Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mayberry Tuesdays #17: “Driver Education” (01/27/69, prod. no. 0107)

Yes, once again other assignments forced me to transform this into another Mayberry Tuesdays. I swear I need an appointment book or something…

Over at TV.com, if you look up “Mayberry R.F.D.” in their database, you can access a list of what they call “Most Popular Episodes”—installments, I’m guessing, that rank or resonate highest with fans of the series. There were seventy-eight episodes of R.F.D. telecast in the three seasons the show ran on CBS (1968-71), and they rate the Top Fifty here. For our perusal, here are the Top Ten:

1 Howard the Dream Spinner (12/28/70) 9.6
2 Driver Education (01/27/69) 9.6
3 Aloha Goober (03/30/70) 9.6
4 The Bicycle Club (12/07/70) 9.6
5 Sam the Expert Farmer (02/17/69) 9.5
6 Community Spirit (11/23/70) 9.5
7 Millie's Egg Farm (01/11/71) 9.5
8 The New Well (01/26/70) 9.5
9 The New Farmhand (11/17/69) 9.4
10 Millie and the Great Outdoors (03/02/70) 9.4

By what method do they rank these riotous episodes, you may be asking—and could I possibly purchase it in the form of software to download on my computer? Well, I don’t have an answer for that—but you can imagine how excited I was when I saw that this week’s Mayberry Tuesdays episode, “Driver Education,” clocks in the No. 2 slot with a bullet. But is it the second-funniest R.F.D. outing? That, dear reader, is ultimately a call you will have to make.

The episode begins with an establishing shot of a sign that I’m sure will be all too familiar to those of you who were considered “troublemakers” in high school:

I don’t want people to get the idea that I spent a lot of time chatting with the principal when I matriculated at Ravenswood Penitentiary…but it would not be disingenuous of me to say that I could have located the office while blindfolded. (And that I also got my mail there.) But this is not about me—this about city council head/poor dirt farmer Sam Jones (Ken Berry) and pedantic county clerk Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson), who have apparently been assigned an audience with the chief administrator of Mayberry High (Motto: “That SAT stuff is overrated to begin with.”)

SAM (looking around): Oh…well, he should be here any minute…
HOWARD: He didn’t say what he wanted to see us about?
SAM: Nope…just wanted to talk to us about something…
HOWARD: Hmm…


Probably has something to do with Howard’s cruising the parking lot after school’s let out, if I had to hazard a guess.

HOWARD: Hey…memories, huh, Sam?
SAM: Yeah…
HOWARD (walking over and glancing at a football trophy): You used to be on the football team, didn’t ya?
SAM: Oh, yeah…got messed up every week…dear old Mayberry High…


“If you remember correctly, Howard, I was the guy leading the pack that pantsed you and threw you into the girls’ locker room…”

HOWARD: I was on the debating team…
SAM: Uh-huh…I remember that…
HOWARD: That was kind of rough-and-tumble, too…but in a different sort of way…
SAM: Oh, yeah…naturally…you were, uh, you were captain of the debating team—weren’t you, Howard?
HOWARD: No…no, I never made captain, Sam…I always felt I could have made it, though, if I just didn’t have that nasal condition
SAM: Oh…
HOWARD: Teacher…she thought the captain of the team ought to have real clear passages
SAM: Yeah…
HOWARD: …and looking back on it, I can see that it made sense, you know…I mean, there was always the possibility that at the last minute I might have become congested
SAM: Well, they couldn’t take a chance on that…
HOWARD: Nooo…no sirree…


Fortunately, we are spared any further traveling down Memory Lane with the arrival of Mayberry High’s principal, Mr. Adams—who, as you can see, is played by OTR veteran and character great Willis “Bill” Bouchey. Adams is apologetic about being tardy for his own meeting, but explains it by observing: “You know, it seems that no matter how carefully I plan my day there’s always some last minute crisis.”

