‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Griffith’s Hilariously Awkward First Meeting with Jim Nabors

by Will Shepard

Andy Griffith always seemed to know exactly what to say and when to say it on The Andy Griffith Show. Part of the reason that the show was so immensely popular was that fact. People who watched the show idolized Andy Taylor as the ideal father.

Not only did people love Andy Taylor the character, but they also loved Andy Griffith. Over the years, his television shows seemed to always be successful. Once Griffith became a star, it seemed like the actor could do no wrong.

But, apparently, there are times when Griffith doesn’t know exactly how to handle a situation. This was the case when he met his co-star, Jim Nabors, for the first time.

During an interview with Ralph Emery many years ago for On the Record, Andy Griffith talked about Jim Nabors. But, the star of The Andy Griffith Show only shared the interaction from the first time they met after Emery asked Griffith to tell him about the actor.

Andy Griffith Tells the Awkward Encounter That He Had With His Co-Star for “The Andy Griffith Show”

Griffith had a hilarious response to the question. While he told the story of the first time he encountered Nabors, he sits calmly in his chair.

After pausing briefly to think about the question, Griffith said, “Jim was working at a place called ‘The Horn,’ a nightclub up on Santa Monica Boulevard. A friend of ours dropped that strange-looking man off to my house one day and then left.”

Griffith continued the story, “So, I had to try to make conversation with him. I didn’t know him, or anything about him. I took him for a ride in the car, and stuff. Finally he left, and I was really thankful.”

“And then about a week later, I was forced into going over to ‘The Horn’ to see him,” Griffith said. “After he finished his spot, I was talking to him out on the street. I said, ‘I don’t know what you do, but I’ll tell you one thing – whatever it is, it’s electric. It’s powerful.”

The star of The Andy Griffith Show then explained that he was impressed how differently Nabors sounded when he sang versus when he talked. He then carried on to share how Nabor’s “hillbilly” personality but incredible singing landed him the role of Gomer Pyle. His goofy personality gelled perfectly with the character and with the show, in general.