76) Opie the Birdman (The Andy Griffith Show)

The Joker On The Sofa

AndyGriffithCastMayberry, the setting for The Andy Griffith Show, isn’t real, and no one ever wanted it to be. Andy Griffith wanted Mayberry to be better than the real world. A place where honesty is always rewarded, and where bad people are always punished. A place where a father can always trust that his son learns his lesson, even when it has dire consequences. Andy Griffith’s character, Sheriff Taylor, was always tough on his son, Opie (Ron Howard), but he was also perpetually loving and supportive. Andy Griffith didn’t just want to be the change he wanted to see in the world, he wanted to make sure everyone could see what that change should be.

To make sure that all of that didn’t make the show boring, however, they cast Don Knotts as Barney Fife, the ultimate example of “he’s not smart, but he means well.” Knotts could wring…

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