“Well, that’s understandable,” Howard schmoozes, like the social cockroach he is. “Decisions made by your office affect the whole intellectual life of the community.” (The man hasn’t seen the inside of a classroom in fifteen-odd years and he’s still kissing the ass of authority.) When Adams relates to Sam and Howard that the current challenge he’s facing is whether to lower the cheerleaders’ skirts one or two inches, Sam replies: “And you had to get a Ph.D. for that, huh?”

Hey…I know that lady! That’s veteran character actress Helen Page Camp, a fine performer with an extensive film and TV resume—I remember her mostly for her small but funny role in Cold Turkey (1971) as the crossing guard who’s jonesing for a smoke so bad she chews out this little girl who starts to cross the street before Camp has given the high sign. For the purposes of our presentation tonight, Ms, Camp will be playing the part of Parents’ Association president Mrs. Corcoran in the first of three Mayberry R.F.D. appearances (not, however, as the same character).

ADAMS: Mrs. Corcoran is here to enlighten us on the subject today… (To Mrs. Corcoran) Oh, won’t you be seated, please…
(Adams starts to sit down but when he notices Mrs. C has made no effort to follow his lead he stands up again)
CORCORAN: Ah, yes…it’s simply this…the Parents’ Association is concerned about the increase in minor traffic accidents and violations among our teenagers
ADAMS: And I share that concern…
CORCORAN: What we’re recommending is a driver education course to be taught here at the high school…
HOWARD: Well, hey—that’s a great idea!
SAM: Yeah…sure is!
ADAMS: Well, Sam you represent the town council…Howard, you’re chairman of the school board…


Uh…can I just break in here a second and ask—isn’t there anyone else in this burg capable of holding office besides Howard? I mean, come on, you’ve got Emmett and Goober and I think I just answered my own question…

ADAMS: …we’ll have to have your approval…
SAM: Oh…you sure got mine
HOWARD: Yeah, I’m for it one hundred percent…
ADAMS: Well, good…now…um…we’ve enough money in the budget to buy a duel control training car…and to pay the salary of a part-time teacher…now the big question right now is—who do we get to teach this course?


Well, that’s easy—you do what my high school did, and rope one of the coaches who has a free period into teaching it.

CORCORAN: Oh, I’m sure I can leave that in your capable hands…and I hope you gentlemen realize…that getting the right instructor is the key to this whole program…it would be meaningless if the children weren’t taught properly…

Boy, things sure were different back then. When I was in high school, the only reason you took driver’s ed was to give your folks a break on the insurance. Mrs. Corcoran takes her leave of Adams, Sam and Howard, rushing off to her next order of business…

SAM: Boy…that lady’s all business, isn’t she?
HOWARD: Yeah, she’s never been one of my favorites
ADAMS (chuckling): All right, now—who are we going to get to teach this course? Now, first—we’re going to need someone who knows automobiles…is a good driver himself…and can communicate at the students’ level…
HOWARD: What are the, uh, academic qualifications?


A pulse.

ADAMS: Oh, well, in a class like this I don’t believe that’s…too important…
SAM: Hey, have you considered Goober Pyle?
ADAMS: Goober? No, I haven’t…


Probably because I thought Adams to be one of the saner high school principals. Well, at least that answers my long-standing question as to what exactly Sam is growing on that farm of his…and from the sound of things, he’s apparently smoking it…

HOWARD: He’s a careful driver…and he does know cars

…and he’s apparently “sharing the wealth”…

SAM: Yeah…and I think he’d do well with the students…
ADAMS: Well, do you suppose he’d be interested in it?
SAM: Oh, sure he would! Why don’t you give him a trial…?
HOWARD: Yeah, I’ll second that…


Well, so much for that “capable hands” foofrah. Adams instructs Sam to ask Goober to stop by for an appointment at the school tomorrow morning at 10:30. Sam and Howard then leave the office, continuing to keep straight faces about the prank they’ve just pulled…

HOWARD: Boy, you know, that’s really something…
SAM: What’s that?
HOWARD: Well, Goober on the Mayberry High faculty…


“Hey, Sam—let’s go grab a pizza…all of a sudden I’ve got this wicked case of the munchies…”

Okay, maybe this is just me…but I could swear that’s the same comic book Goober (George Lindsey) was reading back in episode #14, “New Couple in Town.” Either the story was riveting enough for a re-read…or it’s taken him three entire episodes to finish it. Sam and Howard pull up to give Goober the good news, and try not to appear stoned in doing so.

