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AlbertJayNock

Attaboy, Luther!

Don Knotts died this weekend. I have such a mix of emotions about this. Of course there is the pressure to write a haiku. And lots of pressure for Mr.Knotts...he was a great talent. He was the real star of The Andy Griffith Show. Andy Griffith was the title character, but it was nothing without Don Knotts. Just watch an episode with Jack Burns playing the deputy and you will see what I mean.

I always thought he was the better landlord on Three's Company. Not that that was hard...Norman Fell was execrable. But even standing on their own, the Mr. Furley episodes of Three's Company were hilarious and some of the most underrated stuff on television. When I saw the episode where the Mr. Furley character is introduced, I loved it and thought "Of course...what better role for Don Knotts than a wannabe swinging single in the 70's." It had that "why didn't I think of that" quality that all great ideas have.

I am completely aware that I am writing about "Threes Company" with the admiration I usually reserve for such works of genius as the RSA encryption system. Such is the power of Don Knott's talent.

What I am about to say may get my North Carolina citizenship revoked, but somebody has to say it. The average Three's Company episode with Don Knotts is better than the average Andy Griffith Show episode without Don Knotts.

I haven't seen all of his movies, but I enjoyed seeing The Ghost And Mr.Chicken with my parents at a drive-in when it came out. I also own it on DVD. The movie had a lot of the same writers as the Andy Griffith Show, so they knew how to write for Don Knotts. There is an interesting homage to this movie in the Farelly Brothers movie Kingpin. During the climactic bowling tournament scene, someone shouts out "'Atta boy, Luther." (Luther was the name of Knott's character in TCAMC and people were always shouting that at him.)

When I first started doing Karaoke there were a couple of guys whose buddies always shouted "Attaboy, Luther" when they got up to sing. What an enduring and culturally iconic film quote that is. Right up there with "Here's looking at you kid" and "I have a feeling we're not in Kanasas anymore".

I hope someone has the courage to shout it out at his funeral. I also hope that instead of intact flowers, people send freshly nipped rosebuds.

I watched a segment of A&E's biography about Don Knotts a while back. They talked about his military career (he served a stint in the army, and even won a medal), and apparently he was quite a ladies man. Yes, a ladies man.According to essortment.com , "Contrary to Don’s on-screen image, he was considered somewhat of a ladies’ man in Hollywood and was often seen in the company of beautiful starlets at various parties.His marriage to Kathryn ended in divorce in 1964 and people who claimed “inside information” cited Don’s flamboyant lifestyle as the primary reason.".

So that's a chink in his armor. I really do believe that it's better for a man to be home with his wife instead of partying with beautiful starlets. But none of us is perfect, and damned if the idea of Barney Fife as a playah doesn't make me feel good.

Attaboy, Luther.
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Comments

That's a shame.

I love Don Knotts, he will be missed. In all his roles he was so...likeable. And I agree about the average Three's Company episode with Don Knotts being better than the average Andy Griffith Show episode without Don Knotts! Remember The Incredible Mr. Limpet? Between that and reruns of the AGS, Don Knotts played some role in my early childhood development.

Re: That's a shame.

Thanks for the feedback. It says a lot about Don Knotts that even though you and I are far apart in age, he was a touchstone for both of us.

Re: That's a shame.

Yes...

We'll always have Pari-I mean, Don Knotts.