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Andy Griffith Revealed the One Mayberry Character He HATED

The Andy Griffith Show was a staple show of the 60s, and modern audiences still enjoy it thanks to DVDs and syndication. It’s set in the small town of Mayberry, North Carolina, a place filled with lovable characters and oozing with a comforting aesthetic.

Several Mayberry residents were removed or recast, but there was one character that Andy always resented. It didn’t ruin the wholesome atmosphere and wasn’t the biggest disagreement on set, but it did remain a thorn in his side throughout the show’s successful run.

Like and subscribe for more on this and other massive TV sitcoms. Watch our video to learn which character Andy never wanted on the show.

The Andy Griffith Show’s Success

The Andy Griffith Show ran from 1960-1968. It bore the already familiar actor’s name and propelled him to superstardom.

Andy based the town of Mayberry on his memories of growing up in Mount Airy, North Carolina, which today has approximately 10,193 citizens. Each of the characters was inspired by people he used to know and/or familiar stereotypes of country living.

The Andy Griffith Show’s wholesome storylines and familiar small-town asthetic help it remain popular to this day. It brought in consistent viewership for CBS from 1960-1968. It never fell below 7th place on the Neilsen ratings and reached the #1 spot by the time it ended. This is still an honor that only 2 other massive TV shows, I Love Lucy and Seinfeld, have achieved.

The show also earned awards throughout its run. It was nominated for Best Comedy but didn’t win. Don Knots and Frances Bavier both won Emmys for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

These awards serve as a testament to the talent of the cast and the power of their characters. They were one of the most crucial elements that ensured The Andry Griffith Show’s success.

The show did more than create exaggerated versions of real residents of a country town. They created characters that were heartwarming and relatable, making you want to return to see them again and again. Even when they seemed too perfect to be real, they still provided a comforting escape from the busy cities and draining tasks of the real world.

On-Set Disagreements

On June 20th, 2004, the character of Andy Taylor earned #8 in TV Guide’s list of 50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time. His character got along well with everyone, but the same wasn’t always true for the actor who portrayed him.

There was trouble with Don Knotts who played Andy’s trusted deputy, Barney Fife, The 2 actors originally signed 5-year contracts for the show and hadn’t planned to work on it any longer than that.

Don began to seek out other projects when this period ended, but Andy wanted to stay. He wrote up a new contract, but it conflicted with the 5-year movie deal Don had already signed with Universal. He replaced by Jack Burns in 1965.

Andy Griffith and Frances Bavier, who played Aunt Bee, didn’t get along while filming. She wasn’t a fan of her character and resented the role. Andy visited her when she was ill in 1989, and she said she regretted that they didn’t get along better.

These disagreements were mild and eventually became water under the bridge. They didn’t affect the show’s success and consistently high viewership. Andy Griffith always managed to keep a relatively cool head in terms of his show, even when the showrunner suggested a character he never thought could work.

Why Andy Didn’t Want a Mayor

Despite a few small on-site disagreements, there’s only one character Andy Griffith himself held resentment over. He had a certain level of control over the creative process but wasn’t able to say no to everyone. This meant he eventually had to add a character he hated to the show not once, but twice.

The Andy Griffith Show started as something very different than what it became. As a standup comedian, he originally wanted to include a few of his stand-up routines. Once Don Knotts entered the cast as Barney, he gave the role of “the funny guy” to him.

When Andy was first planning show, he wanted to base it on his appearance on The Danny Thomas Show in 1960. The premise would be that, since Mayberry was such a small town, poor Andy Taylor would have to be its Sheriff, Justice of the Peace, newspaper editor, and Mayor. He eventually abandoned that idea and limited the character’s responsibilities to Sheriff and Justice of the Peace.

This change in the show’s core concept left the role of Mayberry town Mayor unfilled. Show creator Sheldon Leonard felt that this absence was too important to ignore. He suggested adding a Mayor character to serve as a boss figure over Sheriff Andy Taylor.

Andy admitted that he normally got along well with Sheldon. He claims that the only fight they ever had was over the new character. It came down to a disagreement in logic. Andy said that a Mayor, as a small town official, can’t be in charge of a county official like a Sheriff. Andy Taylor should have been the boss figure over the Mayor of Mayberry instead of the other way around. This explains why he always felt that the character didn’t work.

