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Andy Griffith Show Debut
The Andy Griffith Show debuted at 9:30 on the evening of Monday, October 3, 1960, and ran for 249 episodes, 90 of which were color. Its spin-off episode was on "The Danny Thomas Show" where Danny was arrested by a sheriff in a small town in North Carolina. The Andy Griffith Show has not been off the air since it went into syndication a quarter of a century ago.

Andy Griffith as Andy Taylor
Ronny Howard as Opie Taylor
Don Knotts as Barney Fife (1960-1965)
Frances Bavier as Aunt Bee Taylor
Hope Summers as Clara Edwards
Aneta Corsaut as Helen Crump (1964-1968)
George Lindsey as Goober Pyle (1965-1968)
Howard McNear as Floyd Lawson
Betty Lynn as Thelma Lou (1960-1965)
Hal Smith as Otis Campbell (1960-1967)
Burt Mustin as Jud Crowley (1961-1966)

Series Run
First Telecast: October 3, 1960
Last Telecast: September 16, 1968

Andy Griffith Show Trivia Facts

The character 'Andy Taylor' was ranked #8 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" (20 June 2004 issue).

The last 16 episodes of season three have become part of the public domain due to a clerical error back in the 1960's and are thus widely available in different formats and different conditions. The theme song however is still copyrighted material and can only be used with permission. Therefore, most public domain copies have different music during the opening and closing credits. These are the 16 public domain episodes, in order starting with 3.17: High Noon in Mayberry", "The Loaded Goat", "Class Reunion", "Rafe Hollister Sings", "Opie and the Spoiled Kid", "The Great Filling Station Robbery", "Andy Discovers America", "Aunt Bee's Medicine Man", "The Darlings Are Coming", "Andy's English Valet", "Barney's First Car", "The Rivals", "A Wife for Andy", "Dogs, Dogs, Dogs", "Mountain Wedding", and "The Big House. Coincidentally, this is a pivotal batch of episodes in the show's history; it includes the first appearances of Helen Crump, the Darlings, Malcolm Merriwether and Ernest T. Bass, as well as Crump's second appearance, the first in which she and Andy are set up as a couple.

Andy Taylor Trivia

Andy Griffith married Helen Crump toward the very end of the show which then turned into Mayberry R.F.D.  I still think he should have married the lady druggist. 

According to Andy Griffith, the show's original premise was to follow the story line set up in his appearance on "Make Room For Daddy". The premise was that Mayberry was so small that Andy Taylor was not only the sheriff, but the Justice of the Peace, the editor of the local newspaper, and the mayor. However when it came time to write the series, Andy decided that was too ridiculous so he asked that Andy Taylor's duties be confined to being the sheriff and the justice of the peace. However the "Justice of the Peace" task was used sparingly and usually only with out-of-town troublemakers.

During the opening credits as Andy and Opie walk down the path, Opie picks up a rock and throws it off camera right as Andy nods in a very distinct manner, before they start walking again. Years later, Andy Griffith watched this and realized he was unintentionally imitating a certain nod that his father would give him to show approval.

Andy Griffith had been a successful stand-up comedian as well as an actor before beginning the show and he had fully expected to be the main funny character on it, and in the first few episodes even performed some of his stand-up routines, like his countrified versions of classic fairy tales. However, when Don Knotts became such a popular favorite as Deputy Barney Fife, Griffith decided for the good of the show to let Knotts be the main comic figure and let Sheriff Taylor react to him as his "straight man."

Barney Fife Trivia
There were three episodes that mentioned that Andy and Barney were cousins: The New Housekeeper, The Manhunt, Runaway Kid

Did you ever wonder how Thelma Lou could afford that house. Her job was never revealed. Yet her boyfriend Barney had a job as a deputy, but could only afford a small apartment. Barney should have married her years earlier and moved into that nice house.

Milton, Oliver, and the middle initial "P" were all given as Barney Fife's middle name at one time or another during the series.

The reason Don Knotts quit the show after the fifth season was originally Andy Griffith and Don Knotts had signed a five year contract. After the fifth season Don started looking for other work and got a deal with Universal Pictures. Andy then decided he wanted to go on for three more years, but it was too late for Barney to come back since he was tied into the Universal contract. That's where we got the classic comedies "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and the "Shakiest Gun in the West"

When not on duty, or when he's going out on a date, Barney Fife can routinely be seen wearing a white straw fedora, "salt-n-pepper" pattern coat and a red bow tie. During his movie career after leaving the series, Don Knotts almost always wore the same suit. It appears in such films as The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), The Reluctant Astronaut (1967), The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964) and How to Frame a Figg (1971).

In the first season, Barney Fife courted several women including Thelma Lou. In "Andy the Matchmaker", Barney courted a woman named Miss. Rosemary, in "Ellie for Council", Barney is seen dating Hilda May, who is again mentioned in "Christmas Story". Juanita, the never-seen waitress at the local diner was also serenaded by Barn in a few episodes in later seasons. Thelma Lou is only seen in one episode of the first season, but appears later as Barney's main squeeze.

When Don Knotts left the show, Jerry Van Dyke was considered for the part of a deputy who would have replaced Barney Fife, and even appears in a deputy's uniform in a fifth-season episode. However, Van Dyke chose instead to star in NBC's "My Mother the Car" (1965), and later said if he had to do it over again, he would have taken the deputy part instead.

