‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Andy Played Sheriff Taylor on 4 Different TV Shows

by Clayton Edwards

When it comes to nostalgic television, The Andy Griffith Show is hard to beat. The show transports viewers away from the modern world to the small town of Mayberry. In that peaceful little town, there aren’t many problems that a little honesty and humility can’t fix. If something does come up, Sheriff Andy Taylor is always there to handle it. It’s a great series and its big, beating heart was the comedic pairing of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. Andy and Barney played off of one another perfectly.

Sheriff Andy Taylor was a great character. He’s the kind of lawman that every town in America needs. No matter how big or small the town is, Andy could help whip it into shape. He was such a strong character that Griffith ended up reprising the role for three different series besides The Andy Griffith Show.

The Danny Thomas Show – First Appearance of Sheriff Andy Taylor

The Andy Griffith Show is a cornerstone of classic television. It inspired its own spinoff shows and cemented a handful of actors as bona fide stars. However, before it was a portal to simpler times, it was a spinoff of another show.

The Danny Thomas Show featured Danny Thomas playing the role of Danny Williams. His character was a comedian and successful nightclub entertainer. In season seven, episode 20, titled “Danny Meets Andy Griffith,” the show introduced its future spinoff. In the episode, Danny runs the only stop sign in Mayberry and is arrested by Andy. If you want to check out the genesis of Andy Taylor, you can watch the full episode on YouTube. It’s worth checking out.

Gomer Pyle USMC – The First Spinoff from The Andy Griffith Show

Gomer Pyle was a fan favorite when he was on The Andy Griffith Show. People loved the simple yet good-natured gas station attendant. At the same time, Jim Nabors was a stellar actor. So, he fit right into the cast. When it came time to think about doing a spinoff show, Gomer Pyle USMC was a natural pick.

The show focused on Gomer enlisting in the US Marines. Much like The Andy Griffith Show, it was an escape for viewers. It aired in the middle of the Vietnam War and took place on a military base. However, the war itself never came up. The show wasn’t about social commentary. Instead, it focused on Gomer and his fellow Marines and the comedy that came from Pyle being in the military. Andy Taylor popped up on the show from time to time as well.

Mayberry RFD – The Last Days of Mayberry

After eight years of doing The Andy Griffith Show, Andy was ready to move on from Mayberry. Don Knotts left after five seasons. So, the show took a bit of a downturn in the final three. By the end of the eighth season, Sheriff Taylor largely took a back seat and let his replacement handle the bulk of the work. Then came Mayberry RFD.

Much like The Andy Griffith Show, the new spinoff was a hit. However, when the networks purged the rural content from their lineups, Mayberry RFD got the ax after only three seasons. Andy Griffith was ready to move on to new things. However, he couldn’t just leave Mayberry and never return. So, he made a handful of guest appearances on the show as Sheriff Taylor.