Jeff Gainer

31 Cheyenne Trail

Hamilton, MT  59840

Tel: (406) 363-1461
















Written by Jeff Gainer


Produced by Allan Newsome


Technical Advisors:


Dale Robinson and

David Fernandes

















Subtitle: “Opie’s Christmas Wish”









                        ANDY TAYLOR                               ANDY GRIFFITH

                        BARNEY FIFE                                  DON KNOTTS

                        AUNT BEE                                        FRANCES BAVIER

                        OPIE TAYLOR                                 RONNY HOWARD

                        JOHHNY PAUL JASON                  RICHARD KEITH

                        EMMA BRAND                                CHEERIO MEREDITH

                        OTIS CAMPBELL                            HAL SMITH

                        BEN WEAVER                                 WILL WRIGHT

                        LEON                                                 CLINT HOWARD











Subtitle: “Opie’s Christmas Wish”












Andy and Barney are struggling through the door with a large Christmas tree. Aunt Bee stands to one side; her face excited but her hands folded. Opie watches, standing up and looking over the back of the sofa. He is wearing pajamas.



AUNT BEE: Oh, it’s just beautiful! (She follows Andy and Barney as they carry the tree to the corner and lean it up against the fireplace.)


ANDY: Easy--easy does it there, Barn.


(They balance the tree in a stand.)


BARNEY: There she is!


AUNT BEE: Oh, just smell that! (She inhales deeply.) It’s just like being in the middle of  a pine forest!


BARNEY: Well, that’s where she come from. Pines up around Myer’s Lake.


ANDY: And feel that cold air comin’ off her--


OPIE: Paw, it’s the most beautiful tree we’ve even had!


ANDY: Oh, I’d say she is.


BARNEY: Sure is a beauty . . . .


ANDY (Looks at his watch): Say, Barn, we’d best get on down to the courthouse.


AUNT BEE: Now, Barney, don’t forget to join us for Christmas Eve supper tonight . . . Oh, my, I’ve got to clean up all these needles!


Musical bridge, then





Commercial break







Andy is at his desk, opening Christmas cards. Barney is in the corner, hanging tinsel on the tree. Otis is in his cell, eating breakfast. Opie enters.


OPIE: Hi, Paw. Hi, Barney. (He notices Otis.) Hey, Otis.


OTIS: Hi, Opie--Merry Christmas!


OPIE: Merry Christmas, Mr. Campbell. (He turns to Andy.) Paw, can you help me write a letter?


ANDY: To Santa Claus?


OPIE: Uh-huh. I want to ask him for something.


BARNEY: To Santy Claus, hey? (He comes over to the desk.) Whatcha gonna ask him for?


OPIE (Hesitating): Well, it’s sorta like a wish, ain’t it?


ANDY: Yeah, in a way.


OPIE: Well, if you tell a wish, it won’t come true, will it?


ANDY: I think this is different. You can tell folks what you want Santa Claus to bring you, son.


BARNEY (Amused): Besides, you have to tell your Paw so he can write it for you.


OPIE: Okay. (He looks to Andy.) Ready, Paw?


ANDY (pencil poised): Ready!


OPIE: ‘Dear Santa, How are you and Mrs. Claus?’


ANDY (He writes, then looks up.): That was nice, askin’ about his wife. Most folks don’t think to ask.


OPIE: Uh-huh. ‘How are the reindeer? And the elves? I sure hope you have good weather for Christmas and some snow for your sleigh.’


ANDY (writing): Yeah . . .  Don’t you think you ought to tell him what you want for Christmas?


OPIE: ‘What I really want to Christmas, more than anything, is a real bike. An American Flyer bike. A red one.’


BARNEY (coming back to the desk): An American Flyer bike?


OPIE: I seen it down to Mr. Weaver’s store.


ANDY: Sure is an expensive present . . . .


OPIE: But it don’t cost nothin’ if  Santa’s elves make it.


BARNEY: Well, Ope, y’see, the way it is . . . .


ANDY (Surreptitiously waving Barney away): It’s just that it’s an expensive present, and well . . . .


OPIE: But Santa’s elves make it, don’t they?


ANDY (Uncomfortable, looking down at his desk, shifting in his chair): Well, yeah, you could say that, son, but, well, the fact of the matter is . . . (Behind him, Barney looks horrified.) the way it is, Opie, is well . . . You see, Santa has to pay his elves . . . so every year, after he brings all the presents, Santa sends me a bill.


OPIE (Wide-eyed): Gee . . . .


ANDY: Santa Claus has got to keep up with modern times. (In the background, Barney rolls his eyes.)


