Alcohol and Old Lace


Original airdate
January 30, 1961
Directed by
Written by


Opie comes to the courthouse talking about a "flower-making machine" owned by sisters Clarabelle and Jennifer Morrison, the spinsters who run the local flower shop. Andy and Barney do a little investigating and discover the contraption is actually a still and the kindly sisters are in the moonshining business.


Andy and Barney believe they have clamped the lid shut on Moonshining after making arrests from tips provided by Mayberry's florists, the Morrison Sisters. An inebriated Otis quickly convinces them otherwise and they set out to find and destroy the still that furnished Otis with his spirits. Despite combing the entire county for the still, it's actually Opie who makes the big break in the case. While gathering flowers at the Morrison Sister's nursery, he wanders into their hothouse and gets a glimpse of what he call their "flower making machine." He brings his bouquet of flowers to the courthouse to show Andy and to get a vase that doesn't "smell funny." As he's leaving Opie mentions the so-called machine and describes it to Andy and Barney. Andy and Barney realize, much to the chagrin of of a sobered up Otis, that what Opie saw was a moonshine still. They close in on the Morrison Sisters and their still. Although the Morrison Sisters claim they were selling their "elixer" only for special occasions and celebrations, it's clear they've not only been selling to anyone clever enough to come up with an occasion, but were eliminating their competition by turning in other moonshiners. Despite their lawlessness, Andy only has Barney destroy the still and does not arrest the elderly ladies. Barney takes his trusty ax and "POW POW POW!" - moonshining is dead in Mayberry for the time being.


  • Andy and Barney believe that a still may be located at Fancy Gap. Fancy Gap is a real town in Virginia located not far from Mount Airy, NC.
  • Jack Prince makes his first appearance in the series as moonshiner Ben Sewell. He would later play the same basic character under the name Rafe Hollister. Jack Prince was a trained vocalist. Andy Griffith wanted him to have a larger role in the series, but Prince felt it would take away from his successful singing career.
  • The title of the episode was taken from the title of the 1944 Frank Capra film Arsenic and Old Lace which featured two elderly sisters who were homicidal maniacs.
  • This is the only episode in which Otis pays a $2 fine and serves jail time.
  • This is the first episode in which we see Barney drunk.
  • Ben Sewell is a Potato Farmer and lives on Townsil Flat, 1/2 a mile down Ash Road. Clarabelle described Ben as wearing blue overall, brown felt hat and a red plaid shirt.
  • Opie's teacher's name in this episode is Miss Johnson.
  • Andy considers deputizing Orville Monroe and Reverend Akin to help in the search for stills in the area because they are "non-drinkers".
  • Mayberrian Lart Hansen pretends to be a Muslim and used the holiday of Muhammad's birthday to get the Morrison sisters to sell him moonshine.


Andy: "Well, I guess it's alright to have a little taste. After all, it is National Still Smashin' Day!"


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