Don Knotts was the element that made “The Andy Griffith Show” work. The fact is, Don Knotts was pretty consistently hilarious both on and off the set. His comedic chops allowed Andy to play straight. They were great foils for one another. However, there was one scene where even a comedy pro like Knotts couldn’t keep it together.
The scene came in the second season of “The Andy Griffith Show,” in an episode called “Guest of Honor.” Check it out below.
There’s no doubt it’s a funny scene. Watching Barney Fife acting like the drill sergeant of Mayberry is hilarious. Seeing the way he plays off of the men in front of him as well as Andy Griffith is a great example of why Don Knotts was the secret ingredient that made the show work.
‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Scene That Kept Knotts in Stitches
The episode revolves around Mayberry’s Founder’s Day celebration. Part of that celebration is welcoming a Guest of Honor into the town. So, in order to make things run smoothly, Andy and Barney deputize some of Mayberry’s most upstanding citizens. Sam, Art the Grocer, and Floyd the Barber are all solid recurring characters on “The Andy Griffith Show,” and are natural picks for the town’s new deputies.
While Andy sees it as a pretty laid-back assignment, Barney goes way over the top. He delivers a long and rousing speech to the men. This speech ends with Barney’s famous “Nip it in the bud,” catchphrase. He then demands that the men say it back.
In 1985, Don Knotts hosted the “Andy Griffith Show Silver Anniversary Special,” and discussed some of his favorite moments from the show, according to MeTV. During the special, Knotts said that this scene had him laughing so much that they had to shoot it twenty times.
Knotts said that he was fine while delivering his drill sergeant speech. That was no problem for him. The part that got him was when he demanded that the men repeat his catchphrase. When the mild-mannered Floyd the Barber lets loose with a furious, “Nip it!” Don Knotts lost it. There was something about seeing Howard McNear sounding off like he was ready to storm an enemy bunker that set Knotts off over and over again.
It’s a pity that there are no blooper reels from “The Andy Griffith Show.” Watching Don Knotts crack up over and over again would definitely be worth watching.