Thelma Lou almost took this job in Mayberry after Barney Fife left the show

Producers offered Betty Lynn a new storyline to stay on The Andy Griffith Show after Don Knotts departed. This is the story they offered her and why she said no.

"Thelma Lou, you’re juicier than a barrel full of corn squeezin's!" Big Jeff Pruitt tells the Mayberry lass in the Andy Griffith Show episode "The Farmer Takes a Wife."

Alan Hale, Jr. guest stars as the big lug looking to take Thelma Lou away from her steady guy Barney Fife.

On The Andy Griffith Show, Betty Lynn played Thelma Lou to such perfection that producers stopped looking for other girls to pair up with their funny deputy.

Lynn expected that this decision might make her more valuable to the show.

When Lynn was first cast, they offered her about $500 an episode to play Thelma Lou, and after her role became more regular, the actor asked for a raise.

All she wanted was an extra $50 per episode, but Lynn told the Associated Press in 2007 that The Andy Griffith Show’s stern response surprised her.

"We can replace you," they told Betty Lynn, who could do nothing but cry to her costar Don Knotts.

"I told Don about it, and he said, 'They wouldn’t have done that. They wouldn’t have let you go,'" Lynn remembered.

She decided not to risk it and never mentioned the raise again.

But then five years later, Knotts decided to leave The Andy Griffith Show, and producers saw Lynn with fresh eyes. They didn’t want fans to lose Thelma Lou, too.

Lynn said producers came to her after great deliberation and offered to give Thelma Lou a hairdressing salon that would’ve kept Thelma Lou in Mayberry for the rest of the series run.

Lynn thought it over. Essentially, her salon would’ve been a female version of Floyd’s Barber Shop, expanding on the girlish humor that Barbara Eden flirted with in the Andy Griffith Show episode "The Manicurist."

But, as any Mayberry fan can tell you, this was not the future that Lynn ultimately saw for Thelma Lou.

To Lynn, without Barney, "I didn’t think Thelma Lou made much sense."

Whether or not the character shift made sense, we can’t help but wonder if Thelma Lou might’ve convinced Aunt Bee to change up her hair after all those years?

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DDDDDuane 28 months ago
Betty was on the Andy Griffith show from 1960-1966.
When I was a kid I thought she was gorgeous (I still do). In 1965 she was 39 years old and cute as hell...
cperrynaples 31 months ago
When are we getting a new story? They have to do a tribute to Dean Stockwell who died this weekend!
gmail 31 months ago
The Rifleman The Wyoming Story always makes me tear up, memories of long ago.
gmail 31 months ago
I said this before:

To METV executives, how come BETTY LYNN aka THELMA LOU did not get the proper send off RIP in between commercials as others have who have passed on?

METV staff, please respond.

