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…

02 Sep
Bob Hunt

Cincinnati Kids

written by Bob Hunt in Blog, The Brady Bunch, barry | 14 comments


Barry Williams, Mike Lookinland, and Susan Olsen at the King’s Island Theater. 

When you or I think of the phrase amusement park, chances are our minds conjure up pleasant images of thrill rides, cotton candy, and happy crowds shuffling along asphalt paths under blue summer skies.  All these things were present in abundance last Sunday at King’s Island.  For three cast members of The Brady Bunch, however, there must have been one sensation in particular that they shared with the masses at the end of the day:  exhaustion.  From the moment the house lights went down for the first show at 2:00 pm until the last autograph was signed well past ten in the evening, Barry Williams, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen were kept busy entertaining a steady stream of fans.  Four capacity crowds at the Kings Island Theater and overflow lines for the meet-’n'-greets proved that the Brady clan has not diminished in popularity.

“Did you know,” Barry queried the audience, “it’s 35 years ago this week that we filmed Cincinnati Kids right here?”  The eldest Brady led things off with spirited performances of The Real Greg Brady and You’ve Got To Be In Love To Love A Love Song.  Toward the end of the Sunshine Medley (featuring I Can See Clearly Now, Good Day Sunshine and It’s A Sunshine Day), Mike Lookinland came onstage with his immortal solo line, “Can’t you dig the sunshine?”  Susan Olsen joined them moments later, and a grateful crowd cheered at the return of three Brady siblings to the theme park they helped make famous.  As Barry put it, “We were a big commercial for King’s Island, because it was partly owned by Paramount Studios, which was our studio.”

Mike recalled how dense the crowds were as the episode was being filmed:  “I remember being back by the Racer, which at the time was the roller coaster on the planet, and we’re doing our scenes where we’re handing off the plans to each other – the relay of designs in the tube, right?  And I remember thinking, ‘Well, there’s a thousand people standing here watching us, aren’t they gonna be in the show?’  You know, how are they gonna keep these people out of shot, ’cause they’re obviously standing here watching The Brady Bunch being filmed.  And so I thought, ‘That’s weird.  I wonder how that’s gonna work?’  And sure enough, you watch that episode, when we’re running through the park, there’s all the people standing there watching Jan and Marcia run through the park, and in the background there’s a thousand people!”

Susan offered a different memory:  “That was the episode when we learned that Jan and Marcia…(laughs)…had really grown up…because they were running…”  The audience roared with recognition.

“Before sports bras?” clarified Barry for the uninitiated. 

Susan nodded.  “Yeah.  That created a new rule, though, on the set, that they had to be properly harnessed.”

“Or no running,” quipped Mike.

Highlights of the show included a massive audience participation segment in which several dozen “honorary Bradys” joined Barry, Mike and Susan onstage for a lesson in Brady choreography.  “I’m gonna teach you all the Brady moves,” promised Barry, “all three of them.”  Footage from the original cast’s Super-8 home movies provided a poignant accompaniment to Barry’s interpretation of Queen’s These Are The Days of Our Lives.  Following a rousing rendition of Johnny’s Back during which he wore a familiar matador jacket, the original Johnny Bravo boasted, “See, it does still fit, how about that?  ‘Course, I had to remake it.”

During the Q&A session, the trio had the opportunity to discuss what has been keeping them busy lately.  Barry summed up his current activities with a list that will be familiar to regular visitors of The Greg Brady Project:  “I do some work in radio.  I’m a DJ on Sirius Satellite Radio, and I work in musical theater quite a bit, and I take this show around and work in Vegas.  I also tour with what we call the Original Idols Live!, which are the Bay City Rollers, Bo Donaldson, the Heywoods and the Cowsills.  I tour in concert with them and do a little producing.  And I’m also a proud dad of a five-year-old boy.”

“Mostly I’m a mom,” said Susan, “and I’m also heavily involved in a foster program for the animal shelters.  I’m into animal rescue.  Spay and neuter, it’s raining kittens!”  She also provided an incredible bit of news for Bradymaniacs.  “I do a bit of writing…I am working on a Brady project that will be out in a year in time for the 40th anniversary of the original show.  It’s a coffee table book about the Brady Bunch Variety Hour, which is the Brady project that we’ve kept in our Brady closet for many years, and it’s time for it to finally come out.” (O m’guh!)