OPIE: I thought all that stuff was free.


ANDY: It was, in the old days . . . but now . . . well, then . . . things is more expensive now.


OPIE: I guess so . . . but that bike is all I really want, Paw.


BARNEY: Fine present, a bike. I remember when I got my first bike.


OPIE: For Christmas?


BARNEY: Yep. I snuck downstairs real quiet like before wakin’ up the folks. . . There she was. . . (He looks off into the distance, remembering.)


OPIE (turning to Andy): I sure would like that bike, Paw.


ANDY: Well, I guess there’s no harm in asking.


OPIE: ‘And P.S.: Please don’t bring me no clothes this year.’


ANDY (nodding, writing): No clothes.


OPIE: ‘Love, Opie.’


ANDY: Don’t you want to ask for nothin’ else? Give Santa some shoppin’ ideas? I mean, some ideas for his elves?


OPIE: I reckon not. Sure would like that bike.


ANDY: Well, then, maybe you’d best get this letter on down to the post office.


BARNEY: Don’t want to keep Santy Claus waitin’.


OPIE (excitedly): Okay! (He takes the envelope and practically runs out the door.)


BARNEY: Sure must be nice, havin’ a youngun around for Christmas.


ANDY: Almost as excitin’ as bein’ one. Remember when I got my first bike, too.


BARNEY: When you were a little fella?


ANDY: Yep. . . about Opie’s age, as a matter of fact. . . Guess that was about the best Christmas present I ever got. (Otis has finished eating his breakfast. He stands beside the cell door, listening.) How, ‘bout you, Barn?


BARNEY: (He thinks for a moment.) Oh, I guess it was a sleigh.


ANDY: A sleigh? But it hardly never snows here.


BARNEY: Yeah, but I really wanted that sleigh. On Christmas morning, I remember bein’ so excited.


ANDY: Did it snow?


BARNEY: Oh, I never got to use it on snow.


ANDY: You didn’t?


BARNEY: No. But it got wrecked it the next summer, anyway.


ANDY: You wrecked your sleigh in the summer?


BARNEY: I used to charge the other kids a nickel to ride down Dynamite Hill after it rained. That red clay got real slippery. Faster’n any snow.


ANDY: Think I remember that. Ain’t that how Charlie Schoolcraft broke his arm?


BARNEY: Charlie Schoolcraft was the one who wrecked my sleigh.


ANDY: He did?


BARNEY: Yeah. Busted up my sled. . . broke his arm. . . .


ANDY: He did?


BARNEY: Yeah. I felt so bad about it, I gave him his nickel back.


ANDY: Don’t he race cars down in Greensboro these days?


BARNEY: No, that’s his little brother. Charlie runs an auto body shop.


ANDY: Fixin’ busted race cars?


BARNEY: Mostly.


OTIS: Hey, Andy, can I go now?


ANDY (going toward the cell door):Yeah, I reckon your time’s about up.


OTIS: What time I am supposed to be back here tonight?


ANDY: Well, we got to get you all duded up . . .  I’d reckon about six.


BARNEY: And no drinkin’!


ANDY: Now that’s right, Otis. It wouldn’t do for folks to see Santa Claus show up with a snootful.


OTIS: It could awful cold out there, Andy. Not even a little nip to keep me warm?


BARNEY: Not even a drop, Otis!


OTIS (to Andy): It does get awful cold out there, Andy. And besides, if I’m gonna be Santa, I should have rosy cheeks and a red nose.


ANDY: Otis, I figure after last night you’re nose’ll be red till New Year’s. Besides, you’ve got that warm red suit .. . .


OTIS (frustrated): Oh! All right. (He exits.)


ANDY: Barney, I want you to kinda follow Otis around and see that he don’t get up to Rafe Hollister’s still.


BARNEY (hiking up his gunbelt): Ten-four, Andy!


ANDY: Now don’t let him see you--


BARNEY: Right, Andy--you can count on Old Stealthy Barney Fife!


ANDY: Now be careful--just watch him, but head him off if he starts up toward that still. Now, ‘member, don’t let him see you!


BARNEY: Right, Andy!


(Barney hurries out.)








Opie stands in front of Weaver’s Store. He is looking longingly in the window, admiring a shiny red bicycle in the window display. Johnny Paul Jason approaches him.




OPIE (He turns toward Johnny Paul): Hi, Johnny Paul. (He turns back to the bicycle.) Sure is somethin’, ain’t it? I asked Santa to bring it to me.


JOHNNY PAUL: What you need, Opie, is a pony. Then we could really play cowboys . . . tonight I’m askin’ Santa to bring me one.


OPIE: A pony?


