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Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and…

Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show

by Daniel De Visé

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Andy & Don is a sweet tale of friendship framed around one of the best comedies to come out of the 60s, The Andy Griffith Show.

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts, both with rural southern backgrounds, met on Broadway and then solidified their bond on Griffith’s show.

The book highlights the great friendship and comedy they shared. It also is honest about the foibles and mistakes along the way – Knotts’ debilitating hypochondria and Griffith’s explosive anger.

But at its heart, the book is about an era long-gone, even in the 60s, when the pace was slower and friendship seemed deeper.

You don’t have to be a big fan of the show to like this book, just a fan of simpler times and of the appreciation of small things in life.

More of my reviews at my WordPress site, ralphsbooks. ( )
  ralphz | Mar 16, 2016 |
This was a fun book to read. It can be a quick read, but it wasn’t for me. I found myself getting on YouTube to watch the episodes the book was describing. It was a treat to get those inside secrets of what was going on behind the scenes.

I am sure you all know someone who is an avid “Andy Griffith Show” fan. One of my brothers is such a fan. But it has to be the black & white episodes, not the color ones. I didn’t understand this distinction until I read this book. It was not the addition of color that changed the show; it was the absence of Barney.

The book starts out with a scene we all remember:
Andy and Barney are kicked back on the front porch. “Ya know what I think I’m gonna do?” Barney asks Andy. “I’m gonna go home, have me a little nap, then go over to Thelma Lou’s and watch a little TV.” Several seconds pass in silence. ‘Yeah, I believe that’s what I’ll do: go home, have a nap, head over to Thelma Lou’s for TV.” More silence. “Yep, that’s the plan: ride home, a little nap…”

Did you know that in the 55 years since its debut in 1960, it has never left the air! Think about it…I bet it comes on every day somewhere on your TV channel line-up. Sheldon Leonard said the show would never sell. He said it was fantasy. But apparently people enjoyed fantasy, and Sheldon was proven wrong.

This was a thoroughly delightful book about the classic television series, but more than that, it is about the friendship between Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. What an amazing friendship they had! Andy was not an easy person to get along with, but nervous little Don could do no wrong in Andy’s eyes. They were happiest when they were together.

The personal lives of both men are detailed – Andy’s temper, Don’s hypochondria, their marriages, their affairs. But beyond it all was the comedic genius of Don Knotts and the production talent of Andy Griffith. This show had the finest producers, writers, and directors available, along with an amazing cast of characters. And Andy was responsible for most of that.

Andy and Don’s names will always be linked throughout history. Neither could have risen to such fame without the other. And they liked it that way. Andy & Don - forever. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | Feb 20, 2016 |
**I got an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review**

I'm one of those people who grew up watching Andy Griffith every Sunday at my grandpa's house, and then at my parent's house. It's ingrained in my childhood and just thinking about it makes me happy and I can't help but smile. I hear that whistle in the beginning and I'll sit down and watch that show. All that said, this book exceeded my expectations when it came to talking about Andy and Don. It was informative, fun, and at times heartbreaking, but I couldn't put it down! It was so well written and engaging that I looked forward to the time I got to sit down and read it and was sad to see it end. I learned so much and Mr. de Visa has a work of art here he should be proud of. Well written, smart, and hard to read at parts. Worth the read. 5 out of 5 stars. ( )
  Beammey | Jan 2, 2016 |
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