Fans of “The Andy Griffith Show” know Andy Griffith as a father himself. He portrays widower Sheriff Andy Taylor in the iconic show, quintessential father to Opie. The relationship Griffith shared with his son on-screen, however, didn’t reflect the one he had with his own father. So who was the man who raised the eventual TV legend?
Carl Lee Griffith was a North Carolina native and a hardworking one at that. He worked blue-collar jobs to provide for his wife and son. The family saved up and eventually had enough to buy a house in Mount Airy, NC.
As the only child of his family, Andy Griffith was at the center of attention. As a result, his parents had a major impact on his life. And even though Andy loved his father, they weren’t always on the same page.
Carl Lee Griffith didn’t quite understand the nature of show business. Of course, if he ever tried preventing Andy from pursuing it as a career, it didn’t work very well. But according to Griffith himself, his father didn’t get the appeal.
In an old interview with “On the Record,” Griffith talked about how his father saw the entertainment industry.
“I loved my father. He lived to be 80. He smoked cigarettes every minute of his life. And, he didn’t know, nor did I know that I was going into showbusiness,” Griffith said. “He never understood why. A nightclub full of people would come to hear one person talk and laugh at what he would say. He never understood that.”
‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Star’s Father Didn’t Understand His Career, But May Have Been Responsible For It
In the same interview, “The Andy Griffith Show” star talked about his father’s personality. For how little Carl Griffith understood show business, he was apparently a bit of a character himself. In fact, he gave Andy some things that he used all the way through his career.
“But my father was extremely bright and had a brilliant sense of humor. I still do takes that my father would take,” Griffith said in the “On the Record” interview. Apparently, “The Andy Griffith Show” star got the music from his mom and the comedy from his dad.
Funnily enough, Andy Griffith started his career out as what we would consider today to be a standup comedian. He found major success after recording a hilarious monologue that sold like hotcakes. The comedy routine provided Griffith with radio acting opportunities that eventually turned into television opportunities.
Following the path all the way back, and based on how Griffith talked about his father, it’s not crazy to think that the type of comedy that launched Griffith’s career was, at least partly, inspired by his dad’s sense of humor.