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…

Archive for Category 'The Brady Bunch'

11 Jan
Bob Hunt

No fair choosing all six Oliver episodes.

A while back we asked you to name your Brady Six, the sextet of classic episodes that you consider to be the best of the Bunch.  Now it’s time to visit the other end of the spectrum with the Brady Basement.  These are the half-dozen lesser shows that you recognize with a slight sigh of disappointment whenever they air, not because they are inherently bad but simply because they are not great.  Though I truly enjoy all 117 episodes (call me the Father Flanagan of Bradyphiles, but I believe there are no bad Brady Bunch episodes), I am less likely to spend precious Brady Bunch-watching time with the following six installments, presented in the order in which they aired.

The angst of being the youngest one in curls.


First season episodes of The Brady Bunch stand conspicuously apart from the rest of the series for many reasons:  the kids are so young, the Peppermint Trolley Company warble the opening theme, and storylines focus on whether or not this whole blended-family experiment will succeed.  A more playful tone would eventually emerge, but some of the initial shows get stuck in syrupy drama or lethally sweet cuteness.  This episode has both, with director John Rich pushing Cindy to her most adorable limits and then casting her into the pit of melodramatic despair.  Should she give Mommy the single ticket to her school play?  Should she give it to her new Daddy?  Modern Brady watchers with the benefit of multiple rerun hindsight can only watch helplessly, unable to reach through the TV screen and shake little Cindy out of the dumps.

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29 Dec
Bob Hunt

2008:  All 117 in the palm of my hand.

1969-1974:  The Brady Bunch appears in its initial prime-time run.  As I was born in 1968, I am only dimly aware of its existence, but like Mozart played for infants, the show fills the space around my developing neurons and synapses.

1974-1979:  The First Golden Era of Syndication, in which I am exposed to the Brady canon repeatedly until the episodes are more familiar to me than the oral histories of my own family.

1980:  A friend shows me how he uses audio cassettes to record the sound from television shows by dangling a microphone in front of the TV speaker.  His recordings are low-fi and filled with atmospheric noise like kitchen clangings and his sisters chatting.  I immediately employ his technique to preserve a few Bunch episodes.

1981:  My parents stun the family by being among the first on the block to buy a VCR.  It’s a $500 top-loading behemoth with a wired remote that has one function:  pause.  Video cassettes sell for $15 each, and we try to use every inch of tape at the 6-hr. slow speed.

1982:  The Second Golden Era of Syndication, in which I catch Ann B. Davis mentioning in an interview that there were 117 Brady Bunch episodes, the first time I have ever heard this magic number.  Superstation WTBS runs the Bunch right after Leave It To Beaver five afternoons a week; 15 heavily-edited, commercial-paused episodes can fit onto a single videotape, and I’m on my way to capturing all 117.  “The Voice of Christmas” is the most elusive, as it’s always skipped in the syndication package unless it’s December.

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13 Nov
Bob Hunt

Indoor Recess

written by Bob Hunt in Blog, The Brady Bunch | 6 comments

If only Language Arts were as captivating to them as this moment…

Brady fans, I bring you good news from the world of education.  Those worries that have kept you from sleeping at night, the creeping anxiety that a true appreciation of The Brady Bunch might die with the passing of your generation – I’m here to reassure you that your fears are unfounded.  Oh, I know that too many children today do not know Buddy Hinton from Harvey Klinger.  Yes, I am well aware that the phrases “Oh, my nose!” and “Something suddenly came up” have no special meaning for a depressingly large portion of modern youth.  But I shall not despair.  For I have seen with my own eyes the very evidence that makes me believe The Brady Bunch will be treasured long after its initial audience is gone.

It was the threat of rain that started me on the road to this revelation.  Before dashing off to my job teaching fourth graders, I tossed a Brady Bunch DVD into my bag of graded papers.  If the forecasted precipitation arrived before noon, I would need an acceptable option to keep my class entertained during indoor recess.  Sure enough, we spotted dark skies and a playground full of puddles when the recess bell rang.  I had my makeshift theater ready to go, with a boombox wired to pump out the sound and our trusty LCD projector standing by to splash the vibrant blue opening titles across the length and breadth of our overhead screen.  We arranged our chairs in rows, and soon a familiar theme resounded through the classroom.  Well, familiar to you and me, that is.

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28 Oct
Bob Hunt

The Fonz tries to express that his political convictions were wr…wr…they were wr…

The following hypothetical scenario is so explosively controversial that I precede it with an emphatic disclaimer:  I am making this up, and therefore in no way does it confirm or deny the political opinions or lack thereof of the persons involved.  Having said that, I ask you to consider your reaction to an imaginary YouTube clip featuring a 1970′s-era recording studio.  Gathered around a pair of microphones are present-day Brady kids Barry Williams, Mike Lookinland, Chris Knight, Eve Plumb, Susan Olsen and Maureen McCormick, all of them looking considerably older than their last appearance in these surroundings nearly 40 years ago.  They sway and bop their heads, belt out a few sha-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na‘s, and recreate that classic moment when The Brady Six recorded Time To Change.  Their clothes are much like the groovy threads they wore back then, with one notable exception:  they’re all wearing Barack Obama t-shirts.  If such a clip were made, what would your reaction be?  Is it sitcom sacrilege for actors to mix political opinion with their iconic characters?

