‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Barney Fife Switched Up His Car for ‘Return To Mayberry’

by Joe Rutland

Do you remember seeing Barney Fife drive around Mayberry on the classic TV show The Andy Griffith Show? He would be in a sweet Ford. Well, the automaker did give the CBS sitcom cars to turn into police cruisers and keep Otis or Ernest T. Bass in check. Also, Sheriff Andy Taylor, played by Andy Griffith, tooled around the Mayberry metropolis in a Ford Galaxie 500. That all changed, though, when most of the old gang appeared in the NBC TV movie Return to Mayberry.

Fife, played immaculately by Don Knotts, would be in a 1981 Chevy Malibu. Things had changed for Andy as he now resided in Cleveland. Mayberry’s finest needed new cars, we guess. All of these details are finely worked out in the TV movie that even let Barney and Thelma Lou finally tie the knot. That’s according to an article from MeTV.

Don Knotts of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Would Leave After Five Seasons. Why?

How about some more history from Knotts and The Andy Griffith Show. He loved working with Griffith and was actually hoping things would be extended beyond the lead actor’s original timeline. Griffith originally just wanted to do the show for five seasons and Knotts left. Whoops. “I left because Andy said he would never do the show more than five years,” Knotts once said in an interview. “I had a five-year contract and during the fifth season I thought ‘I better start looking around for more work.'”

Knotts would end up with a movie picture deal with Universal. This led him to make movies like The Ghost and Mr. Chicken and The Reluctant Astronaut. The funny thing, though, is that Griffith decided to keep on going with the TV show. It would run for three more seasons on CBS. Viewers would get chances to see Andy and Barney back together at different times. Knotts’ appearance as a guest star would bring him some Emmy Awards, too.

Producers Came Up With Idea To Have Andy Play Andy Taylor Instead Of Using Real Name

Everybody knows that Griffith went by Andy Taylor on the TV show but why did he use that name? The short and sweet answer is that they wanted a separation between actor and character. Producers thought this was an important thing to do since Griffith and Taylor were both different people with different lives. Griffith had been married for 10 years heading into the show; Taylor plays a widowed father trying to raise his young son.

If you are looking to watch The Andy Griffith Show, then just turn on your TV set. Episodes probably are airing right now. If you have a Roku TV, then catch it on PlutoTV as it has its own channel.