‘The Brady Bunch’: Florence Henderson Would Have to Remind an Intense Robert Reed That Show Was a ‘Comedy’

by Joe Rutland
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Florence Henderson has a sense of what “The Brady Bunch” presented to viewers. She often had to remind costar Robert Reed of it, too.

What did the ABC family sitcom present? Well, it was comedy. Henderson talks about having to remind Reed, who played Mike Brady, about that point. She shares her thoughts about being on “The Brady Bunch” in an interview with the Archive of American Television.

“It was a sitcom but it was a little more stylized,” Henderson said. “And I don’t think Robert Reed ever understood that. You know, I’d have to go every so often, ‘Bob, this is comedy, this is not Shakespeare.’ The situation is comedy for television. For what it was, I think it was good.”

‘The Brady Bunch’ Star Says Show Was Done So It Could Be Seen Through Child’s Eyes

She said the show really was one “that was seen through the eyes of a child.”

“It was supposed to have a little soft glow about it,” Henderson, who played Carol Brady, said. “And I understood what he (show creator and executive producer Sherwood Schwartz) was going for maybe because I had children. And I kind of understood, you know, with the style.”

“The Brady Bunch” was never a ratings smash while it was on ABC for five seasons. Yet its core audience of young viewers gave the show a chance, allowing the network to keep the show on the air.

Henderson and Reed, sadly, are no longer alive. Their work on the show, though, continued a long pattern of feel-good family TV shows. It wasn’t “Leave It to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best,” OK, but it did give its fans a lot of funny moments.

Actor Who Played Alice Created Character For Show By Herself

Speaking of funny moments, a number of them included Alice the housekeeper. Ann B. Davis, obviously, played the role on “The Brady Bunch.”

Schwartz, when he was coming up with the cast, simply was looking for an actor to play a housekeeper. That’s it. Well, Davis decided to put her own two cents on the role.

Davis spent time creating a simple backstory for Alice, using a piece of her real life for inspiration.

“I decided that my twin sister was going to be a doctor who couldn’t afford school, so I started doing maid’s work so she could afford to go to college,” Davis said in a 2014 interview with the Archive of American Television.

In both character and real live, Davis admitted to feeling loyal to the other actors on the show.

“I cared very much about this family,” Davis said. “It was my family … I would’ve died for any single one of them.”

Davis also is no longer alive. Viewers, though, continue to find humor and kindness in her character as they watch “The Brady Bunch” reruns.

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