Are you a fan of “The Andy Griffith Show”? Even if you’re not, you’ll want to hear about the behind-the-scenes antics that went on during the show’s run. Despite its wholesome reputation, the classic ’60s series had its fair share of hijinks, mostly thanks to the show’s boss, Andy Griffith. Here are five fun facts about the show that will make you want to binge-watch it all over again.
- Don Knotts Wasn’t Supposed to Stick Around
Did you know that Don Knotts, who played the beloved Barney Fife, was only contracted for one episode of the show? It’s true! But after Executive Producer Sheldon Leonard saw the chemistry between Knotts and Griffith, he offered Knotts a one-year contract, which eventually turned into a five-year contract. Thank goodness, because we can’t imagine the show without him.
2. Ron Howard Had Trouble Throwing a Rock
In the show’s opening credits, Ron Howard, who played Opie Taylor, throws a rock into a lake while walking with Griffith. However, according to Biography.com, Howard had trouble throwing the rock during filming, and it kept falling short of the water. To get the perfect shot, the crew had a prop man throw a rock at the same time to make that famous splash.
3. The Theme Song Had a Name and Lyrics
Everyone knows the catchy whistling tune from the show’s opening credits, but did you know that it actually has a name and lyrics? The song is called “The Fishin’ Hole,” and it was composed by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer. Griffith even recorded the song with lyrics, which you can find on YouTube.
4. Andy Griffith Was a Practical Joker
Despite playing the straight man on the show, Andy Griffith was quite the prankster behind the scenes. He would often interrupt Don Knotts while he was taking a nap by dropping a metal film canister onto the floor. And he didn’t stop there. George “Goober” Lindsey also once woke up from a nap to find duck guts strung around his dressing room by Griffith.
5. The Show Ended on a High Note
When “The Andy Griffith Show” went off the air in 1968, it did so as the number one-rated show on television. Only two other shows in history have done the same: “I Love Lucy” and “Seinfeld.” That’s some impressive company to keep!
So, there you have it. The next time you watch “The Andy Griffith Show,” remember all the fun facts and antics that went on behind the scenes. It’ll make you appreciate the show even more.