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…

26 Mar
Bob Hunt

‘Spin Cycle’
“Gee, I wish I had taken it easy on the clam chowder…”

We laugh now at the modest conventions that censored questionable content in television’s first decades. CBS avoided tweaking delicate 50′s sensibilities by seeing to it that Lucy Ricardo was euphemistically “expecting” Little Ricky instead of being “pregnant.” The same network was still skittish in the 60′s, forbidding Rob and Laura Petrie to sleep in the same bed. And although ABC allowed Sherwood Schwartz to shatter the matrimonial bed taboo, the sight of a Brady bathroom toilet was apparently considered to be too progressive. It was up to CBS to move forward on the potty front by permitting Archie Bunker to reinvent the punchline as an offscreen flush.

Then things started to loosen up (literally), with the world of cinema customarily leading the way. A common concern among the squeamish is emetophobia, or the fear of vomit. This was exploited to horrific effect in 1973′s The Exorcist, in which Linda Blair kept the split pea soup flowing. 1983 saw Monty Python playing the phobia for laughs in a notoriously over-the-top restaurant scene from The Meaning of Life. By 1986, even a mainstream feature like Rob Reiner’s Stand By Me had its share of projectile vomiting, as outrageously depicted in a boy’s tale of a fateful pie eating contest. Television would eventually catch up with the phenomenon, most notably in the format of reality television. From Fear Factor to The Amazing Race, inducing vomiting through the consumption of barely edible entrails and insects has become something of an American tradition.

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24 Mar
Barry Williams

Of Fans and Dating

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 3 comments

‘My kind of date’
‘My kind of date’

From time to time I am asked if I have dated fans. Well, once. While I was filming the Brady Bunch I didn’t get out very much. The schedule was just too demanding. We Brady kids had plenty of fans but didn’t know very many people. I went to High School with one other person; Maureen McCormick. I got a fan letter with a photo of a very attractive girl about my age, 16. She lived not too far away so I called her. I arranged for us t meet to meet at an ice skating rink in Santa Monica. I don’t know why I chose an ice skating rink because I can barely get around on skates, but I thought it would be fun and a good place to get acquainted.

We set the date for the next Friday night at 7:30. She showed up looking good and seemed to be very nice. We got a couple of soft drinks and sat down to talk. She giggled a lot, as teenage girls often do and I never liked. It was a little loud at the rink but I was really getting irritated with one table about 30 feet away that had three teenage girls who kept laughing and “trying” not to look in our direction.

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23 Mar
Bob Hunt

Starving for the Buffet

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | 2 comments

‘All You Can Hear?’
‘All You Can Hear?’

If there is an audiophile to be found in our family of four, it would be me. I’m the one who transferred a habit of precise LP and cassette tape organization to a treasured collection of compact discs, filing each jewel case by artist and then by album release date. If you’re wondering where all the RCA cables and Y-adapters went, I’m your go-to guy. And who’s the one responsible for maintaining the electronic spaghetti that makes our component-filled armoire an entertainment center? Me again. So if anyone in our household should own an iPod, it’s yours truly. Yet, I’m the only one who does not. Yes, my wife and daughters amble about with smiles on their faces and buds in their ears while I merely contemplate my digital future. In fact, I had all but made up my mind to obtain the coveted 160GB Classic by this summer, when a stunning piece of news changed my tune.

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21 Mar
Eric Greenberg

Brady Sports Madness

written by Eric Greenberg in Blog | 4 comments

 

This is a great time of year for sports fans. The NBA and NHL are heading towards the home stretch. Opening Day and The Masters are right around the corner, and March Madness is officially underway. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll catch some of today’s action and by the time ”One Shining Moment” comes around, I’m bound to find a Cinderella story to latch on to. But with my school heading for the NIT and no major upsets on day one, my mind is left with a little time to wander. That said, I started thinking about some of the great athletes that have walked through the Brady Bunch set. 

It’s amazing that no matter how great a career a pro athlete has had, they can be so identified with a guest spot on a sitcom. Think about it. If someone says the name Keith Hernandez today, what do you think of first, the ’86 World Series or “Seinfeld”? For me, while Kevin McHale will always remind me of those great Celtics teams I grew up watching, I can’t think about him too long without picturing him counting the bolts in the old Boston Garden floor on “Cheers.” Of course not every sports related guest spot ends up being so memorable, which makes it even more amazing that “The Brady Bunch” has racked up several that people can’t seem to forget. 

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18 Mar
Bob Hunt


She was wisecracking yet efficient, gentle as a rule but firm when necessary. Unflappable amidst chaos, she could restore order in an instant. She knew how to read the face of a troubled child and deliver just the right words to make it all better. Her sense of humor was infectious, and she loved a good joke even more than the next person. Long ago she dedicated her life to serving others, always with a satisfied smile of quiet contentment.

Alice Nelson, devoted housekeeper of the Brady family? Certainly. But I’m actually describing Sister Barbara Simon, my fourth grade teacher and “personal Alice.”

Sister Barbara belied the stereotype of the stern disciplinarian nun. She was jovial and witty, and she refused to take herself too seriously. On one occasion during a church festival, she was working the hamburger grill when she overheard a customer requesting a toasted bun. Her famous reply: “Tell him to stand by the fire if he wants his buns toasted!” How many nuns would dare say such a thing? Sister Barbara was so friendly and likable, she could get away with being charming where others would be offensive. Day after day she entertained herself by peppering her instruction with jokes, most of which went right over the heads of her young charges.

