The Reason Don Knotts Had to Leave ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ After 5 Seasons

Legendary actor Don Knotts was without a doubt one of the biggest draws Andy Griffith Exhibition. His role as blundering Deputy Barney Fife was well deserved for Griffith’s straight man.

Five years into the classic comedy series, which was still riding high in the rankings, Knotts announced it was leaving.

This is what made the beloved comic go.

Don Knotts and Andy Griffith
Don Knotts and Andy Griffith CBS Photo Archive / Getty Image Archive / Images

Don Knotts says Andy Griffith is ‘ship captain’

George Lindsey, left, and Andy Griffith on 'The Andy Griffith Show'
George Lindsey, left, and Andy Griffith on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ | CBS through Getty Images

Knotts, who started the comedy series in the early 1960s, told Richard Kelly, the 1981 author Andy Griffith Exhibition book, that Griffith, as the name of the show said, was in charge of all the final details of the program.

“Andrew was the captain of the ship,” Knotts said. “Of course it was. He not only enjoyed being there, but he enjoyed being above that. He was inside of everything. We were all involved, but he was more involved in all abilities. ”

Something else Andy Griffith Exhibition Actor Jack Dodson, who saw Howard Sprague on the show, agreed with that metaphor, telling the author, “Andrew ran the ship. His adventure was first on the pages and / or characters, and secondly, accomplished. He asked if the script was funny, how good the story was, and how believable it was. ”

The knots ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ had to be abandoned for this reason

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Knotts left the show in 1965 as he was told by Griffith many times that the series would end in his fifth season. The second banana actor, as he told Kelly, decided to start “self-defense” of his career and find out what he would do after the show ended.

As it turned out, Griffith, who signed the show for five years, changed his mind and decided to continue with the series. By the time this was sent to Knotts, it was too late.

The actor had signed his own five-year film contract with Universal and Andy Griffith Exhibition he would have to go on without Barney Fife. Knotts, who died in 2006, returned to the reception in occasional guests.

He remembered knots by making his coasters laugh too much on a set

The Company of three Costar remembered what many laughed at the show set. In particular, Knotts said, he found it difficult to work with “Floyd” actor Howard McNear. There was just something about McNear’s facial expression that turned him into a laughing jag.

“I had sworn in Gomer [Jim Nabors] and Floyd as agents, ”Knotts recalled. “Floyd was just standing there and asked a question. I would go back, ‘Have you been allowed to speak? He replied ‘No, Sir!’ I would walk over and look at him – he would look at me as if in fear of this all-powerful messenger.

“Every time I looked at the man I was shaken up. We must have shot at that scene twenty times before I could do without laughing. The more I laughed, the more everyone else would laugh, and then Andrew would fall, and it was pandemonium for about two hours. We finally got a bullet. Howard was a funny man. ”

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