Don Knotts said TV was ''like being in a big tomb''
Being deputy of Mayberry was no easy feat!
Don Knotts on the big screen seems now like it was always a sure shot. In what universe wouldn't his talents translate, you know? He's got an entire filmography of great comedies to prove it, but back in 1965, it was anybody's guess.
"Everything is so uncertain," Knotts told UPI Hollywood Correspondent Vernon Scott before the premiere of The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. "I don't know how I'll do at the box office. This is a whole new experience for me. It's a wonderful opportunity."
One thing was undeniable, though: It took guts to take the kind of risk Knotts was taking. He walked away from one of the most certain jobs in television, as Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show. But why leave such a hit series?
"I did a weekly TV show for nine straight years," said Knotts. "Four years with Steve Allen, and then right into five years with Andy Griffith."
Being the star of a hit program has got its perks, but the wear-and-tear was really getting to ol' Barn by this point.
"I can't stand it. The grind is terrible. It's like being in a big tomb. That's how confining it is."
"After this picture, I may go back for a couple of guests with Andy he's the best friend I've got. I'd love to make a movie with him. But I've wanted to be a movie star since I was seven years old. Can you imagine that, me dreaming of being a movie star? And now that it's coming true, I'm frightened to death!"
Obviously, the gamble paid off. But, what if it hadn't?
"There's lots of things I can do," Knotts joked. "like clerking in a department store or something."
Thankfully for us fans, it all worked out in the end.