The Ghost and Mr. Chicken was essentially Mayberry on the big screen
Even Wally from Wally's Fillin' Station shows up!
When Don Knotts left The Andy Griffith Show in the mid-'60s, fans immediately felt his absence from the show. Luckily, the very first movie that Knotts did after leaving the show was The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, a hilarious comedy that brought many of our favorite Mayberry faces to the big screen alongside our favorite departing deputy. More than a dozen actors and actresses we met first in Mayberry also show up in the movie, and that's just the beginning of all the ways this feature film (which, by the way, debuted at No. 1 its opening week) connects to the cherished classic TV series.
Both of the writers responsible for The Ghost and Mr. Chicken wrote some of the best episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. You can thank writers James Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum for episodes like "The Bank Job," "High Noon in Mayberry," "Mountain Wedding" and "Citizen's Arrest." And they not only pulled character actors from Mayberry to populate their first hit movie, they also looked to Andy Griffith Show veteran writer Harvey Bullock for inspiration for their plot, citing his screenplay for "The Haunted House" episode as an influence on The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.
To give you an idea of how much like Mayberry the movie really is, we've pulled screenshots of all the actors who played memorable Mayberry characters into this photo series below. Just click on the photo and reveal the actor's best-known Andy Griffith Show role.
It's the perfect way to prepare for this weekend, when Svengoolie will air The Ghost and Mr. Chicken on MeTV. Tune in Saturday, July 14, at 8PM | 7C to watch Don Knotts hobnob it in Hollywood with so many friendly faces from Mayberry.
Oh, and one more thing: Every time you hear someone holler, "Attaboy, Luther!" throughout the movie? That's writer Everett Greenbaum, spouting the catchphrase that for a while lots of folks everywhere repeated as a joke with their friends, proving the writers on The Andy Griffith Show always knew just how to hit home with audiences.