SAM: Goob…Goob, Howard and I just had a meeting with Mr. Adams over at the high school…
GOOBER: Oh?
SAM: Yeah…yeah, he’s going to start a driver training program for the high school students…
GOOBER: That’s a good idee…
SAM: …and he wants to know if you’d be interested in teaching it!
GOOBER: Me?
HOWARD: Yeah, you!
GOOBER: A teacher?
SAM: Yeah! A member of the faculty!


Look, Goober has the I.Q. of a deep-fried Twinkie and even he’s skeptical about this whole thing…

GOOBER (puffing himself up): Member of the faculty!
SAM (laughing): Right! We figured you know all there is to know about cars, and you’re a good driver, so…what do you say, Goob?
GOOBER (still taken aback): Yeah…well, yeah! I could teach them kids good!


God help us all…madness has taken its toll in Mayberry!

HOWARD: Mr. Adams said he wanted to see you in his office at ten-thirty in the morning…you know, to kind of discuss things a little…
GOOBER (grinning like an idiot): Well, I’ll be there! Thanks, fellahs! (Laughing) Member of the faculty…hey…drinks are on me!


Well, that’s the first thing that’s been said that makes any sense—I think we’ll all need to get stinko in order to be able to deal with the concept of Goober molding the minds of our future leaders. Unfortunately, Goob just takes a church key and opens up some bottles of root beer—the strongest beverage available in Mayberry at that time.

So Adams and Goober have a chinwag in the principal’s office, with Adams suggesting that the class be available only to seniors. (I guess, that way, if something goes seriously awry there’ll still be plenty of time to de-brief those students at the lower grade levels.) Adams then asks Goober just what his curriculum will be—and you’d think that the fact that Goober has no idea what that word means would trouble the principal…but he’s probably still obsessing over that whole cheerleader skirt thing. The die has been cast—Goober is to report to work on Monday morning…and in doing so, he comes across Adams polishing his automobile…

ADAMS: Well…are you ready for your first day?
GOOBER: Yes, sir…I’m all set…
ADAMS: Well, good…
GOOBER: Say…you sure drive a nice-lookin’ car…


“Well, I get 30% right off the top from the bake sale money—it’s just part of the perks of being an administrator.”

ADAMS: Ah, yes…yes, I take real pride in her…it’s almost more than an automobile—you know, sometimes when I talk about this car my wife gets jealous

Might have something to do with the fact that you bought it a pair of nylons…and that you spent an unhealthy amount of time in the garage with it every night. So Goober—in a demonstration of just how lax high school policies can be—becomes the driver’s ed instructor, and we see him show Mayberry High’s best and brightest the parts involved in the construction of a car…

…and of course, some hands-on instruction out in the field, where this student behind the wheel appears to be Greg Brady…


Damn it! I was hoping Sam would get hit! Sam has crossed Mayberry’s busiest thoroughfare to jaw with fix-it savant Emmett Clark (Paul Hartman) who, true to his nature, is spending most of his working hours standing around panhandling.

EMMETT: You know he’s been around the block with her five times?
SAM: Yeah…he’s real thorough…
EMMETT: I still don’t get it…lettin’ him teach those kids…
SAM: Well, why not? He’s a good driver…knows cars…
EMMETT: I know, but it don’t seem right…him being a teacher…when you stop to think, Young America bein’ in the hands of Goober Pyle—it’s frightenin’!


