Way before TV would make Andy Griffith a household name, he was making appearances on Broadway and TV talk shows as a comedian.
In fact, Griffith recorded some stand-up comedy albums. One of them was called “Just for Laughs,” according to IMDb.
Andy Griffith would sound like a dim-witted soul trying to make sense out of different subjects.
In one of his most famous comedy bits, he explains in a very unique way about the sport of football.
Andy Griffith Uses Southern Drawl In Famous Comedy Bit
Listening to it will give you a little bit of an insight into where he took the Southern drawl for Sheriff Andy Taylor into “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Sit back and listen to Griffith perform his famous “What It Was, Was Football” routine from 1953.
Comedy routines like this one caught the eyes of a man named Ira Levin. It was Levin to cast Andy Griffith as Will Stockdale in a 1955 hour-long television version of Mac Hyman’s book “No Time For Sergeants.”
On Oct. 20, 1955, Levin expanded that hour-long version to a full Broadway play where Griffith reprised his role of Stockdale. It ran for 796 performances, closing in 1957.
Then in 1958, a movie version was made. That brought even more acclaim for Griffith and his comedic timing.
Griffith Finds Himself On Danny Thomas’ Show
What comes next for Griffith and his comedy? Enter comedian and entertainer Danny Thomas who, along with his business partner Sheldon Leonard, took a liking to Griffith.
At the time, Thomas, who made his mark in nightclubs around the United States, also starred in ABC’s “Make Room For Daddy” TV situation comedy. Thomas and Leonard thought it might make for a funny episode to have Danny and his family, out on vacation, get stuck in a small town by its sheriff.
Turns out that the sheriff was Andy Griffith as Andy Taylor. The show received a pretty good response from viewers.
Thomas and Leonard thought they had lightning in a bottle and took a shot at giving Griffith his own half-hour comedy show. It would be based on the sheriff’s character with a few other pieces put together in the show.
Don Knotts, who played Corporal Manual Dexterity in the Broadway and movie versions of “No Time For Sergeants,” is put in the cast. You now have a one-two punch for “The Andy Griffith Show.”
From comedy albums through comedy TV, Andy Griffith provided many people with laughter thanks to his work.