The Darlings

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The Darlings are a fictional family of musically-inclined hillbillies in the American TV sitcom The Andy Griffith Show.


The Darlings (usually pronounced Darlin's) lived in a mountain shack somewhere in the mountains neighboring Mayberry. The good-natured, but trouble-making Appalachian clan, led by patriarch Briscoe Darling (played by Denver Pyle) usually came into town when they had some sort of problem that Sheriff Andy Taylor had to resolve. Briscoe was the widowed father of five grown children (four sons and one daughter) who all lived together, and each had a different musical talent. All together, the members of the family formed a bluegrass band. They had their own set of values and rules and had little concern for matters that went on outside of their family. Due to their secluded lifestyle, their lack of social grace, and their superstitious belief in mountain lore, they were perceived by the people of Mayberry as being somewhat backward. Their arrival in town usually meant trouble for Sheriff Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife, despite their friendly relationship with the family.

The Darlings made their first appearance on The Andy Griffith Show in episode #88, "The Darlings Are Coming." In their second appearance, episode #94, "Mountain Wedding," Andy and Barney must pay a visit to the Darlings' home to rid the family of "Ernest T. Bass," a pesky neighbor with an affinity for rock throwing, who was intent on marrying Briscoe's daughter Charlene.[1] Andy asked Briscoe if he and "the boys" couldn't take care of Ernest themselves to which Briscoe laconically replied, "Well, we thought about killing him... Kinda hated to go that far." Their appearance on the show was always supplemented by a song (provided by bluegrass band The Dillards, who played the Darling boys), usually with Andy accompanying them on guitar.

Darling Family members[edit]

The Darlings made their final appearance on The Andy Griffith Show in episode #193, "The Darling Fortune." They made a total of six appearances throughout the show's run.

Episodes featuring the Darlings[edit]

Season #Production #Broadcast #AirdateTitle
3088088March 18, 1963The Darlings Are Coming
3094094April 29, 1963Mountain Wedding
4096100October 28, 1963Briscoe Declares for Aunt Bee
4121120March 30, 1964Divorce, Mountain Style
5139139December 7, 1964The Darling Baby
7193195October 17, 1966The Darling Fortune

The Darling family (sans Dud) returned in the 1986 reunion movie, Return to Mayberry.

Songs performed by the Darlings[edit]


  1. ^ Katsilometes, John (5 July 2012). "For ‘Andy Griffith Show’ fans, Maggie Mancuso will always be just Darling". Las Vegas Sun. Greenspun Media Group. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "35th Anniversary Celebration: A Mayberry Reunion". Retrieved 12 October 2013.