What do you get when you combine three girls and a mom in one dysfunctional family, with three brown haired boys and a dad from a widowed family? You have just made an almost perfect Brady Bunch salad. Add a dash of a crazy housekeeper, a stinky shaggy dog and a butcher named Sam and you now have the perfect solution for a 70’s sitcom. That being said even while many of us grew up with the Brady kids, there are totally 10 Useless Facts About the Brady Bunch You Wish You Could Forget.
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10. Will the Real Mike Brady Please Stand Up?
There was a lot of setup to get the right people in the right places. The producers of the program wanted pure opposites for the kids so they actually had three girls with brown hair and three with blond hair, as well as, three boys with blond hair and three with brown hair. Additionally, they were torn between two individuals to play the role of Michael Brady. Surprisingly, Gene Hackman was passed over for the job because he did not have the “star power” at the time. The show decided they needed a little more of a “familiar” face on the program so they went with Robert Reed who was well known for his co-starring role in the Defenders.
Robert Reed, the actor that played Michael Brady, was a very private man. He was actually married and had a child but was divorced in 1959. He was very anti-gay but turns out that he was gay and ended up dying of colon cancer based upon complications from HIV.
8. Yee Shall Not Be Divorced
When the producer of the Brady Bunch (Sherwood Schwartz) was putting the program together, he decided to make Mike Brady a widower. That was common knowledge. The less known fact was the status of Carol Brady. Schwartz wanted to have Carol as a divorcee but the network did not feel comfortable with that and decided to make her a widower. Schwartz was not happy with the meddling of the network and would not make any mention of Carol’s husband during the entire run of the show.
7. The Very Brady Jingle
Many people are familiar with the theme song that started out every episode but who was the person that put the words that became legendary in the tv world? It was the show’s producer (Sherwood Schwartz). He along with Frank De Vol wrote it and then had the Peppermint Trolley Company perform it for the first season. After the first season, it was performed by the actual Brady kids.
6. Which Doobie You Be?
While it appears to be spreading slowly across America, marijuana was still an “illegal” substance for use in the 1970s when the Brady Bunch ran for five seasons. Greg Brady, aka Barry Williams, smoked cigarettes from the age of 12. He delved into the “green stuff” sometime thereafter and smoked regularly. He indulged in the doobie on an occasion that led him to being downgraded in an episode because he was too “stoned” to do some reshoots that the directors wanted.
5. Man’s Best Friend?
Tiger their beloved dog that seemed to show up repeatedly during the show’s entirety is surprisingly only in the first season and the first couple episodes in the second season. After that Tiger did not make it further episodes and was actually written out of the show. Moreover, the original dog that played the part of Tiger was killed tragically when he was run over by a car. A replacement was found but did not get to play the part too long before he was written out of the program all together.
4. He’s not a Brady
If you are a faithful viewer of all the seasons of the Brady’s, then you are familiar with Cousin Oliver. Oliver was brought into the show in the fifth and final season of the program. Many people thought it was to add another dimension to the program but in actuality it was because there had been a dip in the program’s ratings and they thought they could regain viewership by adding the child element back. This was a new seen phenomenon in the TV industry and coined a phrase “Cousin Oliver Syndrome”. This syndrome has been seen in many ongoing shows where the program becomes stale and dry and they try to infuse some new “love” into the show to boost ratings.
3. “Lucy, You Have Some ‘splaining to Do”
Sherwood Schwartz tried to “shop” his concept for the Brady Bunch to all the major networks. None of the networks decided to take it on because they thought it would not fly. The show was then called Yours and Mine and this was 1965. Three years later, a movie starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda named Your’s Mine and Ours was released and did very well in the theaters. Not surprisingly, the major networks started calling Schwartz to get the ball rolling with the Brady Bunch.
2. Blonds Have More Fun
It is pretty well settled that the Brady Bunch had three girls and one mom with blond hair and three boys and one dad with brown hair. What is less know is that Bobby Brady, played by Mike Lookinland, really had strawberry-blond hair. To get the part of Bobby Brady, Lookinland’s parents had to agree to allowing them to dye his hair on a regular basis. Additonally, they did not think the Cindy Brady’s (played by Susan Olsen) was not blond enough so she needed to have her hair bleached regularly. It got so bad for Olsen that her hair started falling out in clumps until Sherwood Schwartz told them to leave Olsen’s hair alone.
1. RIP Michael Brady
Robert Reed, who played the role of Michael Brady, was apparently a very difficult actor to work with. He had a tremendous resume and graduated from the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Art in London. He felt that the role was beneath him but took the role anyway. The bickering became more and more of a problem for Schwartz who at one point wanted to kill off the Michael Brady character and move on with the program.
Well there you go….Useless trivia about one of the most endearing television shows that have pretty much touched everyone that is truly American. You know have ten more things to talk about to friends or to an attractive girl at the local pub.