The Brady Bunch has birthed numerous spin-offs. The strangest were the first two, a Filmation cartoon called The Brady Kids and an incomprehensibly bizarre variety show entitled The Brady Bunch Hour. The Saturday morning cartoon ran for two seasons, beginning in 1972 and ending in 1974. Initially, the parent show's actors did the voice work for their cartoon equivalents. Barry Williams (Greg), Maureen McCormick (Marcia), and Christoper Knight (Peter) were replaced during the second season by soundalikes.

The show had no format; the only constants are the appearance of the six Brady children without the adult characters. An unusually large treehouse also figures prominently. Tiger, the Bradys' series pet, has been replaced with a dog named Mop Top, and a magic bird named Marlon frequently joins their adventures.

Some episodes resemble the tv series: Greg and Marsha run for students' council; the kids enter a talent show. Others go in decidely different directions. The very first episode, in fact, brings the kids to a magic island. The psychedelic adventures introduced Marlon, and Ping and Pong, two panda-like creatures who may have inspired Duckman's Fluffy and Uranus. A scene from the surreal island episode appears in A Very Brady Sequel, during the magic mushroom trip.

They also had crossover adventures with superheroes. At the time, Filmation owned the TV rights to DC Comics superheroes. The Wonder Woman episode involves time-travel. The adventure with Superman has the kids teaming up with reporter Clark Kent for a city beautification project. Either Kent is on assignment, or the Bradys live in a suburb of Metropolis. In any case, a bank heist requires the mild-mannered reporter to step into action as the Man of Steel.

More bizarre team-ups feature the Lone Ranger and Tonto, and extra-terrestrials from Venus.

The show ran concurrently with the parent series' final seasons. The Saturday morning cartoon adventures, however, appear to have taken place in an alternate universe. We never saw an episode of the parent show where, say, Mrs. Brady ask the kids where Marlon is, or Greg and Peter discuss Wonder Woman's breasts.

The Kids also formed a cartoon rock band, who kept the identical formation of Filmation's The Archies, with the addition of Cindy on miniature guitar. Yvetta Blais and Jeff Michaels wrote the songs. "Ain't It Crazy" represents their attempt to match the success of the Riverdale gang's "Sugar, Sugar." They failed.

The cartoon is rarely seen anymore.

"The Brady Kids." BradyWorld. http://www.bradyworld.com/episodes/kids.htm

"The Brady Kids." TV Tome. http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/ShowMainServlet/showid-3540/

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.