Now that Google has made playing “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” simple and instantaneous, I couldn’t resist checking out the Bacon numbers for
Those industrious elves at Google Books Ngram Viewer must never sleep! Here are their latest offerings for North Carolinians’ provocation and speculation:
— Carolina blue was adopted on campus about 1800, but the rest of the world seems to have taken a while to catch on.
— Jimmie Johnson vs. Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon. Maybe if he wins six consecutive championships….
— Great Dismal Swamp vs. Okefenokee Swamp. The 1980s spike coincides with an environmental conflict over the Okefenokee.
— Don Knotts vs. Barney Fife surprised me — but now that the actor is dead, the immortal deputy is closing fast.
On this day in 1968: The all-time highest-rated episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” airs, during the last of the show’s eight prime-time seasons.
In “Barney Hosts a Summit Meeting,” former costar Don Knotts returns for a guest appearance as Barney Fife. Hoping to help his ex-deputy impress superiors at the Raleigh Police Department, Andy allows Barney to arrange an East-West summit at the Taylor household. The meeting fails miserably until an impromptu encounter in Aunt Bee’s kitchen saves the day.
The episode won Knotts a fifth Emmy for his portrayal of Fife (Griffith never won any for his Sheriff Taylor).
Pictured: Pinback button from the collection promoting reruns of “The Andy Griffith Show” on the TV Land cable network.