On September 26, 1969, America’s favorite unorthodox suburban family, and their humble galley slave Alice, made their TV debut on The Brady Bunch.
Anyone who hasn’t seen this show has been living under a giant pet rock. It is quintessential 1960s Americana, and remains one of the most-aired TV programs in the history of television.
The Brady Bunch was the story of Carol (Florence Henderson), the widowed mom of three annoying daughters, who married Mike Brady (Robert Reed), a widower father of three boys who were all at very different puberty levels. Throw in Alice, the smart-mouthed house servant who constantly complains about her wages, and you’ve got yourself a hell of a TV sitcom.
The Brady Bunch aired from 1969, until 1974, which was a particularly turbulent time in American culture. However, rather than discuss the Vietnam conflict, political corruption and racism – the Brady’s stuck to topics such as fighting with siblings, responsibility and “slumber party capers.” You know, wholesome stuff.
When Alice shows up with the hot dogs… classic.
While dodging the issue affecting real American families, the nation watched in bewilderment as the Brady family grew up. After just shy of 200 episodes, The Brady Bunch came to an end on August 30, 1974. When the show stopped airing the American people were unemotional. Remember, this was the debut year of such classics as Dr. Zonk and the Zunkins, Land of the Lost, Happy Days and Little House on the Prairie.
Not to mention, 1974 was the year Evel Kinevel botched that attempt to rocket over Snake River in Idaho… that was pretty entertaining.
The true magnitude of the Brady empire was realized once the show had ended, and began its syndication. Every station and their grandmother was airing The Brady Bunch reruns. Generations who may have missed the true wonder of Peter Brady’s voice cracking through his pubescent years were now subject to its majesty. Syndication for this beloved, yet dysfunctional super-family continues to this day.
Throughout the years, two full-length parody films were created (The Brady Bunch Movie, 1995, and A Very Brady Sequel, 1996), a variety show (The Brady Bunch Hour, 1977), a made-for-TV special episode (A Very Brady Christmas, 1988) along with an absolutely retched made-for-TV film (The Brady Bunch in the White House, 2002).
Florence Henderson is still hot in 1988. The only problem is that the children are all adults, but act as if they are 12-year-olds. It’s horribly awesome… plus Alice.