Andy Griffith revealed how the name ‘Andy Taylor’ on The Andy Griffith Show came to be during a 1996 interview with TNN. When asked if the character was named Andy because Andy was named Andy, he simply said, “yep.” Not only that, but Taylor was a family name.
“My Grandma on my Fathers side was a Taylor,” Griffith said. So really, The Andy Griffith Show character wasn’t named for any particular reason other than it resembled Griffith’s.
While the show was called The Andy Griffith Show, Griffith attributed its success to someone else entirely. In a Television Academy interview, he said that actor Don Knotts, who played Deputy Barney Fife, made the show stand out the way it did.
Griffith Humbly Attributed the ‘The Andy Griffith Show’s Success to Another Actor
Don Knotts wasn’t even originally supposed to be on the show. Knotts called up Griffith after seeing the pilot episode. The two knew each other after performing on Broadway together, and Knotts wanted on the show. Griffith told him to call up the show’s producer, and just like that, one of the most iconic duos in television history was born.
“What made the show a hit was Don,” Griffith said.
It wasn’t just a good decision because Knotts did great work on camera. He also did a fantastic job for the show behind the camera. Knotts also wrote for The Andy Griffith Show and wrote the iconic ‘U.S. Constitution Preamble’ scene.
“It was a brilliant piece, and he wrote that. I mean, he didn’t write the Preamble, but it was his notion. He put it together,” Griffith said.
Other actors on the show have also spoken about just how funny Don Knotts was, both on and off camera. For Jim Nabors, who played the iconic Gomer Pyle, working with him felt impossible.
“You know, being totally inexperienced, it was the hardest thing in the world for me to do was to do a scene with Don … because I started grinning in every one of them … I’d start to laugh every time.” He said during a 1986 TV Special, The Andy Griffith Show: Back To Mayberry.
Andy Griffith loved to give others credit where it was due. For him, that meant talking about the raw talent behind the people he worked with. At the end of the day, people loved The Andy Griffith Show for its fantastic and pure-hearted comedy. For them, making each other laugh was just a part of the business.