Andy was really into playing pranks on his co-stars, with Don Knotts being the main target. Don’s real first name was actually Jesse (a name he hated), and Andy loved to tease him about it by calling him “Jess.”
Yes, sadly, this rumor is true- Francis Bavier, for whatever reason, never liked Andy Griffith. Andy Griffith admitted he never quite understood her dislike. In 1972, long after the series was cancelled, Andy and Ronnie Howard paid a visit to Francis’ home. They were turned away.
The original concept of the show was for Andy to be the show’s resident comedian, a sort of homey Will Rogers-type cracker barrel philosopher. Andy would comment and make jokes about the show’s other characters. But after seeing Don Knotts in the first episode, Andy knew Barney would be the show’s resident “funny man” and Andy would be his straight man.
Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) and his son Opie (Ronnie Howard) were first seen in a February 1960 episode of Make Room for Daddy. Aunt Bee (Francis Bavier) was also featured in this episode, but was introduced as Harriet Perkins.
Because he had suffered a stroke, Howard MacNear (who played the barber) had trouble standing. 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.)