Andy Griffith Reflected on His First Real Success With Comedy Record

by Joe Rutland

Before Andy Griffith found TV gold with his CBS sitcom, he recorded a memorable comedy record about the game of football.

Griffith talked about his early success with What It Was, Was Football in an interview with News 5 Cleveland back in 1972.

When asked how it came together, Andy Griffith said “a combination of things.

“One was, when I was in college, I played a sousaphone in the marching band,” he said. “And I used to watch all the people at the football game.

Andy Griffith Said Famed Routine Was Put Together While He Was Driving In Car

“And you know how I refer to ‘the big orange drink’ in that (routine)? Well, I used to watch people at the games having their big orange drinks,” Griffith says. “I used to watch them try to get out of the stadium and I wanted the players and all that.

“Then later, I had two jobs for the same crowd,” Griffith says. “So, I don’t know where it came from nor why. But that notion came to me in the car. Did it that night, kept working, and kept going.

“One day I did it in Chapel Hill, North Carolina,” he says. “And a guy asked me if I’d like to make a record of it and I said, ‘You got a deal, pal.'”

Andy Griffith had one of the top comedy albums of all time with that recording. Mind you, this was before finding TV success as Sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show.

Take a look at Griffith talking about the record and other things in his career.

Griffith Would Only Disagree With TV Show’s Creator One Time and Here’s Why

There is no doubt that Andy Griffith and Sheldon Leonard both had incredible influences on the world of television.

Leonard, who had a career as an actor in movies and TV shows (heck, he appears in It’s A Wonderful Life every Christmas), was the creator of The Andy Griffith Show. He also worked closely with comedian-entertainer Danny Thomas, who let Griffith’s Andy Taylor character have a spot on The Danny Thomas Show.

Both Griffith and Leonard got along quite well. One time, though, they had an argument. Griffith talks about it in an interview with The Archive of American Television.

The argument was over having a new character, a mayor of Mayberry, appear on the sitcom.

Griffith didn’t want it, but Leonard did. This mayor would be Andy Taylor’s boss.

Leonard did get his way and there was a mayor. But the character didn’t last long.