Jim Carrey once thanked Don Knotts when he visited the set of How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Even idols have their own idols.

The wonderful thing about talented actors is the ripple effect they have on the entertainment industry. While someone like Don Knotts was making people laugh during his time on The Andy Griffith Show and subsequent projects, he was also in part responsible for the laughs that were created by comedians who had seen Knott's work and taken it as inspiration.

According to The Los Angeles Times, comedy greats of old and new collided during the production of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, directed by another great from The Andy Griffith Show, Ron Howard. Don Knotts visited the set of the production, where he was able to meet and chat with the film's star, Jim Carrey. There, Carrey was able to express his thanks to Knotts, particularly for one film in his repertoire. 

The article states that Carrey told an interviewer, "I went to him [Knotts], and I was just like, 'Thank you so much for The Ghost and Mr. Chicken." He added, "I watched it a hundred times when I was a kid."

Carrey is not the only comedian who found Knotts to be an inspiration. The article also notes that Martin Short has cited Knotts as an influence on his material. Short also cited that the character of Nathan Thurm, best known for his appearances on Saturday Night Live, was based on Knott's iconic "nervous man" character.

Such is the great circle of life of comedy. Although Knotts passed away in 2006, fans are still able to rewatch some of his best moments and laugh all over again. Perhaps even more important, in cases like Martin Short and Jim Carrey, who were influenced by that same comedic material, it sort of means that Don Knotts has a hand in making us laugh today, after all these years.

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11 Comments

327053 6 months ago
I think my favorite Don Knotts movie is “The Incredible Mr. Limpet”, and who could forget his performance as Mr. Furley. I always enjoy seeing A-list actors paying homage to their heroes.
MrsPhilHarris 6 months ago
I can’t count how many times I’ve seen The Ghost & Mr. Chicken. Love that movie.
FrankensteinLover 6 months ago
Don Knotts was a Comic Genius, and rerun after rerun he still cracks me up.
Runeshaper 6 months ago
I didn't know that Martin Short and Jim Carrey were influenced by Don Knotts. That's really cool!
cperrynaples 6 months ago
Wasn't Nathan Thurm a lawyer character? He was more based on Roy Cohn than Barney Fife!
Irish 6 months ago
As I have posted before, I absolutely love Don Knotts. I have all of his movies and the entire Andy Griffith Show collection (mainly to watch Don). I miss his comedic gift and talent. He truly was one of the greats.
AgingDisgracefully 6 months ago
Credit Knotts for refraining from, "Citizen's arrest! Citizen's arrest!"
Especially as an experienced veteran of nervous overreaction.
Bapa1 6 months ago
I seem to remember there were plans to do a remake of The Incredible Mr. Limpet with Jim Carrey, but it never happened. Would have been interesting.
harlow1313 Bapa1 6 months ago
It would be interesting to see how they would handle the killing of all those German sailors. It's odd to think of that in a modern kids movie.
cperrynaples harlow1313 6 months ago
Well, they proably would have changed the villians to fantasy characters! After all, World War 2 was several generations back!
harlow1313 cperrynaples 6 months ago
Good point. You are probably right. If they did that, the film would lose all its flavor.
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