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…

12 Sep
Bob Hunt

A Night to Forget

written by Bob Hunt in Blog, The Brady Bunch | 4 comments

For this I missed The Brady Brides?

I was twelve years old when The Brady Brides debuted on NBC in the winter of 1981, and nobody could have been happier about it.  The reunion of the entire original cast and the promise of an ongoing series was a wonderful antidote to the bad taste left behind by the notorious Variety Hour.  As far as I was concerned, that failed experiment was just a bad dream, its flying fringe and cheesy Krofft production a forgotten hallucination.  Now the Bradys were back where they belonged in the familiar house that Mike designed, and what’s more, there was the return of Real Jan (surely as God intended).  Naturally, I was a fixture before the color console for a season’s worth of Friday nights.  All except for one, that is.

While I was in the midst of enjoying this improbable resurgence of Brady popularity, my friend Dan noted the comeback of his own retro interest, Jerry Lewis.  Whereas I was known to while away a number of weekday hours engrossed in my umpteenth viewing of Brady Bunch reruns, Dan enjoyed frittering the odd Saturday afternoon by indulging in the hijinks of The Geisha Boy and The Disorderly Orderly.  So when he learned that our local theater was about to screen Hardly Working, the first new Jerry Lewis movie in over ten years, it seemed like a rare chance to catch a new classic in its first run.  He convinced me that the fun and excitement of seeing the film on its opening night would be worth foregoing my regular Friday night engagement with The Brady Brides.

Now, I am well aware of the pathos inherent in anyone feeling pangs of regret over missing an episode of The Brady Brides, no matter how young he might have been at the time.  I don’t think that I regarded it as the pinnacle of entertainment even then, and I certainly perceive its middling-to-low quality today.  But I’m telling you, 12 years old or not, I made a Bad Decision when I gave up a half hour of Brady Brides for the 91 excruciating minutes of Hardly Working.  Yes, it’s that bad.  And I’m no Jerry-hater, far from it.  Why, I enjoy The Nutty Professor with the passion of a French cinephile.  Hardly Working, though, is Lewis at his nadir.

But don’t take my word for it.  Film critic Roger Ebert certainly agreed.  “I was absolutely stunned by the vast stupidity of this film,” he wrote in his review.  “It is not just a bad film, it is incompetent filmmaking.”  Then he gave the knife a twist:  “Once, a very long time ago, Jerry Lewis made me laugh.  I was seven at the time.  He still seems to be making movies for the same audience.”  Ouch!

Ah, regret.  If only I had been born a few years later, if only I could have seen the opening night of Hardly Working when I was seven.  But I was twelve, wise beyond my years, and even as Jerry the mixologist poured a drink on the floor while ogling a bartop dancer, I knew what I was missing.  Yes, it was that bad.



    on Sep. 12th, 2008

    I am waiting for the release of The Brady Brides series on DVD. It is at the top of my dvd wish list. The cherry on top would be commentary from Maureen and Eve, even if not done together. Any info Barry about anymore Brady DVD releases??

    on Sep. 12th, 2008

    I’ll have you know I have a VHS tape of that “cheezy” Variety Hour show and I love it! First of all, just watching Mike Brady attempt to dance is fine entertainment, lol! Most importantly, however, Barry sings one of my fav songs from one of my fav plays.

    Bob Hunt
    on Sep. 12th, 2008

    Scott – I’d love to see The Brady Brides on DVD as well. Along with commentary, another great extra would be the inclusion of the additional footage that was used when the first few episodes were edited together as a TV movie.

    Suzie – Believe it or not, I’d love to see a complete Variety Hour DVD release as well. The best thing about the VH, I think, is that by all accounts Bob Reed actually enjoyed making it!

    on Sep. 17th, 2008

    Ironically it wasn’t Lewis’s worst movie. That honor goes to “The Day The Clown Cried.”

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