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The Brady Bunch

By Chad Koch

1. A Very Brady Birth

The idea for the show was brewed up when creator/producer Sherwood Schwartz found that 20% to 30% of all families had at least one child from a previous marriage. He sat down and wrote a 30-minute pilot episode. In it a man with three boys marries a woman with three girls and in the end they all go on a honeymoon together.

2. Color Coding

When it came to casting the show, the powers that be decided that it would simplify things if the kids had the same hair color as their respective parents. The trouble here was that casting for the kids started first, meaning that in order to cover their bases they had to have 3 blond girls, 3 brunette girls, 3 blond boys and 3 brunette boys.

3. Caroling

The part of Carol was originally going to go to Joyce Bulifant from the “Mary Tyler Moore Show”. But then Florence Henderson nailed her screen-test. So Florence it was, consequently meaning all the girls were going to be blond. It would have been a much more interesting show if they had been brunette. Brunettes always seem so much more mischievous.

4. The French Connection

A very interesting twist, future Academy Award winning acting legend, Gene Hackman was originally selected to portray architect father Mike Brady. But, Paramount Studios deemed that Hackman was too much of an unknown at the time and he had never done television. It’s very possible that Mr. Hackman dodged a bullet with that decision.

The role eventually went to Robert Reed, who very much did not want the part. He had been testing for 3 different series for Paramount and this was his least favorite. Over the years Reed had many disagreements with the show and ultimately did not appear in the final episode.

5. Brady Fun Trivia

Test your noodle against the Brady Trivia Machine:

A. What was Jan allergic to?
B. Where was Alice’s room?
C. What was Greg’s stage name?
D. What rock star came to Marcia’s prom?
E. Which “WKRP” in Cincinnati” regular appeared on the show?
F. What world record did Bobby and Cindy attempt to break?
G. Who had tonsillitis?
H. Where was Carol from?
I. What color did the hair tonic turn Greg’s hair?
J. Who found the tiki in Hawaii?

Bonus Trivia if you can identify the subtitle of this newsletter: The Meat Cutters Ball.

Scroll to the bottom of this text for the answers.

6. Brady Times Infinity

The show was never a hit while on the air. However, once it was cancelled it went directly into re-run syndication. The show played like gangbusters. Since then, the Brady Bunch has been airing continuously somewhere around the world.

7. Six Degrees Of Brady Sunday Bacon

Six Brady's plus one, makes Alice and one crazily functional household. All of the stars starred alongside many of other stars that can all meandered back to the infamous “Footloose” twister. However, Florence Henderson seemed to get around Hollywood the most, bumping shoulders with those that have bumped shoulders with others that bumped shoulders with Kevin Bacon.

Florence Henderson was in “Naked Gun 33 1/3” with Julie Hagerty. Julie Hagerty was in “Lost in America” with Albert Brooks. Albert Brooks was in “Broadcast News” with Joan Cusack. Joan Cusack was in “Working Girl” with Alec Baldwin. Alec Baldwin was in “She’s Having a Baby” with Kevin Bacon.

Okay try this one: Florence Henderson was in “Shakes the Clown” with Bobcat Goldthwait (if you haven’t seen her in this film, then you just don’t really know Florence Henderson). Bobcat Goldthwait was in “Police Academy 2” with Steve Guttenberg. Steve Guttenberg was in “Diner” with Kevin Bacon.

Okay one more: Florence was in “Holy Man” with Kelly Preston. Kelly Preston was in “Jerry Maguire” with Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise was in “A Few Good Men” with Kevin Bacon. Yeesh.

8. The Brady Bunch Recycled

Following the rehashed success the original show found in syndication, several spin-offs where devised.

The Brady Bunch Hour was launched in 1976 as a “Donny and Marie Show”-style variety series with the Brady cast hosting the line-up. It survived to produce 8 one-hour episodes.

In 1981 the network resurrected the original series as the matured, “The Brady Brides”. It was the last time all the original cast were brought together for a common cause. The premise this time out was that Marcia and Jan marry two completely different kinds of guys and the four of them all share a house together. It lasted for 10 episodes.

In 1988, “A Very Brady Christmas” was the highest rated TV movie of the year. Everyone was present save, Susan Olsen. The character of Cindy was instead played by actress Jennifer Runyon.

In 1990, “The Bradys” debuted. This was a whole-hearted attempt at recapturing the spirit of the original but packaged with a savvier 90’s angle. Maureen McCormick was not among them, her character of Marcia was instead played by Leah Ayres. The far too serious situations the once bouncy Brady characters found themselves in proved to be bad match. The show lasted only a month.

With fan support, the Bradys will live on forever!

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Brady Fun Trivia Answers:
A. Tiger’s flea powder
B. Adjoining the kitchen
C. Johnny Bravo
D. Davy Jones
E. Gordon Jump
F. The teeter-totter record
G. Cindy and Carol both did
H. Swampscott, Massachusetts
I. Orange
J. Bobby

The Meat Cutters Ball was the event Alice missed when she sprained her ankle.

Congrats if you answered more than 3 of these correctly. These questions are for the pros and serious Brady fans!

To read more articles by Chad, visit the American Pop Culture Encyclopedia at: American Pop Culture Encyclopedia.

If you would like to read this article, or others like it, on American Pop Culture Encyclopedia, please visit: The Brady Bunch

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