‘The Brady Bunch’: Susan Olsen Hated Spin-Off’s Disco Music as a Young Fan of Rock and Roll

by Anna Dunn
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The Brady Bunch star Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady, loved rock and roll. This meant that the disco music in the spinoff show was not her favorite. During an interview initially released on a DVD for The Brady BunchVariety Hour, Olsen talked about how she felt about the disco music on the spinoff.

“I had ideas of going into rock and roll so being involved in a TV show where we performed disco music probably couldn’t have been any more loathsome to me, and yet I wanted to do it because I wanted to be with my family,” Olsen said. Her “family” of course, is the cast that she got very close to throughout the show’s run.

‘The Brady Bunch: Variety Hour’

The Brady Bunch: Variety Hour was a surprising spinoff to The Brady Bunch series.

The show, filmed in KTLA studios, was a variety show starring cast members of The Brady Bunch. It aired from November 1976 to May 1977. The show’s premise follows the Brady Bunch characters who get their own variety special. Mike Brady gives up his career in architecture to move the family to Southern California.

Each episode follows the traditional variety show format, with plenty of song and dance. It also has a show within a show format that shows a “behind the scenes” look at the Brady family in their home and prepare for the show. Interestingly, the characters don’t mention the events on The Brady Bunch: Variety Hour in the later series or the movies.

If the idea seems strange to you, lots of cast members would be inclined to agree with you. For Olsen, the main drive to do the show was to spend time with the cast.

Olsen Called the Show ‘A Spectacular Turd’

Despite what cast members considered a bizarre premise, the special was a hit. Originally slated to be a single 60-minute special, the cast went on to perform in eight more.

“It was a spectacular turd,” Susan Olsen told PopEntertainment in a hilarious statement. “We’re saying that, yeah, the show is bad; we’re saying it’s a turkey. But we also don’t want to put it down. The book itself is a labor of love. There is nothing to apologize for now. The show is so spectacularly bizarre that it’s something to be proud of.”

For Olsen, what was most important was making something, no matter how ridiculous, with the cast she grew up with. The Brady BunchVariety Hour may have been a strange idea, but it still carried with it a certain charm only that show could truly capture.

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