Last week we lost a true legend in Andy Griffith. When The Andy Griffith Show originally aired wasn't even a glint in my parents' eyes. As a matter of fact, I think they may have still been kids at that time. Either way, the point is that this is one the most iconic shows ever. I've moved around a visited many places, but I don't think I've ever been anywhere that doesn't air this at some point in time. Not to mention it is in regular rotation on TV Land.
He also starred in a few movies, (No Time for Sergeants is my favorite), as well as another show, Matlock, which I'm not too familiar with, but from what I hear, it could have very well been more of Andy playing himself.
What I'm getting at with this pseudo-eulogy is that we lost a great TV icon last week. Then, on Sunday, we lost another great star from this era, Ernest Borgnine, who is best known for his time on McHale's Navy, I believe.
This got me to thinking, with all the icons and actors who were in shows from the Golden Age of television dying off (ironically, Larry Hagman seems to have taken that foot out of the grave and returned to the screen in the new version of Dallas), will future generations say the same thing about today's "stars".
Think about it for a minute. Icons of yesteryear, Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, Dick van Dyke, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Barbara Eden, Elizabeth Montgomery, Art Carney, Jackie Gleason, etc.
Then we have those that became icons in the 80s and 90s, Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld, the cast of Friends, David Hasslehoff, etc.
However, when it comes to today we have the Kardashians and the cast of Jersey Shore leading the pack!
Seriously, are we really going to consider them icons in the next 20-30 yrs? Will there be the same amount of love and respect shown upon their deaths as seen with Andy Griffith's? Or will they continue to be nothing but a media circus, even from beyond the grave?
Speaking of grave, Andy was buried within hours of his passing. I wonder if that was done to keep the media leeches from turning his death and funeral into a circus. Other than a marathon of The Andy Griffith Show, there hasn't been much else said about it past this weekend. Maybe more celebrity families should take note and bury their loved ones ASAP, since that seems to be the only way to get any respect from paparazzi.
With social media and internet ruling the world nowadays, TV in nearly a thing of the past, so the fact that there aren't as many icons is no surprise, but seriously, there has to be someone who isn't a polarizing figure, right?
The thing about those actors from the 50s and 60s, and this may just be because they weren't shoved down people's throats 24-7, is the fact we didn't know everything about them. That bit of mystery, coupled with actual talent made them what they are today.
Can you imagine if they were around today? I can see some website having a field day because Andy Griffith crossed the Mason Dixon line, Jackie Gleason ate a salad, or Lucille Ball's roots were showing.
Man, society sure has devolved, hasn't it?
While there may not be any icons to take the place of a true good guy like Andy Griffith, we can rest assured that he will live on forever in reruns.
R.I.P. Sheriff Taylor
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