And having uttered the most intelligent sentence that will ever pass his lips on this program, Emmett has now decided to coast for the remaining duration of Mayberry R.F.D.’s three-year-run. Sam tries to tell his friend that “it doesn’t take a genius to teach this course”—and to prove his point, the driver’s ed car pulls up to the curb with Goober and a student named Dorothy June inside.

Said student, by the way, is played by actress Brenda Sykes—a gorgeous and talented ingénue who scored quite a few impressive movie roles back in the 1970s, including parts in The Liberation of L.B. Jones (1970), Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971) and Skin Game (1971). As embarrassed as I am to admit this, I mostly remember Brenda as one of the two college students—the other being Susan Sennett, who later appeared in the Shatnerthon fave Big Bad Mama (1974)—who moved into the old room once occupied by David and Ricky Nelson in Ozzie's Girls, a sitcom featuring parents Ozzie and Harriet that was on in 1973 for about five minutes. (Yes, I did watch it. No, I didn’t know any better at the time.) She later was part of the cast of the short-lived dramatic series Executive Suite, a TV show based on the 1954 film of the same name.

SAM: How’s it goin’?
GOOBER: Oh, real good…Dorothy June hasn’t broke down and cried in over a week…
DOROTHY JUNE: Mr. Pyle’s been so patient with me…


Kee-rist…she’s calling him Mister Pyle…one of the sure signs of the decline of Western civilization. Since Dorothy June is African-American—which in Mayberry is as novel as finding a copy of Fanny Hill in the public library—I wonder if her family knows token black resident Ralph (Calvin Lampkin)?

GOOBER: Yeah, she’s doin’ real fine…the thing she has to learn now is not to take her hands off the steerin’ wheel and put ‘em over her eyes whenever we get in a tight spot…

“You know how them women drivers are…” (As a spinach-eating sailor once observed—“This is embarrasking…”)

EMMETT (shaking a socket wrench at Dorothy June): The important thing is not to get rattled, Dorothy June…
GOOBER (pushing Emmett’s wrench aside): I’m the teacher!
EMMETT (saluting him): Pardon me, Mr. Einstein
GOOBER (resisting the temptation to flip him the bird): The important thing is not to get rattled, Dorothy June…
DOROTHY JUNE: Yes, Mr. Pyle…
(She starts up the car)
GOOBER: Well…we’d better be goin’, Dorothy June…uh—we’ll see ya…Sam


Did he just diss Emmett? Oh, no he di’nt! The two of them drive off, and in a scene dissolve, we find Goober standing in the high school parking lot…

…I like Goober’s “ride,” by the way. It looks like he hotwired Fred Sanford’s vehicle and made off with it. Anyway, Goober is sort of pinned in where he’s parked, and so he carefully tries to maneuver his car out of the lot without hitting anyone…



Yeah, I’ll bet you di’nt…sorry…didn’t see this one coming. “It’s the principal’s car,” gulps Goober. Cue the sad trombone!

Wow…the new driver’s ed instructor creams the prized car of the high school principal. Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.

Back from the General Foods commercial break, we find Principal Adams getting ready to go home but stopping to polish his car again, apparently unaware of the wholesale wreckage that awaits to greet him on the other side. To his credit, Goober is there to try and soften the blow…

GOOBER: Mr. Adams, there’s somethin’ I want to tell ya…
ADAMS: Goober…take a look at that scratch there…some clown rubs up against it, scratches it—never even left a note or anything…
GOOBER: Uh, yes, sir…but I wanted to tell ya was…
ADAMS: You know, that’s the first scratch I’ve had on this car in six years
GOOBER: Yes, sir…
ADAMS: Six years! Look at it—look at that paint job…did you ever see a nicer paint job in your life? Just like it came out of the showroom
(Adams starts to walk around to the other side of the automobile, with Goober in the way)
GOOBER: But what I wanted to…
ADAMS: You see, when you take good care of a paint job and then have some…some clown
GOOBER: Yes, sir, but…
(Adams stops, seeing the damage to the car)
ADAMS: Oh! Oh, no! No… (He bends down to inspect the damage) Look…look at that…look, Goober…
GOOBER: Yes, sir…little dent


ADAMS: A little dent! It’s mangled!
GOOBER: Yes, sir…I guess you could say that…
ADAMS: Ooh, would I like to get my hands on the lunkhead that would do that…
GOOBER (quietly): I’m the lunkhead, Mr. Adams…
ADAMS: …if I got hold of him… (He stops) What??!!!
GOOBER: Yes, sir…when I was backin’ out before I…
ADAMS: Our driver education instructor did that!
GOOBER (sheepishly): Yeah…
ADAMS: Well, don’t tell me that’s part of the course!!!