Mike described a picture of down-to-earth contentment:  “I just graduated one son from high school, and another one just went into high school, and I’ve been married for 21 years…Up until a couple years ago, I was still in the movie business as a cameraman, and I did a series for WB and another series for CBS…But right now, I am making decorative concrete.  I dropped the movie business, and I make decorative concrete, which is handmade countertops and bathroom vanities and showers, and it’s concrete, and it’s beautiful, and I love doing it.”

“This is why he’s the best adjusted of all of us,” noted Barry.

Susan agreed.  “He’s normal.”

Now Search & Win for Great Brady Prizes!



    Cincinnati Linda
    on Sep. 3rd, 2008

    Thanks for the coverage of the event. A friend and I were at a later show and we missed some of the act (Johnny Bravo!) They were swamped with fans and running behind, so it makes sense that something had to be cut. We enjoyed ourselves! Cincinnati welcomes any Brady, any time!

    on Sep. 3rd, 2008

    Like Michello Obama, i too can recite the episodes of the Brady Bunch. To me they represent my best memories of the 1970s but they also are a symbol of the idealized family that all us 70s kids had in mind and if I must add one more thing, Florence Henderson was every teen 70s boys secret dream…

    Great to see Mike, Barry and Susan out. I hope the enjoy these events, because it does look like hard work and it must be hard to live up to being the symbol of everything great about the 70s for miilions of relics like me

    on Sep. 3rd, 2008

    Curious if anybody addressed the major unresolved issue of the Cincinnati Kids episode. Which is, obviously, how in the heck did the Brady kids run an exhaustive relay race with Mike’s plans, each Brady pooping out and falling down while handing the plans to the next kid, yet at the end, all the Brady kids show up at the same time seconds later, as if magically transported there? I was hoping, 35 years later, this important and pressing issue would finally be addressed.

    Bob Hunt
    on Sep. 12th, 2008

    Mark – Not only that, but King’s Island isn’t an enormous place. Sure, I could see Alice reaching the point of relay exhaustion, but any California kid ought to be able to sprint from the back of the park to the front and still have a little left over.

    on Sep. 12th, 2008

    It was certainly nice seeing them there in person. And it is great that after all the years they have not forgotten the fans…

    on Nov. 4th, 2008

    Nobody believes me but the Partridge Family ALSO did an episode that take place at Kings Island. In fact, it was a TWO-PART episode! Kings Island, at the time, was a state-of-the-art amusement park, and, as has been pointed out, it was owned by Paramount. The Partridge Family was an ABC show, just like the Bunch, so…there ya’ go!

    on Nov. 9th, 2008

    Is that the “Partridge Family” storyline with Mary Ann Mobley? I have that on tape and it’s a good one.

    on Nov. 9th, 2008

    Oh, I believe you – I just watched the two-part Partridge Family episode. I believe it was filmed about a year before the Brady Bunch episode – right when the park opened.

    Everyone remembers the BB episode, and almost nobody remembers the Partridge Family episode. It is funny to see all the clothing styles that were “normal” at the time…

    I grew up a couple hours north of the park, but I did get to go until the late 70′s.

    on Nov. 9th, 2008

    Dan & Chris,

    Yes! That episode does indeed feature Mary Ann Mobley…as the park director? Both Keith and Danny ask her out on a date? Was it really a two-parter? The more I think about it, the less I’m sure about it being two parts. And it WAS a year before the Bunch. It was called “I Left My Heart In Cincinnati”. Paramount really got there money’s worth. I wonder what other shows filmed there!
    Anyway, yeah, I live about an hour away from the park in Northern KY and have been there NUMEROUS times. My first time was a couple of years after the Bunch. Haven’t been back in a few years, though, and I think it’s changed hands a couple of times since then. It’s not currently owned by Paramount, but the web address is still “”. It’s currently owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment which owns MANY parks in the US, including Knott’s Berry Farm in CA. I’ll get back to King’s Island one of these days. It really is a first-class amusement park. But like MOST of ‘em–expensive as all Hell!

    on Nov. 10th, 2008

    One episode – you are right – you can see it on YouTube. It is cut into three (roughly) 8 minutes clips…

    The park is certainly expensive. Especially the food. Good place to start a diet – you can’t afford to eat!

