The Andy Griffith Show and It's Garry Shandling's Show

The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968)
It's Gary Shandling's Show (1988-1990)
Type: Crossover
Group: 2

   Welcome to the world of bizzaro crossovers. How did two such different shows bump into each other? The Andy Griffith Show was the story of the ordinary small North Carolina town of Mayberry and its sheriff. It's Gary Shandling's Show was the story of a stand up comic who was aware that he was living in a sitcom. Gary would talk to the audience and tweak television conventions. At one point, for example, Gary wanted to move the plot along and he didn't want to wait through weeks of developement. So he made time pass in TV fashion. How'd he do that? There was an uncut ham sitting on the counter. Gary picked it up, put it away and replaced it with an almost utterly devoured ham saying, "It's a week later." And instantly it was!

   Come to think of it, that bizarre and endearing love of sitcoms is what caused the crossover. In one episode of Gary's show, he discovered he had a new neighbor in the form of former Mayberry resident Howard Sprague. Now being such an off-kilter show, Gary was aware of Howard from the Andy Griffith Show but Howard was there as the character, not as the actor who played him. Given the self aware style of the show it played as somehow reasonable.

   I need to see the episode again but I seem to remember Howard becoming very popular in Gary's building and perhaps even becoming head of the tenants organization causing Gary some jealousy. The main fun though came from the affection people had for Howard Sprague. He was a dweeb who lived with his mom. He was terminally unhip yet so wanted to be a player. Somehow those traits made him easy to identify with. You just can't hate the guy. Ya gotta love him!

Other Andy Griffith Crossover Links
The Andy Griffith Show and The Danny Thomas Show/Make Room For Daddy
The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
The Andy Griffith Show and The Joey Bishop Show
The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D.

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