Ron Howard used to ask himself ''What would Andy do?'' when he was raising his children
What would Sheriff Taylor do?
After spending eight seasons and eight years playing father and son, it's no wonder that Andy Griffith and Ron Howard still felt a kinship toward one another, even after cameras stopped rolling on The Andy Griffith Show. In an article for the Los Angeles Times, Howard called Griffith "like a wonderful uncle to me." Like any good on-screen son, Howard also took the lessons he learned from Griffith to his own work as he gained acclaim as a director. He told People Magazine that Griffith "created an atmosphere of hard work and fun that I try to bring to my movies."
But in an interview with The Calgary Herald, Ron Howard admitted that the character of Andy Taylor had also worked his way into Howard's life, specifically his home life. In an interview with both Howard and Griffith, Howard admitted that "there were times when he and his wife would ask themselves, 'What would Andy do?'" while the couple was raising their four children. Griffith actually laughed upon hearing that and then revealed his own confession: "I wish I were as bright as Andy today." Don't we all?
While the wisdom Griffith imparted as Taylor was very real, Griffith was always sure to remind people that he was not exactly like his character. In an interview with American Profile, he said, "Don't pay any attention to that [Andy Taylor], that is a persona. I am not any favorite dad; I am not any kind of all-American person." He also reminded viewers that Andy Griffith was only human, after all. He said, "I am a man, like any other man."
While it is important to remember that Andy Griffith himself was only human, The Andy Griffith Show helped to capture something larger than life. In order to do that, Griffith worked hard to create an atmosphere of respect and warmth. Griffith was quoted as saying, "The backbone of our show was love. There's something about Mayberry and Mayberry folk that never leaves you."