Whether Andy was right or not about the character is debatable. Viewership didn’t decrease when Mayberry gained a Mayor, and in the eyes of network officials, this meant he was a success.

Like and subscribe for more on the most beloved characters from major TV shows. Keep watching to learn about both of the Mayor characters on The Andry Griffith Show and why the original couldn’t stay.

Mayor Pike

Andry Griffith had at least one thing in common with his character Andy Taylor; he never wanted a Mayor bossing him around and telling him what he could and couldn’t do. It didn’t seem right based on their respective ranks.

When it came time to create the character, he went back to a familiar memory. Floyd Pike was a respected businessman from Andy’s hometown and served as the inspiration for Mayor Pike.

This was the first attempt at creating a Mayor for Mayberry. He used his minimal authority to lead the town for 11 episodes of the first 2 seasons of The Andry Griffith Show. His first appearance was in the episode The Manhunt, and his final appearance was in the episode The Manicurist.

Dick Elliot played Mayor Pike. He was born Richard Damon Elliot on April 30th, 1886 in Salem, Massachusetts.

Dick was only 5’4 and remained overweight throughout his life. He became known for playing judges, mayors, newspaper reporters, policemen, and other authority figures throughout the 30s, 40s, and 50s. A few of his characters went unnamed or were simply referred to with titles like “the fat man.”

Audiences often recognized Dick Elliot’s face and unique voice without knowing his name. He appeared in over 240 films throughout his career.

Dick made his film debut in Central Airpot in 1933 and appeared in several films after that. He also became a regular presence on dozens of TV series in the 50s, including Dick Tracy, My Little Margie, Adventures of Superman, and I Love Lucy. He also played Santa Claus in the Jimmy Durante, Red Skeleton, Jack Benny, and, of course, Andy Griffith shows.

Dick Elliot died of natural causes on December 22nd, 1961 at the age of 75. He married to Ora Esther Claud who died in 1949, and they had 1 child together.

The death came halfway into Season 2 of The Andry Griffith Show. His final episode was released 2 months later posthumously.

The show’ didn’t provide any sort of explanation as to where Mayor Pike had gone. Fans had several theories, saying that he may have died or left town. They never got confirmation, but they did get a replacement character.

Mayor Stoner

Mayberry got a new mayor after Dick Elliot died. His name was Roy Stoner. He was played by Parley Baer in 7 episodes of Season 3.

The first Mayor Stoner episode was fitting titled Andy and the New Mayor. It showed off his stricter approach compared to Mayor Pike. His interference with Andy and Barney’s police work leaves a poor man convicted for moonshine stuck up a tree after being chased by a bear.

Mayor Stoner’s final episode was titled Rafe Hollister Sings. It aired near the end of the show’s run.

Parley Barker was born on August 5th, 1914 in Salk Lake City. He developed an interest in acting from a young age and, after graduating from West High School, studied theater at the University of Utah. In 1965, he was chosen to dedicate a theater in honor of his former teacher, Maude May Babcock.

Parley developed a respectable reputation as a character actor. He performed in over 15,000 radio programs, 60 movies, and 1,600 TV shows in his 60-year career. His roles included Chester in the original production of Gunsmoke, Darby on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and one of the Keebler elves.

These radio appearances may have made Parley’s voice more recognizable than his face, but he was still a powerful figure whenever he performed. He had fewer episodes on The Andy Griffith Show than Dick Elliot but made his presence known as the no-nonsense leader of the town.

Parley Baer died at the age of 88 on November 22nd, 1997 due to complications from a stroke. His wife Ernestine Clark also died in 2000. They’re both survived by their daughters Kim Baer and Dane Sloane as well as 3 grandchildren.

Mayor Stoner’s disappearance in the last few episodes of the series also went unexplained. Andy may have appreciated the fact that his character could finally do his job without a lowly town official standing over him.

The Andy Griffith Show is one of the most enduring TV shows of all time, and syndication allows the town of Mayberry to live on for new generations to enjoy. Each of its residents touched the heart of viewers, even the ones that Andy didn’t want to be included.

Who was your favorite Mayor of Mayberry? Let us know in the comments below. Like and subscribe for more on how the minds behind classic shows feel about their characters.

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