No, I think he just threw that in for free. Goober, naturally, wants to make restitution for the damages but because smashing up his prized automobile is in the same league as boinking Mrs. Adams, the principal just waves Goober away, telling him not to bother him any more. The scene then shifts to the garage at Goober’s service station—where our beloved village idiot is so distraught he’s seeking advice from his fellow moronic lodge member, Emmett.

GOOBER: So you think I oughta resign, huh?
EMMETT: Well, you do what you want to…but it seems like it’s better than gettin’ fired
GOOBER: I guess Mr. Adams will fire me, won’t he?
EMMETT: Well, you know what his nickname is over at the school…”The Hatchet”—that’s what they call him…
GOOBER: The Hatchet?
EMMETT (after a pause): Goober…I’m going to be frank with you…I never thought you were suited for this job right from the very beginning…


You and everyone who ever reads this blog, bucko.

EMMETT: I always say: “Shoemaker…stick to your last.”
GOOBER: You know that accident didn’t have nothin’ to do with me teachin’ the kids…
EMMETT: It certainly did—you were nervous!
GOOBER: I wasn’t nervous!
EMMETT: That’s the first sign of nerves—when you don’t even know you’re nervous!
GOOBER: It is?
EMMETT: Of course!
GOOBER: Well, I sure didn’t think I was nervous…I must be in bad shape…
EMMETT: I better get out before you have a breakdown


Since Emmett isn’t capable of battering Goober’s tender psyche any further, he takes his leave of our favorite gas pump jockey with the parting words: “If you need any more advice on this thing, you know where you can reach me.” Yeah, like that would take him all day as there are a myriad of bus benches dotting Mayberry’s landscape. There’s a scene shift to the city council office, where Goober is seeking additional counsel from Sam and Howard.

SAM: What do you mean, you’re resigning…?
GOOBER: Well, it’s…mainly because “Shoemakers don’t last”…
HOWARD: I don’t get it, Goob…
GOOBER: Well, I…backed into Mr. Adams’ car and wrecked his fender…
SAM: You what?
HOWARD: Oh, no…
GOOBER: Yeah…I backed right into it, and…me being head of driver education…
SAM: Well, did you tell him about it?
GOOBER: Yeah…
HOWARD: What did he say?
GOOBER: Mostly he blew up inside like he was gonna bust
SAM: Oh, now, look, Goob—I know Mr. Adams feels pretty special about that car, but…he’s a fair man…
GOOBER (shaking his head): No…I’m gonna resign…so it won’t look bad on my record by bein’ fired
HOWARD: Say—I had a thought…


I thought I smelled wood burning…

HOWARD: You know, sometimes in a case like this an intermediary can help…
GOOBER: Well, I already took two aspirin


Howard suggests that because Sam is pretty tight with Adams that perhaps he can intercede on Goober’s behalf—though the way Sprague was smooching the guy’s keister in the early part of this episode, you’d think Howard would be better at sucking up. Goober agrees to let Sam try even though he’s apprehensive. “You know, until this thing happened,” laments Goober, “I thought it was the beginnin’ of my faculty career…I might have gone on to be a gym teacher or somethin’ like that.” To quote the immortal words of Chairman (Woody) Allen: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach P.E.”

