Even Opie throwing that rock into the pond took a little Hollywood magic

They only had three tries — and there was one big problem. Ron Howard could not throw that far.

How many times have you seen the opening credits of The Andy Griffith Show? Dozens? Hundreds? Countless?

You've been fooled every time.

It seems like a simple enough set-up. Sheriff Andy and Opie walk to the fishin' hole with their poles. The boy picks up rocks and tosses them towards the water. What kid doesn't have the impulse to skip stones?

But that iconic intro had two major hurdles, as we learned in The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family, the wonderful new autobiography by famous brothers Ron and Clint Howard. For starters, that body of water, known in Mayberry as "Myers Lake," was no fishin' hole. It is, in reality, a reservoir in Franklin Canyon Park, high above Beverly Hills. That reservoir provides drinking water to the city of Los Angeles.

So, folks can't go throwing things into it willy-nilly, no matter how famous they might be.

"The rules for filming were strict: I was only allowed three takes to throw the rocks," Ron Howard explained. "The prop department had three rocks ready to go, carefully cleaned so that their presence in the lake would not affect the potability of the water."

Aha! Sterile rocks! Well, three takes should be plenty of tries to get that stone into the water, right? Well, on the first take, little "Ronny" discovered a big problem.

"My skinny little arm was not powerful enough to get that rock into the water," Howard wrote. A quick solution was needed — they only had two more chances.

The production came up with a clever fix. Ron moved his arm as if he was throwing Rock No. 2, but secretly Reggie Smith, the prop master hiding behind a tree, threw the actual rock to get a "picturesque splash in just the right part of the frame." No third take was needed.

Opie never threw a rock in the take you see in the opening credits. A "stunt rock guy" did the action. 

Hey, Howard was just six years old. That's a hard throw.

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Steve2021 27 months ago
After the rock throwing scene the sponsor credits "POST" cereal would show.
Pacificsun 29 months ago
You know I watched that sequence specifically last night because of the story. I guess to extend the space for a commercial, it actually gets partially clipped where I watch it. Even so you can barely see the splash, unless you blow it up frame by frame.
JDnHuntsvilleAL 29 months ago
"...carefully cleaned so that their presence in the lake would not affect the potability of the water."

Really? BIRDS fly over that lake and do their business, but GOVERNMENT types are worried about a few rocks? CALIFORNIANS. 9_9
pattysdaughter 29 months ago
If they so fussy abut the water , I was wondering about when folks ended up in the lake like that convict episode. Or was that filmed elsewhere?
JHP pattysdaughter 29 months ago
that water had to be pretty pure to make moon:)
JHP 29 months ago
just hope Andy had his fishing license:) because the man who has no game warden uni might show up and pinch him

again there are so many fake scenes and such in the show...like the doggie ep and there is bad lightning and thunder- no one jumps or is scared

also look at the times the camera shows the outside around the courthouse through the courthouse windows - nothing is static - the bank should always be out the window behind andys desk...and then the dubious horn honking when any major character is on some street
F5Twitster 29 months ago
A: The solution was actually very simple: just dredge up a few rocks that were already at the bottom of the reservoir, which would then be returned where they came from.

B: Re "A quick solution was needed — they only had two more chances."

That's they had only two chances.

If a sentence requires the word "only," trust an American to insert it in the wrong place.
Pacificsun F5Twitster 29 months ago
Not necessarily. Only can also modify they. Meaning to refer back to the people who had what kind of chances. Well, they only (meaning referencing the number of) chances. Had refers to referencing the circumstance of the discussion in the past and not the present.

Erroneous grammar is incorrect. Common sense applies to usage that clarifies.
LoveMETV22 F5Twitster 29 months ago
So are you inferring that you are not American, and just what type of American would insert "only" in the wrong place:
White or European Americans.
Hispanic or Latino Americans.
Black or African Americans.
Asian Americans
Native Americans
Or the 100 + Listed on :
Please clarify as a number of your posts certainly indicate that you are "American".
BuckeyeBeth7 F5Twitster 26 months ago
In your hurry to point out how foolish Americans are you seem to have made a mistake yourself. You state proper grammar would have been to say “they had only two chances” when the point of the sentence was to convey that they had two more chances after 6yo Ronnie didn’t have the arm to hit the reservoir on the first try. Your exclusion makes it seem as if they were allowed only two attempts. This is incorrect.
Pacificsun 29 months ago
Cute story. Never would've read it, except for here. Thanks
gmail 29 months ago
If you just watched Bonanza, Joe was shot in the upper left chest, but as the doctor closed the shirt with the bandage underneath, the blood and hole disappeared. Pretty good.
Actually filmed out of sequence.
gmail 29 months ago
It would be nice to watch old programs on a regular basis of 1 or 2 a week instead bombarded daily. Cut back programming on some and bring others to the METV lineup.
If you take the shows and scatter during the seven days, your hunger to watch goes up.
Same shows everyday get boring. If you have for example MASH twice a week, Monday and Friday you look forward to the day to see the next episode.
Right now, METV is sort of like YOUTUBE!
I would find TV more interesting waiting to see a show, then always on.
MadMadMadWorld gmail 29 months ago
Interesting and excellent idea. I'd like to see a series that I have not seen for 50 years on ANY Oldies network: "Sky King."
gmail MadMadMadWorld 29 months ago
Yes, I remember that one as well.
gmail MadMadMadWorld 29 months ago
Ah, the old shows and movies were, funnier, cleaner and yes even wholesome. Even the comedians were funny without using race,sex,etc. At least not as DIRECT as they are now!
And as for the programming, well jamming the same series on top of each other, is sort of like the MEDICARE commercials for enrollment. One after another. But I guess the schedule probably coincides with the purchase agreement METV has with the supplier or they are trying to get there monies worth, not to mention what geographical region allowed to be shown in. After all there are other markets overlapping.
That was one of my sister's favorites, after "Corky and White Shadow" and "Fury".
Acherre gmail 29 months ago
Hmmm... That's debetable.
AlF 29 months ago
The lake is open to the entire sky! Birds. Planes. Meteorites. Volcanic ash. Air pollution. Not to mention contents of the lake like fish, bugs, weeds, slime, moss, algae, etc.

