Monday, September 20, 2010

Mayberry Mondays #19: “The Camper” (02/10/69, prod. no. 0121)

Each week on Mayberry R.F.D., loyal viewers would rarely be surprised to see the male role models from that show—city council head/poor dirt farmer Sam Jones (Ken Berry), gas pump jockey/village idiot Goober Pyle (George Lindsey) and pedantic county clerk Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson)—whiling away the hours by hanging out at the quaint little establishment of Mayberry’s resident fix-it savant, Emmett Clark (Paul Hartman). Now, I frequently joke about this situation but there is seriousness behind the mockery. I can understand that Goober would have plenty of free time on his hands—and to a lesser extent, civil servant drone Howard—but I’m constantly flummoxed as to how Sam can spend so much time in Emmett’s and have it not seriously affect his farm. My father grew up on a farm, and as he never misses a chance to remind me through slumber-inducing anecdotes, it was work, brother, work! So unless Sam receives a nice, fat subsidy from the government his showing-up at Emmett’s is highly suspect—that spread of his should be on the auction block in no time. (As irony can be quite ironic sometimes, next week’s R.F.D. episode is entitled “Sam the Expert Farmer”—so perhaps we’ll finally learn the secret of his success of farming through neglect.)

Anyway, I brought up the weekly koffee klatsches at Emmett’s because in this week’s Mayberry Mondays, our four heroes will spend time not at Emmett’s humble establishment…but in cramped quarters in the recreational vehicle of the episode's title, “The Camper.” The proceedings kick off with the preparations for this excursion, which finds Sam, Howard and Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (Frances Bavier) discussing what provisions they’ll need for their trip:

AUNT BEE (peering into the refrigerator): …and what about breakfast?
HOWARD: Well, we’ll probably have flapjacks and bacon…unless we catch some trout…
SAM (entering the kitchen): What do you mean—of course we’ll catch trout…
AUNT BEE: Well, I’ll get the bacon…just in case…and some cereal and milk…


Since this series is sponsored by General Foods, Aunt Bee better make darn sure that’s Post cereal she’s buying.

AUNT BEE: Now what else will you need?
SAM: Well…let me see…Emmett’s bringing a bunch of stuff to make the stew…uh…better get some fruit…and you might get some candy bars for Goober…


Don’t forget the juice boxes, either.

“You know, it’s been a long time since you men have gone camping,” observes Aunt Bee…and personally, I would have thought that last encounter with the two mountain men would have soured them on any further trips. Howard, it would appear, isn’t the tiniest big gun-shy:

HOWARD: I’m really looking forward to it…fresh air…

Times Square…

HOWARD: …campfire…good friends talking over old times…nothing in the world like it…
SAM: No…you know, we’re really lucky to have such a great group of guys…
HOWARD: Yeah, you can say that again…you know, there aren’t many friendships that have survived the hurly-burly of life like ours have…


Uh-oh…just as Howard is mincing down Memory Lane, it would appear that there’s a disagreement in progress between Sam’s heir to the vast Jones estate, Mike the Idiot Boy (Buddy Foster), and his geeky pal Harold, played by (according to the IMDb) up-and-coming boxing phenom Richard Steele…or as frequent TDOY commenter Philip Schweier has so hilariously dubbed him, “Fishface”*.

MIKE: Who says?
HAROLD: I say! It’s my quarter…
MIKE: I saw it first!
HAROLD: You did not!
MIKE: I did too! You didn’t see it—how come you didn’t pick it up?
HAROLD: I was gonna but you pushed me!
MIKE: I did not!
HAROLD: You’re a cheat…and you’re a dope, too!
MIKE: Well, you’re a double dope!
HAROLD: I’m never gonna play with you as long as I live!
MIKE: Who cares?!!!


Mike, I’m not so certain you want to piss this kid off. He may look like he rides the short bus to school, but again, according to the IMDb, he scored seven knockouts—two of which were repeat customers. The sad thing is, Sam, Aunt Bee and Howard had to watch this little lovers’ spat through the kitchen window…

AUNT BEE: Oh, dear…
(Mike storms into the house by the back door)
SAM: Mike…Mike! What was that all about?
MIKE: Oh, that dumb Harold…I’m through with him forever!


