5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Andy Griffith Show

As loveable as he was amusing, Andy Griffith and his fellow cast members made a permanent mark on the American comedy scene with the Andy Griffith Show. Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about the behind the scenes antics of hit 1960s series.


1. Andy was Supposed to be the Funny One
When Andy Griffith started filming the show’s first season back in 1960, he was already fairly well known as a stand-up comedian. Naturally, he gathered that he would be assuming the role as the main “funny guy” on screen. However, after the character Barney (played by Don Knotts) did his thing, it was clear that he was to be the fan-favourite in the humor department. Griffith then switched his role to begin acting more as Knotts comic relief.


2. Frances Beaver Never Liked Griffith
Unfortunately, Frances Beaver, who played the motherly homemaker Aunt Bee on the show, never liked Andy Griffith. Apparently, she was a fairly “proper lady”
in real life and had zero sense of humor off screen. She even once whacked a co-star upside the head with an umbrella for telling lewd jokes. Regardless of her harboring a palpable dislike for Beaver throughout the years, she ended up admitting to him on her deathbed that she did wish they had been closer all that time.


3. It was Filmed on the Same Set as Gone with the Wind
If you’ve seen one small town, you’ve seen them all. Or, at least that must have been Hollywood’s reasoning behind having one set for multi-use amongst almost 100 different movies and television episodes. The Forty Acres lot on which the Andy Griffith Show filmed was probably best known as their town of Mayberry – but everything from sci-fi shows like Star Trek, to superhero thrillers like Batman (and torrid romances, like Gone with the Wind) were shot in the same location.


4. Some of the Characters Had Already Graced the Television Screen

A few of the Mayberry dwelling characters that made up the Andy Griffith Show were previously introduced in another show. A popular television show of the same era, Make Room for Daddy had Sheriff Andy Taylor (Griffith), his son Opie (Ronnie Howard) and Aunt Bee (Francis Bavier) appear in an isolated episode that aired in 1960. Aunt Bee was not introduced as Aunt Bee in the show however, but as Harriet Perkins.


5. It Went Off Air at #1
Only three shows in the history of television have left the air in the number one spot, and the Andy Griffith Show is one of them (the other two are Seinfeld and I Love Lucy). This prompted an immediate spinoff of the show with many of the same characters, that ran for a few years after its demise. However, with some notable main characters missing it was not nearly as popular and didn’t last very long.


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