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Those Gossipin' Men Alcohol and Old Lace

The Beauty Contest

Season 1, Episode 16


Original airdate
January 23, 1961
Directed by
Written by


The Mayberry town Council wants to end the annual Founder's Day celebration with a beauty contest, with Andy chosen to pick the winner. The result is pandemonium as candidates of all shapes and sizes descend on the hapless "judge".


During a planning meeting, it is suggested that the Mayberry Founders Day pageant be concluded with an actual beauty pageant. Unfortunately, they decide to make Andy the one and only judge. After Andy makes the mistake of thinking Ellie nominated him as judge so she can win the contest herself, Andy realizes he's got trouble on his hands. He must figure out a way to get out of this mess without hurting everyone's feelings and damaging his own love life. After being nagged by practically every citizen in town with some kind of stake in the pageant, including his own Son, Andy chooses Ms. Bishop, an older lady who not only didn't enter the pageant or compel Andy to choose someone she knew, but worked tirelessly seeing that the pageant came off without a hitch.


  • Josie Lloyd, played the mayor's daughter, Josephine Pike. She would go on to to play Lydia Pike in a later episode, although there was no indication that she was the mayor's daughter, even though the last names were the same. She was referred to as Lydia Crosswaithe in Goober and the Art of Love.
  • In the epilogue for this episode, Opie's girlfriend, Mary Wiggins, is seen in the barbershop making her the first in a very short list of females to have ever graced the inside of Floyd's . Ellie appeared briefly in Mayberry on Record, Aunt Bee in a couple of episodes (one of which was The Jinx), a female reporter in Crime-Free Mayberry and of course curvy and sweet smelling manicurist Ellen Brown in The Manicurist.
  • We see Ellie's true character in this episode. Instead of manipulating Andy's choice like the others, she gets mad at the thought of him picking her unfairly!
  • Andy and Ellie leave the council meeting via a side door (or perhaps the back door) of the courthouse. However, stairs are never seen leading from the top floor.
  • Andy crowns Mary Wiggins as Ms. Mayberry Junior in the epilogue to smooth things over with Opie for not choosing her as Ms. Mayberry.


Andy: “Um, folks, in order to judge a beauty contest I think it’s good to know what beauty really is. Now, there’s outside beauty, I guess we can all see that, and then, there’s inside beauty. Ms. Bishop, would you bring up the robe please? Folks, to present to you the most logical choice, most obvious choice and in fact the only choice. I present to you her royal highness, Ms. Mayberry... Ms. Erma Bishop. For doing such a beautiful job with this year’s pageant and just behaving beautifully through the whole thing, I crown thee, Ms. Mayberry."
Ellie: “Andy it was the best choice.”
Andy: “Well, maybe I better see if I stop this crying jag.”


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Those Gossipin' Men Alcohol and Old Lace
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