cover image Tied Up in Knotts: My Dad and Me

Tied Up in Knotts: My Dad and Me

Karen Knotts. Chicago Review, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-64160-512-0

Legendary funnyman Don Knotts (1924–2006) receives a heartwarming tribute in this humorous and intimate debut by his daughter. Since her father’s death in 2006, Knotts, an actor and comedian, has performed a one-woman show honoring her dad—the man who made Barney Fife from The Andy Griffith Show one of the most beloved characters in television comedy. Here, her act becomes a touching love letter, inviting readers behind the curtain to reveal the shy and kind-natured man she knew as her father. Growing up impoverished in Morgantown, W.Va., Don was, unsurprisingly, popular in high school. After graduating college, he married Knotts’s mother, Kay Metz, and moved to New York, where small roles on television led to his big break with The Steve Allen Show in 1956. When he heard that his former costar Andy Griffith was cast in a new TV series, Knotts convinced “Sheriff Andy Taylor” that he needed a deputy. While Don won over America’s hearts, Knotts watched nearby on set with Ron Howard and other child actors. She depicts this time with a palpable reverence that permeates every memory she recounts, such as being cast in her father’s movies, touring with him in dinner theater, and witnessing the enduring love of his many admirers. Fans will be rapt. (Sept.)