Even the people we think we know the best can have skeletons in their closet. Sometimes, though, it’s better to expose those skeletons to the bright light of day than to ignore them — even if they are connected to… The Brady Bunch! More specifically, The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.
Airing as a series of nine specials between Nov. 28, 1976, and May 25, 1977, it had the bizarre concept that the entire cast of The Brady Bunch (with the exception of Eve Plumb, whose character, Jan, was played by Geri Reischl) were the hosts of their own variety show, but in character. It’s an insane premise for a show (though it does follow the tradition of The Jack Benny Program — look it up on Wikipedia) and could have easily (and justifiably) slipped away into the mists of television history. But then authors Ted Nichelson, Susan Olsen (Cindy Brady herself!), and Lisa Sutton decided that the world needed to know all about it, and went about writing what became the book Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.
“It’s hard to see it now, but when we first got into this many years ago, a lot of people couldn’t even remember that it ever even happened,” Ted reflects in an exclusive interview. “People had been talking about it and one of the episodes had been re-aired, and there were few photographs. I was able to eventually get some copies of these episodes and we tried to watch all of them in one day. There are nine of them, and we’d seen one many times, because it’s aired so much. The other eight have not and, man, there were people just, like, laughing hysterically. There have been so few television series that have been so off, but it was not so bad to the point that we didn’t want to watch it. It’s like driving by a car accident: you have to stop and look.”
Just scroll down to read all about how the show came about.