Synopsis: Otis (Hal Smith) falls as he is exiting his cell and aggravates an old football knee injury. At first, it seems like a minor incident. However, when the accident report is notarized, the lawyer convinces Otis to sue the county for $5000 because he would be doing Andy (Andy Griffith) and Barney (Don Knotts) a favor by convincing the county the jail needs new renovations.
The Andy Griffith Show Episode Review: "Otis Sues the County"
A review of the season 5 episode that first aired in December 1965.
Very Clever and Funny
One of the things that really intrigued me about this particular episode when I started watching it was the fact this show was made prior to America becoming sue-happy. And, as a result, it was somewhat interesting to see how Andy and Barney would handle the situation, especially since Otis is a friend of theirs.
What really made this episode entertaining though was the fact nobody could remember what exactly happened to Otis at the time of the incident. Otis himself was recovering from his usual drunken state and didn’t know if he was tripped, slipped on something or fell for another reason. And, the only unbiased witness that happened to nearby, Floyd (Howard McNear) was too preoccupied with something else to pay attention.
Adding to the overall enjoyment was Novello’s performance as the attorney Neil Bentley. I loved the way he portrayed the character as being very charismatic but, at the same time, you could tell he was greedy and only after money. This was important, I think, because it does let Otis off the hook a bit when it comes to his lawsuit. Had he simply filed it looking for money, I think most people would lose some respect for the otherwise loveable recurring character. However, because he was only acting because a fast talking attorney convinced him it was a great way to help his friends, he really didn’t have a whole lot of blame to shoulder, especially when he remembered exactly what happened and quickly cleared everything up.
Probably the most memorable scene from this episode had to be Barney trying to get Otis drunk so he could get a confession. The conversation that ultimately got recorded between the two of them was hilarious and even my oldest daughter, who usually doesn’t like watching this show with me, was laughing.
This is an entertaining episode with some very funny moments and a great twist at the end. It is one of many that keep making me a fan of this classic television series.
My Grade: A
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