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."