Andy Griffith Was Against Adding This Character to The Show
What would Mayberry town be like without its diverse set of inhabitants? The memorable musical Darlings, the kind-hearted Gomer, and Floyd the barber are all unforgettable. It’s undeniable that the charm of The Andy Griffith Show is equally indebted to Mayberry’s residents as it is to main characters like Andy, Opie, or Barney.
However, there was one inhabitant that Andy was initially opposed to having.
This led to the sole disagreement between Griffith and show creator Sheldon Leonard in their professional relationship. Griffith remarked, “He proposed introducing a character that I knew wouldn’t be successful,” adding, “And indeed, it wasn’t.”
Which character was the cause of their only disagreement? The mayor of Mayberry!
“They insisted on me having a superior figure,” Griffith explained. “They wanted to introduce a mayor as the authoritative figure.”
Griffith acknowledged the merit of “having a superior figure for the protagonist.” So why did he object to having the mayor? The reason was rooted in realism.
“Before we even began, I cautioned them that it wouldn’t work because the mayor cannot be the superior to the sheriff.” A sheriff holds a county-level position, while a mayor is a local town official. As a result, it was an impractical concept.
Fans of The Andy Griffith Show are aware that eventually, Leonard’s idea prevailed, and Mayor Pike became part of the Mayberry cast. After Dick Elliott’s passing in 1961, he was succeeded by Parley Baer, who played Mayor Stoner.
Subsequently, after the episode “Rafe Hollister Sings” in the third season, the mayor disappeared from the scene. Perhaps, in the end, Andy’s perspective prevailed in this debate about the character.