Thursday, February 11, 2016

Andy and Don by Daniel de Vise

If you are feeling a little nostalgic as the winter comes to a close, I recommend picking up Daniel de Vise's Andy and Don. Even if you are not a huge fan of The Andy Griffith Show, the book makes for an enjoyable read of our country's television past and the rise of two of its biggest stars - Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. If you are a huge Mayberry aficionado, this book may not open a lot of doors for you information-wise, but de Vise still manages to tell a good story of how Griffith and Knotts became friends, worked together, and enjoyed each other's company until the death of Knotts in 2006.
Both Griffith and Knotts were big influences in the American comedy scene of the 1940s and 50s, Griffith with "What it Was, Was Football" and Knotts with his television characters, including the Nervous Man. de Vise explores what came before these creations in their careers, and then how they lead the way to the humor of the Griffith show in the 1960s and beyond.
Andy and Don is a quick read; I read it all in the course of one day. It is at times both funny and sad as you think back on simpler times, simpler ideas and the fact that these two television greats are no longer with us. Overall, I lean to the happy, however, as there is plenty of humor to go around in this book.

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