‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Stars Once Joked About Lack of Crime in Mayberry

by Megan Molseed
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Decades after the Andy Griffith Show’s final episode aired on CBS, the actors who played our favorite sheriff Andy Taylor and his deputy, Barney Fife made an appearance on NBC’s hit morning news program, the Today Show.

From 1960 until 1968, Andy Griffith played the calm and collected Mayberry Sherriff, Andy Taylor, while Don Knotts portrayed his bumbling, and yet very lovable sidekick, deputy Barney Fife.

During the iconic sitcom series’s eight-year run, Sherrif Taylor and Deputy Fife were certainly always keenly aware and on the job. However, very few actual crimes ever took place in Mayberry. And, that is exactly how the show’s creators liked it.

“You’d have some stills that had to be broken up,” said Andy Griffith Show star Andy Griffith in the 1996 Today Show interview.

“You had some bank capers and few things like that,” the star continued. “But nobody got killed!”

Of course, much of this is due to the focus of the hit series to create a wholesome family show. One that is perfect for all ages to enjoy.

“Well, though we never said it, and though it was shot in the ’60s, it had a feeling of the ’30s,” Andy Griffith says of the classic sitcom. “It was when we were doing it, a time gone by.”

In fact, the actor notes, his Sherriff Andy Taylor didn’t even carry a gun. This of course was in comparison to the gun that deputy Fife carries…for which he has only one very well-cared-for bullet.

Griffith Didn’t Like The Added Gun Weight

Of course, the added “safety” of carrying a gun wasn’t too big of a concern for the Mayberry Sherriff, while living in such a peaceful town. Clearly, in a town such as Mayberry, a gun would likely be unnecessary.

However, there was another reason why Andy Griffith Show fans saw the sheriff without a weapon in his holster.

“The real reason I didn’t wear one was because I didn’t want that weight on my hip,” the Andy Griffith Show star smiled.

‘Andy Griffith Show’ Star Finds Home In ‘Mayberry’

The town of Mayberry, while fictional, does have a real-life counterpart. The iconic television town is modeled after Andy Griffith’s real hometown, Mount Airy, North Carolina.

According to Griffith, at the show’s start, Mayberry was a sort of fictional “anywhere USA.”

As the Andy Griffith Show continued, however, Griffith wanted to bring in more of a small-town feel to Mayberry. He did this by incorporating pieces of his hometown and its surrounding areas into Mayberry.

Eventually, Mayberry became such a perfect depiction of Mount Airy, that one Andy Griffith Show star, the late Betty Lynn even moved there in 2006. Lynn stayed in her Mount Airy home until her death on October 16.

This weekend, fans of the Andy Griffith Show were shocked to hear about the passing of Betty Lynn. Lynn portrayed Barney Fife’s girlfriend Thelma Lou on the popular series.

The actress passed away peacefully in her Mount Airy retirement home after a brief illness. She was ninety-five years old.

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