Mike even threw Harold’s engagement ring back in his face, so you know this is serious. Aunt Bee calls after him, but Sam suggests she let him stew in his own juices:

AUNT BEE: Oh, I’ve never heard them argue like that before…
SAM: Well, you know kids
HOWARD: Oh, I wouldn’t worry about it, Aunt Bee…(Chuckling) Well, thanks for the boots and the fly…I gotta be goin’, I’ll see you Saturday…
AUNT BEE: Sam, I hope you’re right about Mike and Harold…it’d be a shame if Mike lost such a close friend…he did sound awfully mad
HOWARD: Yeah, it did…I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but never a double dope…


Sam and Howard have a hearty guffaw at this, but Aunt Bee—as is her wont—looks sad and concerned. The scene then shirts to…oh, I know this is going to be a tremendous surprise…Emmett’s Fix-It Emporium and Rumpus Room, where the inestimable Mr. Clark hands over a canteen to customer Sam, acknowledging that it “shouldn’t leak now.” (Well, unless you were to do something crazy and try to put water in it.)

EMMETT: Hey—have you fellas seen the camper we rented? Goober’s got it over at the gas station…
HOWARD: Hey, yeah…it looks just great…
SAM: Yeah…
EMMETT: I’m sure ready to go…you know, you single guys don’t know how great it is to get off with the boys…of course, that statement is not to leave this room…


“Sara…could you connect me with Martha Clark, please…?” The tension in the shop is then broken by Mike, who saunters in looking like he hasn’t a friend in the world. (Come to think of it—he hasn’t!)

SAM: I thought you were going down to the playground…
MIKE: Nobody’s there…
EMMETT: I just saw Harold headin’ down that way…
MIKE (indignant): I wouldn’t play with him again if you paid me!
HOWARD: Uh-oh…still that way, huh?
MIKE: Anybody want to play checkers?
SAM: No…not now, Mike…hey—if you don’t have anything better to do, why don’t you go on home and start on your homework, huh?
MIKE (he turns to leave): Okay…


When I was a kid, we used to call this the ol’ “If-you’re-bored-I’ll-find-you-something-to-do” gambit…and the fact that Mike gives up without an argument continues to bolster my rock-solid contention that the kid is a cretin. As Sam reaches for a tool on Emmett’s wall and places it down on the counter to pay for it, he tells an inquisitive Emmett that Mike and Harold aren’t working and/or playing well with each other…

HOWARD: You know, Sam—this is getting to be a lot more serious than we thought
EMMETT: Yeah, if it’s been goin’ on for a couple of days…kids generally make up in a day or so…
SAM: Oh, I’m sure everything will work out…
HOWARD: Sam, this isn’t something that ought to be left to chance…
SAM (shrugging his shoulders): Well…nothing I can do about it, Howard…
HOWARD (after a pause): Hey, I just had a thought—suppose we were to invite the kids along on the camping trip with us? Then they’d see an example of how real friends get along!
SAM: Oh, no…no…I couldn’t ask you guys to put up with a couple of kids who aren’t speaking to each other…
EMMETT: Oh, don’t be silly, Sam…the younger generation needs all the help it can get…
HOWARD: Absolutely! And Goober won’t mind


Well, of course not—you’re bringing along two individuals who are only slightly above his reading level. “This is a wonderful opportunity to show these kids the meaning of friendship,” burbles Howard. Sam allows himself to be talked into it—though, to his credit, he did veto the idea at first…but as Emmett so helpfully points out: “The more the merrier, I always say.” (The man is a visionary, forced to walk among those of inferior intellect.)

As they say in the advertising game—let’s run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes. Sam places a call to Harold’s father (James McCallion), who unfortunately is credited only as “Father” but seems quite amenable to the idea. (McCallion, an actor best known for his role as ex-jockey Mi Taylor on the TV version of National Velvet [1960-62], makes his only R.F.D. appearance here…because you just know he and Mrs. Fishface moved the hell out of Mayberry and left no forwarding address the very second Sam and his friends took their son camping.) Now all he has to do is get Harold the Mook on board and he’s guaranteed a clean getaway…

FATHER: How’d you like to go camping?
HAROLD: Hey, yeah!!!
FATHER: Mr. Jones wants you to go along with him…
HAROLD: Oh…is Mike going?
FATHER: Yes, he is…
HAROLD: Well…will we go fishing…?
FATHER: Well, sure…hiking…and sleeping out…
HAROLD: Well…okay, I’ll go…but I’m not talking to that Mike!


