As I dig deep into how The Andy Griffith show broke your grandpa's brain, I keep realizing: People, in general, actually suck at telling fiction from reality.

Following this bit of TV history is really staggering. In 1950, roughly 9% of American households had a television.
By 1961, when the Andy Griffith Show premiered, it was 89%.

Holy shit, that's fast.

The Andy Griffith Show came in at this AMAZING moment where everyone was getting television, but no one was yet talking about the effects of television.

It was this show set in the 60s but really it felt like the 30s, this beacon of WASPy small town values invented by Jewish writers in LA and London. But no one talked about that, because we didn't talk about behind-the-scenes stuff yet.

They convinced EVERYONE that Mayberry was real, it was out there, in the "real America."

You have to understand what a dominant force this show was. It NEVER finished below #7 in the Neisen ratings during its entire run. It had NO competition in its timeslot. No TV show will ever be as ubiquitous as the AG show was from 1961-1968.

And it was a show designed specifically so people could ignore the massive social upheaval happening in the country.


I think it's fine for people to use entertainment as escapism, especially in times of turmoil. But there's a point where "escapism" becomes flat-out denial.

Fact: For the Andy Griffith Show's entire run - from 1961-1968, a black person only has a speaking role one time.

Ron Howard recently tweeted "Hey MAGA crowd, when exactly do you think America was great? What time period was this, exactly?"

Ronnie, my dude. You were ON THE SHOW. They're demanding the candy that you sold them.

This is like, step one in how the Andy Griffith show got us where we are today, if you want more on this subject, you can listen to me and @LockRobster yell about it on our podcast Breaking Mayberry:

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