Equal Time (well, not quite) for Andy Taylor's other Deputy Sheriff on The Andy Griffith Show

original airdate: December 20, 1965


This episode starts with Andy, Helen, and Aunt Bee relaxing on the porch. Andy and Helen are looking forward to their date for the next evening and are trying to decide on where to go. Aunt Bee suggests a new Chinese restaurant in Mt. Pilot called Dave's Hong Kong. Helen thinks it would be more fun to go for Chinese food with more than two people; as an agreeing Aunt Bee points out, "you get to try a lot more things." Helen wants to bring along a young lady who works at the dime store who is new to Mayberry. Andy is not keen on finding a male companion for the newcomer (he's had several bad experiences with blind dates including the lady with fat knees who talked a lot and the woofer who looked like Benjamin Franklin). Helen suggests Warren as a likely candidate and Andy admits he does not think his new deputy has had a date since he's been in town.

The next day, Warren arrives at the courthouse with his portable television set. His landlady's brother is in town and, since the hotels were filled up (what was going on?), he offered to give up his room for the night and sleep in the back of the courthouse. Andy asks Warren if he's gone out much. Of course, as Warren explains, back in Boston, the women were all over him. In fact, the onslaught of female admirers was one of the reasons he had to leave and he has been too busy in Mayberry to pay attention to all the new women giving him "the big eye." Andy brings up the subject of Warren going with him and Helen to Mt. Pilot for a Chinese dinner and Warren is, at first, very eager to accept the invitation as he loves Chinese food. Warren's demeanor changes, however, when Andy mentions a girl they've lined up to go with him (actually, Andy calls her "a little girl." How old is she? 12?). All of a sudden Warren remembers a blue suit at the cleaners and must decline the offer because he could not go out unless he is properly attired.

Warren's demeanor changes when Andy
mentions a date for a dinner engagement.

That evening, Andy and Helen stop off at the courthouse before heading on their way. As Andy is about to leave, the phone rings and Andy grabs it out of Warren's hands. The call is from Sheriff Mitchell about needing assistance to clean up a wreck on the highway. Warren, still in uniform and, ostensibly, still on duty, offers to go but Andy, somewhat rudely and to Warren's visible disappointment, decides to take care of the situation himself. He tells Helen he will have to cancel their dinner plans so Helen suggests meeting back at the courthouse at 10 p.m.

Andy leaves and Warren finds himself alone with his boss's girlfriend. Helen contemplates what to do next. She asks Warren if he is going to eat and Warren, nervously, replies, "No." Surprised, Helen inquires, "Not at all?" Warren smiles shyly, "Well, maybe, uh, later." A very uncomfortable Warren can barely look Helen in the eye. She decides to get a bite to eat but is not sure whether to return to the courthouse and catch up on some typing or take in a movie. Warren is all for the movie idea. Sheepishly, he tells her their typewriter "needs, what you call, an overhaul; the 'S' keeps sticking." Helen leaves and Warren seems frustrated at himself for his lack of social skills.

Ahhh, look at that adorable face.
How can any TAGS fan not like Warren?
A painfully shy Warren tells
Helen "The 'S' keeps sticking."

With Andy and Helen gone, Warren retires to the back room to watch his portable television and Goober pops in to watch with him. What's on is International Secret Agent F45, a favorite of Warren's. It stars a suave character who has his way with the ladies. Tonight's mission is in Istanbul which, as Warren explains, "must be 90% women and they're all beautiful." Warren watches intently as the secret agent bids his beloved farewell: "Don't move. The light shimmering through your hair. I want to remember you that way," "If ever two people were meant for each other...," "c'est la vie, mon amour," etc. Warren then falls asleep on the couch.

Deputy sheriffs are so
cute when they're sleeping.

Helen returns to the courthouse that night to see if Andy is back only to find Warren asleep. She sits at Andy's desk and Warren comes out and uses the same suave lines as the character from the television program [no doubt to make the scene funnier, Jack Burns slightly thickens his Boston accent]. Helen grows increasingly irritated by Warren's attentions as he follows her around the courthouse. She finally locks herself in cell #2 and Warren saunters back to the couch. When Andy returns and finds Helen in the cell he, at first, thinks Helen is joking around; however, he becomes concerned when his girlfriend reacts angrily. She calls Warren "the monster" and tells Andy, "Your shy little deputy, Warren, chased me!" Andy is skeptical but Helen is so persistent he has to take her seriously. He finds Warren asleep and vigorously shakes him to wake him up. Oblivious to the situation, Warren inquires about the highway and Andy replies point-blank, "Nevermind about the highway, what's this about you chasing Helen?" Shocked, Warren defends himself by exclaiming, "I never chased a woman in my life, I swear!" and "I'm a gentleman, I'm from Boston!" Unmoved by his emphatic protests, Helen storms out, leaving a puzzled Warren with the words "Well c'est la vie, mon amour!"

