In a phone interview with Dome, the former "Andy Griffith Show" actor and Hollywood director said that he decided to use his past to make a Web video for Obama because this election is "a really crucial moment" for Americans.
"I've never done anything like it at all," he said. "(I've) never been outspokenly supportive. Once in a while, might answer the question honestly if someone put it to me in the past, and sometimes I avoid it. But I had this idea."
He said he mentioned it to producer Judd Apatow, who referred him to Adam McKay, cofounder of the "Funny or Die" Web site. McKay and a group of writers drafted the script, while Howard talked Andy Griffith and Henry Winkler.
"I knew that Andy was a Democrat, but I wasn't even sure how he stood on the presidential race because we hadn't talked in months and months," he said. "When I broached the subject, he was excited."
Griffith's part was filmed in the woods near his Manteo home, while Howard took time off from shooting "Angels and Demons" to film his on a Los Angeles backlot. The two were brought together with special effects.
Putting on a striped shirt and hairpiece, Howard said "definitely took me back."
For audio of the interview, click here.
More after the jump.
Howard said that he never visited North Carolina until he was in his 30s, but he felt at home here.
At one point, he and his wife considered moving to the Triangle area, even going as far as looking at houses here, but they decided against it because there were no direct flights to Los Angeles.
"In an odd sort-of Twilight Zonish way, part of me feels like I did spend some of my childhood in North Carolina," he said.
Howard was asked whether he thought it was necessary for him to take his shirt off at the beginning of the video.
"I wanted to get their attention, you know," he said, laughing. "On the Internet you've got to do something startling in the first sort-of 30 seconds, or I don't think they'll stick around."