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Aaron Ruben, TV writer and 'Andy Griffith Show' producer, dies

February 1, 2010 |  2:47 pm

Ruben Aaron Ruben, a veteran comedy writer and producer who died Saturday at the age of 95, produced the first five seasons of "The Andy Griffith Show," the gentle-humored 1960s TV classic starring Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor.

In 1970, when Ruben was producing "The Headmaster," a dramatic series in which Griffith played the headmaster of an elite private school, The Times' television columnist Cecil Smith found that the show was a long way from Mayberry: The series opener dealt with student drug use.

"Both Andy and I said we won't come back on television with one of the old formula shows," Ruben told Smith. "They won't work anymore. I wouldn't put the old Griffith show on today. I started 'Gomer Pyle,' but I wouldn't consider a show like that now.

"It's a different world. You can't expect an audience that's been to see [the movies] 'MASH' or 'Medium Cool' to be concerned about whether Aunt Bee finishes the patchwork quilt in time for the bazaar."

-- Dennis McLellan

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Photo: Aaron Ruben.