5 Facts You May Not Know About 'The Andy Griffith Show'

Andy Griffith Show
Photo: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

The Andy Griffith Show may have gone off the air in 1968, but that hasn't stopped people from loving it, and remaining curious about all the behind-the-scenes antics.

Yes, that's right, the wholesome '60s classic had plenty of hijinks going on off-camera, mostly at the hands of the show's boss, Andy Griffith. Here are five fun facts about the show that will inspire you to binge-watch this timeless series again.

1. Don Knotts only had a contract for one episode

According to Biography.com, Don Knotts, aka Barney Fife, joined the show with just a single episode contract. His character was reportedly not supposed to be a series regular, however, after the first day, Executive Producer Sheldon Leonard was hooked on the relationship between Knotts and Griffith. So, he offered him a one-year contract which then turned into a five-year contract.

2. Ron Howard couldn't actually throw a rock into the lake

During the show's opening theme song, Ron Howard, known as "Ronny" back then, is seen walking along a lake with Griffith. He picks up a rock and seemingly throws it into the lake, but that's apparently not what really happened. As Biography.com revealed, when the cast and crew went out to Franklin Canyon in Los Angeles to film the opening credits they asked Howard to throw the rock, but it kept falling short of the lake. Finally, assistant director Bruce Bilson had a prop man throw a rock at the same time to make that famous splash. Hopefully, Howard's arm has improved since then.

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3. The theme song actually had a name

Speaking of that theme song, SongFacts.com revealed that it actually has a name. It's called "The Fishin' Hole" and was composed by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer. Hagen is the man who is whistling the song. Though the song has no words in the show, it did, in fact, come with lyrics. Griffith even recorded the song with the words, which you can now watch on YouTube.

4. Andy really loved to play practical jokes

Though he played the straight man on the show, Griffith was apparently quite the practical joker. According to Biography.com, Griffith would often interrupt his friend Knotts while he was taking a nap by dropping a metal film canister onto the floor. Though he wasn't the only one to have a nap cut short. Biography noted that George "Goober" Lindsey also once awoke from his own nap and found duck guts strung around his dressing room by Griffith.

5. The show went off the air as the number one show

When the show ended, it went out as the number one-rated show on television. Only two other shows in history have done the same — I Love Lucy and Seinfeld.

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