Strangely enough, Helen
resists Warren's advances.

"I'm a gentleman!
I'm from Boston!"

Knowing those French words came from the TV program he watched that night, Warren realizes he was sleepwalking and confesses to Goober. Warren has a history of sleepwalking and it usually takes something to trigger it (in this case, the suave secret agent). Goober recommends that Warren tell Andy but Warren is afraid such an admission would threaten his job and Andy's trust. Meanwhile, Andy visits Helen at the school and tells her he hopes to straighten things out with Warren and makes plans to meet her at his office later that day to report on what he finds.

Andy calls Warren's place (presumably, a room in a boardinghouse) and catches him trying to stay awake with the aid of a blaring radio and whirling fan. Warren earlier admitted to Goober that he was going to try not to fall asleep for fear of a reoccurrence of the embarrassing episode. It takes several rings before a reluctant Warren decides to answer. Andy tells his deputy he wants to see him right away.

Staying Awake.
What?!! I'm going to be written out
of the series?!! I'm calling my agent!

At the courthouse, Andy tries to get an explanation out of Warren, but his deputy is yawning too much to respond. Andy convinces Warren to replay his actions on the night in question and takes him to the back. The reenactment just gets started when Andy is interrupted by a phone call about retrieving a nagging woman's husband from a tree [now that is just stupid]. He leaves and Warren falls asleep on the couch. Helen arrives at the courthouse and, of course, finds no Andy, but does find an uncharacteristically amorous Warren who, in his somnambulistic state, pursues Helen in the same manner as before.

The next scene has a cool camera angle. The scene is shot from the inside of the cell holding Helen and shows Andy questioning Warren about the events of the previous night. Andy is about to believe Warren's plea of not seeing Helen from the time she left to the time Andy woke him up until the locked-up Helen intercedes with an "Oh yeah!" Surprised to see her, Andy unlocks the cell door to let the fuming Helen storm out and fires Warren on the spot.

Say it isn't so! Warren is fired.

In his room, Warren packs up his belongings and gives a few items to Goober. He hopes to sell Goober his portable TV for $50, but Goober was unimpressed with the reception it received at the courthouse. Warren explains that the problem stemmed from location and turns on the set to demonstrate what good reception it gets in his room. Fred Astaire, a favorite of Warren's, comes on and Warren, forgetting his troubles for a moment, grooves a little to the dancing. Goober convinces Warren that, before he leaves town, he should explain to Andy and Helen his somnambulism (Goober used that word...just kidding).

With Warren waiting, Helen arrives at the Taylors' and is boiling mad when she sees him. Warren sits on the sofa with Aunt Bee and begins to doze off while Andy and Helen argue in the kitchen. Andy wants the two of them to listen to Warren's explanation but Helen sees "no reason to stay here while you entertain that, that wolf out there!" To cover up their bickering, Aunt Bee plays a record on the phonograph. Soon, Aunt Bee calls out to Andy and they find her being Ginger Rogers to Warren's Fred Astaire.

Movin' & Groovin'
Warren gets his groove on.
Fred & Ginger
Aunt Bee gets the thrill of her life.

Later, outside Warren's room, Helen does a 180 and is now all sweet and understanding. When they leave, an exhausted Warren sits on the side of his bed. Despite telling Andy and Helen that "I've got a feeling it may never happen again; these things, well, once they're out, that's it, thing of the past," Warren doesn't want to take any chances. He lays down perpendicular across the bed (a very uncomfortable position in which to sleep) and pulls out a pair of handcuffs from the drawer of his nightstand and locks himself to the bedpost.

Aaahhh, admit it,
you like Warren!
Come on, you know it!
Warren just needs a little
added assurance that his sleep-
walking days are over.

Yes, you read it right. Warren Ferguson is often criticized by TAGS fans for using his "huh-huh-huh" gimmick too much, so the people at The Revenge of Warren Ferguson (actually, just the one person) have counted EVERY SINGLE "huh?" Warren said during each of his 11 episodes on TAGS to finally set the record straight. Every "huh?" is counted whether it follows a question with the rapid-fire "huh-huh," "huh-huh-huh", or the rare "huh-huh-huh-huh", or whether it is used as part of an observation or conversation (i.e. the sentence "You must think we're real idiots, huh?") Only if it is part of the word "uh-huh" was a "huh" not counted. Did Warren say too many "huhs"? Check the counter and decide for yourself.

