Monday, February 27, 2006

So Long, Barney


As you may have heard, actor Don Knotts, (aka Barney Fife) passed away this past weekend at the age of 81. I can think of only a few other actors who have brought me as much joy and laughter over the years. I have many happy memories watching the Andy Griffith show. In fact we still watch it when we can. It pops up often on TV Land, and on some of our local channels as well.

I never really liked "Three's Company". Don Knotts did fine in his Mr. Furley role, but I never could stand the premise of the show itself. For me, it was just too dumb to watch.

I did however like several of the movies that he made over the years. I enjoyed The Incredible Mr. Limpet, The Reluctant Astronaught, and The Shakiest Gun In The West. I also laughed a lot when he teamed up with Tim Conway, in movies like The Apple Dumpling Gang, and The Private Eyes.

Most memorable for me was the Barney Fife role. The interplay between Andy Griffith and Don Knotts was quite amazing. Going into the series, Andy Griffith was known as a comedian. However, when Don Knotts was cast in the role of Barney Fife, Andy quickly realized the great comedic talent and physical comedy of Don Knotts should be featured. Andy knew that the show would be better if he played the straight-man to Barney's antics. It was a formula that really worked, and has endured well for more than 45 years. The Andy Griffith Show has probably never been off the air since it first went on the air in 1960.

So long Barney. Thanks for the hours of good clean fun and laughter. Let's hope someone remembers to leave a bullet in your shirt pocket. :)

1 comment:

Téa said...

I have fond memories from the Andy Griffith show--it really wasn't the same after Barney left. Too many great moments (like great songs!) especially there in the jail with just the two of them. Barney's undercover duty to catch the shoplifter--we use variations of "little old ladies ought never to clank" all the time =) And of course his 'memorization' of the preamble....

http://www.mayberry.com/index.htm has a memorial page set up for Don Knotts.

I didn't know that about the decisions made in the show's direction for the roles of Barney & Andy--it would have been a very different show indeed.