Opie looks thoughtful. Musical bridge up, as we








Barney is standing stiffly in a doorway, furtively watching Otis walk down the street. Leon, wearing his cowboy hat and guns, approaches. He stands in front on Barney, munching on his peanut butter and jelly sandwich.


Barney frantically gestures for Leon to leave. He cranes his neck out of the doorway, trying to watch Otis.


BARNEY: Go away, Leon!


Leon offers Barney his sandwich.


BARNEY: No thanks, Leon.





Long shot of Otis getting into his car and driving away. Barney is still blocked in the doorway by Leon and his peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Here we pause for a moment of physical comedy as Barney frantically tries to get around Leon. Barney runs for the squad car, but just before he reaches it, Emma Brand approaches, blocking his way. She is madder than a hornet.


EMMA: Deputy!


BARNEY: Uh--Hi, Miz Brand.


EMMA: Deputy Fife! I’ve called and called about that Fred Goss’s maple tree! Do you realize how many of his leaves have blown into my front yard? Why folks would think that I didn’t keep my place up properly! I called in October and here it is Christmas Eve and the police in this town haven’t done a thing about it!


BARNEY (trying to shift around her to the squad car): Well, Miss Brand, well--I’ll look into it, I promise--


EMMA: Maple leaves all over my porch, too! And in the spring--do you know he has a sycamore tree?


BARNEY: We’re doin’ all we can Miss Brand, really . . . it’s just that--


EMMA: How’s a body supposed to get any police protection in this town! And what about that snoopy Maxine Ellis? Deputy, she’s been blabblin’ it all around town that those are my leaves! Deputy, I want to being charges against her, I insist!


BARNEY: Miss Brand, I really got to go, but I’ll look into it, I promise!


Emma steps aside just long enough for Barney to leap into the squad car. Lights flashing, siren wailing, Old Stealthy Barney Fife pursues his man.




















Andy is with members of the town band; they have their instruments and are in their band uniforms. Barney rushes in the door, flustered. Andy looks to Barney. Barney shares his head negatively. They go to the back room to talk.


BARNEY: Andy, I’m sorry, but I’ve looked everywhere.


ANDY: Well, looks like your going to have to be Santa Claus again this year.


BARNEY: Well . . . . we don’t want to have a skinny Santa.


ANDY: Get them pillows out of the cells to pad your stomach.


BARNEY: We’ll have to leave one for Otis.


ANDY: Yeah, I reckon he’ll be stumblin’ in here pretty soon--Oh, almost forgot! (Andy’s harried, irritated expression changes to a father’s holiday excitement.) Lookee here!


In the corner, Andy removes a blanket hiding a new bicycle.


BARNEY: So you went a got her, huh?


ANDY: Well, I called Ben Weaver, and he brought it over himself a little while ago.


BARNEY: Sure was nice of that old buzzard.


ANDY: Old Ben? Why, he does buy the tree for the town every year now.


BARNEY: And he hangs that “Shop at Weaver’s Department Store” sign on it--


He is interrupted by Otis, who enters the room.


OTIS (pointing at Barney wearing the costume): Hey! I’m supposed to be Santa!


ANDY: Well, we thought you were off . . . well . . . you know . . . .


BARNEY: Where were you all day?


OTIS (holding up a pair of shiny black boots): I had to go shoppin’ for these. Got ‘em in Siler City, then I got ‘em shined up real nice. Wouldn’t do for Santa to be wearing brown shoes, now would it?


ANDY (happily): Well, now, I guess not! We’d better go get you ready!


Barney pulls out the pillows and begins to remove the costume.








There is a large Christmas tree in the town square, people crowded around, singing “Oh Christmas Tree” as the town band plays along. (Director’s note: the band is playing much better than usual tonight!) The song ends, and Andy, in his band uniform, with his tuba. He goes to Barney. Barney is in his deputy’s uniform, but is wearing a coat.


ANDY: Everything ready?


BARNEY: Ten-four. The engine’s all set up and Otis has the presents.


There is the sound of a siren, and a fire engine comes around the corner, lights flashing. On the roof of the engine sits Otis, wearing his Santa outfit. He waves to the crowd below; they wave back. Without Andy, the band begins to play “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.”


Ben Weaver approaches Andy and Barney.


BEN (threatening tone): I hope he’s sober, Sheriff.


ANDY: Sober as a judge, Ben.


Ben nods, the watches Otis, in the distance, as he sits on the edge of the fire truck. Otis takes children on his knee, talks with them and give each one a single present.


ANDY: Sure is a fine tree, Ben.