    Have you seen the book Maureen released? My wife read it last week. Wow – there are some personal things that I think should remain personal. But it is interesting. She seems to let it all out.

    Anyway, I wonder if this “reunion” will be a regular event or if this was a one-time shot…

    on Nov. 10th, 2008

    Hmmm…both “Partridge Family” and “Brady Bunch” were on the same network on the same night. It’s too bad there wasn’t a crossover. I always loved when programs did that. Like when the fourth season premiere of “Charlie’s Angels” had the cast guest-star on “The Love Boat.” Brilliant!

    Chris, ’70s clothing looks normal to me. I think the ’70s (and ’60s) were a great and expressive time for fashion. The way people dress today is really BORING. And don’t think that what you’re wearing in 2008 isn’t going to be “outdated” in 20-30 years!

    on Nov. 10th, 2008

    Chris & Dan,

    Yeah, the food at KI is certainly over the top, not to mention the admission price which seems to go up EVERY year! And ya’ gotta pay to PARK…it’s really insane. If a person is gonna go more than once in a year, a season pass is the way to go. It pays for itself after the second visit. I bought one a few years ago and it was worth it. But I couldn’t imagine being the responsible party paying for a family of four, let’s say. Even if you didn’t buy food within the park, yer still lookin’ at close to $200 just to get through the gate! Another thing keeping me away from the park is the fact that you can’t buy BEER anymore! Well, you can, but it’s restricted to one area, I think. You used to be able to carry your overpriced cup of beer all over. Of course, we used to smuggle stuff in our picnic baskets. They would “search” your bags or coolers lookin’ for glass bottles or alcohol, but it was real easy to get stuff in…Ah, thems were the days! About 15 or more years ago! Anyway, if the park were more alcohol friendly, perhaps Susan Olsen would visit a lot more! (I kid!!!)

    I missed the recent Brady/KI reunion. It would be cool if they’d do it again. I’d go. I was at a New Year’s Eve thing in N.KY some years ago hosted by Barry doing Johhny Bravo. Fun. Place was packed!

    YES! A Brady/Partridge crossover seems like a no-brainer. That they didn’t do one is criminal! And the clothes? I was born in 1970, and pictures of me as a kid shows me in some outrageously weird colors and what not. A lot of earth tones. But with Garanimals, you could mix & match! And the hairstyles as well! And if science fiction movies are indication, we’re all gonna be wearing the exact same jumpsuits, so fashion won’t be an issue.

    I have yet to read Maureen’s bio. I’m on the list at my local library, but, as you might have guessed, it’s very popular. Even with multiple copies, the library said I might have a long wait. No big deal. But of course I’ve heard a lot of the press coverage so I know she gets pretty deep.

    on Nov. 10th, 2008

    Kings Island sounds as expensive as Disney World and Disneyland. You can’ t go to a decent amusement park these days without spending a fortune!

    on Nov. 10th, 2008

    Yup…Pretty darn expensive. It really is a very good park, though. It’s pretty successful so it’s up-to-date, they add new attractions all the time, it’s very clean, etc. Plus, it has THE BEAST which is still considered the best wooden coaster on the PLANET! Back in the day, people would go to KI and ONLY ride the Beast, all day, over and over again. Heck, I’m sure people are STILL doing that! But yeah, it just continues to get more expensive. When I was younger, say ages 8-23, we would go AT LEAST once a year. And after my friends and I got our driver’s licenses, we’d go many times in a summer. It’s only about an hour away, so why not? I can’t remember, exactly, the last time I went. I guess I’ll have to sign-up for the e-newsletter. If I’d known about the Brady Reunion, I’da gone fer sure!

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