The Andy Griffith show was so good that it remains one of the most popular classic TV shows. Most of that was due to the genius behind the scenes. The show employed some top-notch writers and directors. They laid the groundwork for the show. Then, everything filtered through Andy. He added his voice to the series.
Andy Griffith had a hefty amount of creative control. It was his show, to a certain extent. For instance, when they did table reads, he would alter scripts to his liking. If Andy didn’t like a line, he’d throw it out. If something didn’t fit with his vision, he would change it.
However, Andy Griffith didn’t always have the final say on the series. In fact, now and then, he had to go along with what showrunner Sheldon Leonard wanted. Usually, Andy would grin and bear it. But, when the showrunner decided that Andy Taylor needed a boss figure, it caused their first and only argument. In the end, Leonard won. That didn’t mean that Griffith had to like it, though.
As a matter of fact, Andy Griffith hated the character. However, fans of the show would never know it from watching the series.
The Mayberry Character That Andy Griffith Hated
The character that Sheldon Leonard thought the Andy Griffith Show absolutely needed was a mayor. He figured that he could be a boss to Sheriff Taylor. It would add some tension and a little comedy. However, Andy hated the idea.
It wasn’t having a boss figure that Andy Griffith disliked. In fact, he liked the idea of having a boss. The reason he hated the idea was that a mayor is a local official. He could have been over the local PD if Mayberry had one. However, the sheriff is an elected county official. A mayor wouldn’t have power over a sheriff. That detail bothered Andy.
Mayberry had two different mayors over the course of The Andy Griffith Show‘s run.
The first mayor of Mayberry was Mayor Pike. He first appeared in the episode titled “The Manhunt,” which was early in the first season. In fact, it was the first episode in which Barney Fife appeared as well. Mayor Pike was only in eleven episodes throughout the first two seasons of The Andy Griffith Show.
Pike’s character exited the show because Dick Elliott, the actor who portrayed him, passed away midway through The Andy Griffith Show’s second season. His departure was never addressed onscreen.
Then, Mayor Roy Stoner came along in season three. Roy Stoner was played by Parley Baer. He only appeared in seven episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, according to IMDb.
So, Andy Griffith hated the fact that Sheldon Leonard added a mayor to the series. However, he only had to deal with 18 episodes of the role before things went back to normal in Mayberry.