Remembering your favorite and greatest episodes of The Andy Griffith Show might take you time, but that isn’t the case for Ron Howard. The actor-director received his first taste of fame from playing Opie Taylor opposite Andy Griffith‘s Andy Taylor, his father. Yet thinking about which episode would be his favorite is a big chore. Still, Howard brings up an interesting one with a personal backstory to it. He shared this classic TV insight during an interview with talk-show host Larry King a few years ago.
Ron Howard Of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Said Episode Was Based On Real-Life
“Well, a lot of people talk about the bird one but I like one that was based on real-life,” Howard said about The Andy Griffith Show episode. “My dad [Rance Howard] wrote the story for it. And it was, it’s a thing where Andy [Taylor] is umpiring and he calls Opie out at home. And Opie’s sure he was safe and he’s just shattered and pretty pissed off.
“Well, that had happened to me and my dad,” Howard said. “Called you out?” King asks. “He called me out at home on a ballgame that was on my birthday. It was just a pickup game but I couldn’t believe he called me out. My dad thought that was hilarious that I was so upset about it and took the idea to Andy [Griffith] and they made an episode out of it.” King adds, “I could never call my son out.” In case you haven’t seen the scene in question, then we have a clip from the episode titled The Ballgame.
Actor Would Become Well-Known Director, Appear In Last Film For John Wayne
Ron Howard would stay on The Andy Griffith Show for its entire run. Then, another generation would grow up with him playing Richie Cunningham on Happy Days. Yet he would begin to make his name as a director, too. That would all steer Howard’s career in the direction he wanted to go.
Fans of John Wayne know that Howard played opposite The Duke in The Shootist, which was Wayne’s final film. Howard also would reprise his Opie Taylor role in a reunion TV movie on NBC titled Return to Mayberry. It would be the last time Griffith and his longtime friend and co-star Don Knotts would appear together as Andy and Barney Fife. But the characters from Mayberry continue to live on thanks to the world of reruns. New fans discover Ron Howard in his younger days, too.