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» » The Andy Griffith Show The Lucky Letter (1960–1968)

Short summary

Barney gets a chain letter that predicts bad luck it he doesn't make copies and send them to friends. To prove to Andy that he's not superstitious, he doesn't send any. A constant stream of back luck is the result. Things look bad when he has a marksmanship test coming up, which he has to pass in order to keep his job.

Once Barney starts having "bad luck" any time the letter or luck is mentioned there is a rapid beeping sound in the sound track of this episode. This was probably meant to act in a subliminal way; either as an implication of menace, or just to irritate and thereby induce emotion.(This is incorrect, the only sound on the track is "spooky" music, the same as in "Opie's Wish.")

Andy says to Barney "A few weeks ago you got a hold of Gypsy cards and lamps and you had Opie making wishes ..." this is a reference to the Season 5, episode 14 "Three Wishes for Opie"

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Malodor
    This is just a fun episode all around with Floyd egging Barney on into believing, once again, that forces outside nature are in control of our destinies. Theirs is an interesting relationship--they seem to like each other okay, and yet Floyd knows how to push Barney's buttons to get him riled up, sort of like the way Andy, according to Barney, gets a kick out of making him mad to see that vein in his neck stick out. The writers include a nice reference to the earlier story about the the lamp and Opie's three wishes and even get in a sly plug from Goober for "Gomer Pyle, USMC." The funniest line has to be Barney's crack about Ms. Hudgens's weight problem after the boys find her shopping list at the town garbage dump. And we're not surprised to learn that Barney, a womanizer if only his his own mind, had a subscription to what would have been Playboy in the real world at that time. What male teen didn't appreciate a fast lens back then! The producers must have liked the set serving as the dump since they saved it for the later episode of Opie's newspaper. TAGS has its moments of subtle humor, as it does here when Andy and Opie are on the front porch and Andy is wondering aloud where Barney has got off to on the eve before the pistol qualifying. He muses that he can't think like Barney does, and almost immediately he realizes the key to finding him is sitting next to him on the porch. Subtle and very funny. And when Frank at the diner answers Barney's call to Juanita, the joke is, that for a second, Barney doesn't realize it's a man's voice, and we're left to imagine just what kind of woman this Juanita is. It brings to mind Barney's unflattering review of one of the diner's specials that featured a chicken that, for his money, must have done a lot of flying. Finally, something that didn't translate to his special appearances in the last three seasons, Don Knotts was a master at conveying his feelings and getting laughs with his eye movements, especially whenever he was caught trying to get away with something or attempting to hide his many faults. A good example here is when he is behind the typewriter copying the lucky letter, and he suddenly catches on to Andy's tone of mild reproach about not distancing himself from the childish thinking of people like Goober and Floyd. As I have said before, in the color episodes Barney borders on clownishness. It's as if Don Knotts thought that for color film he needed to ramp up the character's antics to compete with a more vibrant Mayberry. Unfortunately, he only did a disservice to a beloved character.
  • Episode cast overview:
    Andy Griffith Andy Griffith - Andy Taylor
    Ron Howard Ron Howard - Opie Taylor (as Ronny Howard)
    Don Knotts Don Knotts - Barney Fife
    Howard McNear Howard McNear - Floyd Lawson
    Betty Lynn Betty Lynn - Thelma Lou
    George Lindsey George Lindsey - Goober Pyle
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