From 1960 until 1968, The Andy Griffith Show showcased small-town life in the fictional burg of Mayberry, North Carolina. Starring Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor, Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife, and a young Ron Howard as Griffith's son, Opie. Though it took place in the 1960s, it felt somehow displaced in time entirely.
While it hasn't been on the air in more than a half-century, it's still a widely-regarded favorite and is currently available to stream on Netflix. However, there's more to the show than its idyllic setting and loving homage to a time gone by. According to Trend Chaser, here are some of the more interesting secrets that went on behind-the-scenes.
The credits were all Hollywood
Despite taking place in the make-believe land of Mayberry, North Carolina, the intro was filmed in Franklin Canyon Park, just east of the Santa Monica mountains. The scene, which features Andy and Opie strolling down the old fishing hole, also needed some doctoring.
Given that Howard was only 6 years old at the time, he wasn't strong enough to throw a rock into the lake. A stagehand hid behind a nearby bush and actually tossed the stone into the lake himself. Sharp-eyed fans may be able to spot it.
Aunt Bee wasn't in on the fun
On the show, Frances Bavier played the jovial Aunt Bee, who helped fill in for Griffith's wife after she passed away. Despite her matronly nature in front of the camera, Bavier herself was from a wealthy New York family and attended Columbia University and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
It's possible she wasn't thrilled with the role of Aunt Bee, as she reportedly didn't have much of a sense of humor on set. It's rumored that Bavier called Griffith before her death and apologized for being "difficult" while they worked together.
A real-life friendship
Griffith and Knotts played best pals onscreen, but the two were actually friends in real life. They met as co-stars on the set of 1958's No Time for Sergeants and stayed friends for the rest of their lives. In fact, Griffith was present with Knotts when he died in February of 2006. Griffith himself died in 2012.
On-set prank wars
Given the rapport between Griffith and Knotts, the two ribbed each other on set quite a bit. Knotts' real name was Jesse, so Griffith would call him "Jess" on set to get under his skin. However, Griffith didn't always get off so easily. The cast once stole his shoes while he was filming, forcing him to wear his costume sheriff boots home from the set one day.
The on-set antics also spilled over into the show's storyline, like the episode where Opie moves his dad's car in front of a fire hydrant.
A possible love-affair
While they were a couple on the show, Griffith and actress Aneta Corsaut, who played Helen Crump, have been rumored to have had an affair while Griffith. The rumor involves one of the show's classic on-set pranks, someone dressed as a waiter to "deliver" Griffith some room service, only to catch him and Corsaut getting rather intimate.
Gomer Pyle's legacy
Jim Nabors played the beloved Gomer Pyle, but was originally only contracted for one episode. He ended up being so popular that the TV studio decided to make him a recurring character. Sadly, he passed away in 2017.
"It got down to what you think you want to be, an actor or an entertainer. I want to entertain," Nabors said in 1969, one year after the show ended. "I don't think I'm much of an actor. The only part I ever played was Gomer. I'm the most surprised person around that I'm successful anyway."
A new Galaxie every year0comments
Sheriff Andy Taylor conducted his patrols around Mayberry in a Ford Galaxie. However, due to an agreement with the automaker, a local dealership would provide the show with a free replacement every time a new model came out. Apparently, the dealer also took the old car back, and just repainted it and sold it on the lot.
Given the show lasted for eight seasons, there were a number of Galaxies Andy went through.