In the space of a week, we’ve lost Andy Griffith and Ernest Borgnine. Together, they constitutued about 75 percent of my television viewing when I was a kid. Two of my favorite shows were “The Andy Griffith Show” and “McHale’s Navy,” starring Mr. Borgnine. I don’t think it’s any coincidence both comedies featured a second-in-command (Don Knotts as Barney Fife and Tim Conway as Ensign Parker) who were perfect in their roles, stealing their respective shows to the benefit of all. Borgnine and the crew of PT 73 made going to war against the Japanese Imperial Navy in plywood speed boats look like so much fun.
Of course, both Griffth and Borgnine were stellar dramatic actors. As has been noted often in the past week, “A Face in the Crowd,” starring Griffith, is one of the great movies of all time, and Borgnine was in a number of memorable films, winning an Oscar for the title role in “Marty.” The world is a little different than it was a week ago.