is just one more reason why “The Andy Griffith Show” was so good.