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Things You Never Knew About the Andy Griffith Show

Even though The Andy Griffith Show is turning 60 years old, it’s safe to say that Mayberry will always be a timeless locale in all of our hearts. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen the show that made Andy, Opie, and Aunt Bee household names, the sitcom always manages to warm your heart and make you smile.

More than half a century later and there is still much to discover about the classic show. It’s a treasure trove of trivia and fun facts. Even now in the 21st century, there is still a major mystery that remains perplexing to this day. But you’ll have to stick around for the whole video if you want to learn more about that one.

In honor of all the beloved citizens of Mayberry celebrating such a momentous anniversary, we’ve compiled a huge list of facts about The Andy Griffith Show that are bound to bring fans of the show a lot of joy Maybe it’ll clear up some lingering questions that you’ve had for years about your favorite sheriff and his network of friends and family.

Facts Verse Presents: Things You Never Knew About the Andy Griffith Show

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Creator Sheldon Leonard Didn’t Want Andy’s Name In The Title

He preferred the title Mayberry instead. Andy would later agree with Leonard on the matter, but at that point, audiences were already familiar with The Andy Griffith Show.

Mayberry Had A Different Name

Originally, the quaint North Carolina town was called Mt. Pilot

Andy’s Real Wife Barbara Guest Starred On The Show Once

She can be seen briefly in the episode “Barney and the Choir”

Ken Berry’s Wife Wound Up In Mayberry Before He Did

Ernest Bass had a very special dance partner when Jackie Joseph showed up to give him a few pointers.

Frances Bavier Wasn’t Aunt Bee In The Pilot

As unimaginable as it might be to picture her as anyone else, Bavier played Mrs. Henrietta Perkins, a local widowed woman in the pilot episode. We’re so glad that she was assigned the role that we all know and love her as. She was such a quintessential member of the family.

Joanna Moore Was The First Lady To Wear Pants On The Show

That was a different era. Women seldom wore anything but dresses and skirts. But slowly the times started to change.

You might be struggling to remember who she was. Peggy, as she was known on the show, was one of Andy’s lovers. She also was the first one to break the dress code and wear a pair of pants in the episode ‘Opie’s Rival’.

Blackie The Imaginary Horse Made An Appearance Once

In the episode ‘Mr. McBeevee’, Opie opens up the episode riding around on his imaginary horse Blackie in his backyard.

Blackie is never seen again due to the fact that he was a figment of Opie’s imagination.

In that episode, you also get a glimpse of Blackie poking his head through the kitchen window at one point.

Barney, Andy, and Opie wrap up the episode by promoting Jell-O pudding.

Aneta Corsaut Was Hit With A Lawsuit By Phil Sunkel

In one episode some traveling musicians come to town and their hornblower was named Phil Sunkel.

Aneta picked the name and suggested it to the writer as a tribute to a friend she knew. She was acquainted with a Jazz musician by the name of Phil Sunkel and wanted to pay him homage.

The real Sunkel sue The Andy Griffith Show for 20 grand for using his name without his express written permission.

Paul Hartman Was The First Person To Win A Tony Award For Best Actor In A Musical

You probably remember him in Mayberry as Emmett Clark, but he had quite the career on broadway before he ever met Andy.

At the second annual Tony Awards, he took in the very first Best Actor in a Musical that was ever handed out for his role in Angel In the Wings.

Hal Smith Played Santa Claus On Various Shows

Otis Campbell, the town drunk, was actually quite an accomplished voice actor outside of Mayberry.

He played the voice of old Saint Nick in The Christmas Filnstone’s special as well as playing the big jolly guy in person in an episode of the Brady Bunch where Cindy sits on his lap and tells him what she wants of Christmas.

Howard McNear Also Played A Barber In Another Iconic Sitcom

He was the second actor to play Floyd the barber in Mayberry after Walter Baldwin. But a couple of years prior, he played the barber in Leave it to Beaver in the very fittingly titled episode “The Shave”.

McNear Unfortunately Had A Stroke While Working On The Show

In the second season, Howard suffered from a devastating stroke that severely limited his ability to move the left side of his body. Fortunately, producers did their best to accommodate his needs. He was a beloved member of the cast and no one wanted to see him go.

Betty Lynn Earned Only $500 Dollars An Episode

She played Thelma Lou from 1961 to 1966. She apparently had only seen the show twice before agreeing to be on the show.

Lynn Retired in Mt Airy – The Real Mayberry

Even though she spent most of her life in LA, in 2006 she retired to the town that gave inspiration for the Mayberry which incidentally was the childhood of Andy himself. The last straw was when her LA home was burglarized. She wanted to spend the remainder of her dies in a place of tranquility which Mr. Airy definitely embodies as a quaint small-town in the heart of North Carolina.

Aunt Bee Moved There Too

Although, she arrived in town earlier than Lynn did. She moved to North Carolina in 1972 following her last appearance on TV in Mayberry RFD.

