July 3, 2012

Andy Griffith has died.

He was 86.



ADDED: I love that Constitution clip, but maybe you think I should have found a clip that featured Andy more than whoever it was he was interacting with (such as Don Knotts in this case). But wasn't it true that Andy was always being low-key like that and letting the other actor bounce off him like crazy?

52 comments:

phx said...

The best, funniest sitcom ever. It still holds up.

Chip S. said...

He was holding on until the SCOTUS ruling.

Perhaps John Roberts was a big fan of Mayberry RFD.

ndspinelli said...

I will have my toilet seat salute as an homage to his Permanent Latrine Orderly role. He was perfect!

ndspinelli said...

Great clip choice, those 2 guys had real comic chemistry.

God said...

God bless Andy Griffith!

For those young people... teenagers... and hipsters... who still seek the meaning of life...

it is all to be found in Ron Howard... the young son, Opie.

In fact, I'm working on a screenplay to that effect now.

Opie is everything. He is The Secret. The Show was the medium; but Ron Howard was the message.

God bless Andy Griffith!!!

Scott M said...

A huge loss.

While his television credits are mammoth, since I was a kid listening to all the old Bill Cosby records, my favorite Andy Griffith material was his many stories of a hayseed character telling of his adventures in the big city, or his first college football game, or his re-telling of Romeo & Juliet. All very, very funny.

"Brother, have a drink."

Amexpat said...

Great clip.

Bender said...

wasn't it true that Andy was always being low-key like that and letting the other actor bounce off him like crazy?

No, it wasn't true. He was often the zany one in his movies, e.g. No Time for Sergeants, Face in the Crowd (actually, this is a drama where he plays a wild and crazy hillbilly).

Cedarford said...

I flashed back to seeing "A Face in the Crowd" on Turner classics a few years back..
I was amazed how good Andy Griffith was in that movie.

Bob Ellison said...

What Bender said. The Football story proves it.

Ann Althouse said...

@Bender I only mean as the TV show character "Andy." I know he's very different in movies, but I haven't seen any of them, I don't think.

Bender said...

In No Time for Sergeants, Don Knotts has a supporting role (it might be where they first met and worked together), and it is Don Knotts who plays it straight.

Bender said...

In the early episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, Andy is played as a hayseed, as he had been played in the Danny Thomas Show (from which The Andy Griffith Show was spun off).

edutcher said...

An excellent actor, and he took it very seriously - "Face In The Crowd" is his best work (Ann, if you haven't seen it, or "Sergeants", you should).

Shouldn't have shilled for ObamaTax, though.

Bender said...

In No Time for Sergeants, Don Knotts has a supporting role (it might be where they first met and worked together), and it is Don Knotts who plays it straight.

He got several of his supporting players from the cast of that movie.

LarsPorsena said...

Delightful clip.

The perfect straight man for Don Knots.
Mayberry lives on in everyone's imagination. A special place in the hearts of Carolinians.

He was scary in 'A Face in the Crowd'.

edutcher said...

PS I believe he was mainly a theatrical actor for much of his career.

As in Broadway.

Bender said...

Here is The Danny Thomas Show, where sheriff Andy Taylor makes his first appearance.

Conrad Bibby said...

@ Ann: Yes, Griffith played the straight man to all of the wacky/comic supporting characters: Barney, Aunt Bea, Floyd the Barber, Gomer Pyle, and even Opie, among others. His character provided stability and order to Planet Mayberry so that the rest of its inhabitants could safely coexist despite their bizarre idiosyncrasies. The show wouldn't have worked as well if Andy had played the hick sheriff role for laughs (which may have been the original concept, btw). Playing the father figure allowed the other characters to cut loose while giveing him opportunity to show the patience and understanding, and acceptance that gave the show its "heart."

bandmeeting said...

Permanent Latrine Orderly

I think he said Permanent Latrine Officer, not orderly, and it was an absolutely hilarious line the way that he said it.

FedkaTheConvict said...

So is Andy Griffith the first victim of a death panel? He did shill for Obamacare.

