Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I saw a bio on Andy Griffith yesterday and remembered how much I love him. I watched every episode of Matlock, I know I'm a total dork. The Andy Griffith Show was one of the most popular shows of its time. I found some really great trivia on the show and some pics to go along with it. Tell me what you think.
--Barney Fife kept one bullet in his shirt pocket and his citation booklet in his cap.
--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 "black and white" episodes, there was a character named "Mister Schwamp" who would occasionally appear in episodes. He was a middle-aged man with a slumped demeanor and he had dark hair (which looked like a comb-over or a toupee). He could usually be found sitting on a park bench or in crowd scenes. He never had any lines. One of the characters (Usually Andy or Barney) would acknowledge him with "Hello, Mister Schwamp." and he would smile and nod and that's all he would do.
--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 the series began, Andy and Barney were cousins in the first few episodes. This was a joke based on the stereotype that the only reason people in small towns get jobs in the local government is because they are related to someone and not based on the merits of their abilities. However, after a few well placed references of Andy and Barney's relation (usually to cap off a joke) in the first season, this idea was dropped and the back story of their relationship became simply that they were friends since childhood.
--After Howard McNear left the show, Floyd's Barber Shop became Emmit's Fixit Shop.
--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.
--Milton, Oliver, and the middle initial "P" were all given as Barney Fife's middle name at one time or another during the series.
--Andy Griffith originally told Don Knotts that he only wanted to do the show for five years. So they both signed five-year contracts. During the fifth season, Knotts began looking for other work. He then signed a five-year deal with Universal Pictures. Suddenly, Griffith decided to continue on with the series for three more years and offered Knotts a new contract. But Knotts was already bound by his contract with Universal and left the show.
--In two episodes of the second season, Andy Griffith's hand is heavily bandaged. Griffith had broken his hand by punching a wall. On the show, the bandage was explained by Sheriff Taylor saying he hurt his hand apprehending some criminals.
--Rockne Tarkington is the only African-American actor ever to have a speaking role on the show. He appeared in one episode as Opie's piano-playing football coach.
--Elinor Donahue decided not to return after the first season because she felt she had no on-screen chemistry with Andy Griffith. Griffith later admitted that it was his own fault because had a hard time showing affection on-screen, and as a result, the relationship didn't appear real or believable.
--The show was shot on the same set as Atlanta from Gone with the Wind (1939), if you were to walk out of the courthouse and look to the right at the end of the street, you can see the old Atlanta train station in many episodes.
--One of the maps used for a period of time behind Andy's desk was simply a state map of Nevada turned upside down.
--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).