Andy Found Jack Dodson On Broadway

Andy just so happened to have been at the Royale Theatre when Dodson performed in the critically acclaimed Broadway production Hughie. He was so impressed with his performance that he gave him the opportunity to join the good folks over in Mayberry.

Opie’s Buddy Arnold Grew Up To Be A Dentist

Over the years, Sheldon Collins played Arnold Bailey, Opie’s best friend from school. When he got older he went to med school and eventually became a dentist. His Professional name is Dr. Sheldon Golomb and his practice is in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Andy Wore A Bandage On His Hand For Two Episodes

It might seem uncharacteristic of the benevolent man that is somewhat of a living symbol of balance and patience, but Andy put his fist through a wall in a moment of anger on the set. Of course, the injury was quickly brushed off and explained as a result of a playful scuffle in the show.

Behind Andy’s Desk Are Some Weird Maps

Why on earth does the Sherriff of Mayberry have upside-down masks of Idaho and Nevada behind his workstation? Didn’t anyone tell him that that isn’t North Carolina?

One Cast Member Is Especially Mysterious

Even though he shows up in 26 episodes and even an episode of Mayberry RFD and Gomer Pyle USMC, nobody knows who the actor was that played Mr. Schwamp, the voiceless denizen of Mayberry that has been the center of wild goose chase for decades.

We may never know who that man was. It’s very peculiar for someone to be on so many episodes without being credited and with no evidence as to their identity.

One popular theory is that the man was in fact Ron Howard’s uncle.

Another Mysterious Actress

For decades, a great cloud of mystery surrounded another character known as ‘nice dress Nellie”

She appeared in 34 episodes but was never identified much like Mr. Schwamp.

That is, not until 2019 when it was revealed that her last name was Marvel and that she was a stand-in for Barney Fife. Stand-ins are the ones that do the menial and boring work for the actors.

So while we don’t know her full identity, at least we’re getting closer to knowing the truth.

Rockne Tarkington Was The First Black Actor With Lines To Be On The Show

He show’s up in the episode ‘Opie’s Piano Lesson” in season seven. Unfortunately, he was also the only African American to have any dialogue on the show.

Two Mayberry Alumni Played Rob Petrie’s Mother On The Dick Van Dyke Show

Both Mr.s Wicks and Bixby appear in the Andy Griffith Show on the episode ‘A Plaque for Mayberry’ and would later go on to have roles on the Dick Van Dyke Show as Clara Petrie.

Strangely, The fictional governor of North Carolina – Carl Benton Reid – on the Andy Griffith Show played Laura Petrie’s father on The Dick Van Dyke show.

Ron Howard’s Dad Was Carl Reid’s Chauffeur

Rance Howard played the driver for the Governor in that same episode.

Tinkerbell Went To Jail

In the episode ‘Christmas Story’, a moonshiner and his family get thrown into jail. The mother of the family Bess Muggins was played by Margaret Kerry who played Tinkerbell in Disney’s Peter Pan in 1953.

Floyd The Barber’s Last Name Changed

Although for most of his tenure on the show his last name was Lawson, in one episode, his last name was Colby.

The Masked Singer’s Identity

In “Barney’s Bloodhound”, Howard Morris not only played his typical role as Ernest T. Bass, but he also played the voice for WMPD’s radio announcer as well as the voice for the “Masked Singer”.

Sam Bobrick Wrote Several Andy Griffith Episodes

And he would go on to create the show “Saved By The Bell”.

Who knew that Barney and Screech actually had something in common? Go figure!

Earl Hamner Jr. Creator OF The Waltons Also Wrote An Episode

Unfortunately, his script was rejected.

Tough break.

The Show’s Theme Song Lyric’s Were Written By A Mayberry Farmer

Although most people are mainly familiar with the songs whistling tune, it actually has lyric as well.

Everett Sloane played the farmer Jubal Foster on the show but he also wrote the lyrics to the song alongside Herbert Spencer who penned the melody.

Don Knotts Was A Pitchman For A Go-Kart Company

Yup, Don Knotts spent all of 1962 being the official spokesman for McColloch Racing Karts

Meanwhile, Andy Sold Beans

Form 1968 onward following the finale of The Andy Griffith Show, Andy became the official spokesman for his own line of beans and country ham.

Don Knotts Was A Ventriloquist

He Performed with a dummy named Danny Hooch Matador. It is said, that he once got very upset about something and through his wooden buddy into the pacific ocean.

Andy’s Favorite Snack Was Vile

Can you imagine actually enjoying Peanut Butter and Mayonnaise on crackers? Reportedly that was Andy’s favorite treat that he would have almost every day on set.

We’d love to keep sharing with you everything there is to know about The Andy Griffith Show, but alas, our time has come to an end.

What do you think about Andy’s Favorite Snack? Would you give it a try or do you think it’s as stomach-turning as most people do?

Let us know what you think in the comments section.

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