Did you know that Don Knotts was a veteran of the Second World War who was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 4 bronze service stars, Army Good Conduct Medal, Marksman Badge with Carbine Bar and Honorable Service Lapel Pin pretty good for a guy who made a living playing a chicken on the tv and movie screen.

Don Knotts once took job plucking chickens for a market when he was told he didn't have a future in acting. Makes you wonder what would have happened if that person would have talked to Abraham Lincoln or Einstein about their future prospects. 

The character of Warren Ferguson (played by Jack Burns) was brought in to replace Barney Fife after Don Knotts left the show. Warren was referred to on occasion as Floyd the barber's nephew. Replacing the classic character of Barney Fife proved to be an impossible task, however. "Warren Ferguson" did not catch on with the viewers, and he was written out of the series after only appearing in 11 episodes. There was no explanation in any episode story line for Warren's departure; he simply stopped appearing.

The Darlings Trivia

The four men who played the four Darling sons, were a blue grass group called The Dillards -- Doug Dillard, Rodney Dillard, 'Dean Webb', and Mitch Jayne. Andy Griffith said years later that he actually performed with them on the show.

The Darling Dad was played by Denver Pyle, no relation to Gomer Pyle. He went on to play the father figure for another group of hillbillies that were always in trouble with the law, the Dukes of Hazzard's Uncle Jessie.

Floyd the Barber Trivia

Howard McNear made an appearance on Leave It to Beaver as a barber named,  Andy the Barber. This was in 1958 before he would become Floyd the barber on the Andy Griffith Show a couple of years later in 1961. The episode was entitled, "The Shave" which focused on Walley deciding he was old enough to start shaving.

Howard McNear (Floyd the Barber) suffered a severe stroke and had trouble standing up, which is why during his last season on the show he was always shown either sitting in the barber's chair inside his shop or on one of the chairs outside on the sidewalk.

After Howard McNear left the show, Floyd's Barber Shop became Emmit's Fixit Shop.

Howard McNear played Doc on the Gunsmoke Radio program before he was Floyd on the Andy Griffith Show.

Sets and Props
The squad car was a Ford Galaxy. The cars were supplied free of charge by a nearby Ford dealer,  There were about 10 different Ford Galaxies used throughout the entire series.

The theme song for the series was titled "The Fishing Hole". Lyrics for the song were written by Everett Sloane but the producers decided that whistling the tune set the tone for the show, so the words were dropped.

In early episodes, to the right of the cells above the glass-covered shelves is a small picture of President Woodrow Wilson and the presidents before him. Later, during most seasons, a different poster is there, also of the presidents, this time up to Dwight D. Eisenhower, and was published by Women's Day Magazine in 1956.

Andy Griffith Show Quotes

Barney Fife: The last big buy was my mom's and dad's anniversary present.
Andy Taylor: What'd ya get 'em?
Barney Fife: A septic tank.
Andy Taylor: For their anniversary?
Barney Fife: They're awful hard to buy for. Besides, it was something they could use. They were really thrilled. It had two tons of concrete in it. All steel reinforced.
Andy Taylor: You're a fine son, Barn.
Barney Fife: I try.

Barney Fife: Well, today's eight-year-olds are tomorrow's teenagers. I say this calls for action and now. Nip it in the bud. First sign of youngsters going wrong, you've got to nip it in the bud.
Andy Taylor: I'm going to have a talk with them. What else do you want me to do?
Barney Fife: Well, don't just mollycoddle them.
Andy Taylor: I won't.
Barney Fife: Nip it. You go read any book you ant on the subject of child discipline and you'll find every one of them is in favor of bud-nipping.

Barney Fife: If there's anything that upsets me, it's having people say I'm sensitive.

[Reassuring Opie after releasing a group of dogs to the countryside as a thunderstorm approaches]
Barney Fife: A dog can't get struck by lightning. you know why? 'Cause he's too close to the ground. See, lightning strikes tall things. Now if they were giraffes out there in the field, now then we'd have trouble.

Andy Taylor: Goob, did anybody ever tell you you've got a big mouth?
Goober Pyle: Yeah, but I don't pay no attention to 'em.

Barney Fife: [angry] Oh, you're just full of fun today, aren't you? Why don't we go up to the old people's home and wax the steps?

Andy Taylor: When a man carries a gun all the time, the respect he thinks he's getting might really be fear. So I don't carry a gun because I don't want the people of Mayberry to fear a gun. I'd rather they respect me.

Barney Fife: If only someone would just kill somebody?
Andy Taylor: Barney?
Barney Fife: Well, it wouldn't have to be anyone we know... If two strangers was to come to town, and if one of them was gonna kill the other one anyway...

Sheriff Andy Taylor: Call the man.

Andy Taylor: Barney, you can't give Otis a sobriety test now; he's had all night to sleep it off. The time to give him a sobriety test was last night when you picked him up.
Barney Fife: I couldn't give him the test last night!
Andy Taylor: Why?
Barney Fife: He was too drunk.

Andy Griffith First Season DVD Set

Andy Griffith Show Second Season DVD Set