Andy Griffith Show: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

Andy Griffith Show: 10 Things You Didn’t Know
Andy Griffith Show: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

The Andy Griffith Show was one of the most beloved television series of all time, running from 1960 to 1968. Set in the small, fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, the show followed the daily lives of Sheriff Andy Taylor, his family, and the quirky inhabitants of the town. While many are familiar with the classic show, there are still plenty of facts and post-production stories that many fans might not know. 

In this article, we’ll explore ten fascinating things you probably didn’t know about The Andy Griffith Show. Here’s everything from the character that almost didn’t make the cut to the truth behind some of the show’s most iconic scenes. Read on to learn more about this beloved classic.

1. Andy Griffith’s Character Was Originally Scripted To Be The Funny Guy

Andy Griffith Show: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

In the show’s original concept, Griffith was scripted to be the guy who would bring ‘the comic relief.’ However, after Don Knotts, who played Barney, was seen performing his magic in the first episode, plans quickly changed. Consequently, everything worked out great as Knotts kept the comedic play vibrant throughout the first five seasons of the show. 

2. There’s A Special Tribute To Andy Griffith’s Father In The Show

In the opening credits of the show, Andy is seen walking down the road with his son, Opie, played by Ron Howard. Soon after, Opie throws a rock into the lake, and Andy responds with a nod of approval. Apparently, this scene was actually incorporated as a tribute to Taylor’s father. Every time he nodded his head that way, it signified a ‘job well done’. 

3. Ron Howard Couldn’t Actually Throw A Rock Into The Lake

Andrew Griffith Show

Talking about the legendary opening scene on The Andy Griffith Show, here’s something that may come as a surprise. Ron Howard, who played Opie, couldn’t actually throw the rock in the lake. It was revealed later on that someone else threw a rock in at the same time he did. Apparently, his rock fell a little too short of the Lake. However, Bruce Wilson, the assistant director, knew they had to capture that famous splash. So he instructed a prop man to make the throw at the exact same time as Howard. 

4. It Was A Spin-Off Sitcom

Andy Griffith Show: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

The Andy Griffith Show may seem like a  stand-alone TV series, but many didn’t know it was a spin-off sitcom. In reality, the idea for the show can be traced back to an episode from a 1960 series called The Danny Thomas Show. Formerly, in the episode called “Danny Meets Andy Griffith”, Andy played a sheriff who arrested Danny for a traffic violation. Plus, some of the cast members from The Andy Griffith Show were featured on that episode, like Frances Bavier and Ron Howard.  

5. Don Knotts Didn’t Have A Contract On The Show

In the first five years of Knotts’ career on the show, he truly embraced the character of Deputy Fife. At the time, Barney was one of the most beloved characters on TV and went on to win several awards for his stellar acting. However, his role was almost accidental. Apparently, Knotts starred in the pilot episode without even signing a formal contract. Soon after the directors witnessed his evident talent, Knotts was given a full contract the next day. 

6. Andy’s Real-life Wife Had A Tiny Role On The Show

Andy Griffith Show: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

Barbara Edwards starred in about two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. In fact, she and Taylor were married from 1949-1972 and originally met at the University of North Carolina. As a lovely gesture, one of the episodes was a tribute to how the couple met back in college. In ‘Opie Loves Helen’, Griffith tells Opie a story about his first crush — Barbara Edwards. Although the story is a little tweaked, Griffith left a sweet tribute in that episode to his wife. Edwards also starred briefly in the episode “The Song Festers”.

7. There Was A Little Jealousy Between Andy Griffith And Don Knotts

According to the classic TV show Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship, there was a time the duo had to deal with jealousy. Everyone knows that Knotts was the funny one on the show. So, when Griffith moved back to Toluca Lake, the old friends hit it off and hung out with their families. However, whenever they hung out for dinner, Knotts wife, Francey, would always laugh at Griffith’s jokes. Even though Knott’s had won up to five Emmys for the show while Andy got none, this re-occurring phenomenon did annoy him a little. This is just one of the many things people don’t know about the late icon– Griffith. 

8. The Theme Song Actually Had A Name

Andrew Griffith Show 1

The catchy theme song on the show actually had a spunky name, according to Officially called “The Fishin’ Hole,” the song was written by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer. Even though the theme song has no lyrics on the show, the original does.

9. Howard McNear Had A Stroke While Working On The Show


Howard McNear, who played Floyd the Barber, became a beloved character not only to fans but also to the cast and crew. Unfortunately, McNear suffered a life-threatening stroke after the first season of the show, which left him nearly unable to move the left side of his body. Still, the producers refused to let him go and decided to leave his character sitting most of the time. Evidently, the kind gesture greatly catered to his physical needs as he recovered. 

10. The Show Went Off The Air As The Number One Show

Andrew Griffith Show 3

Not many shows come to an end and stay the number-one-rated show on TV. Yet, when The Andy Griffith Show ended, that’s exactly what happened. Moreover, only a few other shows of its caliber have managed to pull that off, such as I Love Lucy and Seinfeld.  

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