Andy Griffith had this to say about continuing The Andy Griffith Show without Don Knotts

It's hard to picture The Andy Griffith Show without Barney Fife.

Saying goodbye to friends is always hard, but for two pals like Don Knotts and Andy Griffith, who spent five seasons together on The Andy Griffith Show before Knotts decided to call it quits, it must have been especially rough to say goodbye. While Barney Fife often made guest appearances after he stopped his run as a regular character, viewers were used to seeing  Fife and Taylor together on their television screens consistently.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Griffith discussed Knotts' departure, and what it looked like now that Knotts was no longer there. Griffith conceded, "Sure, I miss Don." but maintained that the show must go on. He added. "Except for Don Knott's leaving, the show will be about the same." He stated, "We've got five shows finished now. Jack Burns played my deputy in one of them and it worked out very well, so he'll be back for more, I guess." 

Griffith was, of course, speaking of Jack Burns, the actor known for playing the short-lived role of Warren Ferguson, who attempted to replace Fife as deputy sheriff.

Griffith also maintained that originally, he hadn't expected the series to last as long as it did. Originally, he said, "I wanted three years of it." He continued, "Then we signed for two more- and I hadn't thought of staying on because I thought five years was enough. But after that, there was nothing else I particularly wanted to do, so now we're here for another season, and if it still goes well, perhaps even another."

The actor was happy in his position as Sheriff Taylor, and more importantly, as a vessel for the audience. He said, "The audience really sees the show through my eyes, and I come up at the end to wrap it up."


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23 Comments

klt83 4 months ago
The color episodes, for the most part, are nowhere near the quality of the first five seasons. Andy Griffith's character went from being a wise, sometimes humorous sheriff to raising his voice frequently to Aunt Bee, Goober, Floyd and even Opie. Jack Burns was a major, major, major mistake.
trogg888 4 months ago
I must have seen every episode at least 10 times especially the ones with knotts but the ones after while not as good i still enjoyed.you dont run into a talent as good as he was in that role and his movies were excellent but the chemistry he and andy had only comes along once in a very blue moon.i dont watch like i used to but every once in a while when i need a smile ill tune in and that says a lot
forthekids 4 months ago
With all due respect to both Andy and Jack.."Deputy Warren Ferguson"(Jack's character)didn't work out on the show.
John 4 months ago
Frankly, I could live without Don Knotts.
I liked the show without him
Really never made me laugh. I actually found him to be an annoyance.
trogg888 John 4 months ago
I think his multiple emmys would argue with that as would millions of people but i suppose everyones entitled to their own stupid opinion
John trogg888 4 months ago
It's good to be stupid
jaelinsmith40652 4 months ago
Jack Burns was a fine good actor I like if Don Knotts would've noticed that he's taking over his job to replace him.
trogg888 jaelinsmith40652 4 months ago
Jack burns had a duo comedy act called burns and schreiber that used to appear on the ed sullivan regularly but nobody could have replaced don knotts in that role.
cperrynaples 4 months ago
The reason Knotts left is he signed a movie contact with Universal which gave him more money! Ironically, Andy signed a simliar contract after TAGS ended, but it was cancelled after the failure of Angel In My Pocket!
trogg888 cperrynaples 4 months ago
From what ive read this he just wanted to do different things as most actors and after you win 5 emmys for a role its time to see what else you can do.i stillwatch the ghost and mr. Chicken and the incredible m. Limpett whenever they come on
WordsmithWorks 4 months ago
Trying to replace the Barney Fife character was an impossible task. Burns was put into a no-win situation.
Rick WordsmithWorks 4 months ago
All the same, I'd have liked to see Jerry van Dyke get the chance. I like the two episodes with him helping Andy out as an emergency deputy at the end of season 5 better than I do episodes with Warren.
klt83 Rick 4 months ago
Jerry Van Dyke chose My Mother The Car over a role on the Andy Griffith Show AND playing Gilligan.
FrankensteinLover 4 months ago
Still my favorite show, still living off reruns and laughing at episodes I've seen a thousand times.
ncadams27 4 months ago
Many shows ran past their prime. Compare the early seasons (not necessarily the first, though) of shows like Happy Days, Bonanza, My Three Sons, Leave it to Beaver, Beverly Hillbillies, and (especially) M*A*S*H to their later seasons.
WordsmithWorks ncadams27 4 months ago
Laverne & Shirley and Family Ties also spring to mind. Plus any show that feels it necessary to pair off its characters (Big Bang Theory, Friends).
Timbo01 ncadams27 4 months ago
MASH and Cosby both got preachy, not funny, toward the end.
Andybandit 4 months ago
That was too bad that DK left TAGS
Runeshaper 4 months ago
Andy missed Don and vice versa, but the show must go on.
LoveMETV22 4 months ago

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The show lost some of its glitter, when Don Knotts left. But that's Hollywood. The show went on.
Pacificsun 4 months ago
Just to make the article a little easier to read, here's the nugget:

"Griffith conceded, 'sure, I miss Don.' But maintained that 'the show must go on.'"
justjeff Pacificsun 4 months ago
...or to make it even more concise: 'Don's gone, the show goes on'...
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