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12 Sep
Bob Hunt

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.

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02 Sep
Bob Hunt


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.”

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18 Aug
Bob Hunt


Quick!  Grab your credit card, make your flight arrangements, and tell the neighbors you can’t make it to their cookout on the day before Labor Day.  Why?  Because no fewer than three Brady stars will be returning to King’s Island for four shows of singing, dancing, and Brady Bunch anecdotes!  Susan Olsen, Mike Lookinland, and our own Barry Williams will be there to entertain, reminisce, and provide memorable meet-n-greet and autograph opportunities for Brady fans of all ages.  As we reported previously, King’s Island has been steeped in nostalgia this summer, what with classic park stunts of the 70′s being recreated by Robbie Knievel and Rick Wallenda.  What better way to cap off their retro summer than a Very Brady Reunion on Sunday, August 31.  At last your dreams are coming true!  So don’t just sit there – spindle your blueprints into a yellow cylinder and make your way to Cincinnati this Labor Day Weekend!

Now Search & Win for Great Brady Prizes!

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12 Jun
Guest Author

Lou Schumacher Animal Rentals was the animal supplier for the show. I worked for Lou in the early seventies as did a few trainers. Tiger belonged to Lou and was trained mainly by Karl Lewis, a renowned animal trainer (“Babe,” “Call of the Wild,” “White Dog” and more too numerous to mention). Myself and another trainer Bill Vergis got the call to do the goat show. We found a goat through contacts, and brought her home to my house and started the training. I do remember they called her Raquel in the episode we did.

Training was easier than we thought as she learned quickly and worked to rewards and a “Buzzer.” We train animals to the sound of the buzzer and when they respond to it, they are rewarded with food. When we got to set we noticed that the goat had a lot of inside work. This did not create a problem. But never seeing the set, she was reluctant to “pay attention” to what she was supposed to do. Robert Reed was the director and gave us plenty of time to rehearse with “Raquel”. Sometimes you will have problems with animals as they have never been in a movie or on TV. We did several rehearsals and everything started to go just fine until we started the closet scenes. She did not want to be in that closet. Barry was very patient and so was the crew. In a scene where Florence Henderson is showing a group the house, Greg has to hide the mascot. Hence this is the closet scene. Raquel also wore a mascot blanket type prop with the other school’s name on it.

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22 May
Guest Author

When I first heard about “A Very Brady Musical,” I couldn’t wait to audition. Now admittedly, my father, Lloyd J. Schwartz, did co-write and is directing the show. And my grandfather, Sherwood Schwartz, did create the original series. But just like millions of people across the world, I happen to love the show. And trust me, I did not get the normal treatment of nepotism. In fact, seeing some of my own family among the faces of the audition panel was incredibly nerve-wracking. In my five-minute audition I had to convince a room full of people that I was the best one for the part, regardless of my association. Within days the cast was set. I could not have been more excited to land the role of Peter Brady.

In theatre, abnormalities and the unexpected are normal and expected. The actor cast as Greg had to drop out, and I was chosen as the replacement. I took off my Peter wig and put on my identical Greg wig. I was ready. I realized some very important aspects of the character. Greg is old and wise through the eyes of Bobby, Cindy, and the rest of the gang. Yet, he is still naïve and confused when it comes down to surviving in the real world. He has a lot to learn but is completely willing to learn it.

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09 May
Bob Hunt


One of the funniest stories from Barry’s Growing Up Brady concerns his adolescent crush on Florence Henderson. The tale prompted a lot of publicity due to its apparently taboo nature. Taboo, that is, until we understand that: 1) their celebrated “date” was as innocent as a Brady Bunch episode, and 2) Florence Henderson is not Barry’s mother, fer cryin’ out loud! Barry himself has tried to help us understand this, writing the following: “Most everybody thinks of Florence Henderson as the quintessential television mom, and that vaguely oedipal association seems to have successfully inhibited the American public from ever realizing what a totally white-hot babe she really is.” Sorry, Barry, but I’m not buying it. She might not be your mom, but the rest of us can’t shake the conviction that she is our mom.

Recent surveys support this notion. As Eric Greenberg reported, Carol Brady came in third place (behind Clair Huxtable and Marion Cunningham) when TiVo asked viewers to identify their favorite TV mom. A recent Harris Poll found similar results after asking people to name the TV mom they wished had raised them. Once again, our Lovely Lady took third place (this time following June Cleaver and Clair Huxtable). Interestingly, when the Harris folks broke down their data into demographic chunks, they found that Carol Brady was the number one TV mom among two subgroups: Gen Xers and Republicans. Among conservatives aged 32 to 43, presumably, that preference must be through the roof.

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