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

Lost and Found
original airdate: January 24, 1966


While cleaning out the drawers of a dresser she is painting, Aunt Bee comes across an antique pin that belonged to her Aunt Martha (well, not really an aunt, but the best friend of her grandmother on her mother's side). Her discovery, as well as her painting project, is interrupted by a call from Clara about a bazaar (hopefully, this one did not include bingo). Aunt Bee has to drop what she's doing to head the cookie booth. As it turns out, this event has nothing to do with the story save that it takes her abruptly away from her painting. Aunt Bee returns to the house with Clara and is excited to show her friend the valuable brooch with the pearls and gold. Curiously, Aunt Bee cannot find it and begins to worry.

Andy and Warren arrive at Andy's house to pick up some paperwork. Sensing something is wrong, Andy inquires and Aunt Bee tells him about the missing pin. Andy is certain it will turn up eventually; however, Warren, upon hearing the pin is a valuable antique, suspects that Andy's could be one of "over 100,000 homes [that] are burglarized in this country every year." He begins to ask Aunt Bee questions and writes up a report. Warren is determined to pursue the case and is "not ruling out grand theft"; however, Andy does not believe any investigation is necessary, to which Warren observes, "You are a very strange man."

Just the facts
Just the facts ma'am.
Strange man
"You are a very strange man."

Without Andy's cooperation, Warren recruits the services of Goober as "special deputy for purposes of investigation." Warren's theory is that the neat and orderly Aunt Bee could not simply misplace a valuable pin. The only logical explanation is that it was stolen. Warren sends Goober off to conduct some questioning of Mayberry residents. Aunt Bee enters the courthouse and Warren asks if she's ever experienced a "blackout or suffered from loss of memory." Aunt Bee seems offended by the question and Warren leaves.

Andy arrives and, upon hearing that Bee has yet to find the pin, reminds her that the jewel is insured for $275 and that they should put in a claim. Bee is reluctant to take money from the insurance company, but Andy is insistent and calls insurance agent Ed Jenkins (played by Jack Dodson who, of course, would later play Howard Sprague, a character almost as popular as Warren Ferguson). Arriving at the Taylor residence, Jenkins is disappointed to hear about the claim as he is more interested in selling additional life insurance. Begrudgingly, he gives Bee a check for $275 and Bee uses the money to purchase the object of every woman's desires: a garbage disposal.

[Note: The devoted TAGS viewer will remember that Aunt Bee won a garbage disposal on a gameshow during her vacation in Hollywood several episodes earlier (Aunt Bee on TV), and claimed to have kept it even after selling most of her other prizes. In this episode, she says, "I did hate giving up that one [disposal] I won on the Hollywood contest." Hmmmm. I guess the TAGS writers did not foresee 40 years of re-runs and the entire series released on DVD to be watched over and over. As Warren says in Otis the Artist, "We live in a day and age where we have lots of leisure time on our hands"--time to ponder inconsistencies like that...oh, and time to create websites and stuff.]

Huh? Huh?
Explaining a plan of
action to Goober.
"Uh, Aunt Bee, have you ever
had a blackout or suffered
from loss of memory?"

Meanwhile, Goober proves little help to Warren when questioning suspects. He gets no useful information but does get an off-camera slap in the face via Clara Edwards when he asks her point-blank if she stole Aunt Bee's pin. Not to be deterred by Goober's incompetence, Warren takes Goober along to check out another of his theories. While Warren (or "Sherlock Holmes," as Andy calls him) carries on with his secret investigation, Bee finally resumes her painting project. Putting her hand in the pocket of her painting smock, she pricks her finger on something sharp and realizes immediately what it is. After fretting to the point of adversely affecting Andy and Opie's dinner [the telltale sign of a troubled woman in Mayberry], she shows Andy the brooch.

