‘The Andy Griffith Show’: The Biggest Lesson Don Knotts’ Comedienne Daughter Learned From Him About Performing

by Joe Rutland
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Comedian Don Knotts from The Andy Griffith Show was a truly multi-talented performer. What did his daughter learn from him?

We’re putting the focus on performing in front of audiences, Outsiders.

Karen Knotts, Don’s daughter, talked about it in an interview with Fox News.

“I went on the road with him quite a few times,” she said. “He would perform all across the country all the time. Whenever he wasn’t working in TV, he was doing theater, usually in the Midwest. And he would put me in these small parts.

“He was always teaching me,” Karen Knotts said. “The thing that I learned from him is that you always have to look for ways to get that big laugh.”

‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Star Made Numerous Suggestions To His Daughter

Among the suggestions that The Andy Griffith Show star gave to his daughter was about saying a line a certain way. Knotts was encouraged to pause after a certain word was said.

His end goal, according to her, was to make sure the audience had a laugh. He also had a son, Thomas, from his first marriage. Karen Knotts also was born from that marriage to Kathryn Metz.

Don Knotts lived to be 81 years old, yet his work remains endearing to many Americans. Whether it was playing Barney Fife or hamming it up with comic Steve Allen, he always gave audiences his best work.

Knotts was a part of the Griffith show for five seasons, then he left for a movie deal with Universal Studios. He left the show upon the belief that Griffith, who played Sheriff Andy Taylor, was going to close up shop and leave the CBS sitcom after five seasons.

Knotts, Griffith Worked Together On ‘No Time for Sergeants’ In Stage, Movie Versions

Griffith changed his mind, though. Knotts already had signed his movie deal, so that took him away. Yet he did make guest-starring appearances on the show.

Both Knotts and Griffith worked together before the TV show. Griffith played Will Stockdale in the stage and film presentations of No Time for Sergeants. Knotts played a jittery, high-strung Air Force test administrator in the film version. He played that role, along with a Preacher, in the Broadway play.

Generations of viewers continue to find his work funny. Knotts also played Ralph Furley in the ABC sitcom Three’s Company opposite John Ritter. That was one show where Griffith did not like his work too much. But the two men would work together again as Griffith had Knotts play a recurring role on the legal drama Matlock.

The actors not only worked together but became good friends away from their performances. Griffith knew that Knotts would be a perfect comedic foil on the CBS sitcom.

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