Most fans know Don Knotts from the first (and best) five seasons of The Andy Griffith Show. However, after Deputy Fife turned in his badge and gun, Knotts went on to work in Hollywood. He picked up several roles in which he could continue to flex his comedic muscles. Over the years, Knotts proved himself to be a master comedian. His facial expressions, physical comedy, and expert timing left generations of fans in stitches. His timeless comedy still gets laughs today.
Don’s daughter Karen Knotts wrote a book about growing up with her famous father titled Tied Up in Knotts: Me and My Dad. Recently, she sat down with Fox News to reflect on her father and talk about the book. During that interview, Karen talked about how different her father was from his iconic characters. According to her, his real sense of humor was very subtle.
Karen Talks about Don Knotts’ Sense of Humor
Fox News wanted to know, “What’s one memory of your dad that makes you smile?”
“He would always make these little side comments that were hysterically funny. And it was a very subtle thing,” she recalled. Then, Don Knott’s daughter explained one of her father’s favorite setups for his subtle comments. “He would just lean into you as if he was going to tell you this big secret in great confidence. And then he would lay this whopper on you.” Karen said those one-liners “would just make you fall out laughing.”
Karen’s former boyfriend learned firsthand how good Don Knotts was at using a few words to get huge laughs. “I remember I had this boyfriend and I told him my dad’s birthday was coming up. And so he treated us out.” She continued, saying that her boyfriend brought along his identical twin brother and the four of them went out together.
About the night, Karen said, “…the three of us took my dad out for this beautiful dinner with all sorts of gifts.” Then, when it was time to drop Don Knotts off after dinner, he told the trio, “Thanks a lot! We’ll do this again next week.”
Karen recalled, “It was just something so simple yet so witty at the moment.”
So, Don Knotts wasn’t like his onscreen characters, least of all Barney Fife. Mayberry’s deputy was always nervous and wasn’t afraid to get loud. Most of that character’s comedy came from how over-the-top he could be in any situation. In real life, Knotts was confident and knew how to play it cool and still make everyone laugh. That just goes to show that he had a wide comedy arsenal from which to pull. The world lost one of the greats when Knotts passed away in 2006 after a battle with lung cancer.