So Sam smokes the peace pipe with the principal—who was pissed as hell at first about Goober’s slamming into his ride, but has since calmed down considerably, realizing that people do have accidents and…well, it is Goober we’re talking about. But they’re not out of the woods yet—there are storm clouds on the horizon…

ADAMS: I got a phone call from Mrs. Corcoran…it seems that a neighbor of hers was passing by the parking lot when she saw Goober back into my car…she told her, and you know Mrs. Corcoran…
SAM: Yeah?
ADAMS (shaking his head ominously): She really raised the roof…she has a daughter who’s going to take driver training next term—she said she would not let her daughter get into a car with anybody as reckless as Goober…


Goober! You old dawg, you…

SAM: Oh, that’s ridiculous
ADAMS: Oh, of course it is…but…she called a bunch of the other parents…we’re having a meeting right here tomorrow…
SAM: Really stirred things up, huh?
ADAMS: Oh, she did…and it’s almost out of my hands…one of those parents put the pressure on, there’s not much I can do about it…


“I have no power…I serve at the merest whims of my corporate parental masters.” So Sam asks Adams if he can attend the meeting, and the principal surprisingly acquiesces without having to ask his parental handlers. There is a dissolve as we find a group of parents gathered in Adams’s office, and the principal steps aside to allow Puppetmaster Corcoran pull his strings for the duration of the meeting…

CORCORAN: As you know, Mr. Adams, I’m not a meddler…

“Although I play one on TV…”

CORCORAN: …and I don’t believe in parents telling teachers how to run the school…
ADAMS: Well, we appreciate that…


Silence, Pinocchio!

CORCORAN: However…this is a very special case…when someone as incompetent as Mr. Goober Pyle obviously is…has the safety of our children in his hands…
SAM (interrupting): Mrs. Corcoran…no one disputes the importance of protecting our children…but Goober Pyle had an excellent record….
CORCORAN (condescendingly): Mr. Jones…may I point out to you that you are not impartial in this matter…Mr. Pyle is your friend, and you recommended him…
SAM: And may I point out to you…
CORCORAN (cutting him off short): From the very first I thought he wasn’t qualified…even before my neighbor saw him careen into Mr. Adams’ car…


I’ll bet right about now Sam’s wishing he had tried out for the high school debate team rather than getting “messed up every week.” Adams thanks Mrs. Corcoran for her input and asks if any other parents have additional gripes about the madman teaching their kids to drive. A gentleman (Bill Henry) who answers to “Mr. Wilkerson” then stands up, but his bloviating is interrupted by a cut to a classroom where a group of students are seated at their desks, listening to Goober speak and surprisingly enough, not nodding off.

GOOBER: Well…I guess you all know they’re havin’ a meetin’ in the principal’s office…I gotta a pretty good feelin’ how it’s gonna come out…and since this is probably my last class with you, well…I thought we’d go over some of things that I hope you learned… (Dorothy June raises her hand and then stands up) Yes, Dorothy June?
DOROTHY JUNE: We sure wish you could stay, Mr. Pyle…we all feel that way…


“This is the easiest class we’ve ever taken! Woo hoo!” So Goober shifts back into teacher mode, stressing the need for safe driving…but his spiel is interrupted by the arrival of a student, who hands the Goobman a note. Goober then turns around to see a priest standing in the doorway, who says solemnly: “It’s time, son.” (Okay, I may have made that last part up.)

Goober enters Adams’ office to see a sea of hostile faces staring back at him—well, with the exception of one familiar mug…token black resident Ralph! (Hi Ralph!)

ADAMS: Oh…come in, Goober… (Goober shuffles uncomfortably up to Adams’ desk) Goober, this is the parents’ meeting… (After a pause) Now, I felt that…rather than get their decision second-hand, you had a right to hear it from them…now…will some of you parents repeat what you’ve already said here? Mr. Wilkerson?
WILKERSON: Certainly…
GOOBER: Uh…um…now, I don’t blame you folks one bit…I’d just as soon not…
SAM: Uh, Goob…I think you’d better just listen
WILKERSON: For my part, I just want to say…I can’t tell you how pleased I am at the progress you’re making with my boy…in my opinion, you’ve taught him how to drive a car well…and carefully


