Ron Howard played the adorable Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. At one point, Howard and Griffith took their talents on the show and played their characters in a classic coffee commercial. In the commercial, Griffith talks up the power of the Sanka Coffee Aroma Roast.
The commercial is adorably outdated. It includes a line where Griffith brags that Sanka is “97% caffeine-free so you can drink all you want.” Which, let’s face it, isn’t the biggest selling point for coffee these days.
A Pitch Howard’s Father Made to ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ changed Opie’s character
Ron Howard’s father was on set a lot because he was only six years old when he was cast on The Andy Griffith Show. People enjoyed Rance Howard’s time on set. Howard’s father was heavily involved not only because he was simply Ron Howard’s father, but because Ron was still learning how to read. He’d help him read lines.
Ron Howard once described just how much of an impact his father had on the show.
“Early on, they wrote Opie a little differently. More like the typical sitcom kids who were always kind of with the (wisecrack) comebacks and jokes, punchlines, and things like that,” Howard said. He’d later find out that the character’s writing changed mostly because of his father.
Rance went to Griffith about his son’s character on The Andy Griffith Show and described his opinion from an outsider’s point of view. While many people in Griffiths’s position would turn up their nose, he listened.
“Somehow, my dad apparently said, ‘Well, what if Opie knew that Andy was smarter than him? How about if Opie actually respected his dad? As opposed to the sitcom kids who are always kind of making the dad look bad. I know there are jokes there, but I don’t know, I just thought it might be different,'” Howard said. And apparently, Griffith loved the idea.
Ron Howard’s Inspiration
Opie’s respectful and well-mannered attitude was a refreshing change of pace and took the character in an exciting new direction. Not only did Ron Howard’s father shape the show with ideas, but how he treated his son. Ron Howard had a wonderful relationship with his father and based a lot of how Opie treated his dad off on how he treated his own.
From The Andy Griffith Show and quirky coffee commercials to newfound success as Richie Cunningham on Happy Days, Howard captured the hearts of fans from a young age. He’s continued to do so into adulthood. The quaint coffee commercial is an adorable look into the years where the actor got his start.