Sad news today. The creator of “The Brady Bunch” and “Gilligan’s Island” has died. Sherwood Schwartz was 94. He was currently working on adapting “Gilligan’s Island” to the big screen with his son Lloyd. He died at home surrounded by his family.
How many of us grew up watching Schwartz’s shows? I can’t begin to count the hours I spent with an afterschool snack in hand watching Gilligan and Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby and Cindy. So in honor of Mr. Schwartz here are my top ten Brady moments. (Maybe you guys can weigh in on Gilligan moments too). Rest in Peace Mr. Schwartz! You’ve made a lot of us smile.
10. Peter’s voice changes – While attempting to record a song, The Brady kids notice Peter’s voice is cracking. In their infinite wisdom Mrs. Brady and Alice know his voice is changing. Smart women. The debate starts as to whether to include Peter’s cracking voice on the record or kick him out of the group (very un-Bradylike, I know). In true Brady fashion, Greg writes a new song about puberty. Very edgy. Even today, when my voice cracks I’ll say, “Geez, who am I Peter Brady?”
9. Bobby and Cindy get lost in the Grand Canyon – this three parter was the first time the Brady’s left the studio and their astro-turfed lawn. It made this list, because I find it really amusing how unbothered the Brady parents seem to be that Bobby and Cindy get lost, like it’s a minor annoyance. They’re eventually found eating beans out of the flashlight with a Native American boy.
8. Mrs. Marcia Dennist – Okay, I know it’s spelled “Dentist” not “Dennist” but I had to write it this way because Marcia’s pronunciation of “dentist” cracks me up. The whole show revolves around the self-centered Marcia daydreaming about her groovy young dentist. Far out.
7. Greg Brady: Cheerleading judge – Greg is put in charge of picking the head cheerleader at Westdale high school. It’s a completely ridiculous premise that three high school boys would be the entire judging panel for something like this. But never let reality get in the way of a good sitcom. Anyway, a beautiful (although a little smarmy) girl starts hitting on Greg. He’s dumbfounded by her attention. But one day she tells “Greggy” that isn’t it weird that she’s trying out for head cheerleader while he’s a judge. The problem is Marcia is too. What is Greg to do? All ends well when Greg decides he will vote for the best candidate, who ironically is played by Rita Wilson, the future Mrs. Tom Hanks. Marcia is cool with it. The smarmy girl is not.
6. Aloha Brady Bunch – In their second three-parter, The Brady’s venture to Hawaii where Mike’s architecture firm is working on a building. (Wouldn’t you like to work for a company that pays for you, your wife, six children and housekeeper to go to Hawaii?) The story revolves around a tiki idol that Bobby finds at a construction site. It brings nothing but bad luck and eventually Vincent Price into Brady world.
5. “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” – Enough said.
4. Davy Jones – Marcia promises her junior high that she can get Davy Jones to appear at the school dance (another example of Marcia overestimating her importance). She ends up sneaking into his hotel room (how did Mike and Carol allow that?). In the end, Davy surprises Marcia at her house while her 5 siblings look on and giggle.
3. Pork Chops and ‘Appleshauce’ – Peter thinks he has no personality, so he decides to become Humphrey Bogart. When he finds out what Mom and Alice are making for dinner, he goes around the house repeating, “Ahhhh, pork chops and appleshauce….” It’s nearly impossible for me to eat pork chops and applesauce without repeating this line.
2. The Silver Platters – Inspired by The Osmonds and The Jackson 5, Sherwood and Lloyd Schwartz decide to turn their actors into singers. In this episode, Jan screws up and the kids need money to pay for their parents’ anniversary present. Naturally, they go on a local talent show and sing a couple of songs. I love how they keep ‘singing’ while their lips stop moving and they start bowing. Classic Brady.
1. Oh my nose! Marcia dumps nice wallpaper salesman Charlie to date the “Big man on Campus” Doug Simpson, but after Peter and Bobby hit Marcia with a football (They say it was by accident, but as established Marcia had it coming in so many ways) her nose swells like a balloon. Doug dumps her when “something suddenly came up.” Marcia learns that it’s what’s inside that matters. And she figures she’ll get discounts on wallpaper.
I know there are so many more. Please share your favorite Brady and Gilligan moments by commenting below.
RIP, Mr. Schwartz.