The role earned him a "Distinguished Supporting or Featured Dramatic Actor" nomination at the 1956 Tony Awards, losing to Ed Begley.
He did win the 1956 Theatre World Award, however, a prize given for debut roles on Broadway. Griffith does not have to condescend to Will Stockdale" (his role in the play), wrote Brooks Atkinson in The New York Times.
Griffith starred in Ira Levin's one-hour teleplay version of No Time for Sergeants (March 1955) — a story about a country boy in the United States Air Force — on The United States Steel Hour, a television anthology series.
He expanded that role in Ira Levin's full-length theatrical version of the same name (October 1955) on Broadway in New York City.
No Time for Sergeants is considered the direct inspiration for the later television situation comedy Gomer Pyle, U. Griffith was nominated for "Distinguished Musical Actor" at the 1960 Tony Awards, losing to Jackie Gleason.
He also portrayed a US Coast Guard sailor in the feature film Onionhead (1958); it was neither a critical nor a commercial success.
"All he has to do is walk on the stage and look the audience straight in the face. His only other New York stage appearance was the titular role in the 1959 musical, Destry Rides Again, co-starring Dolores Gray.
If the armed forces cannot cope with Will Stockdale, neither can the audience resist Andy Griffith." Griffith later reprised his role for the film version (1958) of No Time for Sergeants; the film also featured Don Knotts, as a corporal in charge of manual-dexterity tests, marking the beginning of a lifelong association between Griffith and Knotts. The show, with a score by Harold Rome, ran for 472 performances and more than a year.
The film was directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg and co-stars Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau, Tony Franciosa, and Lee Remick (in her film début as well).
A 2005 DVD reissue of A Face in the Crowd includes a mini-documentary on the film, with comments from Schulberg and cast members Griffith, Franciosa, and Neal.
Griffith also expresses his belief that the film was far more popular and respected in more recent decades than it was when originally released.