Howard McNear, who played Floyd the Barber, required a great deal of assistance on-set after suffering a devastating stroke mid-way through the series. Because he had suffered a stroke, Howard had trouble standing. The show’s creators decided to come up with a clever way to aid him in his role. They constructed props for Howard to lean on during his scenes, giving the illusion that he was in an upright position. A special stool was built to make it appear Floyd was standing when he was in fact half-sitting or leaning. Floyd was also often seen sitting in his barber chair or sitting on a bench outside his shop.
Howard’s stroke also left his left side paralyzed. Watch Floyd closely in later episodes, you’ll notice he will never move his left hand.
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.
Nickname On and Off the Screen
Nicknames– they’re common in the entertainment industry. Not even Andy himself could escape the nickname train. Throughout the show, Barney commonly referred to Andy as “Ange”.
Don Knotts allotted that nickname to him as a mashup of his first and last names “Andy” and “Griffith”, and he was so fond of it that he would just habitually use it during filming, honoring the actor for who he truly was. This little-known tidbit only became obvious if you knew what you were looking for, with many fans confusing “Ange” for “And.” While Barney often called Andy “Ange” on the show as his nickname, what’s really interesting is that Knotts also called Griffith that in real life.
Don Knotts’ Suit Became a Favorite
Barney Fife donned a salt-and-pepper suit with a red bowtie and a white hat in nearly every formal scene in the show. Barney's Salt and Pepper suit was his nicest suit. He would wear it to dances, social events or on dates.
Barney wore it throughout the entire series; the suit’s first appearance was in the episode ‘ Irresistible Andy ’. It became such a favorite of Don Knotts’ that he also wore it in a few feature length films, such as ‘The Ghost and Mr. Chicken’, ‘The Reluctant Astronaut’, ‘The Incredible Mr. Limpet’, and ‘How to Frame a Figg’.
Andy and Aneta Had a Little Fling of Their Own
Playing lovers in the show sparked a little romance between Andy and Aneta, the actress who played Helen Crump. She was actually only supposed to appear in one episode. Because of this, writers decided to give her a horrible last name for fun. However, little did they know that Aneta Corsaut would give a great performance and become a favorite of the producers!
Aneta Corsaut also became a quick favorite of star Andy Griffith, who soon became smitten with the young actress. Even though Andy was married, the two were said to have had a small fling on the side. This was hush-hush on set, but of course it got out, and the rumor spread like wildfire.