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16 Mar
Eric Greenberg

Video Killed the Blogging Star

written by Eric Greenberg in Blog | 3 comments

 

Someone out there’s trying to sabotage my busy blogging schedule. That can be the only reason that NBC Universal and News Corp. launched Hulu.com earlier this week. That and trying to turn a profit with internet video. But I’m pretty sure it’s the first reason. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s probably for the best. No good can come of you knowing that at this very moment there are hundreds of current and classic TV series available for viewing online…free.

I really think this is my family and friends’ worst nightmare. As if I don’t stay up too late watching TV already, they now have to worry about coming to my apartment and finding me keeled over my desk, half delusional, with “Doogie Howser” playing on my desktop. It’s a legitimate concern.

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13 Mar
Bob Hunt

The mild wit and even milder caricature of TEEN WORLD, 1974

If you were an adolescent girl during the summer of 1974 (and I can most assuredly tell you that I was not), you might have passed a few leisurely hours thumbing through the pages of Teen World and Tiger Beat, carefully removing full-page posters of cute boys for display while scowling at the ones you thought were undeserving of space on your bedroom wall. You might even have felt your heart pitter-patter as you came across this bit of scoop in Teen World‘s June issue:

“What else is happening with the Bradys? Well, for one thing, all you faithful Barry Williams fans can stop worrying. A lot of people were afraid that bouncy Barry was going to leave the show. But that’s just not true – whew! Barry is definitely going to stay with the show, so you’ll be able to watch him every week! Probably, Barry will be entering college on the show, so you’ll be able to watch some exciting academic exploits, too! Isn’t that great?”

Before you and your friends could find the Funk and Wagnalls and look up “exploits,” Teen World breathlessly continued:

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12 Mar
Barry Williams

Throwing in the Towel

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 7 comments


‘My Inner-Boxer’

People still ask me if my Celebrity Boxing match was rigged.

In the late fall of 2002 I was approached by Fox Television to participate in a new reality TV show called Celebrity Boxing. Sounded like a good idea at the time. You know, put on the shorts, pull on the gloves, get a trainer, jump into the ring and have my ROCKY moment in the lights. I was to fight Danny Bonaduce, the chubby little guy from The Partridge Family. Three rounds, two minutes in length. We were to use thick boxing gloves and protective head gear. I had all of four weeks to get ready.

Now I have never boxed in my life, but I have seen fights on TV. In fact I might never have fought if Chris Knight’s shoulder wasn’t bothering him at the time. You see, he was originally invited by FOX to fight Danny but he passed it off. Or maybe he had seen Bonaduce more recently than I had back in the 70′s. Anyway, Chris bailed and that’s when I got the call.

I started my month long training. I ran 1 1/2 miles a day. I showed up at the gym 5 days a week and worked out for an hour and a half with the trainer I was provided. The trainer was great. He would start me off with some stretching, jump rope, just like in the movies. I practiced on the punching bag and the speed bag. They are terrific, mostly because they don’t hit back. In fact, just about everything about boxing is great except getting hit.

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09 Mar
Eric Greenberg

Brady Creator Gets Star Treatment

written by Eric Greenberg in Blog | 5 comments

What’s the secret to having a lasting marriage AND a beautiful actress on your arm at age 91? Just create one of the most loved TV shows of all time. Want a woman for each arm? Easy. Just create two of them. It seems to be working for Sherwood Schwartz, the brain behind “The Brady Bunch” and “Gilligan’s Island.” If an Emmy, a WGA Award, and a few TV Land Awards weren’t enough, the TV legend now has his own piece of sidewalk on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His star was unveiled at 6541 Hollywood Boulevard Friday in front of Brady cast members Florence Henderson, Chris Knight and Susan Olsen as well as Gilligan’s Dawn Wells. Barry was thinking of him from Kansas City where he’s still performing in “Married Alive.” I suspect Sherwood understands and is thrilled to see a career he helped launch still going strong all these years later.

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08 Mar
Bob Hunt

The Cost of Convenience

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | No comments

‘Rescue from Gilligan’s Island’
The televisual event of the century…or at least I thought so.

Rise up, children of the digital age! Break free from your iPods, erase your TIVOs, avert your weary eyes from YouTube! For once there was a time when young people lived in a strange and analog land, where there was no such thing as media on demand. Consumers lived only in the present, unable to reproduce their favorite entertainment for later viewing. Subjected to the whims of broadcasters and distributors, they were forced to experience content at the moment it was presented (yes, it’s true!), with no promise that it would ever be repeated. A nightmare, you presume? Not necessarily.

For all of the convenience of today’s media storage options – and don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we have them – their very existence comes at a subtle but certain price. Never again will we know the anxieties and joys of transitory media. For example, let’s say you missed a pithy comment from one of the political debates, and now everyone’s giving their two cents about it around the proverbial water cooler. No problem, as the remark in question is doubtless a YouTube search away. That movie everyone’s talking about? If it’s not on DVD now, it will be soon. But back in the analog days, if you missed something, it was gone. That was the “anxiety” part of it.

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