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

Off to Hollywood
original airdate: October 25, 1965


Our hero is in the very first scene going through the mail at the courthouse. Goober enters announcing he can do some preventative maintenance on the squad car later that morning. Goober seems put out when Warren insists he leave a note for Andy. "Couldn't you just tell him?" Goober asks. Well, Warren has enough work to do without having to relay messages from the town grease monkey. Goober remarks, "You sure believe in doing things right." Warren uses this opportunity to explain his credentials as deputy sheriff. He perfected his craft in 16 weeks at the Sheriff's Academy where he learned, among other things, to pride himself on efficiency: "Efficiency is a deputy's duty." With cool confidence he continues by pointing out he had graduated fourth in his class [out of a class of four...just kidding] which had opened the door to his position in Mayberry. With a sarcastic tone, Goober brings up Warren's relation to prominent Mayberry citizen, Floyd Lawson. Warren was "waiting for" this attack on his competence and retorts that he has never used family ties and "a man who can't get ahead on his own isn't worth his salt."

4th in his class!
With cool self-assurance, Warren informs
Goober about his vast achievements
at the Sheriff's Academy.

Goober's attention then shifts to an envelope on Andy's desk with the return address 'Belmont Picture Studios, Hollywood, California.' Warren reminds Goober that the contents of the envelope are "none of our bee's wax" [not a phrase one would expect the urban Warren to use]. Goober implies that they should sneak a peek at the letter by referring to a story about his "slick" grandmother who steamed open envelopes. Since Goober brought up the subject, Warren shows him how "the sharpies" check out confidential mail by holding envelopes up to a window, qualifying to Goober that such activity is "very illegal." Andy enters and sees Warren inspecting the letter and, of course, suspects Warren is snooping when he is actually demonstrating to the far less cosmopolitan Goober an example of his vast knowledge of the criminal element. When Andy opens the letter, he finds a check for $1,000 for the rights to his story that will be immortalized in the film Sheriff Without a Gun [now, such a character wouldn't even make for a good TV show...].

Warren sneaks a peek at Andy's letter.

From this point on, Andy gets all kinds of advice on what to do with the money after Goober blabs the news around town. Aunt Bee, Helen, and Opie try to convince the stick-in-the-mud sheriff to use the check on a trip to Hollywood to watch the making of the film. When Andy is out-numbered in the vote for the Hollywood trip, news gets out again [I wonder by whom] and people give him all sorts of requests from looking up relatives in Colorado and getting autographs and photos of movie stars to bringing up the name of someone's tap-dancing niece to talent agents.

Warren takes no part in these shenanigans. His focus is on his job and, once his uncle Floyd informs him of Andy's pending vacation, Warren beams with confidence at the prospect of being in charge. Asked if he is ready for the responsibility, Warren replies emphatically, "Are you kidding me? Don't kid me, that's what I was trained for" [hand on holster]. Floyd has great admiration for his nephew: "You're a Lawson all right. When duty calls, we're always ready." When Warren races into the courthouse to talk to Andy, Floyd calls out, "Proud of you boy!"

In the courthouse, Warren sees Goober and again gives the less sophisticated mechanic the benefit of his worldly knowledge by telling him a story about his brother-in-law who was stationed in California during the war ("the girls would crawl all over him"). Andy wants to go over things with his deputy and Warren assures Andy that it will be "business as usual" while he's away.

Warren and Uncle Floyd
Warren takes a break from his diligent
duties to visit with Uncle Floyd.
Warren beams upon learning
the town will soon be his.

Now, if Aunt Bee can peddle Foster's
Furniture Polish, surely Warren could star
in a toothpaste commercial!

"Sure, Andy, Shoot." Warren lets Andy
know "my time is your time"
while he gossips with Goober.

At one point, Andy begins to have second thoughts about the trip when he talks with Aunt Bee in their kitchen. The sheriff is uncertain about leaving and inexperienced Warren, fresh out of the Sheriff's Academy, in charge of the office. To Aunt Bee, however, Warren "seems like a very capable young man" who is "anxious to make good." Andy admits that his new deputy "tries hard." [After the unpleasantness of The Bazaar, Aunt Bee would stick up for Warren on several occasions. She was a neat lady].

Mayberry, of course, puts on a big to-do when Andy, Aunt Bee, and Opie prepare to board the bus to the airport in Raleigh. The band plays "California Here We Come," sounding much better than they did in past episodes. Rather than see Andy get his new suit messed up, Warren offers to throw Andy's suitcases onto the roof of the bus so they can be strapped down. Underestimating his superior strength [we will learn in Wyatt Earp Rides Again that Warren won the arm wrestling competition at the Founders' Day Picnic], Warren heaves the first bag clear over the bus. He retrieves it for Andy and the Taylors leave for their great adventure.

"Up we go!"
"I think it went over on the other side."

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: The above includes, like, 1 "huh-huh-huh," so, like, out of the 4 "huhs," like, 3 were part of one "huh-huh-huh." Like, oh my God! That is so totally awesome! I am so totally sure!


Warren Focused on His Job

In this episode, Warren explained in words as well as actions why he was perfectly qualified to fill Barney's size 7 Bs. First, of course, he explained to Goober his preparation at the Sheriff's Academy and confidently defended himself against Goober's insinuation that his uncle Floyd helped him in his pursuit of becoming the new deputy sheriff in Mayberry. Anyone in a position of authority, especially in a profession that constantly deals with the public, needs to be thick-skinned and certain of their training and abilities to withstand unwarranted insults and challenges to their jurisdiction.

More revealing, however, was Warren's behavior during all the fuss surrounding Andy's new-found fortune and extravagant trip. Before Warren arrived in Mayberry, Goober would not be needed to blab the information around because Barney would have already accomplished it. Not only that, Barney, no doubt, would have had much advice for Andy about what to do with his money [probably trying to convince him to use the money to move into a larger house as part of some real estate venture] and, certainly, on what to do while in Hollywood. Warren, however, did not take part in any of these things. He was wrapped up in his work and was so busy that he was one of the last to learn of Andy's vacation plans when Floyd told him. Once he learned that he would soon be acting sheriff, Warren beamed with confidence and, though he did gossip a little to Goober about what he had heard about California women, he remained focused on his job. Even during the excitement of the Taylors' departure, Warren was seen making sure the citizens stayed back as the bus moved out, just as a law enforcement officer should. No doubt, Mayberry was very safe while Andy was away.

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

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