‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Griffith Described When He Called Up Actor to Reprise Role After Massive Stroke

by Katie Maloney

Andy Griffith wasn’t going to let any medical obstacles keep him from recasting this actor from “The Andy Griffith Show.”

When actors work on an iconic television show like “The Andy Griffith Show,” their castmates become another family. That was certainly the case for actors on the classic TV show. Even actor George Lindsey, who played Goober on the show, said that “The Andy Griffith Show” was another home to him. And that he considered the cast his family.

So, it’s no surprise that actor Howard McNear, who played Floyd the barber on the show, was delighted when he got the chance to reprise his role. During an interview in 1996, Andy Griffith opened up about the making of “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Reprising The Role of Floyd Meant ‘The World’ to Howard McNear

Griffith said that when it was time to cast the show, everyone knew they had to get Howard McNear back in the onset barbershop as Floyd.

“Well, we had a script that wasn’t very funny,” said Griffith. “And we said, ‘Oh, if we just had one scene with Floyd.’ And we called up and his wife Helen said, ‘Oh, it would mean the world and all to him.’ So he worked with us for a year and a half. “

Unfortunately, McNear had suffered a stroke a few years before the show. So, the opportunity was even more meaningful.

“A lot of our cast members have passed on,” said Griffith. “Howard McNear, he had a stroke and his whole left side was paralyzed and he came back and worked with us for a year and a half.”

McNear didn’t let anything keep him from revisiting Mayberry.

Andy Griffith talks about his co-stars from “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Andy Griffith Said Howard McNear Was a ‘Genius’ on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

So we know that the cast of “The Andy Griffith Show” was like family. And what do families do? They hype each other up! And that’s exactly what Andy Griffith and Don Knotts did for Howard McNear during an interview in 2003. During the interview, the two opened up about what it was like working with the comedic genius.

“Howard McNear was a genius,” said Griffith.

“He sure was,” Knotts replied. “One of the funniest men that ever lived.”

“And he didn’t even seem to try,” said Griffith. “I don’t know where he discovered that character.”

Ron Howard, who played Opie on “The Andy Griffith Show” voiced similar sentiments during the same interview.

“That halting, can’t-quite-finish-his-sentence, and then to come out with just that one little word,” said Howard. “He would just sit in his own chair, his own barber chair, and everyone would gather around and a wonderful scene would unfold.”