Actor Richard Crenna was honored to direct several episodes of 'The Andy Griffith Show'

The actor said he was pleased and proud to receive the opportunity.

On Now
Play ball! Andy and Opie play a little baseball on The Andy Griffith Show!
Up Next:

Everyone wanted to be a part of The Andy Griffith Show, and although it wasn't possible for all, those who were involved always praised the series.

Richard Crenna is an actor known for starring in The Real McCoys and his early radio work. Still, many did not know that he also directed several episodes of Andy Griffith's hit show during its 1963-1964 season.

In an interview with the Television Academy, Crenna revealed how he got the opportunity and what it was like to direct one of the most beloved shows in television history.

"When I left the McCoys, I said, 'Well, I'm going to take a little [time off from acting]. I don't want to get into anything else at the moment,'" he began. "I think I'll direct a little bit."

At the end of the second year of The Andy Griffith Show, one of its directors decided to leave to start his own production. Sheldon Leonard and Danny Thomas, who both worked on the series, asked the actor if he could direct some of the episodes in the third season.

"At the beginning of the third year, they came to me and said, 'We would like for you to direct some of the Griffith shows,'" he said. "I said I would be pleased and proud because we had been on the same lot, so we felt like a family."

Crenna already knew Andy Griffith and Don Knotts, which made the experience even more fulfilling.

"I knew everybody. I knew Andy Griffith, and I knew Don Knotts. I knew all of them," he went on. "So going in there was anything but uncomfortable. I mean, I just fit in like a glove."

The actor felt like a lot of the show's concept was similar to his work on The Real McCoys, making it easier for him to ease into the position.

"It was very straightforward. [Andy and Don] didn't try to be funny," Crenna said while describing The Andy Griffith Show's environment. "You can't make Don Knotts not funny. But he didn't have to try to be funny. It was a natural kind of progress for me to go into that show and direct quite a number of the third season." 

Some of the episodes Crenna directed include "Opie the Birdman" and "The Sermon for Today." 

Watch The Andy Griffith Show on MeTV!

Weeknights at 8 & 8:30, Sundays at 6 & 6:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


bagandwallyfan52 20 months ago
Happy Birthday To Marlo Thomas
November 21 1937
Ann Marie
Pacificsun 20 months ago
In following the work of popular recurring directors (like in ST, just for example) it's fun to see if they have a particular style (perspective). For example, in Mannix, certain ones begin the scene (after setting up the plot) in a certain way, which is how they shoot the setting of Mannix' office. It's almost like a subtle signature they include in their work. For others, the idea is to continue consistency within the series and wouldn't want to be obvious.
daDoctah 20 months ago
I'm just trying to imagine an actor taking serious direction from someone who's speaking in the Walter Denton voice from "Our Miss Brooks".
Pacificsun daDoctah 20 months ago
Or the Real McCoy's for that matter!
MrsPhilHarris 20 months ago
The Real McCoys might be a fun show show ME should air.
Pacificsun MrsPhilHarris 20 months ago
There's something about that show for some reason. I have never seen it in syndication. Funny, there are 225 episodes. NBC is the distributor. And a Danny Thomas Production.

Does it appear on some other network/channel?
MrsPhilHarris Pacificsun 20 months ago
I don’t know. 🤷‍♀️ Stephanie as the expert on where to watch shows. 😁
OldTVfanatic Pacificsun 20 months ago
It’s on the rival network ZLiving TV on Sundays.
BrittReid 20 months ago
Colonel Trautmann
OldTVfanatic BrittReid 20 months ago
Crenna was excellent in First Blood.
bagandwallyfan52 20 months ago
Richard Crenna was a talented actor and director .He had two TV SHOWS:
The Real McCoys
Slatterys People.
Forever Luke McCoy.
Richard Crenna also played Walter
Denton on Our Miss Brooks and other TV shows including a guest
appearance on I Love Lucy.
Michael 20 months ago
I know Richard Crenna as the rich guy who cheats at cards in the Flamingo Kid. Or the rich guy who doesn't like John Candy in Summer Rental.

Maybe I first saw him in First Blood.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?