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10 things we learned from ‘Andy Griffith’

  • Show gave us many gems that continue to live on
  • Sitcom showed us that being a single parent is doable
  • Pastor who taught the 'Gospel According to Andy Griffith' joins HLN's Evening Express at 6:45pm ET

Andy Griffith dead at 86

Andy Griffith dead at 86

See the real-life Mayberry

See the real-life Mayberry

With Andy Griffith’s passing on Tuesday, TV fans around the world lost an icon. Here are 10 things "The Andy Griffith Show" taught us.

1. Substance abuse is a community responsibility. Otis Campbell was Mayberry's "town drunk." Andy never staged an intervention, and never embarrassed him. Instead, he allowed Otis to sleep in the jail after a binge to sober up.

2. Raising a son (or daughter) as a single parent is doable. Opie was a truth-telling, respectable boy who doted on his father and Aunt Bee.

3. "Mayberry," in many ways, is us. If you're from any small town with old-fashioned values, you're from -- say it with us -- "Mayberry."

4. Big ears are handsome. Before Andy, Hollywood had this chiseled prototype of what a leading man should be: Dimpled chin, rock-jaw features. Andy put ears on the map.

5. Cheap laughs are good -- but so are take-home lessons. Each episode ended with a take-home lesson in morals. It wasn’t preachy, but it discussed in such a way that the viewer could come to his own conclusion.

6. You can work with a family member. Barney Fife was more than a co-worker, way more than just a foil, he was family -- actually Andy's cousin. Andy included him on dinner dates, parties and even the most intimate family settings. They were best friends.

7. If you have an incompetent worker, it doesn’t automatically mean you fire them. Fife was an absolute headcase as a lawman. Fumbling and bumbling, he often times caused as many headaches and problems as the the two-man police force was called on to quell. But he was a hard worker who supported Andy in the toughest of times.

8. Police officers are people, too. Before the bombastic crime dramas that have come to dominate TV, there was Andy. For decades, his was the calming face people thought of when they envisioned police officers in small towns.

9. Some television theme songs never die. The “Andy Griffith” theme song is a part of a large swath of America’s childhood DNA. It just is.

10. And finally, we learned Tuesday just how much we will miss him: Dearly.

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