The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

20 Jan
Barry Williams

Sam, thanks for the memories

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 10 comments

Sam & Alice
‘Sam at Work’

My friend Magic Matt Alan called from his Outlaw Radio Show Saturday (Magic because when he is not doing radio shows he likes to saw people in half) to get my thoughts about the passing of Allan Melvin our dear Sam the Butcher. After we got passed the usual jokes – did he ever give Alice any free meat, where did they really go on their bowling dates, will the Brady’s ever get to eat meatloaf again, we talked and shared a bit about this kind, talented character actor.

His television career goes back to the days of Sgt. Bilko with Phil Silvers. He was already a veteran by the time he joined our show in 1970 having worked in other series such as The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle USMC and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Most of the scenes Allan did were with Ann B. Davis and did not include us kids. We were usually busy in the school room. But I can recall the extra energy he brought to the set, even when I was just passing through, and the ease with which those two pros brought their relationship to life. One thing I found interesting and just recently learned is that he is the voice of Magilla Gorilla.

It is always surprising to me how an actor becomes best known for one character. Allan is probably best remembered as The Brady Bunch’s Sam the Butcher. Perhaps it is because it was a role he was perfectly suited for. I know he was a good guy – he contributed a lot to the show and I think he was a pretty good bowler too.

 

10 Comments

    linkerjpatrick
    on Jan. 20th, 2008

    I first saw him on the Brady Bunch when I was little and later was very disturbed to see him playing a criminal on the Andy Griffith Show. It just didn’t seem right seeing Sam as the bad guy!

    Laura
    on Jan. 20th, 2008

    Naturally this post brings to mind the episode where Greg and Bobby get locked in Sam’s meat locker.

    I know I’ve seen him in other shows, guest starring on occasion, but you’re right, he’s most memorable as Sam the butcher.

    RIP Allan Melvin.

    Karen Steinberg
    on Jan. 20th, 2008

    I am so sorry to hear of his loss. What a sad day, losing him and Suzanne Pleshette. I liked Allan Melvin on All in the Family and Archie Bunker’s Place as well – it was that and BB that I knew him best. He just seemed like an amiable person and was such a good actor. His voice was very familiar and he was a comforting presence on screen. Sorry for the loss of your friend and I hope he’s at peace now.

    Renee
    on Jan. 21st, 2008

    I always liked “Sam the butcher”. Barry, can you answer something for me? Did Sam and Alice ever get married? I say no, and my ex-boyfriend/now roommate (long story) swears they were married.

    Who is right?

    And Allan will be missed, but, he will live on in The Brady Bunch reruns :)

    Trevor
    on Jan. 21st, 2008

    Sam and Alice were married though it didn’t happen on-screen or during the run of the original series.

    I don’t recall if they were married (or if Sam was even mentioned) during the Brady Brides series.

    But, they were married by the time of 1988′s A Very Brady Christmas. In the movie, Sam had left Alice but they reunited at the end.

    I am curious if Barry or anyone else has any recollection as to why Allan never appeared in any of the Brady spin-offs/sequels.

    Another actor played Sam and was covered by a Santa suit in the Christmas movie. In The Bradys, he was often mentioned but never seen.

    Was he approached and declined or ? I’ve always been curious. Sad that the occasion to ask the question is Allan’s departure.

    Barry Williams
    on Jan. 23rd, 2008

    Allan was always invited to appear in our reunion shows but he was busy and had scheduling conflicts as I understand it. And Trevor is right, Sam and Alice were not married during our original five year series run.

    Darren Monroe
    on Jan. 27th, 2008

    WHATTT!?! He is gone?? How long ago?

    And oh my GOD I Didnt know he was Magilla Gorilla!!!

    Darren Monroe
    on Jan. 27th, 2008

    Hey Barry I just wikied him and this has great bio on him here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Melvin

    Plus he was one of the characters from Banna Split! I watched them and your show (Bradys) in the same time slot.

    A well celebrated life. I learned a lot I didnt know. for instance i didnt even know there was a play version of Stalag 17.

    [...] Brady Bunch has seen its share of stand-ins over the years. The recent passing of Allan Melvin recalls the disappointment that fans experienced during A Very Brady Christmas, in which a faux Sam [...]

    Brian
    on Feb. 6th, 2008

    I know Allan is having a grand time at “The Meat-Cutters Ball in the Sky”

    There is a lo-fi version of my 1989 song “Sam and Alice” here:

    http://www.lizardman.com/media/kbros/sam_and_alice_kbros.mp3

    Lyrics:

    Sam and Alice were lovers I think
    He was a butcher, she cleaned the sink
    Now I wonder if they’re married
    Sam’s baby, has Alice carried?

    They were in love
    Oh so it seemed
    At least Alice dug Sam a lot
    Or was it the convenience
    Of dating a butcher
    And always having meat in the pot?

    I remember I remember
    One minute one sec
    Our favorite butcher
    Our favorite architech
    Working together
    Mr Brady said
    House plans, farm plans
    We’re they to wed?

    Mrs Brady and the girls
    Thought they were engaged
    But it was all a big misunderstandin
    They were only workin
    On the old meat shop
    No house, no cars,
    No cows a brandin’

    Alice Alice
    You were made for the kitchen
    Scrubin and cleanin
    You were never bitchin
    You did all the work
    Mrs Brady did nothin
    All you ever wanted
    Was to be Sam’s muffin !

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