Unlike movies, which are written, filmed, and completed before they are released to the general public, TV shows have a more organic existence. Show creators may have an idea in mind and then need to make changes due to audience reaction or external circumstances.
Sometimes we’ll see major cast changes when the stars clash – or can’t get along with other co-stars. Other times, TV shows will adjust their plots to take into account real-life events. Then there are the times when the creators had an idea in mind and it sort of was. . . collapsed.
That’s what happened Le spectacle Andy Griffith. Two main characters initially had a different relationship than the one they ultimately had on screen.
‘The Andy Griffith Show’ had a popular run
Don Knotts et Andy Griffith de «The Andy Griffith Show» | Collection d’écran argenté / Getty Images
Le spectacle Andy Griffith created in 1960 and has become a kind of cultural phenomenon. The main among the nostalgic memories is the depiction of Mayberry, an idyllic town where life seemed perfect.
The star of the show, Andy Griffith, played the quaint town sheriff. He was also a single dad raising the lovable and heartwarming Opie who was played by a very young Ron Howard.
The show ran for eight years before ending in 1968, and today it still lives in the memory of fans and a new generation of viewers. Fans – then and now – are especially fond of Andy’s relationship with prankster MP Barney Fife (who was played by Don Knotts).
Don Knotts and Andy Griffith were a comedic duo
The onscreen chemistry between Barney and Andy reflected the real friendship between Knotts and Griffith. The actor couple met while working together on Broadway.
In 1955 the two men starred in No time for the sergeants. Five years later, their paths crossed again when they both appeared on The Danny Thomas Show, which was in fact the birthplace of Le spectacle Andy Griffith.
Sadly, Knotts left the show before it ended, and fans definitely missed out on not only Barney’s character, but the fun bites between the two men as well. The decision to leave was rooted in a misunderstanding. Knotts had agreed to play the part for five years, and when the time was up he went to renegotiate his pay.
Griffith owned about half of the show and Knotts had no controlling interest. When he asked for a stake, Griffith misinterpreted the request as half of his own share and turned Knotts down. Knotts, true to his word, finished his five-year stay and left.
While the ending disappointed fans, the pair revered each other for the rest of their lives. The fun they had on set is evident, and the stories that have come out over the years show that the comedic hijinks continued behind the scenes as well.
Barney and Andy had a different relationship when the series started
While Griffith was 𝕕𝕖𝕗𝕚𝕟𝕚𝕥𝕖𝕝𝕪 a backstage prankster, the dynamic between the two characters on the show’s set was a little different. Knotts was the main role of the comedy while Griffith played the role of the straight man in order to raise the bar when it came to the tension that would explode into laughter.
When the show premiered, the creators wrote another layer in the dynamic between these two men – they were meant to be cousins. In fact, according to Neatorama, some early episodes of the series even featured Andy 𝕣𝕖𝕗𝕖𝕣𝕣𝕚𝕟𝕘 to his ridiculous deputy as “cousin Barney,” but the convention fell over time. The idea that the two were cousins never really gained traction, and it’s soon a forgotten element of the series.