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Old 06-10-2007, 07:37 PM   #1
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Default Why did Don Knotts leave the show?

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Old 06-10-2007, 08:35 PM   #2
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I thought he left to pursue other interests.
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:59 PM   #3
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The story I've always heard was (and from Don Knotts himself on a special) that Andy Griffith always said he was just going to do five years and then end the show. So once the fifth season was going, Don decided he had to find work elsewhere, figuring the show would end at the end of the year. He was able to get some movie contract and then, as Don put it "Andy changed his mind." Andy decided to keep going, but Don couldn't because he already had a movie contract.

One wonders why Mr. Knotts didn't go up to Andy and ask him if the show was ending before going out to get another job. But we can't go back in time and change things now, I guess. Anyways, like I said, that's the story I always heard, and then Don backed it up on "Inside TV Land: The Andy Griffith Show."
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Old 06-11-2007, 12:55 AM   #4
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I had heard that, too. But then I hear on BIOGRAPHY on A & E once (before they, alas, also "sold out" ) that he made a movie in 1964, that was a big hit. So THAT'S why he decided to leave "TAGS".
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:53 PM   #5
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That question was posed to Don Knotts on Entertainment Tonight, and he responded that Andy Griffith told him that he only wanted to do the series for 5 years. So Don Knotts committed to 5 years, and after the 5 years was up, he left. Andy decided to continue the series past 5 years, and Don Knotts decided to do other things.

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:56 PM   #6
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I have also read that DK claimed AG was still saying the 5th season would be the last after they were already into filming that season, so he thought he had to "self-protect" and know where he was going after it was over. He was really 'hot' at the time as a top comedy actor, so he signed on the best deal available for a series of movies. And then AG told him he has decided to continue the show anyway.

This all may have been true as he said it, but it's probably misleading even if true. There have been a lot of cases where an actor becomes a hot commodity on television, and they want to get away from the weekly grind of a series and playing the same character continually, so they leave for more freedom of choice, more leverage in negotiations, and a yearly schedule more to their liking. And there could, of course, have been other problems that no one associated with TAGS has ever wanted to disclose; though a possible hint may have come from George Lindsey [""Goober"], who once admitted that the the cast was "scared" of Andy at times. He (Andy) was evidently very impatient with complaints of discomforts and aches and pains, and scheduling problems. If he had as much control over the Mayberry shows as Lucille Ball or Jack Webb did over their domains, he probably was much like them in being a control freak. If you're in line for a big movie contract which gets you away from that for as much, or more, money and career furtherance, yet you don't want to burn bridges, you might do as DK did and tell a story which gives a little different impression of it all.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdr
I have also read that DK claimed AG was still saying the 5th season would be the last after they were already into filming that season, so he thought he had to "self-protect" and know where he was going after it was over. He was really 'hot' at the time as a top comedy actor, so he signed on the best deal available for a series of movies. And then AG told him he has decided to continue the show anyway.

This all may have been true as he said it, but it's probably misleading even if true. There have been a lot of cases where an actor becomes a hot commodity on television, and they want to get away from the weekly grind of a series and playing the same character continually, so they leave for more freedom of choice, more leverage in negotiations, and a yearly schedule more to their liking. And there could, of course, have been other problems that no one associated with TAGS has ever wanted to disclose; though a possible hint may have come from George Lindsey [""Goober"], who once admitted that the the cast was "scared" of Andy at times. He (Andy) was evidently very impatient with complaints of discomforts and aches and pains, and scheduling problems. If he had as much control over the Mayberry shows as Lucille Ball or Jack Webb did over their domains, he probably was much like them in being a control freak. If you're in line for a big movie contract which gets you away from that for as much, or more, money and career furtherance, yet you don't want to burn bridges, you might do as DK did and tell a story which gives a little different impression of it all.
I really doubt that's the case where DK and AG were concerned because they remained lifelong friend. It was Don who asked for a role on Matlock and Andy gave it to him and Don did continue to do guest appearances on TAGS after he left.
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Old 06-22-2007, 06:06 PM   #8
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Don wanted to do movies
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