‘The Andy Griffith Show’: How Producers Fixed Young Ron Howard’s Mistake in the Opening Credits

by Chris Haney
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Fans of The Andy Griffith Show likely know the opening credits and theme song well, but probably didn’t realize Opie (Ron Howard) needed some help with his rock throwing when they filmed it.

In 1960, the cast and crew traveled to Franklin Canyon to film the show’s intro. The producers chose the location, which is just outside of Beverly Hills, California, for Griffith and Opie’s stroll down a dirt road. The original idea for the opening credits was to have Griffith and Opie walk down the dirt road with their fishing poles. Additionally, Howard was supposed to stop for a second to toss a rock into the nearby pond.

However, there was one problem with the idea: Howard couldn’t throw very well. While filming, the six-year-old went to his mark, picked up the rock, and threw it towards the water. Unfortunately, it landed well short of the pond. The film crew reset the take and tried again. Once again, Howard’s throw didn’t make it. Therefore, assistant director Bruce Bilson got creative.

Bilson directed a crew member to hide behind bushes near the pond. During the next take, Howard threw the rock like normal, but Bilson yelled out to the hidden prop man, “Throw it!” The crew member tossed a different rock into the pond that created the splash producers wanted for the opening credits.

If fans go back and watch the introduction of The Andy Griffith Show closely, they can see the gravity-defying rock lagging behind Howard’s throw. Subsequently, the rock splashes and Ron Howard and Andy Griffith continue on to their favorite fishing spot.

Ron Howard Hated Filming One Specific Episode of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

One episode of The Andy Griffith Show stands out to Ron Howard because of how much he hated filming it.

During “The Pickle Story” episode, Aunt Bee marinates what seems like a ton of cucumbers to make pickles. She makes sure to offer one of her numerous jars of pickles to her loved ones, even though she admits that pickle-making isn’t her forte. As expected from citizens of Mayberry, all of Aunt Bee’s loved ones are too polite to explain to her that her pickles are awful. So instead of being honest about the pickles, they grin and bear it while eating them whole.

Although the pickles provided to the show’s actors were much better, Howard still didn’t care for them. As a child, he couldn’t stand pickles, no matter where they came from. At just 6 years old, eating pickles was a painful chore for the actor. He talked about his struggles filming “The Pickle Story” episode during an interview as an adult.

“I hated pickles so much,” Ron Howard explained. “Biting those pickles was just an unbelievable burden. It was a chore, painful.”

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