The fictional town of Mayberry may have been a small community, but it was full of interesting characters. And, according to the star of “The Andy Griffith Show,” there was one character who stood out among the crowd thanks to his honesty.
Andy Griffith shared his thoughts about this character – and much more – during the beloved show’s 2003 50th anniversary special. The famous actor passed away on July 3, 2012. He was 86 years old at the time of his death.
So, which character did Griffith view as the “most honest” of Mayberry’s residents? Well, his answer isn’t that surprising. That character was Sheriff Andy Taylor’s son, Opie. Ron Howard played the young boy on the show. And, Griffith shared his feelings about Opie with Howard.
“It was so important to keep the characters [on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’] honest,” Griffith said during that 2003 special. “Opie was the most honest character in the whole series. More than me [as Sheriff Andy Taylor]. Certainly more than [Deputy] Barney [Fife].”
Griffith’s comment about Barney, who was played by Don Knotts, drew a laugh from Howard. The man who later went on to play the main character on “Matlock,” then went on to share more of his thoughts about Opie.
“So, Opie was always constant – always,” Griffith said. “That was something that we could always count on.”
Star Details Scene That Displayed Opie’s Nature on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’
Andy Griffith then went on to share a scene from “The Andy Griffith Show” that showcased Opie’s honest nature maybe better than any other.
“There’s the wonderful little gem of a scene where I was trying to talk to you about money,” Griffith said to Howard in 2003.
The special then cut to the scene. In it, Andy Taylor is teaching his son about why being generous with a worthy charity is important. On the show, this cause was the “Underprivileged Children’s Drive.” The conversation then turns into a comedic bit about ratios, which Opie hears as the name “Horatio.”
“Sometimes, I was in those scenes and even though my father tried to explain to me what they meant, they were over my head,” Ron Howard recalled. “Opie was kind of confused about ratios and Ronnie was too.”
Howard went on to say that one of the episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show” that fans often asked him about was “Opie the Birdman.” It was in this episode that Opie had to admit to killing a mother bird with a slingshot.
You can watch Andy Griffith talk about Opie below. His comments on his television son’s honesty begin around the five-minute mark. But, if you’re a fan of “The Andy Griffith Show,” you will want to watch the whole special. It’s a great tribute to a truly great show.