The Only Person Who Could Make Andy Griffith Really, Really Laugh

Andrew Griffith, front Andy Griffith Exhibition, going down in history as one of the funniest people on television. But who made the comedian laugh?

According to Ron Howard (who played Opie), no one made Griffith laugh or Don Knotts. Read on to check out the constellations’ unique connection.

Jim Nabors, Andy Griffith, and Don Knotts
Jim Nabors, Andy Griffith, and Don Knotts CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images

How Andy Griffith and Don Knotts became friends

Griffith and Knotts came from similar backgrounds, so it didn’t take them long to become quick friends.

“They were two Southern boys with similar backgrounds, stories, and babies, so they were immediately drawn together,” said Daniel de Visé, author Andy & Don: Friendship Making and Classic American TV Show, told Closer. “They could talk about things like mumblety-peg, an old silly game, and seeing preachers in tents on weekends.”

Knotts and Griffith certainly met on set Time for Sergeants. But they became close when Knotts played vice-captain Barney Fife on him Andy Griffith Exhibition. On set, Griffith could always count on Knotts to make him laugh.

“Andrew was the biggest audience in the world for Don,” Howard told Closer. “Don was literally in tears once a week.

Andy Griffith used to play pranks on Don Knotts when they weren’t filming

Griffith is famous for being a prankster. And Knotts was often the perfect victim.

“Don would be restless, so he would nap on a cot in the sheriff’s office,” de Visé told the publication. “Andrew would drop a film canister down to the floor of the linoleum and wake Don and just laugh with a smile. ”

But don’t let Griffith’s love of pranks let you believe he was anything but a professional when it came to filming.

He said, ‘If you do all your preparations, the rest of the day we can laugh and keep going,’ ”said Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle). “Oh, golly, we laughed a lot.”

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts after ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

In 1986, Griffith created another TV character that took the world by storm: Atlanta lawyer Ben Matlock of Matlock. On the set of Matlock, Griffith reunited with Knotts when he was a guest.

“It was like they never jumped a beat,” said Nancy Stafford (Michelle Thomas). “They came into the habit of singing, laughing and telling jokes.”

Just like Matlock coming to an end, Griffith moved back to North Carolina, where he was happy. However, in 2006 when he learned that Knotts was dying in Los Angeles with a seizure, he ran to be next to his old friend.

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