Andy Griffith Show Premiered on This Day in 1960 [VIDEO]
Little did those of us at a certain age know that when the new “Andy Griffith Show” debuted at 9:30, October 3, 1960 that it would become the stuff of legends. Today most people are familiar with Andy, Barney, Gomer, Opie and Aunt Bee through the airing of those 249 episodes on cable as its gentle, homespun humor has continued to resonate with generations of TV viewers. Here are some interesting facts about one of America’s most beloved series.
–The series never placed lower than seventh in the Nielsen ratings and ended its final season at number one
–Don Knotts left the show at the end of season five to pursue a career in films but returned to make five guest appearances as Barney in seasons six through eight. His last appearance in the final season in a story about a summit meeting with Russian dignitaries “ranked eleventh among single comedy programs most watched in television between 1960 to , with an audience of thirty-three and a half million.”
Take a look at this clip of Barney interrogating town drunk Otis Campbell who, by the way, was played by Hal Smith, a former Utican who worked on the air at WIBX. It was funny then, it is funny now and unlike most of today’s edgy humor it will still be funny years from now.