Don Knotts is beloved by people around the world for his role on “The Andy Griffith Show.” But he was a stellar comic who had just one stand-up special.
Knotts, who played Deputy Barney Fife on the classic CBS sitcom, found himself at center stage.
Back in 1961, Knotts released his only comedy album called “An Evening with Me.” The recording highlighted one of “The Andy Griffth Show” star’s popular routines as a “Weatherman” delivering the forecast.
If you would like to hear this fantastic record, Outsiders, then here’s Side A and here’s Side B.
‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Star Would Appear On Comic Steve Allen’s Show
Knotts, at one time, was part of a troupe of actors and comedians who appeared on “The Steve Allen Show.” Allen, who was the first host of “Tonight” on NBC (that would turn into “The Tonight Show”), was a very popular host and comic in his own right.
But the funny guy with a nervous twitch as part of his act joined Griffith on his sitcom when it debuted. Both Griffith and Knotts had previously worked together in the film “No Time for Sergeants.” So Griffith, who also had a hit record with his routine “What It Was, Was Football,” needed a foil on “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Knotts was that man and his career definitely soared higher. He won an astounding five Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Fife. Sadly, the actor-comedian left “The Andy Griffith Show” after five seasons. Knotts believed star Andy Griffith wasn’t going to keep doing the sitcom after five seasons, so he started looking for work.
Don Knotts Played Felix Unger Opposite Art Carney in Production Of ‘The Odd Couple’
It led him to sign a movie contract with Universal Studios. Knotts starred in movies like “The Shakiest Gun in the West,” “The Reluctant Astronaut,” and “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.”
The movie contract ended after those five movies, and Knotts started looking for other work. He also would play Fife on “The Andy Griffith Show” after the CBS sitcom transferred to color episodes.
Knotts also spent time on the stage, playing in Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.” It should come as no surprise to many that Knotts took on the role of neurotic clean-freak Felix Unger. Who played Oscar Madison in this show? None other than Art Carney, whom classic TV viewers know best as sewer worker Ed Norton on CBS’s sitcom “The Honeymooners.”
Another interesting way Don Knotts stayed connected with TV viewers of all ages was in doing voice-over work. Knotts would play a Fife-like police officer on the popular kids’ cartoon, “The New Scooby-Doo Movies.” Still, his turn as Fife remains one of TV’s all-time favorite characters.