BARNEY: Folks sure appreciate you doin’ this for ‘em.


BEN (scowling): Helps folks get over this foolishness faster. But I suppose I got to do this once a year, just to get folk’s minds back to business. (Ben looks off to the crowd of children surrounding Otis. Otis is laughing with them.) Good evening Sheriff, Deputy. (He stalks away in the direction of the fire engine.)


BARNEY (offended): Why that old buzzard . . . .


ANDY: Oh, that’s just Ben’s way . . . Lookee there--




Ben Weaver is sitting on the back of the fire engine chatting with excited children, holding presents.


Opie runs to his father, holding a wrapped present. Andy kneels down.


OPIE (excitedly): Look what Santa gave me, Paw!


ANDY: Oh, boy! Ain’t ya gonna open it up?


OPIE: Okay! (With trembling fingers, he unwraps a large box of crayons.) Wow, Paw! Hey, look, Barney!


BARNEY: Hey, sixty-four of ‘em!


ANDY: Did you remember to thank Santa Claus?


OPIE: Uh-huh. And I thanked Mr. Weaver, too.


ANDY: Mr. Weaver?


OPIE: Uh-huh. I told him how Santa has to send out bills, so he told Santa to send all the bills to Weaver’s Department Store.


BARNEY (rising:): Hey, look! He’s goin’ back to the North Pole.


(Andy, Opie and Barney turn to watch Otis climbing back to the top of the fire engine. The band begins to play as the fire engine, lights flashing pulls away. Otis waves to the crowd. Opie, Andy and Barney wave back.)


ANDY: Santa’s got a lot of work to do tonight.


OPIE: Yeah . . . he’s gotta go get my pony.


ANDY (suddenly concerned, looking at Opie): Your what--?


OPIE: My pony. Johnny Paul Jason and I done asked Santa to bring us ponies this year. So we could play cowboys.


ANDY: But I don’t know if Santa could get a pony is his sleigh . . . .


OPIE: Sure, he could, Paw. He’s Santa, ain’t he?


ANDY: Well . . . what’d he say about the pony?


OPIE: He asked me what color I wanted.


ANDY: Well, Ope, a pony, well, that’s . . . mebbe you’d best wait here. Barney and I got to lock up the courthouse.









BARNEY: Well, what are you gonna do, Andy?


ANDY: I don’t know, I just don’t know.


BARNEY: He’s expectin’ a pony on Christmas mornin’!


ANDY: I know, I know . . . .


BARNEY (pacing, wringing his hands): Little kid like that, losin’ all his faith in Santa Claus . . . . What are you gonna do, Andy?


ANDY (sitting quietly on the side of his desk, thinking): I’ll think of somethin’.


BARNEY (Still pacing, getting more and more upset): He’s gonna wake up on Christmas morning, and there ain’t gonna be no pony--aw, it’s gonna be just awful!


The courthouse door opens and Otis enters, looking definitely disheveled, wearing his Santa coat and hat. He holds an open bottle.




OTIS (slurring): Good evening, gentlemen. I trust my usual accommodations are prepared. (He begins to giggle.)


BARNEY: You’ve been drinkin’!


OTIS: Who told you such a thing?


ANDY: You promised no drinkin’ while you was Santa.


OTIS:  Andy, I didn’t touch a drop while I was Santa, I promise! But while the fire engine was pullin’ away . . . (He pauses, burps) I got jus’ a ‘lil bit chilled!


BARNEY: So you went and had yourself a little antifreeze!


OTIS: It was so cold up there . . . . (As he staggers toward Cell Number One, Barney takes the bottle away. Otis locks himself in.)


BARNEY: Oh, boy this is just awful! (He begins to pace again.) Opie’s done told Santa Claus that he wants a pony and now Santa’s drunk in jail on Christmas Eve . . . .


Andy has been sitting quietly at his desk again, thinking hard.


ANDY: Barn, I got an idea about this pony business. But first, though, Otis shouldn’t be in jail on Christmas Eve.


BARNEY: But what are we gonna do with him?


ANDY: After supper tonight we’ll come back here and get the bike and take Otis home. And I got a feelin’ after Rita’s done lecturing’ Otis on gettin’ a snootful he’ll think twice before he uncorks another bottle.


Opie comes in the front door.


OPIE: Paw? Barney?


ANDY: Yeah, son?


OPIE: It’s gettin’ awful cold out there--(He notices Otis in the cell. Suspiciously:) Why’s Mr. Campbell wearin’ Santa’s coat?


ANDY: Oh, um, well, you know . . . It’s cold out, and Santa give Otis his coat so’s he could keep warm.


