Two years after “The Brady Bunch” went off the air, America’s favorite family made a comeback on Thanksgiving weekend in 1976. Their reunion, dubbed “The Brady Bunch Variety Hour,” was a combination of music, comedy, and even swimming. One “SNL” actor and comedian couldn’t help but have fun with the Brady kids behind the scenes: Chevy Chase.
The show was filmed at the KTLA studios, formerly the original Warner Bros. Studios, on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Chevy Chase frequented the studios and, as a result, got close with the cast while they filmed the special.
Off-screen, Chase was just as funny as he was when the cameras weren’t rolling. The “SNL” alum would wander around the studio carrying a fake hand, using it to shake hands with anyone he happened to run into. Even the Brady kids would often hang out in his office, playing piano and singing.
Produced by Sid and Marty Krofft, nearly 20 million people tuned in for the Brady reunion special. After millions of Americans watched, the network decided to turn it into a series, shortening the title to “The Brady Bunch Hour.”
At the beginning of 1977, the variety show premiered. Once again, the world would get to see the Brady family’s familiar faces. Despite high ratings, in the beginning, viewers steadily dropped off. After just nine episodes, the producers canned the show, airing its final episode in May of that year.
Why Chevy Chase Left ‘SNL’ After One Season
That same year, Chase also got his fair share of pitfalls. In late 1976, in the middle of the second season of “Saturday Night Live,” Chase became the first member of the original cast to leave the hit sketch series.
According to Chase, his departure from “SNL” was due to the reluctance of his girlfriend, Jacqueline Carlin, who had no interest in living in New York, where the show was taped. After leaving “SNL,” Chase moved to Los Angeles. However, Chase would make a few cameo appearances in the show’s second season.
Despite leaving the cast, the show invited Chase to host “SNL” eight times. However, in 1997, the show reportedly banned him from hosting after hitting a cast member on the back of the head and harassing female writers.
However, Chase appeared on the show’s 25th anniversary special in 1999. He was also interviewed for a 2005 NBC special on the first five years of “SNL.” He also participated in the 40th anniversary special in February of 2015.