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…

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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07 Mar
Bob Hunt

O m’guh!

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | 3 comments

With two daughters of Disney Channel-watching age in our house, we often hear the latest catchphrases repeated throughout the day. Most times the favored phrase du jour doesn’t last more than 24 hours before dying out. Occasionally a word will have more staying power and enjoy repetition throughout a week or more. You might assume it’s the girls who are doing all this parroting, but I must confess to being just as much of an offender (if not more so). My current favorite? The rapidly-spreading O m’guh!

I first saw it as a comment posted below a photograph on Flickr. The picture showed a shopping center as it was in the early 70′s, and locals who remembered frequenting it in their formative years gushed about the image bringing back vivid childhood memories. Some said more than others, but one viewer summed it all up by saying nothing more than – you guessed it – o m’guh!

Not to be confused with the ubiquitous OMG nor the full-blown exclamation Oh my God!, the friendly o m’guh! is simply fun to say. Once I got the ball rolling in my family, we found it especially amusing to use in the most mundane situations:

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05 Mar
Eric Greenberg

Hit the Road, Zach?

written by Eric Greenberg in Blog | No comments

For some reason, I still think of “Scrubs” as the new kid on the block. Maybe because it’s so different from everything else on TV. Maybe because I didn’t really get into it until it started airing in reruns on Comedy Central a few years back. The strange reality is that it’s actually the longest running sitcom on television. It’s also one of the best. So I was thrilled that after lots of speculation to the contrary, “Scrubs” was picked up for a seventh and final season and would get the send off it deserves. But that was so ten months ago. Since then we had a little detour called the writers’ strike that again left a proper series finale in jeopardy.

In 1974, Barry and the Brady cast wrapped up an episode called “The Hair-Brained Scheme” in which Greg buys hair tonic from Bobby that turns his hair orange before his high school graduation. You know the show. You may even know it was the final episode of ”The Brady Bunch.” But that’s hindsight. At the time, it was simply the end of the fifth season. It wasn’t until a few months later that Barry got a call from an ABC executive telling him the series was cancelled.

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28 Feb
Barry Williams

In Great Company

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 5 comments

‘In Great Company’
‘Three’s Company’

I like to think of John Ritter as my friend but he was really more of an acquaintance. John passed away in September of 2003. He died from a torn aorta but was treated at the hospital for a heart attack. His widow is suing the doctors in a wrongful death suit. This has to be tremendously difficult for everyone. It also puts a different type of focus on a terrific comedic actor and generous man.

After the Brady Bunch ended I felt like I was kind of tossed out into the cold cruel world of reality. Often times actors on successful series are put out to the television pasture for a while until they can reinvent themselves. I busied myself in musical theater, concerts, personal appearances and the occasional guest role on TV.

In 1982 I had a chance to audition for the role of a very wealthy business tycoon, named David Winthrop for an episode of Three’s Company entitled, Up In the Air. I was particularly interested in this role because it wasn’t anything like all around good guy, Greg Brady. I would be the love interest of Janet, played by Joyce DeWitt. After a meeting and a call-back with the producers, I got the job.

In the show I invite Janet and a date to fly to my private island for a party. She brings along Jack, John Ritter, who has never flown anywhere before. To brace himself for the flight he takes some tranquilizers, which affect his sensibilities in a BIG way. At the party he dances with all the guests, on the sofa, with a light stand and ends up wearing the shade on his head. Basically he ruins my upscale and snooty party.

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26 Feb
Mary Jo and John Tenuto

Battle of the Network Stars

written by Mary Jo and John Tenuto in Blog | 3 comments

‘Dream Team’
‘Dream Team’

Two of the most intriguing shows on television in the 1970s and 1980s were Battle of the Network Stars and The Circus of the Stars. These shows featured some of the biggest television stars of their day either competing in sports events, or showing their circus abilities. Hosted by Howard Cosell, BOTNS feautred stars from ABC, NBC, and CBS who competed in various athletic competitions. It was a twice a year show that was on ABC from 1977 to 1985, with 1988, 2003, and 2005 revivals. Circus of the Stars was on from 1977 to 1994, although ABC has expressed serious interest in returning the show to their schedule this year.

