Synopsis: Feeling a bit overwhelmed, Floyd (Howard McNear) is excited when another barber, Bill Medwin (Herb Vigran) offers to open up a second chair, work on commission and supply his own customers. However, when he notices the same customers going into the barbershop daily, Andy (Andy Griffith) begins to suspect something is amiss and soon realizes Floyd’s new partner is really running an illegal gambling business.
The Andy Griffith Show Episode Review: The Bookie Barber (1962)
A review of the season two television episode that first aired in April 1962.
My wife had to go into work a little earlier today so I wound up taking our youngest daughter to school before heading into the office. As a result of this, I had a little extra time this morning and, realizing it had been a while since I watched this show, decided to bring up an episode on Netflix.
I was surprised when I came across this one and realized I had never watched it before (I thought I had seen all the series’ early episodes). After watching it for the first time, I have to say I enjoyed it quite a bit.
I think the thing that I found I really liked about this episode was the way it used Mayberry’s innocence as comic fodder (without crossing any lines that would make it offensive). This started with Barney (Don Knotts) dismissing Andy’s concerns by saying the new barber’s repeat customers just had a compulsion complex (which he mispronounces, of course) and included Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier), among others, mistaking horse names for women and betting odds for times.
At first, I wasn’t sure about Barney’s decision to dress up as an old lady to infiltrate the gambling ring, mostly because it is something I’ve seen in plenty of other episodes (and at least one Don Knotts’ movie). But, I must admit, it wound up being pretty funny, especially when he was trying to sell his character by talking about his fictional daughter-in-law.
It might be because I watch a little too much Law & Order, but I did question whether or not his ruse was really legal, considering he did it without prior authorization from his superior and without any sort of warrant. But, given the comedic nature of the program, I’m going to overlook that this time and just be glad I took the time to watch the episode.
This is an entertaining episode that I definitely enjoyed watching. I’d recommend taking the time to watch it if you get a chance.