Andy Griffith was once described as the ''hippest hillbilly''

Who knew there was such a thing?

CBS Television Distribution

Andy Griffith was never one to shy away from his Southern background, even when it might have suited his career. In an interview, Andy Griffith series creator Sheldon Leonard revealed that when he pitched the show to networks, he was shut down because, as a Southerner, Andy Griffith wouldn't be relatable to a city audience, which meant that the show would lose viewers in key parts of the country.

"I was told that a rural comedian would not register in urban America," Leonard told The Vancouver Sun. Thankfully, Leonard convinced the network otherwise. The Andy Griffith Show became a hit amongst viewers everywhere, cities and otherwise.

Still, moments like these had their effect on Griffith, who, according to an interview with the Stockton Evening and Sunday Record, once asked his business manager, Richard Linke, if he should try to lose his accent to get more work. However, Linke had faith in his client, even when Griffith did not, and responded, "Sure, that's fine, if you want to get out of show business."

Linke called Griffith "the hippest hillbilly you'll ever meet," and Griffith worked hard to make sure that not only did Mayberry remain a southern town in the show, but that it remained a recognizable one. Because of this, Griffith attempted to make much of the town of Mayberry similar to his own childhood experiences growing up in the South. "All these characters were friends of mine, both on the screen and off the screen," Griffith said to The Atlanta Constitution. "Everything was so grand."

So while Griffith was more than capable of playing non-Southern characters, the ones most like himself seemed to shine with genuine care and attention that viewers couldn't help but adore.

Watch The Andy Griffith Show on MeTV!

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

*available in most MeTV markets
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1 Comments

MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
How odd. Did the networks think everyone lived in a big city?
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