OPIE (Shaking his head, looking at Otis passed out in his cell, wearing the Santa Claus coat): That Santa sure is some guy!


BARNEY (Smiling at Andy): He sure is. . . .


ANDY: Why sure ‘nuff.  Like him loanin’ Otis his coat . . . and Santy Claus would never think of bringin’ somebody the wrong kinda present, neither.  Not like clothes nor nothin’.


OPIE: Whatcha mean, Paw?


ANDY: Well, y’know, nothin’ like a real grown-up kinda bicycle. Not when you could be gettin’ up early in the morning to feed you pony and brush him. And after school, of course, you’d hafta be home early. You wouldn’t be able to ride your bike with your friends, ‘ cause you’d be havin’ all kind of fun with your pony. Cleanin’ out his stall and the like.


OPIE: Cleanin’ out his stall?


ANDY: Well, you know, Ope. You got to clean up after ‘em. You’ll get used to it--the smell and all.




Opie, now looking a bit uncertain.


ANDY: And you’ll hafta take lots of baths, too, but that don’t compare nohow to bein’ out ridin’ on your shiny new bike with your friends. Not when you can be a-shoveling, and a-scrapin’ and a-carryin’ them big bags of oats and all.


(Andy put his hand on the boy’s shoulder, guides him toward the door.)


ANDY: We’d best get on back to the house and have supper. And then you can get to bed early. You’re gonna have to start gettin’ used to wakin’ up real early so’s you can take care of your pony. Naw, no more of that sleeping’ late on Saturday mornin’. Naw, gettin up early’s a fine thing . . . (Barney follows them looking confused) . . . workin’ hard, takin’ care of a pony. That’s better’n being out with your friends ridin’ your bike without a care in the world . . . .


Opie stops, look up to Andy.


OPIE: Paw?


ANDY: Yeah, Ope?


OPIE: I’ve been thinkin’, maybe a pony ain’t such a good idea.


ANDY: It ain’t?


OPIE: Well, that sure is a lot of responsibility for a five-year-old boy. So I’ve been thinkin’, maybe we should wait till I’m older.


ANDY: Well, I guess. If you think so.


(They get into the squad car with Barney. Opie is in the back seat. Suddenly Opie sits bolt upright, an alarmed look on his face.)

OPIE: But, Paw! Santa already said he’d bring me a pony!


BARNEY: Maybe we could call him on the telephone.


ANDY: Good idea, Barn. Soon as we get back to the house, I’ll call Santa and tell him Opie’s done changed his mind.


OPIE: And maybe he should bring me that bike instead.


ANDY: Yeah, we’ll tell him that. (Whispers to Barney:) Good idea Barn. When we get to the house, I’ll pretend to call.








The squad car stops in front of the house. Before Andy or Barney can stop him, Opie leaps out of the car and runs into the house.







Andy and Barney run in the front door. Opie is holding the telephone. Aunt Bee stands to one side, looking confused.


AUNT BEE: Andy, he just burst in here and started telling Sara it was an emergency and he had to talk to Santa Claus!


OPIE (speaking into the telephone): Right! Thanks, Miss Sara! (He hangs up the telephone, smiles happily.)


ANDY: Uh, who was that?


OPIE: Miss Sara. She says Santa’s done left the North Pole, but he’s got a two-way radio in his sleigh, so she’ll tell about the bike. (He turns thoughtful. Questioningly:) Paw?


ANDY: Yeah, Opie?


OPIE: That Santa sure is some guy, ain’t he?


Musical bridge up as Andy picks up Opie and hugs him.


ANDY: Yeah, he sure is!
















Opie is on the ground, having just fallen off his new bike. Andy is kneeling over him.


OPIE: I hit my knee.


ANDY: It’s okay, though, ain’t it?


OPIE: I guess so. (Andy lifts the bike up and hold it for Opie. Opie hesitates, looking up at his father.) I didn’t think this would be so hard to do, Paw.


ANDY: Well, you just keep tryin’. Once you get started its real easy.


OPIE (hesitating): Okay, Paw.


Opie gets on the bike and Andy walks alongside him as Opie pedals the bike.


ANDY:  Just a little faster now . . . .


Opie pedals harder as Andy runs alongside, holding the bike with his fingertips. Suddenly Andy lets go of the bike as Opie, a little wobbly at first, pedals away on his own.





Long shot of Opie, pedaling away from the camera.


OPIE (shouting excitedly): Paw! I’m doin’ it! I’m ridin’ all by myself!


The camera pans back to a medium shot of Andy, standing in the yard, smiling as his son pedals away. The theme comes up and the camera pans up for a long shot down at Andy and we