Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show
Booklist Reviews 2015 September #2
*Starred Review* Andy Griffith's given name is Andy, not Andrew. Yes, the actor we fondly remember as the folksy television character Andy Taylor really did have a folksy first name. The name came in handy when Griffith teamed up with Don Knotts in The Andy Griffith Show, which endures as a classic TV sitcom nearly 50 years after it went off the air (although it's always being rerun somewhere). This delightful book, written by Knotts' brother-in-law, traces the production of the series and the friendship of its two leads, a friendship that continued long after the actors went in different career directions, right up to Knotts' death in 2006. There are some surprises: Griffith, not all that folksy in real life, possessed a dominant personality and, reportedly, a rather hot temper; the opening theme for the show (you're whistling it right now, aren't you?) was actually recorded as a demo and wasn't intended to be used on-air; and other than Knotts' fistful of awards for playing Barney Fife, the show was almost entirely neglected by Emmy voters. A well-written, respectful, and informative look at a classic TV show and the two friends who made it great. Delicious comfort food for boomers and, really, anyone with cable. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2015 September #1
Andy Griffith (1926–2012) and Don Knotts (1924–2006) worked together in the 1950s Broadway hit No Time for Sergeants. When Knotts heard that Griffith planned to appear in a TV series playing a small-town Southern sheriff, he asked Griffith if he could use a deputy. Thus was born one of TVs most beloved and enduring comedy teams. This book by a Knotts in-law shows how the magic was created. Knotts played a nervous, excitable but good-hearted character, while Griffith, the "hardest working straight man on television," was the contrasting rock of calm and kindness, forever bailing Knotts out of trouble. Offscreen, their relationship was equally warm but complex. In spite of his affable image, Griffith had a hot temper and held grudges. Knotts was plagued by childhood insecurities, hypochondria, and assorted anxieties. Knotts longed to make feature films, while Griffith wanted to return to his days as a respected, serious actor, as in Elia Kazan's film A Face in the Crowd. The author chronicles their parting of ways, career and marital ups and downs, cast reunions of the old show, and later their reteaming in Griffith's popular series Matlock. de Visé examines the childhood, early careers, and outsize ambitions of both men, explaining why their chemistry made them click. Includes analyses of the 20 best episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. VERDICT By turns humorous, informative, and poignant, this book is recommended for public library readers.—Stephen Rees, formerly with Levittown Lib., PA[Page 103]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2015 July #4
Andy Griffith and Don Knotts are one of the most famous comedy duos in America, and in this tender tribute, De Vise, Knotts's brother-in-law, chronicles their relationship. DeVise digs deeply into Griffith and Knotts's childhoods, growing up poor in the South, and looks at how that experience affected them. The professional relationship between Griffith and Knotts began on Broadway, and continued into Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show. When Knotts finally left the show, the two men both lamented that they would never find anything that fulfilling in their careers again, and spent a great deal of time trying to find new ways to collaborate. De Vise offers an intimate look at the lives of these two stars, and his access is invaluable to understanding their lifelong friendship. He captures the complexity of both men and the intimacy of their friendship with extreme detail and sensitivity. (Nov.)[Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC