The Andy Griffith Show and The Joey Bishop Show

The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968)
The Joey Bishop Show (1961-1965)
Type: Crossover
Group: 2

   This one is just slightly... funky. In little ways. Little funky ways.

   The Andy Griffith Show was a sitcom starring Andy Griffith as Andy Taylor, sheriff of the bucolic town of Mayberry, North Carolina. Andy was full of down home common sense and the stable center to a group of slightly more eccentric characters: Otis the town drunk who would lock himself up in jail after a bender, Goober and Gomer Pyle who worked at the filling station and were sweet but hardly the sharpest crayons in the box, and of course Barney Fife.

   Barney was Andy's High strung deputy. He thought he was smarter, tougher and more street tough than he actually was. But he was a good and sincere guy. Watching Barney's reach and self confidence exceed his grasp and the resulting frustrations were central to many of the shows more classic moments. Usually Andy would take steps to help Barney save face. He was so essential to The Andy Griffith Show. Once Barney left the show it wasn't the same show at all.

   The Joey Bishop Show starred comedian Joey Bishop as Joey Barnes. In the first season Joey was a working stiff at a press agent's office in Los Angeles and the show focused on both his work life and his home life with his family. Oddly enough this was a similar setup to a much later infamous flop TV show The Famous Teddy Z. In both cases it seemed they just tried to cram too much stuff into a single sitcom. Work and home was a lot to fit into a half hour sitcom. Teddy Z fixed the problem by getting canceled. The Joey Bishop Show fixed things by entirely revamping the show for season two.

   Season two of The Joey Bishop Show had Joey still playing Joey Barnes. Only now he somehow had become a New York based talk show host. If season one was comparable to Teddy Z, season two was more in line with the Larry Sanders Show, showing the behind the scenes life of a talk show host. The new format also served as a great excuse to bring on all sorts of big name guest stars as guests on the show. The continuity between the seasons was iffy. It really was like season two made a fresh start utterly unconnected to season one. In fact, they just started releasing the show on DVD and they started right off by releasing season two. Season one was left in the vaults like it didn't happen.

   A third season episode of The Joey Bishop Show, Joey's Hideaway Cabin, brings up to the crossover. The episode had Joey escaping the hassles of his life and work by taking a vacation in a remote cabin in the most obscure unfindable place possible, Hoppawattomie Falls.

   Well, almost entirely unfindable. I can tell you at least vaguely where it is located. It's somewhere in North Carolina in the general vicinity of Mayberry. Because while he is on his vacation, Joey comes face to face with the long reach-exceeding-its-grasp arm of the law in the form of Barney Fife. Sorta.

   This brings us to the funky points. First off, it makes sense that The Andy Griffith Show and The Joey Bishop Show would share the same world as both shows are spin offs of The Danny Thomas Show. Both from the same source, both part of the same world already, right? But wait. The Joey Bishop Show did that big reboot in season two. The Joey Bishop Show season one and The Joey Bishop show season two are essentially two different worlds. Consider this. Season one spun off the Danny Thomas Show. In season one Danny Thomas existed in Joey's world as his sitcom character Danny Williams. With season two when Danny Thomas would appear on the show, he would appear as Danny Thomas, star of The Danny Thomas Show. Kind of a first. A show that doesn't even share a common reality with itself! Like I said, funky.

   So back to the crossover with the Andy Griffith Show. The crossover happened with the rebooted Joey Bishop Show meaning that both continuities of The Joey Bishop Show tie into the same world. It would seem that in the reboot continuity The Andy Griffith Show would exist as a TV show. But no. And maybe the final oddity in this strange crossover is in reference to that. In the end credits, Don Knott's credit read, "Guest Starring Deputy Sheriff Don Knotts played by Barney Fife.".

Other Andy Griffith Show 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 It's Gary Shandling's Show
The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D.

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