Andy Griffith Went Behind the Scenes on One of His Favorite Jokes

by Allison Hambrick

Iconic actor Andy Griffith opened up about filming one of the most memorable episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. The award-winning show was called “Barney’s First Car.”

“Barney was going to buy a used car for his first car,” Griffith said on the Morning Exchange. “Not to put him down, but it was a 52 Ford. One of the jokes we had I was sitting on the porch, and this lady was going to bring the car over for Barney to look at. He was pacing back and forth, and I said ‘sit down, Barney, she’ll be here in a minute.’ He finally sat down and said ‘I’m sorry. I’m a little nervous. He said ‘ this is my biggest investment since my mom and dad’s anniversary.’ I said ‘what did you get them?’ and he said ‘a septic tank.’ I sat for a long time and then finally I said ‘a septic tank.’ He said ‘yeah, it was all steel reinforced, they were really thrilled.”

To Griffith, the fun of filming these episodes was the insanity. While The Andy Griffith Show had its real and sentimental moments, the comedy has kept fans rewatching it. The actor is quick to note that the real heroes were the writers.

“Our show I always felt fit into a special category because of the splendid writing that we had,” said Griffith. “We had the best comedy writing at that time. The writer’s guild [has] a writer’s dinner every year in which they give out their own awards to their own people. Our show, that is, the writing on our show, got the award. One year, we had two scripts up for that award, so I always thought our show was a little special that way.”

Andy Griffith Discusses ‘Rural Humor’

Additionally, Griffith broke down why rural settings were disappearing from television in the 1970s. According to the actor, the networks were trying to change the appeal of television.

“One of the things they believe is that Small Town U.S.A. is dying and disappearing from our country,” Griffith explained. “They believe that television audiences are too sophisticated for the fact that they have watched television for a long time to be able to buy or even enjoy entertainment that such as Petticoat Junction or Beverly Hillbillies or our show.”

Griffith also revealed that there was an active push against rural shows. While he agreed that city-themed shows had their audience, he argued that rural-themed shows did too. Griffith felt that television can draw from all walks of life.

“The powers that be at CBS two years ago decided that there should be no more rural shows on television,” said the actor. “If you’re saying that there are differences in us and that we all don’t come from a city and that we all don’t come from the same ethnic background, I agree.”

“I think we do need rural humor,” added Griffith. “It’s always been around and it always will be around.”