While 1970s and 1980s television staples, these shows have an influence on modern shows. They represent some of the first television reality shows, and there are hints of these shows in such modern entertainment as Dancing With The Stars. Actor Greg Grunberg from Heroes and Alias has a band called The Battle of the Network Stars.

The first episode of Battle of the Network Stars, shown in November of 1976 is a tour de force of action and adventure.

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24 Feb
Eric Greenberg

Jumping from the small screen to the big screen can be a bit tricky, but it can most certainly be done. Sometimes it happens right away, while for others, it’s a surprise performance years in the making. Every once in a while it even leads to a nice piece of hardware. As the stars begin to walk down the red carpet for the 80th Annual Academy Awards, The Greg Brady Project pays tribute to 70s television stars who have had a brush with Oscar…


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22 Feb
Mary Jo and John Tenuto

The Pastiche Bunch

written by Mary Jo and John Tenuto in Blog | No comments


Our previous post “The Nostalgia Society” referenced that society tends to be twenty years nostaligic for popular culture. Various television shows or movies of the 1970s were 1950s themed, especially Happy Days or Grease. These entertainments were pastiche, a combination of some 1970s styles and 1950s styles. For example, when watching Grease audiences were treated to the music of Sha Na Na, a 1970s band that played 1950s music. John Travolta, by then a popular 1970s actor, was playing a 1950s character. The title song “Grease Is The Word” was written by Barry Gibb of the 1970s super group Bee Gees, yet sung by Frankie Valli. Some of the gestures or symbols of the film were more from the 1970s than the 1950s. Certainly pastiche.

Yet, The Brady Bunch was one of those uniquely 1970s narratives.

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21 Feb
Eric Greenberg

Registry of Pop Culture Landmarks

written by Eric Greenberg in Blog | 2 comments

Save Woodland Park. Save Harper’s Woods. Save the Peach Pit. They’re always trying to save places on TV. Unfortunately, in real life, it doesn’t always work. Sure, we’ll throw a sign up in front of Paul Revere’s House and section off Plymouth rock so you can’t take a chunk home with you. But what about pop culture history? What about the places that might not qualify for landmark status, but ought to be saved? 

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19 Feb
Barry Williams

On the Highway to Heaven

written by Barry Williams in barry | 5 comments

A couple of days ago I received a residual check for a two part episode of Highway to Heaven I appeared in. The shows were filmed in 1985, the second season of the series.

This got me thinking about how much fun I had playing in Michael Landon’s celebrity tennis tournaments held annually in Phoenix, AZ. I competed in four of them and took home the top prize in two. Although we were practically neighbors in Malibu, it was at these tournaments I first met and got to know Michael Landon. Part of the weekend events included a Charity dinner/auction/show in which I was an invited performer. I brought my charts for Hooked On A Feeling, Treat Her Like A Lady and She Believes In Me and along with 4 or 5 others we “put on a show.”

On one of these Saturday night events, Michael was watching from the audience and doing some casting for his series. He had a two part episode of Highway to Heaven coming up that he was directing and which had a character of an arrogant, selfish, pop star who was a dad to a boy with cancer. After watching me perform at his tournament show, Michael decided I was perfect for the part.

Working with Michael on his show is one of the most profound experiences of my career.

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18 Feb
Bob Hunt

Wacky Packages Redux

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | 18 comments

Ajerx Cleanser. Gadzooka Bubble Gum. Crust Toothpaste. Land O’ Quakes Butter. Ring a bell? If so, you probably bought a few packs of Wacky Packages stickers once upon a time. Though introduced to the juvenile public in 1967, the subversive marketing parodies didn’t really catch on until 1973, when the legendary “1st Series” hit groceries, gas stations, and carry-outs everywhere. For a mere nickel, a kid could open the bright red wrapper to find a pair of stickers, a checklist, and a stick of bubble gum. Ironically, I recall these satirical jabs at consumerism as the first collectible items I desired owning.

Words alone cannot do justice to the allure of Wacky Packages. A big part of their appeal was the wonderful graphic artwork, which skillfully mimicked original packaging while adding absurd elements for a surreal send-up. Thus, Windex Window Cleaner became Windaxe Window Breaker, the familiar clear bottle bearing a label inscribed BREAK GLASS TO REMOVE AXE. And naturally, there was a large axe dominating the interior of the bottle. Though the humor was simplistic and mild, the artistic accomplishment could be mesmerizing.

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