‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Watch Griffith and Don Knotts Recreate Their Gettysburg Address Skit in a 1965 TV Special

by Anna Dunn
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Need to add some fun to your day? This video of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts recreating their famous Constitutional Preamble skit from The Andy Griffith Show in a CBS TV special, Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, and Jim Nabors Show, is a great way to go. This time, they replaced the preamble with the Gettysburg Address.

“Anything about history, just ask me!” Knotts says.

“Okay. The first line of the Gettysburg address,” Griffith replies. Knotts clearly doesn’t know, even though he says he knows the whole thing. He keeps stalling. The answer begins with Four Score and Seven Years Ago.

Don Knotts Wrote the Famous Preamble Scene for ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

Don Knotts didn’t just act on The Andy Griffith Show. He also sometimes participated in the creative process and brainstorming. According to an interview with Andy Griffith in 1996, the Barney Fife actor “put the whole scene together.”

“It was a brilliant piece and he wrote that. I mean he didn’t write the Preamble but it was his notion,” Griffith said.

The original scene is incredibly similar to their 1960s recreation, with Don Knotts sweating buckets when trying to remember the infamous piece of history. The hilarious bit is quite reflective of the humor on The Andy Griffith Show, wholesome yet delightfully entertaining.

When Knotts was acting, he made it hard for his co-stars on The Andy Griffith Show in the best way possible. Co-star Jim Nabors said it was impossible to do a single take with Don Knotts. Why? Because Knotts was too funny and would constantly make Nabors break.

“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 in The Andy Griffith Show: Back to Mayberry special.

Don Knotts and Andy Griffith were lifelong friends, and the duo worked so well together comedically partially because of that. The two also knew each other long before The Andy Griffith Show. The two met on the broadway show, No Time For Sergeants.

When Griffith put together the cast for The Andy Griffith Show, he immediately considered Knotts. Their friendship really blossomed during their time on the show. The two went on to create some of the funniest scenes on television.

When they reunited in The Andy Griffith Show special where they re-created the preamble, fans were thrilled. Their on-screen chemistry is palpable in the timelessly funny recreation. Even decades later, watching Griffith and Knotts perform is a great way to bring a smile to your face.

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