The Andy Griffith Show

In our family, we’ve been enjoying the Andy Griffith show for several years. We have watched these episodes over and over that we eventually get sick of them.

When you start watching a show like this, you get to “know” the characters and start to wonder about some elements of the show, which led to explain what we’ve learned about the show.

I tried to provide references here and there, but in those cases where I can’t find a reference, you may just have to look it up if you want more information about each topic.

Here’s what we learned.

The show had it’s beginnings in the Danny Thomas show

Mayberry is completely fictional

We fell in love with Mayberry. The cleanliness, the innocence and the kindness of the people, what’s not to love. And we even thought about visiting once, except that there is no such place and there never had been. Mayberry is completely fictional.

Some say that Mount Airy North Carolina was the inspiration for Mayberry, but Andy Griffith, himself, that this was not true. Here’s a photo of Mount Airy.

image of downtown Mount Airy North Carolina

Barney’s real name was NOT Don!

I know, you’ve always thought Andy Griffith starred with Don Knotts. In fact, the credits even mention Don Knotts, but Don was not Barney’s real first name. His name was Jesse. We never figured out why, but Don (Jesse) Knotts never liked his first name (Jesse) and went by Don instead. So his real name was Jessie Don Knotts.

It was said that Andy teased him about this often, calling him Jess, which he did not like. But besides some good natured teasing, the two were best friends.

Not Everybody Lived A Rated G Lifestyle.

It was sad to find out that our favorite Character, Andy Griffith, was not as wholesome as his TV double (Andy Taylor) in the show.

Turns out that he and Helen Crump (Aneta Corsaut) became involved with each other on the show which led to Andy’s divorce. You can find many sources for this fact, but HERE’S ONE SOURCE

I’m not here to judge them, as everybody has to deal with their own demons, nor was I there to understand all the circumstances involved. Also, we can see that often times these things happen when people, who play certain roles on TV or in plays, end up living out, at least some part of these characters lives, in real life. It was just sad to see this.

There was real comradery on the set

Sometimes you wonder if the characters on the set actually get along or even like eachother. And yes, there was.

Andy and Barney (Jessie Don Knotts) were best friends in real life. In our family, we notice that Andy was always in better spirits in the episodes when Jessie/Don was there than he was in later episodes when he had left. Did that have anything to do with Barney? We don’t know.

Not Everybody Got Along

The show is one of the most family-friendly shows that ever dawned American TV, but you might be surprised to know that the characters didn’t always get along.

In fact, did you know that Aunt Bea (Frances Bavier) was not comfortable on the set. She was a Broadway actress and it seemed that she felt that her role on the show didn’t match her talents and some said she was “difficult”. SOURCE.

Andy explains later that just before Bavier died, that she called him to apologize for the way she behaved on set.

It was replaced with another short-lived sequel