Knotts left The Andy Griffith Show after the fifth season, having signed a contract for five movies with Universal Studios. This package includes three of my favorite Don Knotts flicks. The first was 1966’s The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, where he plays Luther Heggs, a wannabe reporter who works as a typesetter in the basement of a local newspaper, yet somehow manages to break the town’s biggest story in decades.
This was followed by 1967’s The Reluctant Astronaut, where he plays Roy Fleming, a NASA janitor who actually gets a chance to go into space. And this by 1968’s The Shakiest Gun in the West, where he plays Dr. Jesse W. Heywood, an incompetent dentist who unexpectedly becomes a hero defending off an Indian attack.
One cannot help but laugh at Knotts in each of these lead roles. With his small physical frame and nervous, easily excitable demeanor, he was well suited for the respective characters he plays in each of these three comedy classics. The common theme of each one was that of the “nobody from nowhere” who stumbles his way into becoming “somebody from somewhere”.
One also cannot help but empathize with his characters. Watching these movies, one finds oneself relating to what it means to be an underdog up against seemingly insurmountable odds, yet somehow, almost incredibly, still emerging victorious in the end. And perhaps, after all is said and done, this is what makes Knotts’ characters so appealing.
To be sure, all of the characters portrayed by Knotts are entertaining. His comedic genius is undeniable. But ultimately, the encouragement one garners from seeing his portrayal of the various characters he depicts far exceeds the entertainment value.
Seeing an obviously below-average individual with a limited skill set persevere amidst seemingly interminable setbacks until he eventually comes out on top reminds us that, under similar circumstances, we too can experience victory in life. Sure, you and I may not be the most talented, the most gifted, the most intelligent, the best looking, or even the most financially endowed; but with patience and persistence, we may yet find ourselves triumphant in life.
This is especially true with the Lord on our side. In the Old Testament Book of First Samuel, a young man named David (a nobody from nowhere) rose to the highest office in the land (becoming somebody from somewhere). And he did this, despite having almost everyone from family to authority to enemy against him, because God was for him!
In the New Testament, likewise, a young man named Peter (yet another nobody from nowhere) rose to become the leader of the church of Jesus Christ - the organization that, according to what others were saying about them in the Book of Acts (chapter 17, verse 6), “turned the world upside down”, eventually conquering even the throne of Rome.
The relevance of all of this for you and me is found in two Biblical affirmations given by the Apostle Paul. The first is found in the New Testament Book of Romans (chapter 8, verse 31), where he asks: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
And the second is found in the New Testament Book of Philippians (chapter 4, verse 13), where Paul states: “I can do all things through Jesus Christ, who gives me strength.”
The same God Who was with David, and Who was with Peter, and Who was with Paul and the rest of the New Testament church promises to be with you and me. And this same God promises that we too can and will be victorious with Him on our side!
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/.