Have you ever found yourself watching The Andy Griffith Show and longing for things to be as simple as they were there? If so, the new Mayberry Man film may be for you, as it celebrates the show’s legacy and everything Mayberry.
Last month, Mayberry Man premiered in Danville, Indiana. Danville happens to also house the Mayberry Cafe and the Mayberry in the Midwest Festival, so it’s safe to say the area is fond of the show. However, this Mayberry-inspired paradise also forms the setting for the film. In it, a stuck-up Hollywood actor gets caught speeding and sentenced to spend one week at the present-day Mayberry Festival. Filled with friendly, neighborly people, the intent is to impart virtues from characters like Andy and Aunt Bea onto him.
Joe Alvarado, a Goober Pyle impersonator in the movie, spoke to Yahoo! News about the film. “It has a Hallmark-style feel,” Alvarado said, “and you don’t have to be an ‘Andy Griffith Show’ trivia star to follow it. If anyone’s looking for a family, wholesome-feel [movie] they can bring everyone to, it fits the bill.”
Don’t think the characters are mere impersonators, either. Cort Howell came up with the premise for the movie and also spoke to Yahoo! News about it via email. “The movie isn’t a re-creation of The Andy Griffith Show,” Cort Howell stated in his email. “It’s modern-day setting with fans and impersonators at a Mayberry fest lets the actors spice up their characterizations. Some were actors pretending to be impersonators. Others were longtime Mayberry character impersonators cast especially for the film.”
Don Knotts’ Daughter Likened Andy Griffith to Being an ‘Uncle’
Andy Griffith played a friendly, accommodating man on The Andy Griffith Show. It likely won’t surprise you to learn he was like that off-screen as well. In fact, Don Knotts’ daughter said he “was like an uncle” to her.
Don Knotts had two children, Karen and Thomas. While Knotts and Griffith had a great on-screen relationship, that extended to off the set too. According to Karen in a Closer Weekly 2018 interview, “He was very friendly to me,” she said. “[Griffith] was like an uncle. He had different sides. You could see that sometimes he would be intense, and other times very, very warm and endearing.”
Karen also emphasized despite what you may read or hear about the two men resenting each other, that was never the case. “Andy was never jealous of my dad,” Karen explained. “He was his biggest fan and mentor. Everything later he was in, he wanted to get my dad in, too. Even when he was on Matlock, and my dad wasn’t working at the time, he went to the producers and said, ‘I want Don Knotts on the show.’ They said, ‘No, this is a dramatic show, there’s no part for a character comedian.”
No wonder a modern-day Mayberry movie was made.