The Incredible Don Knotts

Limpet Were there any justice, some small country - or maybe just a state - would canonize the late Don Knotts the way the French have Jerry Lewis.

The rubber-faced, shiver-voiced actor died at age 81 on Friday, his passing announced by TV Land, which is how it should be. His five Emmies marked a career of prime-time cheese that spanned a quarter century, and enjoyed a glowing afterlife in odd-hour re-runs. We should turn off our sets for a minute to mark the passing of a giant.

There is not a stage of my life when Don Knotts could not be seen, reminding us that it was not necessary to be competent to be cool, whether he was fumbling with his service revolver as Deputy Barney Fife in The Andy Griffith Show, fumbling with his ascot as the lecherous replacement landlord in Three's Company, or fumbling with his conscience in the half-animated film The Incredible Mr. Limpet, where - turned into a Nazi-hunting fish - he approaches the spawning grounds and wonders if this would technically constitute cheating on his wife.

One shouldn't forget his appearance in the film Pleasantville, where his appearance as a mystical television repairman "rocks the meta," in the words of a mourning commenter at A List of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago.

Jim Wilmer
Posted 02/26/2006 09:30:36 PM

I can pay no higher tribute to Mr. Don Knotts than to say,"He entertained me". Any one person that can touch so many countless lives as he did; that is the true worth of a man. Heaven just got a new angel. God bless you Don Knotts.

M.K. Combs
Posted 02/26/2006 09:51:39 PM

He created the funniest character ever on tv. God rest your soul "Barney".

Steve Peterson
Posted 02/26/2006 11:14:51 PM

Comic genius and wonder actor, he will be greatly missed by all.

butz estacio
Posted 03/02/2006 04:47:10 AM

a great comedian.... one of the great one to make you laugh....

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