Andy and Barney didn’t just happen

“[Critics and CBS] never saw through to the sophistication underlying the show. If the men aren’t wearing Brooks Brothers and the women aren’t wearing the latest hairstyles and fashions and they’re not discussing something terribly chic at cocktails, then it isn’t ‘sophisticated.’ Andy felt very strongly about that attitude, really resented it….

“Those other shows [‘Green Acres,’ ‘Petticoat Junction,’ ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’] were fine for what they attempted, but ours was a different type of show entirely.”

— Producer Aaron Ruben, as quoted in “The Andy Griffith Show” (1981) by Richard Michael Kelly

Ruben, credited by Griffith with “set[ting] the style of this show” in its early years, applied a crucial sensitivity to the subtle  interplay between Andy Taylor and Barney Fife.  (Just imagine how that could’ve gone amiss!) He died Saturday in Beverly Hills at age 95.

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