Just throw the rock, kid!
Pacificsun AlF 29 months ago
Every drinking water reservoir is restricted. There's a big difference between people pollution and natural habitat. Those clean reservoirs aren't all that slimy either.
Coldnorth 29 months ago
I always wondered why Andy didn’t stop Opie from throwing rocks to scare the fish. My Dad rest his soul wouldn’t have let me throw rocks in the water before fishing. Just a thought and memory
Rob Coldnorth 29 months ago
I was thinking the same thing.
Runeshaper 29 months ago
Thank goodness for Reggie Smith! LOL
gmail 29 months ago
If we are going to sit in front of the idiot box, maybe METV can spruce it up a bit. There is 9 seasons of AS TIME GOES BY with Judith Dench of 007 and Geoffrey Palmer.

This of course is 30 minute shows. As Time Goes By, is well written, acting superb and, with seriousness and humor all brilliantly played out.
Probably 12 on up in age.

I found this to be a great show of character.

If you have access to Britbox, I highly recommend this 5 Star show. If METV can get access I highly suggest they consider.
***** 5 STAR SHOW
ETristanBooth gmail 29 months ago
My local PBS station has been running ATGB for years. It's extremely well written and performed.
gmail ETristanBooth 29 months ago
I agree, our local St Louis PBS, showed as well, but always specials and fundraisers interrupt showing.never saw it all of the way through. Finally covered the entire series in 2 weeks.
Just excellent.
ELEANOR gmail 29 months ago
Dame Judith Dench appeared in many stage productions always playing the lead prior to appearing in James Bond movies.
MichaelJMcGee gmail 29 months ago
I record what I want to watch on PBS and fast forward thru the constant begging.
gmail MichaelJMcGee 29 months ago
Same here with all of my shows. I use to support PBS, they were having a fundraiser to keep a show on. Made my pledge, 30 days later stop showing the show. That was my Last pledge. So I joined Britbox and for that small amount, I'm happy.
Pacificsun ETristanBooth 29 months ago
Thank you, mine too. They've been very generous about syndicating that show for free, for years.
gmail 29 months ago
Ah, Life Born, Live, Die
Even after 65 years, the GOOD TIMES still outweighs the bad times!
Coldnorth gmail 26 months ago
At first I thought you were quoting Ben Casey. Life death man woman infinity. Can’t remember it in right order but it reminded me to say me tv should run that show
gmail Coldnorth 26 months ago
Yes,I remember that show, another one in the shadows, waiting for an appearance.
gmail 29 months ago
Look at this way, whenever you see some old westerns and one or two love stories, when you see that old engine chugging along look at the number on the engine cowling, if you see number 8, that's the Cannonball of Green Acres and Petticoat Junction.
Deleted 29 months ago
This comment has been removed.
Snickers 29 months ago
I think you mean Petticoat Junction.
gmail 29 months ago
Dang auto correct, thank you. I changed it!
Snickers 29 months ago
No problem!
Andybandit 30 months ago
That is too bad that Ronnie couldn't throw the rocks good. Look how successful he now as a director.
Moriyah 30 months ago
Omg, one day soon, I'd love to tour the Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. set it I ever could! Who agrees with me on that?! (Let me know)
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Pacificsun Moriyah 29 months ago
It would've been Camp Pendleton for exteriors, but all sets for the '60s sadly have never survived.
bagandwallyfan52 RossE 29 months ago
It is very sad that Both
Carter) and TOMMY LEONETTI (Cpl. Nick Cuccinelli) both passed away at age50.
Frank Sutton passed away in 1975 and Tommy Leonetti passed away in
1979.Cpl.Boyle(Roy Stuart,)
Replaced Cpl . Nick Cuccinelli Tommy Leonetti.
Didn't I read somewhere that the Gilligans Island set is now a parking lot
Find the MeTV Story about the then and now of where it shows Opie and Andy walking down to the fishing hole to skip the rock. I believe there's a link in that story that will take to a very good backlot map, that shows where different shows filmed specifically on that land. But all that land has now been converted. You can't find the lagoon anymore.

You have to know where the series was filmed, then look at the specific link here.
This is one link that might get you closer.
texasluva 30 months ago
I've been robbed. Someone call the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences-The Actors Guild Union-Or the whomever it is to call . All this time until now I thought little Opie was throwing that rock . He was supposed to skip that rock across the pond. All this time I skipped how many years not knowing 🤨. TG finally to come out here on MeTV. I guess you can't be robbed if you never knew you were. What's the Statue of Limitations on this 🙄.
MrsPhilHarris texasluva 29 months ago
This story or one similar was on the ME site a few years ago.
AlF texasluva 29 months ago
Oh, rioters pulled that down years ago...
Pacificsun MrsPhilHarris 29 months ago
Yes, they sometimes repeat stories they don't think we'll notice. Must be when staff runs short. But it seems to me there have been fewer stories in general. Although each one is more interesting than they used to run.
BuckeyeBeth7 texasluva 26 months ago
Lol I feel ya. The director might have told little Ronnie to skip the rock but he definitely threw it. A throw is usually a overhand action while skipping a stone tends to be a side action. Opie is definitely throwing overhand in the opening. And the really funny part is that it looks like the rock splashes at least a few (or several) yards to the left of where Ronnie threw it.
Coldnorth texasluva 26 months ago
Keep your chin up
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