Don Knotts was one of the biggest stars on the small screen. Most people know him as Sheriff Andy Taylor’s clumsy deputy on The Andy Griffith Show. However, Knotts made the most of every role he took. A great example of how he could elevate a character was his time on Three’s Company. He stepped into the role of the zany landlord Ralph Furley after the Ropers left to star in their own spinoff. Originally, Furley was a minor recurring character. However, audiences loved Don Knotts’ performance. So, he became part of the main cast.
Besides Knotts’ comedy chops, one of the most memorable things about Mr. Furley was his crazy outfits. The Emmy-winning actor did an interview with The Archive of American Television a few years before his tragic death in 2006. In that interview, he discussed his time on Three’s Company.
Don Knotts on His Three’s Company Wardrobe
Don Knotts looked back fondly at this role in Three’s Company. During the interview, he talked about working with legendary comedic actor John Ritter. He also discussed what it was like to adapt to the three-camera setup that the sitcom employed. He also spent some time talking about his character, Ralph Furley, and especially his famously outrageous wardrobe.
Don Knotts said that his Three’s Company character thought of himself as a ladies’ man. He was always in pursuit of a woman. So, that’s why he dressed the way he did. In actuality, the replacement landlord was a bit of a buffoon. That allowed Knotts to flex his comedic muscles on the show. However, he got a laugh out of what his character wore from week to week. Behind-the-scenes, Knotts said, it was a running gag. They wanted to make sure Furley had the most outrageous costumes possible.
In fact, there was a member of the Three’s Company wardrobe team who worked on Furley’s clothes. His job was to come up with the most ridiculous costumes he could think of every week. This led to Knotts wearing loud colors and outlandish designs. In fact, the costumes were so crazy that Knotts couldn’t think of one that was the most outlandish. When the interviewer asked him about that, he just laughed and said that they were all ridiculous.
The audience of Three’s Company loved the ridiculous clothes, though. Don Knotts said that it was nice to get a laugh from just walking on to the set in wardrobe. Of course, Knotts never had a problem getting a laugh. The ridiculous costumes just made his job a little easier.