On “The Andy Griffith Show,” Deputy Warren Ferguson was known for being the replacement of Deputy Barney Fife. That beloved character was portrayed by actor Don Knotts.
But, when that famous comedic actor left the show, the character of Deputy Warren Ferguson was brought in to fill the gap, according to MeTV.com. His tenure on the series began during the show’s sixth season. Ferguson became Sheriff Andy Taylor’s deputy on “The Andy Griffith Show.”
His connection to Mayberry was that he was a nephew of the character Floyd the barber. And, of course, Deputy Ferguson was welcomed into that fictional North Carolina town. However, he did stand out thanks to his background. Ferguson was raised in Boston, which was a very different place than Sheriff Taylor’s Mayberry.
However, away from the show, the actor who played Deputy Ferguson became famous for something other than his Mayberry-based alter ego. That actor’s name was Jack Burns. And, according to reports. he once got into a very public “scuffle” with legendary comedian Andy Kaufman.
Actor from ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and Legendary Comedian Andy Kaufman ‘Fought’ On Show in 1980
According to IMDb.com, Jack Burns appeared on “The Andy Griffith Show” as Deputy Warren Ferguson during 1965 and 1966.
Flash forward to the 1980s. Burns is now working on a show that was meant to be a rival to the very popular sketch show “Saturday Night Live.” That rival show was titled “Fridays” And, in addition to having “The Andy Griffith Show” alum on the show, it also had other two future comedy stars in its cast. Those stars were Michael Richards and Larry David. Both of these talented comedians worked on the famous sitcom “Seinfeld.” Larry David went on to have another popular sitcom with “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
The role of “The Andy Griffith Show” actor Jack Burns on “Fridays” was as the show’s head writer and announcer.
By the 1980s, Andy Kaufman was a well-known comedian. So, it’s not surprising that “Fridays” would give him a chance to be its guest host. It was during his 1981 appearance that his famous “confrontation” with Jack Burns took place.
During Kaufman’s appearance, he decides to “quit” the skit he is doing with other cast members. He makes it clear to the audience that he is done with the routine and with the show. One reason he doesn’t want to continue is that he claims to be stoned.
Unsurprisingly, the cast members of “Fridays” and Jack Burns react as if they are shocked and angry at Kaufman’s behavior. And, thanks to Kaufman’s reputation, many viewers thought what he was doing was real. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t. You just never knew with Andy Kaufman.
The audience also thought that the anger that Jack Burns felt toward Kaufman was real. In fact, Burns appeared to physically go after Kaufman.