And the feeling is mutual with Mike, who announces that he and Harold will not be conversing just before he storms out of the kitchen, leaving Sam and Aunt Bee seated in his wake. What these two kids fail to grasp is…they’re pretty much going to have to talk to one another—because the only other alternatives are a chat with Emmett, a chinwag with Goober, or a sit-down with Howard. Talk about the devil and the deep blue sea…



The day of the camping trip arrives, and Sam finds a cherce spot somewhere out in the North Carolina boonies and it meets with everyone’s approval, particularly Howard, who observes: “I don’t see any ragweed around to trigger my nasal condition.” So the mighty campers get to work with preparing their site; Emmett is a-rarin’ to go, as you can see by the comical chef’s hat he’s wearing in this screen cap:

HAROLD: Why are you cookin’ outside? There’s a stove in the camper
EMMETT: Harold…Hunters Stew a la Emmett Clark is always cooked over an open fire…
SAM: Besides, this way it doesn’t smell up the camper… (Emmett playfully lobs a piece of celery at Sam) Hey—why don’t you boys start collecting some firewood, huh?
MIKE: Okay, Pa…
SAM: How about helping him, Harold?
HAROLD (whining): Do I have to?
HOWARD: Well, Harold—you know, on a camping trip, everybody has to pitch in and do his part…
HAROLD: I don’t mind doing it—I just don’t want to do it with him!
MIKE: Well, I don’t want to do it with you, either!


Hey, you two—I will turn this Mayberry Mondays around and we’ll go right straight back home if there’s anymore foolishness in the back seat! Thus begins the first of several interminable “lessons” this episode will impart…which boiled down to its essence reads “Can’t we all just get along?” Sam, Howard, Emmett and Goober put on a display of “getting along” (calling each other “buddy” and “pal”) that’s so blatantly transparent both Mike and Harold easily see through the charade (and this is quite the triumph for them, as they’re both dimwits)…even resorting to singing a few bars of Cole Porter’s Friendship. (As will soon become apparent, “The Camper” is one of the worst R.F.D. episodes I’ve watched so far…though it’s not quite as wretched as “Youth Takes Over.”)


Inspecting their handiwork and seeing that it’s achieved bupkis in the area of diplomacy, Sam and Company try a different tack…

SAM: Now, look…if you boys want to go on ignoring each other and not having any fun, that’s your business…adults don’t act that way…right, fellahs?
HOWARD/GOOBER: Right!
HOWARD: Gettin’ along…that’s the keynote of friendship…
SAM: Sure! Now take the four of us…


Please! (rimshot)

SAM: …we’ve been friends for years…and it’s no accident, either—we work at it…and we learned a long time ago that it’s silly to argue…

Okay, you knew sooner or later that I was going to put this “we’ve been friends for years” statement under a bullsh*t detector to test its veracity…so here goes…

Of the four, Goober is the veteran sitcom character in the group, having made his debut on The Andy Griffith Show on April 13, 1964 in the TAGS classic “Fun Girls.” Howard is up next; he was first seen on March 14, 1966 in “The County Clerk.” But the two men don’t actually appear in the same episode until “The Lodge,” first telecast September 19 1966—so by that timeline, Goober and Howard have been friends for about two years and five months.

Emmett—or as TDOY commenter rockfish delightfully refers to him, “the anti-Floyd.” debuts in TAGS’ “Howard the Bowler,” telecast the following season (09/18/67). Since Goober and Howard (natch) are both in this episode, they’ve apparently been acquainted with Emmett for about a year and five months.

Sam is the baby of the group—he doesn’t even turn up in Mayberry until March 11, 1968’s “Sam for Town Council”—which was about eleven months ago from the date "Camper" was first telecast. So spare me this “friends-for-years” horse puckey. In fact, let’s just skip all of this altogether—you can see the direction this episode is headed; hostility is going to break out amongst “the four musketeers,” and the wacky complications will ensue…

SAM: The point is…that adults know how to control their emotions…
EMMETT (stops cutting up vegetables and gazes upward): Hey…looks like it’s clouding up…
GOOBER: Boy, I sure hope it don’t rain… (To Sam) I thought you checked the weather…
SAM: Yeah, I did…the paper said clear in the mountains… (Back to Harold and Mike) Now, boys…you just do whatever you want to do…but…try to grow up a bit, will ya? Don’t let every little thing start an argument…
GOOBER: Didn’t you check the weather bureau?
SAM (slightly snappish): No, I didn’t…
GOOBER: Well, it…uh…seems like anybody who’d want to know about the weather would know enough to check the weather bureau
HOWARD: Well, you could’ve checked the weather bureau just as easily as Sam
EMMETT: Howard…why don’t you butt out of this…it’s between them two…
HOWARD: Who asked you to put your two cents in?


Girls, girls…you’re both pretty. And that’s the direction “The Camper” takes—Sam, Howard, Emmett and Goober start crabbing at each other, and when Mike the Idiot Boy asks if they’re fighting they lie through their teeth and say they’re not. I’m not going to go into a whole lot of detail for the rest of these shenanigans because there’s nothing done here that wasn’t done better (and funnier) on your typical Odd Couple outing—a show to which R.F.D. scribes Perry Grant and Dick Bensfield (the authors of “The Camper”) occasionally contributed, notably the classic second season Couple vehicle “Murray the Fink.” So let’s go to the edited highlights:

Because Sam was negligent in checking to see if weather conditions were going to be ideal for their trip, the six of them have to pile into the camper when a thunderstorm kicks up…

GOOBER: Come on, Emmett—when we are gonna eat?
EMMETT: When it’s ready…I can’t get the stove lit…
HOWARD: Boy! It sure is coming down, huh?
SAM: Well, it’ll probably pass over…you know these mountain rains…
GOOBER (smarmy): Yeah, these unexpected mountain rains…
(Emmett bangs on the cook stove in frustration)
EMMETT: What’s the matter with this stove? I can’t get it lit! (To Goober) Hey…did you fill the propane tank?
GOOBER: Well, no…why should I?
EMMETT: Well, you had the camper over at your station for service
GOOBER: Well, sure…I lubed it, filled it with gas, checked the tires, cleaned the air filter, checked the oil filter…
EMMETT: All right, all right…
GOOBER: …washed the headlights, too!


The proceedings then reach a point of high drama when Howard, having ransacked his suitcase, realizes that he’s missing his medication:

HOWARD: Did anybody take my nasal spray?
EMMETT: Are you kiddin’?
(He turns behind him and opens up one of the camper’s windows)
HOWARD: What do you think you’re doin’?
EMMETT: Tryin’ to get some air in here! If it’s all right with you…
SAM: Now, fellas…fellas… (He points at Harold and Mike)
HOWARD (to Emmett): Well, close it…can’t you see I’m coming down with a cold?
EMMETT: You’re always comin’ down with a cold…
MIKE: Are they mad at each other, Pa?
SAM: No…no, Mike…adults don’t get mad at each other… (Chuckling) Say…it’s about time for you boys to put your pajamas on, huh?
HAROLD: Then how come they’re yelling at each other?
SAM: Well…uh…sometimes you get a little…a little…grumpy when you start coming down with a cold…
HOWARD: I'm not grumpy! I only want my nasal spray!


Harold reminds Howard that he had it with him on the drive up, which jogs his memory that he’s left it in the glove compartment. Howard is going to have to go out in that downpour after it, but he has problems getting the door to the camper open...


The search for the nasal spray proves successful, but when Howard tries to get back into the camper he’s continually stymied by the stubborn door that refuses to open with ease. At the same time, Goober brings out a chocolate cake that Aunt Bee has prepared…but when he goes to the door to help Howard back in…



Cue the sad trombone! Poor Goober and Howard…

EMMETT: Ohhh…you fellas sure made a mess out of this…
GOOBER: Well, we didn’t plan it…
EMMETT: I didn’t say you did…
SAM (chuckling): You know…when you think about it, it’s pretty funny…
HOWARD: Not to me it isn’t…
GOOBER (though gritted teeth): I’ve been lookin’ forward to that cake all day…
EMMETT: Why’dja throw it in the mud?


Mike and Harold continue to ask Sam why Howard, Goober and Emmett are quarreling and he continues the S.O.S. that they’re not fighting…they’re just having “a loud discussion.” With everyone at close quarters, the young’uns are going to have to share the same bunk, something that’s bound to turn both of them into ‘mo’s.