Andy is about to call the insurance agent with the news when Warren and Goober proudly arrive with the pin "thief." Warren received a confession from a vagrant who seems unusually interested in Mayberry's "nice jail." When Warren spots the pin, he realizes he is wrong. The hobo insists on at least getting his free meal, but Andy wants the freeloader out of his house. Warren can't find the key to the handcuffs and nervously admits to Andy, "Well, I guess I, I guess I left it down at the courthouse." Warren can barely get out the word "courthouse" (excellent acting by Jack Burns). The vagrant easily slips off the cuffs and announces he is returning to the hobo "jungle" (Warren is not to be blamed for this lack of cuff security as Goober had earlier bragged about handcuffing the prisoner).

Andy resumes his phone call to Ed Jenkins while Warren and Goober follow Aunt Bee into the kitchen. Warren begins to admire the piece of jewelry and walks over to the window above the sink to get a better look. Goober reaches for the brooch, Warren stretches his arms out to avoid Goober's grubby grasp and, in the scuffle, the pin drops down the disposal.

Warren gets his man...
Not so smug
...or not.

Goober reaches for the pin
just before--well, you know.

Hearing the commotion, Andy puts down the phone to see what happened. He returns with a revised story for the insurance agent. After the incident, Warren learns that the insurance policy covered any kind of loss. He asks Andy if he told the insurance agent how the pin fell in the disposal. When Andy replies that he "didn't see the point in getting into personalities," Warren is relieved and explains that he "wouldn't want to see Goober get in any trouble."

Warren: always
thinking of others.

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.

4 Huh?s

Note: I think Warren said a "huh-huh" but no "huh-huh-huhs." I lost my huh-dometer notes; but, luckily, they were insured for 37 cents.


Andy Flip-Flops

Andy changed his attitude about the missing pin surprisingly quickly. He did not do a complete 180 as he never agreed with Warren on the possibility that the pin was stolen; but he did introduce the idea of collecting insurance on the pin without a second thought. Certainly Andy believed the piece of jewelry would turn up eventually. Where could it have gone? If he ever once suspected theft, would he have admitted it and risked swallowing his pride in front of his ambitious young deputy? It seems odd to collect insurance on a "lost" pin that never left the house no matter how much Aunt Bee wanted a garbage disposal.

Warren Takes the Initiative

Here Warren exhibited his willingness to work unilaterally on a case that the sheriff refused to pursue. This trait was very beneficial when the only other law enforcement officer was a sheriff set in his ways. Andy was not perfect and, if the criminal element in Mayberry ever became more sophisticated or, for that matter, ever came into being, the Mayberry residents would be happy to know they had a deputy on their side and willing to take on such cases while the times passed Sheriff Taylor by.

Warren used appropriate and useful observations about Aunt Bee to forge his theory and seemed to have an effective plan of action. Granted, Goober was not the best choice for "special deputy," and his questioning style was, well, questionable; but he, of course, was untrained. Warren would have conducted a more serious investigation. New to Mayberry's cushy jail with the fancy table lamps and doilies, Warren probably did not realize the motivation for a homeless man to make a false confession in order to be locked up. In time, Warren would have learned these tricks and would have solved many a case, with or without Andy.

"Disposing" of the Pin

Andy looks at the real culprit
of the disposal incident.

The use of the laugh track when Warren says, "I wouldn't want to see Goober get in any trouble," implied that the audience should find Warren responsible for the "disposal" of the pin. When reviewing the incident, however, one sees that it was Goober who initiated the action that led to the dropping of the pin. Warren was admiring the brooch and refused Goober's request to look at it. Instead of waiting for Warren to finish inspecting the pin, Goober reached for the piece of jewelry and Warren reacted naturally by stretching the pin away from Goober's greasy mitts and, unfortunately, above the drain. It was the scuffle that ensued when Goober reached for the pin that caused it to fall into the disposal. Of course, all was well in the end as the Taylors were able to keep their claim and Aunt Bee was able to keep her garbage disposal which she seemed to enjoy far more than the brooch she forgot she had. Still, showing a tremendous sense of empathy, Warren worried that Goober would get in trouble. He was a swell guy, wasn't he? huh? huh? huh?

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

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