There was a little bit of jealousy between Andy Griffith and Don Knotts

Who do YOU think is funnier?

In the third season of The Andy Griffith Show, Opie copes with mounting jealousy as Andy’s new girlfriend starts to take up more and more of his dad’s time.

In "Opie’s Rival," audiences were treated to one of those classic episodes that established Sheriff Andy as the sort of father who could help his son navigate emotional ups and downs.

In 2003, Griffith told The Courier-Journal that what made The Andy Griffith Show so successful was Andy being a good listener.

"He let Opie figure things out for himself," Griffith said.

The next year, in 2004, Griffith felt the tug of nostalgia and decided to move back to Toluca Lake, the place he called home while he was filming The Andy Griffith Show.

Buying a $2.4 million home, his relocation put him back in the orbit of his old costar Don Knotts, and according to Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic TV Show, for the first time in the old friends’ lives, Knotts had to learn to cope with his own jealousy as thick as Opie’s, over how much his wife Francey delighted in Griffith’s jokes.

She thought Griffith was so funny.

The story goes that Griffith and Knotts would take their wives out for dinner, and Andy would always tell jokes that cracked Francey up.

"That would make Don jealous," Daniel de Visé writes in the book, recounting how one night, Francey commented on Andy’s hilarious jokes at supper one time too much.

"I’m the funny one!" Knotts insisted.

This flash of jealousy was rare between Knotts and Griffith, who supported each other throughout their careers.

In his book, de Visé writes that Don’s jealousy over which one of them was funnier mirrored a tension between the actors that arose when Knotts won five Emmys for The Andy Griffith Show and Andy got none.

Whether Griffith felt jealous or not, he intentionally set Andy up to be the straight man, and that left Knotts to put on a show to draw all the laughs.

As a duo, Griffith brought out the best in Knotts, and every Emmy that Don won owed at least a small debt to that dynamic.

We know whatever small jealousies might have arisen; it didn’t affect their friendship.

On these nights while Francey was delighting in Griffith’s humor, Andy couldn’t help himself declaring how much he found her husband, his old pal Don’s company the greatest delight.

"Oh, I love Don," Andy would tell Francey. "I love him so much."

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Nala92129 5 days ago
Everybody loved Barney, but if the truth be told, he could get to be a bit tiresome. Too frenetic, hovering over people, putting his hands on their bodies. Andy let Barney be the comical one, while he was the deep thinker, the "rescuer," Superman.
Lainey Nala92129 4 days ago
You can't take Barney too seriously - - he is who he is!!!!!! Love him!!!!
LoveMETV22 5 days ago
TAGS is a great show, but week nights are sufficient. To bad they didn't put something new in the time slot that Columbo left open, oh well maybe they'll make a change in the future.
Moody LoveMETV22 4 days ago
I agree, their choice of replacement shows for Columbo is baffling. They have other detective shows from that era already but they're buried in the late night time slot. Why not bring one or two of those into Sunday night? People here have been asking for something like that for some time now but they don't seem to care. Hopefully, this is a temporary change & they will "fix" it soon.
LoveMETV22 Moody 4 days ago
It's funny too the commercial they had something along the lines of Sunday dinner or Sunday Family night, promoting yet another new Sunday night line-up. The other detective shows are all on in overnight hours (as you said.) Their coveted Monk series is all alone now on Sunday nights now and doesen't fit.
One can only guess if this is a temporary change- Someone there (at MeTV) I would hope be thinking along those lines. Who knows? It will be interesting to see.
Tbatman66 5 days ago
The fact is, Andy was not a good comedic actor, which is why he played the straight man.
Anyone doubting me hasn't seen him play Lonesome Roads, where his character was about as unlikable as any on film.
Knott's had natural comedic alility, and the mentality of a Tom Lester. These guys knew they weren't going to be Cary Grant or Rock Hudson so they found their niche. Andy had just barely enough good looks to be a leading man, even if only to carry a TV show.
Nala92129 Tbatman66 5 days ago
Andy Griffith was a great, very underestimated actor. He was amazing as Ash Robinson, in "Murder in Texas."
MaryHelen 5 days ago
of course don was the funnier one-- that's how it was written for the show and even later, when he appeared with andy on matlock or as the landlord on three's company-- don IS the comedian he's supposed to be funny (er)
DanielZabo 6 days ago
There’s no doubt that if I could only choose one of these two fellas to be good friends with...It would be Mr.Don.Knotts without hesitation. As for that’s a good question? lol
TZ_TAGS_59NC 6 days ago
I always thought Andy was, or could be, a jealous person which carried over in some scenes on AGS. Its no secret that Don Knotts was made for comedy and Andy wasnt. Even in the Matlock series he came across as a difficult actor to please and pushed his weight around. Without Don/Barney and incredible screen writers and crew, AGS and Andy would of been canceled after a couple of seasons.
Tbatman66 TZ_TAGS_59NC 5 days ago
I agree, he must have been a difficult person off camera, and you didn't have to look any further than the revolving cast on Matlock! I think they all had to sign confidentiality clauses to join the cast, because no one wanted to remain on the show but no one ever talked about why they left. I was surprised a while back when Dan Roebuck was on Collector's Call ranting and raving about how much of an honor it was working with Mr. Griffith!
VanHalen 6 days ago
With Don getting all the Emmys makes this no 'surprise story.'
When "Andy" started doing commercials about Oboingo-care
and how great it WAS, I lost ALL respect for that clown. When
Holyweed types tip their political hand it is very unwise.
Greg 6 days ago
It's no surprise to me it's difficult for actors to get along. They're in competition for roles then they're in competition for dialog, scenes, and screen time. The trick of many actors to turn actresses backs to the camera when kissing is just one of the ways they get more screen time.
JeffSchafer 6 days ago
"what made The Andy Griffith Show so successful was Andy being a good listener." NOT!!!
Go back & see all of the times he jumped to conclusion (& ALWAYS wrong) when he scolded & punished Opie without having any of the facts.