SAM (to the others in a loud whisper): Will you guys stop squabbling now? We’re supposed to be a shining example of friendship here…
HOWARD (pissy): Sorry!
GOOBER: What’ll we do now?
EMMETT: Uh, what time is it? Must be midnight…
SAM (glancing at his watch): Seven-thirty…
(The others groan…Howard looks up and grabs what appears to be a sock)
HOWARD: Hey! What happened to my other sock?
GOOBER: It fell in the stew!
EMMETT: My stew!


More commotion results, and again, the impressionable young minds sleeping together want to know what’s happening…Sam again tries to play the whole thing off, and Mike makes him promise to wake them up once a brannigan starts. Then it’s time for the adults to go to bed.

I really feel sorry for Sam…he has to share a bed with Goober, who’s been known to micturate on a mattress from time to time, if you know what I mean. Howard is doing his before-bed exercises, much to his fellow campers’ dismay…

SAM: Howard…you’ll wake the kids…
EMMETT: You won the bed, so get in it
HOWARD: Oh, all right…
GOOBER: Knock it off! I’m tryin’ to get some sleep!
(Howard closes the camper window)
EMMETT: What’re you doin’? We’ll suffocate!
HOWARD: Well, you know perfectly well that I have a nasal condition!
EMMETT (muttering inaudibly): Hypochondriac…
HOWARD: What did you say?
EMMETT: Nothin’!
GOOBER: He said you was a hypochondriac
SAM: Will you all be quiet!
EMMETT (saluting him): Yes, sir! The crew’s captain has spoken…


That’s Captain Wilton Parmenter to you, dogface…drop and…oh…you’re already on the floor…up in the bunk of prepubescent love, Harold and Mike declare that the trip is starting to be fun after all and uncomfortably embrace…

(Shudders) Okay, back to the action below.

SAM: Look…I’m not trying to tell anybody how to do anything…but could we just get some sleep, huh?
GOOBER: Well, I’m tryin’ to…
(The four of them start to settle in…but Howard suddenly sits up and addresses Emmett, who’s on the floor)
HOWARD: And I’m not a hypochondriac, either! (Getting out of bed, he accidentally steps on Emmett, who gives out with a yelp of pain) I want to turn the light off!
EMMETT: Oh, Goober’s closer…Goober, turn the light off…
GOOBER: Leave it on!
EMMETT: Why?
GOOBER: ‘Cause…I always sleep with a night light…


Well, this continues on and on until Sam, the sanest one in the bunch, decides he will turn the camper around and drive straight back home. Just then, his idiot son informs him that he and Harold have kissed and made up. “Great!” is his response. “Go back to sleep!” Sam braves the downpour to get into the cab of the camper and…




…yeah, pretty much what we expected. The only thing that could top all this is that the six of them be devoured by bears…and as you also might have well guessed, we're never that lucky.

So the mighty campers return home from their vision quest, and the too-chirpy-for-words Mike and Harold run into the house for some cookies and milk. The grownups, on the other hand, disembark from the camper, carrying out their gear and avoid bumping into one another by making sweeping and exaggerated “After-you-my-dear-Alphonse” gestures at one another. There is a brief, bright bit of comedy when Emmett rescues Howard’s missing sock out of the stew pot and presents it to its owner, necessitating Howard’s having to wring it out.




I like the disheveled, unshaven looks of these guys…they should maintain that look in keeping with their usual routine of hanging out at Emmett’s or on the Greyhound bus bench…

AUNT BEE: Oh, Sam…it’s just wonderful
SAM: What? What’s wonderful…?
AUNT BEE: Well, the way you brought Mike and Harold together…they’re friends again…


Something tells me they’re a little more than just friends…but I digress…

SAM: Oh…yeah…
AUNT BEE: Well, they couldn’t have a better example than you four…you know, I was thinking about their argument after you left…you know, it’s so typically childish…they take a little thing and then they blow it up…until they’re not even speaking to each other…
SAM (looking sheepish): Yeah…
AUNT BEE: Well, I hope they learned something by it…all part of growing up, I guess…


You don’t have to worry, good people—none of this slop is going to be on the test or anything. The four chums who’ve known each other for, what, eleven months now realize that they’re all just a bunch of big sillies and they let bygones be bygones, going inside the house for coffee…and perhaps something a little stronger to spike the java with when Aunt Bee isn’t looking. And they all lived happily ever after.