2 Huh?s

Note: Warren just said one "huh-huh" & not in front of any girls.


Unrealistic Plot

Bostonian Charm
What woman could resist such charms?

I know it is just a television show but, come on, let's not insult the viewer's intelligence. Is it at all realistic that Helen, who, during her boring and perfunctory romance with Andy, probably had no action for quite some time, would refuse the advances of the extremely handsome and desirable Warren Ferguson? Is it? Huh? Huh? Huh? Are you kidding me? Don't kid me! Don't tell me Helen wouldn't be all over him! The writers probably realized that and made Jack Burns thicken his Boston accent in the scene so he wouldn't look as serious in his attempt at seduction. If Warren was really allowed to be romantic, what woman could resist his charms?

Did Helen Overreact?

Warren, as adorable and lovable as he was, was a strong, muscular man who used plenty of body language and could certainly be intimidating to the opposite sex. It is understandable that Helen was alarmed when Warren kept following her and invading her space, but was the tag "monster" (or "wolf"-- what was that about?) warranted? Helen acted as if Warren was the Boston Strangler! If he really wanted to have his way with Helen, a locked cell door would not have stopped him. Heck, it would not have stopped anyone as the key is hanging on the wall next to the cell. Moreover, that cool camera shot taken from inside the cell shows that Helen had a clear view of the back room of the courthouse and would have seen Warren stroll back to the couch and fall asleep--rather odd behavior for a "monster."

It is also debatable whether the word "chase" was accurate. Warren was deliberate in closing in on Helen and not giving her much personal space, but they were not running around the courthouse. Helen may not have known Warren all that long, but by this time she knew him well enough to see that he was a gentle and compassionate person. They worked together on the church organ committee and we are to presume nothing happened. O.K., one might counter that
Girl-Shy was filmed before The Church Organ (the episodes were often first aired in a different order than the order in which they were filmed), so she had not actually worked with Warren on finding a used organ for the All Souls Church yet. Still, she witnessed his concern for her and Andy's safety in A Warning From Warren and he was ostensibly no cad during their other encounters. Andy knew his deputy well enough to realize something "strange" was going on and urged Helen that "the least we can do is listen to him." Helen retorted angrily, "That's all we've been doing is listening to him!" When was this? Unless a meeting between the three where Warren was allowed to calmly explain his side was cut out of the final edit, I did not observe much "listening" on the part of Helen. She seemed to have already made up her mind. So much as Andy's reminder to her that "even a criminal gets a trial" didn't sway Helen. Andy wanted to give his deputy the benefit of the doubt and Helen should have realized that Warren was not being himself and allowed him to explain before flying off the handle.

Andy the Control Freak

Why didn't Andy accept Warren's offer to help clean up the highway accident? Certainly a man who graduated 4th in his class at the Sheriff's Academy could handle such a relatively safe task. Apparently, there were other officers at the scene, so Warren would not be working alone. Plus, with only one squad car between them, Andy had to cancel his dinner date to go. If Warren went, they could have dropped him off at the site of the wreck and driven on to Mt. Pilot. If Andy was unwilling to allow Warren to manage such situations, how did he expect him to become a seasoned lawman? Moreover, Andy wouldn't even let Warren answer the phone. Warren did work there, right?-right?-right? He was the deputy sheriff, right?-right?-right? Was he that much of a dunderhead in Andy's eyes that he couldn't even handle phone calls? Nothing in the series would lead one to believe that was the case. Maybe Andy was itching for an excuse to get out of his date with Helen. Whatever the reason, Andy needed to chill out and let Warren do his job.

Living Arrangements in Mayberry

Warren's Room
Up in Warren's Room:
A rare look inside Warren's humble pad.

Something I have always thought was odd about Mayberry was the living arrangements of its residents. Barney and Warren were deputy sheriffs which I would think is one of the most important occupations in the community and would garner at least a decent living wage. Yet, both Barney and Warren were forced to live in stale rooms in boardinghouses (apparently, Warren's most valuable possession was the portable television set and Barney's pride and joy was a hot plate). The women of Mayberry (i.e. Helen, Thelma Lou, and even Goober's brief love interest Lydia Crosswaithe), however, could afford nice little houses. I would think a deputy sheriff would earn close to a teacher's salary. Unlike my other analyses, this rant is not really a defense of Warren; it is just something that has always bugged me.

You want to check out the next episode, don't ya?
huh? huh? huh?
Sure ya do!

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