Cheryl enjoys writing about classic televisions characters, movies, and TV shows.
The town Jinx
On January 29, 1962, an episode of The Andy Griffith Show aired titled The Jinx. This is a beloved episode that fans still enjoy today over 60 years later. In this tale, Deputy Barney FIfe (Don Knotts) is convinced that he lost a game of checkers with Floyd Lawson (Howard Mcnear) the barber because Henry Bennett was standing nearby. Several men in the Barber Shop recall past incidents where trouble happened when Bennet was around and he becomes angry. Barney later begins chanting rhymes and rubbing Opie Taylor's (Ron Howard) red hair in an attempt to ward off the bad luck he believes follows Bennett. Barney labels this Mayberry resident a jinx and Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffth) tries to convince his deputy that there is no such thing as a jinx but strange things continue to happen when Henry is around. Andy decides to prove Bennett is not a Jinx and takes him fishing along with Barney. While Andy is bragging that nothing has happened Barney alerts him that the boat has sprung a leak. When Henry decides to leave town Andy comes up with a plan to keep him in Mayberry.
Henry's bad luck continues
During a town dance, everyone's name is put in a hat for a raffle. Unknown to Henry everyone has the same number which is 44. They all will remain quiet as he claims the prize which is a portable television. When the number is called out everyone waits for Henry to say he has 44 but he remains silent. When Barney checks he finds that Henry has pulled the hat tag out instead of a slip of paper with a number on it. Once again it looks like Henry has had bad luck but he goes home with his prize and nothing is said again about his being a jinx. The next day Andy loses a game of checkers to Opie after Barney walks up and as they start out to go fishing it begins to rain. Andy refers to his deputy as Bad Luck Barney to show him how ridiculous it is to think someone is hexed.
The Jinx Trivia
There is a bit of trivia associated with this episode beginning with the fact that it establishes that Opie's hair is red. This show was in black & white so viewers would not have had any idea what color the boy's hair was. This is also the first episode where Ron Howard's brother Clint Howard makes an appearance on The Andy Griffith Show as Leon. This was an uncredited role where Clint was a boy at the church social. he can be viewed at 18 min 18 seconds. Later on, Leon is the boy offering Barney his peanut butter sandwich in another episode. Norman Lawson. Floyd's son is mentioned in this episode as being a terrible baseball player and this happens to be one of the few times we see it raining in Mayberry. The others episodes where it rains are Dogs, Dogs, Dogs, Quiet Sam, and A Black Day for Mayberry, This is the second time Andy has had a rowboat that sank. In Season 1, Episode 2: The Manhunt, a different boat sprang a leak and sank when a convict tried to escape to the other side of the lake in it. The raffle number 44 that everyone had is probably an acknowledgment to Griffith's movie "A Face In The Crowd" in which Andy's character Lonesome Rhodes repeatedly calls Walter Matthau "Vanderbilt 44,"
Bloopers and Barney's anti-hex spells.
There are a couple of bloopers in this episode starting with the opening shot. There is a man and woman walking by the front of Floyd's Barbershop which is the exact same shot used in the episode, The Manicurist starring Barbara Eden. When Barney asks for an oar, a close-up reveals that there is one near his foot that he could have simply reached down and grabbed.
The 1999 song "Man With the Hex", by Atomic Fireballs, uses the words to Barney's spell-breaking chant almost verbatim in its lyrics.
protect us all,
from the man with the hex
Barney also says:
Come fish come, come fish come,
Sam's at the gate, with a frosted cake,
come fish come.
Fly away buzzard, fly away crow,
way down South where the winds don't blow.
Rub your nose, and give two winks,
and save us from this awful jinx.
All About John Qualen
John Qualen was a character actor with a hundred close to 200 movie and television credits. Some of the movies he appeared in are Seventh Heaven, The Country Doctor, The High and the Mighty, The Three Muskateers, The Devil and Daniel Webster, Hans Christian Anderson, The Other Woman, and Arabian Nights. His television roles include Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Maverick, The Real McCoys, The Man From UNCLE, The Virginian, Hazel, I Spy, and Bonanza. Qualen married Pearle Lawson whom he knew since high school in 1924 and they had 3 children. The actor died on September 12, 1987, at age 87 in France California. His cause of death was listed as heart failure.
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© 2022 Cheryl E Preston