And, all of the times he did the "do as I say, not as I do" routine to Opie (& as always, wrong & being a hypocrite).

But, unlike other shows, he did admit he was wrong, eventually before the end of the show.

He never learned, though. You can still see him jump to the wrong conclusion without ANY Facts, scolding Opie in the later color episodes.
Tbatman66 JeffSchafer 5 days ago
You are absolutely right. I always thought that when looking beyond the image of Andy he was a terrible father, and you described it as well as it can be.
Nala92129 Tbatman66 5 days ago
Did you not see the "Opie, the Birdman" episode. I thought Sheriff Taylor was an excellent father.
Cowgirl 6 days ago
They were such good friends, it is my understanding that Andy insisted on Don being in Matlock.
Pacificsun 6 days ago
I think the difference is (as we've read here before) is that Don Knotts had to work on his timing. He didn't have the fundamental confidence of Andy Griffith, so I think Don Knotts earned those Emmys. Andy had a lot of talent for other things. He sure knew what he was doing with the Show itself, good sense about characters and writing. He seemed to be playing himself all the time. And we can only hope that Don Knotts was a regular person in his off time.
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 6 days ago
Hope you had a nice holiday.
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 6 days ago
Thank you! Hope you did too!

Got busy with media deadlines, a problematic car, then packing it to take 2 "beasts" with me to Turk Day. No time left for anything!
bagandwallyfan52 8 days ago
I liked Andy Taylors performance
In the ED SAWYER episode of
TAGS where ED SAWYER wanted to make Mayberry his hometown.
I liked Thelma Lou s first episode where Andy Taylor and
Ellie Walker played a joke on
Barney and Thelma Lou when
Andy pretended to be interested
In Thelma Lou and Ellie Walker
Pretended to be interested. In
Barney FIFE.
daDoctah 9 days ago
They were both funny, but in terms of "telling jokes", Andy had the edge.

Knotts' best thing was the physical humor, speaking for those of us who first encountered him on Steve Allen's "man in the street" bits.
LoveMETV22 9 days ago
Jealousy aside, Griffith and Knotts were a great pair. Also Don Knotts Awards were:
" Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a "Supporting" Role.
Andy Griffith "should of" received more than the titles namesake in the way of awards.
Thankfully he did receive some honors and awards during his career.
LoveMETV22 Tbatman66 5 days ago
Thanks for the grammar check.
I wonder when WISEGUY
Will come Out Of The
Shadows again or maybe
He took a stroll down a
Lonely Street and Ended
Up in the Twilight Zone.
FrankensteinLover 9 days ago
Great Friends til the End in a World where Loyalty is so Rare.
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