There's still time to correct a wrong!
gmail 31 months ago
Watched The Waltons, how much longer will shows such as this be viewed as we move forward in time. What does the future hold for people like us, who grew up in the era, of a close nit family, saying "goodnight " to our loved ones.
When will the time come, that shows like that are deemed unsavory, not enough cursing or sexual content.
Today's show lacks true writing personal, instead the Producers, Writers even the investors including advertisers want more salacious stories.
When will the old shows and movies fail too garner enough advertising money to even display.
Advertisers control a large portion of the show's budget and can kill off a show overnight.
So when does the time come for the Waltons, Gunsmoke,wagon Train shows that have a moral and religious tone to it.
I imagine as our generation slowly dissipate and the newer generation takes more and more positions, then we will see the beginning of the end of great productions of yesteryear.
Hi Ho Silver...
Nala92129 31 months ago
She was one of the most winsome, likeable characters on the show. I suspect she was just as gracious and warm offscreen. She was every bit as popular and beloved as Barney Fife. and
Phillip2021 31 months ago
Thelma Lou was my first TV crush when I was 6 years old. May you rest in peace Betty Lynn.
country46 31 months ago
"Thelma Lou, you’re juicier than a barrel full of corn squeezin's!
I told my girlfriend this line and got swatted
TheFanFromUNCLE country46 31 months ago
She didn't deserve you then.
Coldnorth TheFanFromUNCLE 30 months ago
I love the man from uncle
Tink1 31 months ago
Aww I loved Barney and Thelma Lou together. I just have to say that I love the Andy Griffith Show. It's such a good wholesome, family show. No cursing, violence, sex, drugs. Andy and Barney were great friends and he was so loyal, kind and good to his buddy Barney lol! I need an Andy in my life😂🤷🏽‍♀️ He's a good dad, man, friend, and good to his Aunt Bee. An all around good person. But we all need more Andy Griffith's in the world!
Runeshaper 31 months ago
I realize that $50 was worth more back then, but that's pretty reasonable. Yes, everyone can be replaced, but to say that to her in this instance was just wrong.
rlb2k1jr 31 months ago
After Don Knotts left, the tone of the show changed. The show was filmed in color. Deputy Warren replaced Barney, and Andy appeared to be more serious. I guess that’s why the black & white episodes outshine the color episodes based on heavy airplay. Well, you can’t win ‘em all, heh, heh, heh? 😄😁
Tink1 rlb2k1jr 31 months ago
I agree...I love the black and white shows much better and with Barney 😁
TheFanFromUNCLE Tink1 31 months ago
I only watch the black and whites. It loses something in color.
Tink1 TheFanFromUNCLE 30 months ago
Yes it does...I love the old back and white movies, too.
Zip 31 months ago
I think it is pretty crummy the way the show treated Betty just for asking for an extra $50 per episode. I mean, I understand that $50 was a lot more money back then, but I don't think it was extravagant. And it was per episode, not like it was per day or anything like that.

Oh well, it didn't make Betty Lynn love the show or her role in it any less, so I guess it shouldn't bother me if it didn't bother her too much.
Barry22 31 months ago
Thelma lou should have opened up a strip club, with The Fun Girls working with her and Aunt Bea as the bouncer. "Best strip joint in town"
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harlow1313 harlow1313 31 months ago
"such a chick magnate"

Sigh. Should me magnet, not "magnate." Howard Sprague was no Thurston Howell III.
Nala92129 Barry22 31 months ago
Heh heh heh
JHP Barry22 31 months ago
floyd could have been a bouncer
robert Barry22 16 months ago
Aunt Bee was too dour on that show. Loathed Griffith and he double loathed her.
Andybandit 31 months ago
That would have been cool to have Thelma Lou as a hairdresser.
Zip Andybandit 31 months ago
It does seem like a good job for her.
Come to think of it, what did Thelma Lou do for a job?
Andybandit Zip 31 months ago
I have no clue what she did for a job.
Dillon45 Andybandit 31 months ago
It seems I heard Thelma Lou tell Barney on more than one occasion that she had to "get back to the office", I so guess that could mean most any occupation, from secretary to CEO...
country46 31 months ago
speaking of gossip this whole thing is a bunch of gossip
TomLawrence country46 31 months ago
From Betty Lynn, who knew. So it’s fact, not gossip.
WordsmithWorks 31 months ago
This idea may have worked, especially since Floyd's barbershop turned into Emmitt's fix-it shop. The writers would have had to expand some female roles (maybe even added some), since the show was very male-centric. Although I'm not sure viewers would have been interested in watching Thelma Lou, Helen, Aunt Bee and Clara Edwards gossiping about the "menfolk."
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Oh I bet there was a lot of eavesdropping on party lines! I’m sure a lot of those rural gals would gently lift up the receiver when they heard the ring of another home and quietly listen in.
MrsPhilHarris 31 months ago
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Moody LoveMETV22 31 months ago
Men don't gossip, we talk about the events of the day.
Aww that’s so nice. I heard she was a lovely lady.
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