We like to have “Family Television Night” at our house, and are always looking for good family movies and television shows to watch with our young children. We’ve seen a little bit of everything, from Disney classics like The Princess and the Frog to utter silliness like the tutu-wearing lumberjack from The Tooth Fairy 2. One thing we’ve noticed is that really good shows (translation: they keep the kids’ interest and still teach a positive lesson) are few and far between.
Recently, however, my wife had a brilliant idea. “I used to love watching old classics like Dick Van Dyke and The Andy Griffith Show with my parents,” she told me excitedly. “Let’s try it out!”
So we did. At first, our seven-year-old daughter was shocked as the fuzzy image came onto the screen. “It’s black and white,” she cried incredulously.
“Of course,” I said cheerfully. “This show is a classic!”
She wasn’t sure at first, but after a few minutes of watching the two of us laugh at Barney Fife’s ridiculous antics and Opie’s mischievous ways until our sides hurt, she couldn’t help but laugh along with us. And you know what she did the very next night? She ran through the house shouting, “Andy Griffin! Andy Griffin! Pleeeeeeeaaasseee!!!!”
I was so thrilled that we’d found a new show, I didn’t even have the heart to tell her she was saying the poor man’s name wrong!
The thing is, they just don’t make television shows the way they used to – and that’s a real shame. Because wholesome programs like Andy Griffith do much more than entertain us, they open our eyes to a different time, a different way of life, a different pace… and help us to learn a couple of very important lessons:
1.) It Don’t Take Much to Be Happy – My favorite scene of the pilot episode comes just before the ending credits, where Andy and Aunt Bee are sitting on the porch. Aunt Bee is knitting, and Andy is singing with his guitar. That was all they had as far as entertainment, but they were just as happy as could be… maybe our kids need to realize that all the gadgets and background noise really aren’t a necessity – and yes (as my iPhone buzzes angrily at me… again…) we could probably stand to be reminded of this ourselves!
2.) A Little Humility is a Good Thing – As I experience the show again, I am so impressed with Andy Griffith’s humility. These days it seems that everyone wants a big name and lots of respect, and it’s so refreshing to see this pillar in the community (the town sheriff) not let pride get to his head. In one episode, Barney cries, “We don’t want the state police to think we’re just a little hick town!” To which Andy laughs and says, “Now come on, Barney… isn’t that about the size of it?” I loved this line, and was reminded that deciding not to take ourselves too seriously can increase our influence, rather than diminish it.
So long story short – I don’t know which shows you enjoy watching with your kids these days. But as for me and my house – we’re watching Andy Griffith!
How About You?
What classic television programs do you still enjoy?
12 thoughts on “Andy Griffith’s Wisdom & “Funny Bone” Still Delights Young Hearts”
My kids are all older now but I when they were younger we watched all the classic musicals together- Oklahoma, Carousel, Music Man…..the list goes on. It gave them a love of musicals that lasts today.
Aren’t those old musicals the best? Love it!
I watch Andy Griffith almost every night. I love them even though I seen each one many many times. Have a great day and weekend John.
Sometimes you just can’t beat those quality shows from yesteryear…thanks, Levi!
I love Andy Griffith! I think somewhere along the way Hollywood decided that to keep kids interested they needed to do creative things with animation, make it spectacular. All they really need is a story.
I remember several years ago my grandsons spent the night at my house. We rented a couple movies, one being the last Rocky movie. My young grandson fell asleep and the older one and I watched Rocky. It was a great movie! Afterwards, we started watching the animated one, and he and I looked at each other. He said, grandma, this seems kind of weak compared to Rocky. We can be done. All that to say, the story is the most important thing. Doesn’t matter black or what.
Thank you for sharing!
I agree, Rhonda! My daughter always begs me to tell her stories while we’re driving in the car (no car tv for us!)…and she loves it! Kids really are looking for great stories!
The bigger question is what classic TV shows do I NOT enjoy? I love (almost) all of them! 🙂 Excellent post!
Thanks Rachel, and I wholeheartedly agree!
🙂 I think the only classic TV I don’t care for are the hour long crime dramas like Perry Mason. Blah! 🙂
My kids and I have loved Andy for awhile now! I am blessed to hear you are enjoying it, too! Even my oldest (16) sits and watches as my nine-year-old is just getting into it again. Classic tv never goes out of style. 🙂 Great post!!! Thank you!!!
It’s so true…these shows have lasted the test of time for good reason!