There are too many classic The Andy Griffith Show episodes to date. The show, which was incredibly popular throughout the 1960s, had so many memorable moments.
However, when it came to director Richard Crenna about which episode, in particular, had the biggest impact on him, it was also the episode that the star of the program, Andy Griffith himself, also loved the most. As Crenna tells it, it was the episode where Opie learned the meaning of life. It was called “Opie The Birdman”.
While thinking about the show and that episode, Crenna mentions how talented Ron Howard, who played Opie on the show was. He knew, even back then that he would go on to do great things in Hollywood. Crenna said, “He was not just a cute kid. He was an actor.”
The episode had to do with Opie doing something he should not have and making a big mistake with a bird’s nest. It was also, as Crenna says, the first time a crane had been used on set.
Crenna And ‘The Andy Griffith Show’
Crenna was not originally thinking he was going to be involved with The Andy Griffith Show. It was not on his radar. He was also the man behind The Real McCoys and was looking to take a break before jumping into another project. He was comfortable directing episodes of the show later on in the series because of his experience in the past, but also because he was familiar with Don Knotts and Andy Griffith. “I fit in like a glove,” he said about directing the show and joining the program. Season 3 was when he really got involved with the program.
Crenna was a fan of the program, to be sure. We know that because when he signed onto direct episodes of the show starting in its third season when asked by the interviewer if he was looking to improve show, he disagreed. He said, “No, I was not anxious to make it better. I was anxious to keep it as good as it was.”
Crenna’s Other Additions
Crenna continued and said that the biggest contribution he made to the program was something most fans might overlook. It was not something anyone might expect in that he saw the door opened the wrong way on the set. It was an easy observation to miss, but Crenna saw it and cites it as his biggest contribution to the program. He said that “it did not make any sense” to have the door working the way it worked. It resulted in the door being taken off the hinges and put back on.
That’s how they fixed the problem. It was a process that made no sense to Crenna as it was very complicated for the actors to have to walk a roundabout way to get where they needed to be. He found the solution. The addition helped the show immensely.