Boy, those kids must really want that easy “A” because after Wilkerson’s testimonial the rest of the group fall all over themselves singing the Goob’s praises—and though you probably thought I was joking earlier, it turns out that Ralph and Dorothy June are acquainted…she’s his daughter! (“I didn’t think Dorothy June would ever be able to drive!” he gushes.) Even Mrs. Corcoran has had a change of heart in wanting to hang Goober from the highest tree after hearing all these glowing tributes for a man whose idea of great literature is Moroccan-bound editions of Monsters From Mars.

Goober, not to put too fine a point on it, is verklempt—and Adams suggests he get back to class because “I imagine your students are waiting on you.” (“Also…you’re still on the clock, you goldbrick…”) Sam follows his friend out the door.

SAM: Well, Goob—you’re still a member of the faculty…
GOOBER: Yeah, yeah…
SAM: A thing like that ought to make you feel real good…
GOOBER: Well, they sure were nice to me…
SAM: Yeah…
GOOBER: You know, I’m real crazy about this education stuff…the way I see it now, I might make this my whole career…after teachin’ driver education, I might go into teachin’ mathematics and English and chemistry…
SAM: Yeah…
GOOBER: You know what else I might do if I got time?
SAM: What’s that?
GOOBER: Go back to school and get my high school diploma


Oh, now tell me you didn’t see that one running over the hill to meet you. (If you want to go back and hit the sad trombone again…I’ll wait.)

Okay, let’s put this one to bed:

HOWARD: Well, I sure am glad to hear Goober got straightened away…
SAM: Oh, yeah…they love him over there now…
HOWARD: Good, good…
SAM: Oh, hey, Howard…I forgot to mention…in one of my talks with Mr. Adams he mentioned that they were having a little trouble over there with the debating team
HOWARD: Oh?
SAM: Yeah, it seems that the, uh, coach of the team…Mr. Trippett? He got another job and Mr. Adams remembered you used to be active in that…and he wondered if you’d be interesting in coaching the team?
HOWARD: Ohhh…hey…yeah—that’s a wonderful idea!
SAM: Yeah? Well, if I were you I’d run over there and talk to Mr. Adams about it…
HOWARD: Yeah, I think I will… (He gets up to leave but stops suddenly) Oh, I’d better stop at the drugstore first…
SAM: What for?
HOWARD: Well. I want to get one of those nasal sprays…I want my sinuses to be clear for the interview…I’ll see ya…


As he watches Howard go out the door, Sam smiles…as if he were thinking as to whether or not he could get away with just leaving town at midnight and settling down somewhere else, with a brand new identity.

Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (Frances Bavier) is a no-show in this week’s episode, so Thrilling Days of Yesteryear’s patented Mayberry R.F.D. Bee-o-meter™ stalls at eight for the season—and it’s simply a matter of taking the good with the bad because when Aunt Bee isn’t around, chances are Mike the Idiot Boy won’t turn up either. (Unfortunately, we were also denied the hotness that is Millie, so it’s not always sweetness and light.) As for “Driver Education” being a Top Ten R.F.D. experience…well, I think there’s a large pro-Goober contingent stuffing the ballot box over at TV.com, if you want my honest opinion. But next week—I’ll look at an episode that I think is one of the show’s funniest outings despite the fact that it didn’t even make TV.com’s Top Fifty (so apparently I have a warped sense of humor). It’s called “Howard’s Hobby,” and hopefully it will be back in its regular time slot on Mayberry Mondays

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2 comments:

Preta said...

Just found your wonderful site, thank you so very much for the wonderful memories, don't remember this particular episode but hope it's available on DVD. Love Brenda Sykes and hope Executive Suite is available on DVD real soon. Thanks again for" the memories.

Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

Preta wondered:

don't remember this particular episode but hope it's available on DVD

"Driver's Education" is available on disc! It's one of 26 shows from the first season, which was released to DVD back in April of 2013.