‘The Brady Bunch’ to ‘Happy Days’: This Prop Appeared in Both Sitcoms

by Jennifer Shea

Close watchers of both “Happy Days” and “The Brady Bunch” may have noticed a similar piece of decorative art in the background of both shows.

That’s because Paramount Studios took part in the production of both shows, according to MeTV. The piece of décor, a multi-paneled slab of green tile art, hung by the kitchen door in the Cunninghams’ house and on the wooden walls of the living room in the Brady Bunch abode.

Since “Happy Days” launched in 1974, right as “The Brady Bunch” was ending, it’s fair to say that “Happy Days” likely inherited the prop from “The Brady Bunch.”

‘The Brady Bunch’ House Underwent Renovation

In 2019, HGTV produced “A Very Brady Renovation,” an effort to renovate the familiar “Brady Bunch” house and bring the original surviving cast members back to inspect it.

“I was totally blown away,” Marcia actress Maureen McCormick told People magazine at the taping. She added, “I felt like I was back at Paramount Studios at stage five, walking in the front door, getting ready to film a scene. I felt Robert [Reed], Florence [Henderson] and Ann B. Davis in that living room so much.”

The HGTV special reunited the six “Brady Bunch” kids for the first time in a decade and a half. And it teamed them up with HGTV designers, who remade the interior of the house that had provided the façade of “The Brady Bunch” house. Each Brady kid and their designer got one room to renovate.

On the show, which ran from 1969 to 1974, a soundstage provided the backdrop for the scenes inside the house, according to People. But when the actors and the designers finished, the interior of the façade house looked just like those interior scenes from the show.

“I didn’t anticipate how the whole picture would affect me,” Bobby actor Mike Lookinland told People. ”It’s not just that the curtains match or that there’s the staircase that everybody recognizes or the perfect fireplace, it’s that it’s all together now again in one place.”

‘Happy Days’ Was Almost Set in the 1930s

Though it aired from 1974 to 1984, “Happy Days” took place in Milwaukee during the 1950s. And while the show never received critical acclaim, according to Britannica, it became a pop culture fixture. Henry Winkler’s The Fonz really took off, overshadowing even Ron Howard’s Richie Cunningham. And the show went on to become quite popular, rising to the No. 1 spot on the Nielsen ratings by its third season.

The original plan from Paramount executives was to create a sitcom set in the 1920s or ’30s. But “Happy Days” creator Garry Marshall knew nothing about that era, per Mental Floss. So he pitched them a show about the era in which he spent his formative years.

Thus “Happy Days” came to be. And for a decade after that, it was one of the most-watched shows on American television.