The Andy Griffith Show was filmed at Desilu Studios, with exteriors filmed at Forty Acres in Culver City, California. Woodsy locales were filmed north of Beverly Hills at Franklin Canyon. However, Mayberry, the quaint hometown made famous on The Andy Griffith Show, has long been considered a fictional place, but the real Mayberry does exist. The TV-show town was actually based on Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, NC.
Though Andy Griffith denied it for years, in the episode “A Black Day For Mayberry” you can clearly see the words Mount Airy on the side of a phonebook sitting on the sheriff’s desk.
Don Knotts Was Sent Bullets Of All Kinds
One of the classic running jokes in The Andy Griffith Show is that Barney is never allowed to carry more than one bullet in his gun. This was because Barney couldn't be trusted with a loaded gun (for fear that he’d shoot his own foot or worse) and Andy would relegate him to a single bullet, which he would often have to take away.
In the spirit of an ongoing inside joke, apparently fans of the show from all over the country felt so bad for him that they sent Don Knotts actual bullets! It was both a chide and a gesture of endearment. “Bullet for my Valentine,” anyone?
Many Cars Were Used In The Show
Just like the music in “ The Andy Griffith Show ,” cars also played an important role in the show. In fact, several of their best episodes were written around the cars and the people who were driving them. A number of awesome cars were featured in the Andy Griffith Show over its nine year run, but Griffith's cop cars were always Ford Galaxie 500 sedans. Fords were increasingly featured as the show reached its later years, undoubtedly because of a sponsorship from Ford Motor Company.
The car company would supply them with a car every time a new model would be released. This resulted in the show ending up with 10 cars in total, an average of more than one car per season!
Don Knott’s Favorite Episode Was the Pickle Episode
“The Pickle Story” is a regular fan favorite, and for good reason. In fact, this episode was also voted the #1 favorite of the entire series. Aunt Bee may have been a good cook, but her batch of pickles was a far removal from her regular work. She just couldn't seem to make a tasty pickle. According to Clara Johnson, twelve-time pickle champion, she blames the offensive qualities of Bee’s pickles on too heavy a brine, not enough parsley in the vinegar, old, soft cucumbers, stale spices, and not boiling the vinegar enough.
Barney and Andy are forced to eat and get rid of as many jars as possible since they never had the heart to tell her they tasted terrible. Don Knotts stated how much fun it was to film that episode, which undoubtedly played into all the laughs they got from it!
Andy Wasn’t the Only Prankster In Town
Andy loved his practical jokes. As the undisputed boss of the Andy Griffith Show, he set a festive, frolicsome tone. And he loved to stage practical jokes, particularly when they targeted Don Knotts. In fact, Andy teased Don daily simply by calling him “Jess,” which was short for Jesse, Don’s first name, because he knew Don didn’t like it. For all his on-screen energy, Don Knotts was surprisingly dignified and reserved off camera, and Andy delighted in shattering his friend’s calm. He sometimes interrupted Don’s nap by dropping a metal film canister onto the floor.
Andy Griffith may have inspired others to partake in his jokester antics, because the cast and crew always tried to respond to his pranks with pranks of their own. One of the most legendary examples was when the crew stole his shoes from the set, forcing him to wear his sheriff boots home. They did eventually return his shoes to him at the end of the season… bronzed.