Coda time!

Well, there’s really no additional comedy to be mined here—Mike finally gets his stubborn, pig-headed father to admit that the four grownups were having more than just a major disagreement…and that had cooler heads not prevailed Howard, Goober and Emmett would be walking around the wilds of North Carolina as coyote bait. Then Mike says something totally stupid that’s supposed to be endearing and Sam tries to smother him with a pillow…and had he succeeded, it would have been the best episode ever.

Aunt Bee’s presence in “The Camper” moves her up on Thrilling Days of Yesteryear’s patented Mayberry R.F.D. Bee-o-meter™ to nine appearances so far this season…though it really didn’t seem like it was worth the effort—she could have pretty much phoned this one in. Any episode that makes adults look dumb at the behest of smart-assed kids isn’t going to rank particularly high in my R.F.D. pantheon…but it does seem to be held in high regard on TV.com’s top Mayberry R.F.D. episodes list, where it ranks #48. (By the way, at the time I did the write-up for “Howard’s Hobby” that particular installment did not make it into the Top 50 but as of this post it has catapulted into the #40 position. I don’t know if there was an orchestrated campaign to beef up its ranking as a result of my review but if there was I’d like to commend those involved for doing so. Clearly you know a good R.F.D. outing when you read one.) Next week—an episode that is currently sitting at Number Five with a bullet: “Sam the Expert Farmer.”

*Here's the explanation.

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6 comments:

Stacia said...

Girls, girls…you’re both pretty.

Augh, no way! I have been saving that line up until there was a Mayberry Monday where it fit and you beat me to it!

I am not a fan of kid actors or kid-centric sitcom episodes. That said, your screencap of Fishface is PRICELESS.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

That said, your screencap of Fishface is PRICELESS.

What's so funny is that I got that purely by accident...but as soon as I saw that kid's freakish maw I shouted "No more calls, we have a winner!"

mndean said...

How you ever manage to sit through Mayberry R.F.D. even for purposes of snark is beyond me (I feel the poverty-study speech of Robert Greig in Sullivan's Travels welling up now). When I was a small kid and this show came on, I couldn't find a book to read fast enough.

I second the aversion to kid-centric episodes of old sitcoms (except certain kid-centric sitcoms, of course). I watched a particularly gruesome Trouble With Father (thanks for the link to that, he says with sarcasm), with the kids learning lessons from their parents and a special treat, Willie Best in a role that wouldn't have been out of character during his Sleep 'n Eat days.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

How you ever manage to sit through Mayberry R.F.D. even for purposes of snark is beyond me

Oh, Lord-a-mighty...some weeks it's not easy. I've already glanced at next week's saga, "Sam the Expert Farmer," and how this one manages to rank #5 in popularity among R.F.D. episodes at TV.com is a mystery Miss Jane Marple couldn't solve. Judging by the number of people who've both commented and e-mailed me to say "I don't remember anything about that show" I suspect the people voting over there haven't even watched the episodes either and just randomly chose shows they thought they might enjoy.

As my past comments on moppet thespians like Margaret O'Brien have no doubt illustrated, my tolerance for child actors has always been at a particularly low level...though I do second your approval of kid-centric sitcoms (I watched a bunch of Dennis the Menace reruns a good while back and was pleasantly surprised that the series was better than I remembered). I've seen four episodes of The Trouble with Father in total, and that's as many as I can stomach in this lifetime...though I did get a kick out of seeing a young Sheila "Zelda Gilroy" James.

Toby O'B said...

The solo screen capture for Harold is fantastic - somebody should snap it up for a Facebook profile pic! But I liked the repeat fish-face with Emmett: made me think Harold was trying to wish him into the corn field.....

Lainie said...

I never watched Mayberry RFD, although I was a fan of the Andy Griffith show. I recently started reading the Mayberry Monday blog and love your wit and wisdom. I think the writers were just phoning it in- just enough effort to get the paycheque. But as for casting! Did any of them ever even watch TAGS? It grates on my nerves when a character is used for any and all of the characters, as you can see on this episode. James Mccallion played Arnold Bailey's dad - Dr Lou Bailey. WHY IS HE NOW FISH FACES DAD?
Why did Arnold stay in elementary school even after Opie was in high school. Come on!