America can’t stop laughing when Don Knotts recites The Constitution

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This show is brilliant. The acting, writing, all of these are still amazing. Absolutely timeless! Without a doubt, this show is one of my favourite memories of my childhood. Although Mayberry is a fictional town, we all like to think we grew up there!)

If you watch the pilot of the Andy Griffith Show and the first few episodes, Andy was more of a comedic character, the backwoods sheriff. He had done that kind of thing with his comedy monologues. Wow!

You don’t have to be of a certain age to have grown up watching The Andy Griffith Show. This hit series from the golden age of television runs perpetually in syndication, introducing generation after generation to Andy, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bea and the rest of the gang.

The show is timeless for a good reason: it’s hilarious.  A big reason for that is comedy king Don Knotts’ portrayal of Deputy Barney Fife, the bungling sidekick of Sheriff Andy Taylor, played by the show’s star, Andy Griffith.

In this gut-busting segment, Barney insists he can recite the Preamble to the Constitution which he claims to have memorized way back in grade school. The calm and cool Andy doesn’t need him to prove it, but Barney insists on showing off his amazing recall skill. The problem is—Barney doesn’t know a single word of it.

Watch as Andy coaxes him gently through syllable after painful syllable of the Preamble. Barney cringes, doubles over and tugs at his hair as though he’s having a seizure, trying his darnedest to remember a single part of it. He can’t even get through “United States of America” without forgetting a word. Only Don Knotts could pull this off with such finesse.

Andy finally winds up reading the whole thing aloud to Barney. But Barney’s in such denial that even at the end he’s convinced he remembered it all by himself. The genius of Barney’s character is that he’s not egotistical, he’s in complete and total denial that he’s a well-meaning fool. No wonder Don Knotts won a record five Emmys for his performances on the series.

Many fans don’t know that Andy Griffith was also a comedian known for playing the dumb hillbilly stock character. When he landed his own series, he was meant to be the lead funny guy. After he realized Knotts had him beat by a country mile, Griffith made a change to his character.

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