Andy Griffith (Sheriff of ObamaCare)

Thorley Winston said...

Is it just me or does it look like the clips that focused on Don Knotts were filmed separately from the ones with he and Andy Griffith together? It seems like his hair is much more mussed up when the shots focus on him than when it shows the two of them together. Or it could be a trick of the light.

Thorley Winston said...

My parents loved the Andy Griffith Show. I bought the series on DVD for my mother on Mother’s Day - Dad got I Love Lucy but it’s okay because after nearly 40 years of marriage they’ve learned to share with each other ;)

edutcher said...

IIRC, the clip is a riff on a very similar bit in "No Time For Sergeants" where Knotts is one of the occupational testers.

bandmeeting said...

Permanent Latrine Orderly

I think he said Permanent Latrine Officer, not orderly, and it was an absolutely hilarious line the way that he said it.


No, it's orderly.

Myron McCormick says it quite distinctly several times.

Jay Vogt said...

The absence alone of that perfectly voiced, soft Carolina drawl makes this world a lesser place today than it was yesterday.

Who could not hear that man speak and feel just a little bit better.

TML said...

Saddened. From Lonesome Rhodes to Andy and everything in between, he was just great. Really sad.

Bender said...

I'll admit, I once bought, and occasionally wore to court, a Matlock suit. Too bad I outgrew it.

Beaver7216 said...

Unfortunately I can't get out of my mind the Griffith-Ron Howard Obama ad. The ad asked why people opposed Obama, with the implied idea that only racists and backward thinking people would oppose such a great man. Propoganda at its most effective.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Bender said...

Here is The Danny Thomas Show, where sheriff Andy Taylor makes his first appearance.

7/3/12 10:20 AM

__________________________

Wow! Aunt Bea before she was 'Aunt Bea', the town drunk before Otis, Ron Howard just out of kindergarten (if that). Rare stuff, thanks.

edutcher said...

There was an album of him doing stand-up before he went to TV. Funny stuff.

He also had a good singing voice, which was heard once in a blue moon on the show.

Ann Althouse said...

But wasn't it true that Andy was always being low-key like that and letting the other actor bounce off him like crazy?

Jack Benny was the master, but a lot of smart actors did the same thing.

rick said...

Absolutely loved the guy, right up until he became a shill for Obamacare. He lost me completely. I will attribute it to getting bad advice.

Scott M said...

Jack Benny was the master, but a lot of smart actors did the same thing.

Jack Benny was only deadpan if the subject wasn't money or his dog driving poorly.

bandmeeting said...

No, it's orderly

Oops, 25 years since I saw it. I was thinking it was "officer" because he pronounced it "ovvisuh" but I'll take your word for it.

I did watch Face In The Crowd last week. Pretty good.

DADvocate said...

A sad day in Mayberry and else where. I loved this guy. I'm sure I've watched every episode of his Mayberry antics in all their iterations. Growing up in the hills of East Tennessee, he created a gentle, humorous reflection on the culture of the southern Applachians that I know.

A man with much more talent than generally given credit for.

Christopher in MA said...

Turner Classic Movies is running A Face In The Crowd at 1.45am on Friday morning, for those interested.

edutcher said...

Scott M said...

Jack Benny was the master, but a lot of smart actors did the same thing.

Jack Benny was only deadpan if the subject wasn't money or his dog driving poorly.


Think about the people around him - Dennis Day, Frank Wilson, Rochester (the only black man who could sound off to a white guy for many years), etc. They got all the punch lines.

Benny was everybody's straight man.

Gleason was similar.

Cedarford said...

Ann Althouse said...
@Bender I only mean as the TV show character "Andy." I know he's very different in movies, but I haven't seen any of them, I don't think.
============
One day, Althouse should treat herself to "A Face in the Crowd". Besides Griffith, it is an Elia Kazan movie of the highest order..now in the pantheon of great American films.
It has many other memorable performances and was the definite film noir precursor to "Network"
and how the manipulators of mass media play the rubes.

Reading today an obit, I was interested to learn that Griffith was also a gold comedy album awardee and a multi-platinum Christian music artist.

