HomeEntertainment‘The Andy Griffith Show’: When Ron Howard Knew Andy Griffith and Don Knotts Viewed Him as an Adult

‘The Andy Griffith Show’: When Ron Howard Knew Andy Griffith and Don Knotts Viewed Him as an Adult

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images)

Fans of “The Andy Griffith Show” remember Ron Howard as, of course, playing young Opie Taylor. He, though, was left out of adult chats.

Howard, who in eight seasons of the “Griffith” show, grew up from a boy to an adolescent on the CBS comedy. The young kid finds himself surrounded by acting veterans Griffith, Don Knotts, Frances Bavier, Jim Nabors, George Lindsey, and many others.

Adults sometimes have talks away from kids, especially on studio sets. What it meant for Howard is that Griffith, Knotts, and others would have certain discussions separately from him.

Howard Didn’t Always See ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

It’s hard to believe that Ron Howard didn’t always watch episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show” when originally aired, but he didn’t. Why? The show’s first couple of seasons aired after his bedtime.

“It wasn’t till I was a little bit older that I was allowed to stay up and watch it,” he said. “Then I’d watch it every week.”

Once the show ended, Howard went on to star in ABC’s “Happy Days.” He also turned his eye toward being a film director.

Back in 1986, NBC gathered together cast members from “The Andy Griffith Show” minus Bavier, who played Aunt Bea, for a special, “Return To Mayberry.” It brought together Griffith, Knotts, Howard, Nabors, and Lindsey to play their roles again.

Ron Howard Gained Acceptance As Adult Among Peers

So, when did Ron Howard know that his peers saw him as an adult? Would you believe it all boiled down to a dirty joke?

Griffith and Knotts start talking on the “Return To Mayberry” set and one of them told a dirty joke. After telling it and laughing, they notice Howard is in the neighborhood. Both men went over and shared it with Howard, acknowledging that yes, their “Opie” had grown up.

Author Daniel De Vise, who wrote “Andy and Don,” talks about Howard spending time with Griffith.

“Ron talked for hours with Andy – interviewed him, really, about his memories of running ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ asking all the questions he had never thought to pose on the old Mayberry set,” De Vise wrote.

Thanks to Howard asking Griffith those questions, we have a clearer view of how such an amazing show came together.