We share a birthday. Andy taught me the secret to creating a great sitcom, especially one with your name on it (Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond) and it has become my First Rule Of Sit-Com Success - give the other actors in the cast ALL the best lines, all the laughs. You make it about THEM and not YOU and it will work out more often than it fails. If the star gets laughs, those laughs should be incidental and come from them reacting to the people around them.
You couldn't invent a cast better than the one on the Andy Griffith Show. The whole show is a model for funny, no matter what decade it was made in. There are few thing that make me laugh more than a great Andy/Barney moment.
It's looked so simple but that was the genius of Andy Griffith. On the eve of the Forth of July lets remember his vision of a simpler time, when the power worked even during a heat wave - where life was simple and people could call their neighbors their friends. It's a beautiful dream.
If you want to see Andy at his best check out 1957s A Face In The Crowd, a spectacular drama from Elia Kazan. Andy plays Lonesome Rhodes, a fiery country boy who finds himself and his homespun charm becoming a sensation across America at the dawn of the television era. I didn't know this movie existed but the guy on the radio ranted about it while talking about Griffith's death. I figured I owned it to Andy for all the years of entertainment he gave to me to check him out when he was in his prime.