Scott M said...

Benny was everybody's straight man.

If you listen to the show's catalog, they frequent did what Carson later did, which is put on shows within the show. Carson called his the "Mighty Carson Art Players" and Jack Benny did the same, although I can't remember the exact name (Jack Benny Players?).

In these vignettes, Benny, like Carson after him, was allowed to step completely out of character.

stealth pundit said...

Loved the Andy Griffith Show and recently watched him in "A Face in the Crowd". What a great movie with a stellar cast (Patricia Neal and a very young Walter Matthau). Not a real lovable character but an excellent acting job by AG. Recently he was in "Play the Game" and "Waitress". Both excellent roles and excellently played. Will truly miss him - a great talent lost.

EDH said...

The pill-poppin', skirt-chasin' Vitajex Andy Griffith
.

Scott said...

Here is the trailer for Andy Griffith in "A Face in the Crowd." He's an entertainer turned political demogogue in this movie. And yes, he was pretty damn scary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJGUm9e_BLU&feature=fvwrel

ndspinelli said...

Althouse doesn't fly, watch movies, or admit she's wrong..not in that order.

Michael K said...

"One day, Althouse should treat herself to "A Face in the Crowd". Besides Griffith, it is an Elia Kazan movie of the highest order..now in the pantheon of great American films.
It has many other memorable performances and was the definite film noir precursor to "Network"
and how the manipulators of mass media play the rubes."

That was a powerful movie and how I remember Griffith. It's interesting that the movie was written as a criticism of Arthur Godfrey, who was a huge radio and TV star at the time but is now forgotten. Godfrey wasn't the hillbilly character that Griffith played but his rise and fall were somewhat similar.

Nobody under 70 remembers Godfrey any more but he was considered too powerful at the time. His downfall was an example of hubris as he banned a favorite member of his cast after he found him practicing his allegedly naive mannerisms with a mirror. The incident fed into the theme that Godfrey had gotten too arrogant.

I've forgotten t.he cause of Griffith's character's fall in "Face"

EMD said...

I've forgotten t.he cause of Griffith's character's fall in "Face"


I believe they trick him into speaking his 'truths' into a live mic.

EMD said...

I also agree that Meadehouse should have a viewing of "A Face in the Crowd."

David said...

Brilliant clip. Seen it many times and still am amused and enthralled. Griffith was so gentle and subtle in the scene, encouraging without condescending. He radiated affection without being sappy. No wonder people loved the show.

bandmeeting said...

Jack Benny was only deadpan if the subject wasn't money or his dog driving poorly

I think "To Be Or Not To Be" is still on Hulu. Excellent movie and you'll hardly recognize Benny.

tiger said...

He was great in 'No Time For Sargents'.

I stongly dislike 'TAGS' and for all of that ilk: 'Gomer Pyle', 'BevHB', 'Green Acres', 'Leave it to Beaver'; stupid, stupid, stupid comedy of the worse sort.

tiger said...

Add 'I Love Lucy' to the list. Just godawful stupid comedy.

And Professor? Watch 'A Face in the Crowd'.

Chip S. said...

"So they call me Concentration Camp Ehrhardt?"

Gets me every time.

kcom said...

"Shouldn't have shilled for ObamaTax, though."

Yeah, what a dick. Now, that he's dead, at least we won't have to hear any more of that crap before the election.

What? Too soon?

B.R. said...

Thanks for the post Ann. The show was a big part of my childhood and of my daughter's too.

See this homage on The Six Day Race

It begins this way:

THE MAN HUNT
Always as a child
I watched and still watch
to build a manhood from black and white parts

Read the whole thing.

The Crack Emcee said...

I like how everyone's recommending 'A Face in the Crowd' but hates that Griffith shilled for ObamaCare.

The two go together, if you ask me.

'A Face in the Crowd' was Elia Kazan's typical communist/socialist messaging (he was soooo radical!) I got turned off by it pretty fast, but watched to see Griffith in a part that, for most people, was out of character.

Underneath it all, it wasn't though, Andy just found a new way to sell it,...