Thoughts From The Andy Griffith Show Episode The Bookie Barber (1962)
Synopsis: Overwhelmed by the number of customers in his barber shop, Floyd (Howard McNear) lets a second barber (Herb Vigran) set up a second chair and is thrilled by the extra business his new partner is bringing in. However, the new barber is actually using Floyd's shop as a front for his gambling business.
I kind of have to agree with Opie (Ron Howard), he didn't look like he needed a haircut to me. Either Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) was just trying to get rid of him for a couple hours or the show was just trying to find an excuse for Andy (Andy Griffith) to be in the barbershop when the new guy arrived.
Andy can be kind of pushy. I'm not sure Floyd really wanted a second chair but, even if he didn't, Andy sure made sure he didn't have much say in it. I mean, really, it's not like he owns any stake in that barbershop. What gives him the right to negotiate a deal for Floyd? Seriously, what an ass.
And he seriously didn't think to check up on the guy? OK, maybe his offer to Floyd didn't raise any red flags, but those men walking in and out of the barbershop might as well have been wearing signs saying they were criminals. Does the sheriff's office not have enough money to cover the cost of a long- distance call to see if the guy has a record?
Aunt Bee's innocence is sometimes one of the best things about this series. I loved how she heard horse names and betting odds and translated that into exotic women and the times they got home. It's just one of those things that make this show entertaining even though a good chunk of the material is a bit dated.
Barney's (Don Knotts) performance as an old lady is one of his best. Him dressing up in drag isn't really uncommon on this series but this one went above and beyond just having him wearing a dress. His backstory about his made-up daughter-in-law, including how she was both controlling and had a skin condition, was classic.
Was anything they did in this episode even legal? Andy got the tip from an eavesdropping operator, which led to Barney doing a sting without any sort of warrant or even permission from Andy. I'm going to have to assume things were a bit different in the 1960s because I have a hard time believing a judge wouldn't throw out that evidence today.
Did Floyd get to keep the second chair? Actually, a better question is, was there even a second chair? The episode didn't show another one. Assuming there was, did he get to keep it or was it confiscated as evidence?
Final Opinion: I still think Andy was a bit of an ass to Floyd and got his friend in a bad situation as a result. However, the overall episode manages to be surprisingly funny and is worth taking the time to watch.
My Grade: A