Andy Griffith performed on stage for the first time because he was the victim of a practical joke

It was the actor's first taste of fame — even if it was only in front of his classmates.

We're all familiar with the saying "pressure makes diamonds," and for a diamond that shone as brightly as Andy Griffith, there must have been a lot of pressure on him throughout his life to make him such a star.

That strain seems to have begun early, because according to reports included in Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show by Daniel de Visé, Griffith spent much of his childhood dealing with bullies.

As J.B. Childress, who was friends with Griffith as a child, recalled, "We picked on him a little bit." He continued, "He seemed to be spoiled. Even I — I didn't realize it was wrong to do at the time — I can remember him riding his bicycle, and I stuck out my foot and almost wrecked him."

Another friend, Garnett Steele said of Griffith, "He would put himself into positions that made him vulnerable." It was a hard truth that Griffith would remember well, even in adulthood. He later stated, "The other fellas — and worse, the girls — used to laugh at me. Not with me, mind you, but at me."

However, it turns out that Griffith's first taste of performing for an audience only happened because he found himself the butt of another joke. At Griffith's primary school, students were offered the opportunity to perform, which Andy was considering taking advantage of for the first time. The book recounted, "He [Griffith] told a classmate named Albert McKnight, 'I'll get up to sing if you will.' Albert agreed. When the time came, Andy stood; Albert did not. Andy looked down at his classmate, saw a smirk on his face, and realized he'd been had."

Still determined, a young Griffith made his way to the stage, where he recited a poem. However, he decided to put his own spin on the performance, and it was there that he discovered what his true gift was: Making people laugh.

Griffith later recalled, and said, "In between the lines, I'd make little moments of my own on what I thought of the poem and the person who wrote it, and they started laughing. I found out I could get them to laugh, or listen, whenever I wanted them to. What an experience, that great sea of laughter. From that time, no one kidded me because they knew I could whip them verbally. And most important, I knew it."

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Andybandit 2 months ago
Good for him. He got to be the good actor in all the shows that he was in. Off the subject. I am probably the one who thinks MeTv need to update it's shows
with something different, I don't know with what. I just need to be different shows. In the morning, afternoon, and evening. Sunday-Saturday.
MrsPhilHarris Andybandit 2 months ago
Yes it does need to update the shows.
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