Stranger in Town


Original airdate
December 26, 1960
Directed by
Written by


Ed Sawyer, a mysterious stranger, arrives in Mayberry and disrupts the lives of the townspeople because he appears to know everyone's name, intimate details about their lives, and other startling facts about them.


When a stranger gets off the bus from New York City, the folks in Mayberry are naturally curious. When he strolls into the barbershop - calling everyone by name and knowing things that no stranger should know - their suspicions go into overdrive, especially since nobody knows who he is. In fact, Ed Sawyer's knowledge of the goings-on in Mayberry is uncanny. Soon, as a result, he's accused of being everything from a foreign spy to a space alien - or worse! - and his friendly attempts to fit in and settle down are coldly rejected. Andy, on the other hand, seems to be the only one in town unwilling to judge Ed until he knows the facts. After a particularly curious encounter twixt Ed and Lucy Matthews, the woman he loves - whom he's never even met! - Ed asks Andy for help and explains how Mayberry came to be his "hometown", revealing that he's a loner with no family and no real home. It seems that, in The Army, Ed befriended Joe Larson from Mayberry (son of Pete and Edie Larson) and loved the stories Joe told about "back home" so much that he began to take the town newspaper and tell folks that he was from Mayberry. As Andy is calling the town's newspaper to explain things, Ed is confronted by a frightened, angry crowd who want to run him out of town. Andy steps in - telling Ed's story and delivering a stern lecture about how to treat people who may appear to be a little different. Hearing how their "friendly" nature caused a total stranger to embrace them, the "mob" backs down and warmly welcomes their new neighbor to Mayberry.


  • This episode marks Floyd the Barber's first appearance in the series although (as noted), he is not played by Howard McNear but by Walter Baldwin.
  • In this episode, the Mayberry Beauty Shop is located directly next to the barbershop. There is a door in the barbershop that goes into the beauty shop. Later, Monroe's Funeral Parlor and TV Repair shop is located next to the barbershop. The door connecting the two is never seen again.
  • When Ed Sawyer arrives he first goes to Floyd's barber shop. Ed asks Floyd about his Rheumatism since it "usually acts up this time of year".
  • As Ed leaves the barber shop he runs in to Mrs. Buntley, who is just stepping out of Mayberry's Dry Cleaning and Pressing Shop. Mrs. Buntley has her twins (Robert and William) in a stroller. Ed distinguishes the twins apart because William has a little mole on his right ear.
  • Jason (Mayberry Hotel reservations clerk) attempts to give Ed Sawyer room 209 but Ed swiftly declines that room because "that's the room Wilbur Hennessy got drunk in and fell out the window". Ed requests room 216 because it's been freshly painted green (although green is not Ed's favorite color).
  • As Floyd takes a nap in his barber chair Andy reads a story in the newspaper about Old Man Joe MacKnight celebrating his 103rd birthday.
  • Ed Sawyer reveals that Lucy Matthews is valedictorian of her class, blue is her favorite color, she loves to dance, she loves hot fudge sundaes and she's a Capricorn.
  • The gas station in this episode is owned by George Sapperly. It is insinuated that Ed buys the gas station at the end of the show but this is Ed Sawyer's one and only show appearance so it is unknown if this gas station is the same as "Walley's filling station".


  • Visible crew/equipment: At the end of the episode, when Andy opens the door to Floyd's so Ed Sawyer can get a haircut, the set's large spotlight is reflected on the door's window.
  • Visible crew/equipment: When Andy walks into the barber shop while Barney's complaining to Floyd about his sideburns, we can see the white T-mark on the floor at the bottom of the screen, as well as chalk marks where Andy's standing. These are the actor's "mark" on where to stand while filming.


Andy: Do you think people will ever go to the moon?
Ed: Sure. I'm going there myself someday.
Andy: Boy, you're already there!


Previous episode: Next episode:
The Christmas Story Mayberry Goes Hollywood

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.