Andy Griffith and Don Knotts had the friendship everyone wanted

Griffith only had a few, but very meaningful words to say about his friend, Don Knotts.

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Andy Griffith and Don Knotts were more than just sheriff and deputy on The Andy Griffith Show, the two stars also developed a strong friendship off-screen. There is no denying that the ties in Mayberry run deep, and that the cast had chemistry.

In a 1962 interview with Daily News-Post, Griffith talked about what made Knotts special, to both him and the TV industry.

"I'll tell you about Don Knotts," Griffith said. "He has the touch, yes sir. He's a light comedian and there aren't too many of them around. There's Don Knotts and Tony Randall and Jack Lemmon and that's about the size of it."

Griffith played everyone's favorite sheriff, while Knotts played the hilarious deputy, Barney Fife. Together, Griffith and Knotts created one of the best comedic duos in classic TV. According to Knotts, a lot of people believed he was nervous and small because of the types of roles he took on.

"They say I'm underweight," Knotts said. "But not for a skinny fella, which I am. For a skinny fella, my weight's just right. Isn't that so Andy?"

Griffith came to his rescue.

"You don't catch me arguing with fearless Barney Fife," Griffith responded. 

Playing the role of Barney Fife was life changing for Knotts. According to Griffith, Knotts called him on the phone and asked about the deputy role on The Andy Griffith Show.

"He created that character of Barney Fife, as sure as he's settin' right there," Griffith said. "Don saw the original pilot, which was part of The Danny Thomas Show and then he called me and said 'Andy, you're going to be a sheriff, you'll need yourself a deputy.' And so I did. I'm supposed to be a comedian, you know it? But the fact is, I'm playing straight to Don."

Knotts and Griffith's friendship outlasted the eight successful seasons of The Andy Griffith Show. The two gave us a friendship we all wanted.

"Want to know something personal?" Griffith said. "When I was a young, I was real skinny. Oh my, yes. They used to call me Andy Gump, I was so skinny."

See Don, it couldn't have been too bad being small with a friend like Griffith in your corner!

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8 Comments

vinman63 16 months ago
In a side note Ron Howard and Don Knott's are sixth cousin.
JHP vinman63 16 months ago
ok - where does Virgil fit into all of this?

:)
vinman63 JHP 16 months ago
Some people thought that Don Knox and Andy Griffith playing cousins on the show were related in real life.
327053 16 months ago
I read about Andy being with his friend when he passed. 😢
Runeshaper 17 months ago
Andy Griffith and Don Knotts had the friendship everyone wanted = TRUE
MrsPhilHarris 17 months ago
The stayed friends until Don Knott’s passing.
Deleted 17 months ago
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vinman63 16 months ago
Abbott and Costello hated each other off camera.
FrankensteinLover 17 months ago
True Friendship and Loyalty and what a Show
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