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Don Knotts Remembered
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Don Knotts, film and TV actor who died at the age of 81 on February 25, 2006

Knotts is mostly remembered for his role as the childlike, power-tripping, self-important bumbling Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith show.barney fife.jpg

As a young kid growing up in the sixties, I watched the Andy Griffith show without fail. Don Knotts’ portrayal of Barney Fife, was a primary reason. Andy’s playful tolerance of the often incompetent Barney is priceless and some of the best TV that has ever been broadcast. Barney fumbling for his one bullet is classic. I still watch as an adult and have video and DVD collections of my favorite episodes.

According to NPR, The show ran from 1960-68, and was in the top 10 of the Nielsen ratings each season, including a No. 1 ranking its final year. I just know it makes me laugh and sometimes pulls at my heart.  It is one of only three series in TV history to bow out at the top: The others are I Love Lucy and Seinfeld. I am also a diehard Seinfeld fan.

Barney was capable of switching from terrified, incompetent to know-it-all. In five years, Don Knott’s Barney Fife became one of the most memorable comic characters in broadcast history. Andy Griffith referred to Knotts as a comedic genius who wrote some of the show's best scenes.
Despite it all, Andy and Barney were loyal. Their friendship and family remained more important than anything else in their characters lives. The show has lasted more than 40 years because it offered a measured combination of humor and genuine sentiment.
One of my most favorite scenes was Barney addressing two hardened criminals that were left there by state troopers.

“Now here at the Rock we have two rules. Memorize them until you can say them in your sleep. Rule number one: obey all rules. Rule number two: no writing on the walls. As it is difficult to remove writing from the walls.”

We say good-bye to Don. Barney will live forever.

2 Comments/Trackbacks

Not only his Barney Fife character- but all of his Disney roles will also be well remembered. His comedy was clean and simple and I will miss that-seems like todays comics think evrything has to be foul to be funny

As another fan of the Andy Griffith Show, I also was saddened to hear of Don Knott's passing. His role on Three's Company just didn't quite measure up to Barney Fife.

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