The Everett Collection

Henry Kissinger's unlikely encounter with The Brady Bunch

The Brady Bunch used to welcome all manner of guests onto its studio stage. There were episodes featuring sports stars and musical greats. Other times, variety show veterans appeared, bringing with them a breath of fresh air. Even The Andy Griffith Show's Hal Smith shows up for an episode of The Brady Bunch.

One guest viewers might not expect was former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Sure, he never appeared on the show, but according to Growing Up Brady: I was a Teenage Greg, Kissinger showed up to watch an episode taping. The book's author, Barry Williams, is best remembered as the eldest Brady boy. While recounting the many stars who stopped by at the Brady home, Williams mentions Kissinger. He then cedes space for Brady Bunch producer Lloyd Schwartz to provide further details.

"He was secretary of state, and just beginning to hit his stride as the sort of huge celebrity," Schwartz recalled.

"So when he [Kissinger] hit the stage, the place went nuts, absolutely nuts. The place was crawling with Secret Service types."

Barry Williams' memoir even features a photograph of the odd historical mish-mash. Something is inarguably fascinating about seeing the entire cast of The Brady Bunch standing side-by-side with Henry Kissinger. There's Cindy and Bobby, and then, just behind them, there's this looming, gargantuan legacy of American foreign policy. 

Apparently, Kissinger would've been right at home doling out advice about girls to the lovesick Greg Brady. 

"I remember one of [the Secret Servicemen] was trying his best to hit on our makeup girl," Schwartz wrote. "And so I went over to Dr. Kissinger and I said, 'Uh, sir, your Secret Service guy is putting the moves on our makeup girl, and I think he's succeeding.' With which Dr. Kissinger turned to me, smiled, and said, 'He's been taking lessons from the master—I taught him everything he knows.'"

All of this leads us to the big question... Why the heck was Henry Kissinger visiting the Brady Bunch set anyway?

"The answer, quite simply," said Williams, "is that he was trying to impress his daughter. She was a big Brady fan, and when she asked her father if he might arrange for her to meet us, he simply made a phone call, blew off an afternoon full of globally significant meetings, and arranged for the visit. I still find it nothing short of amazing that a man who was arguably the single most powerful politician in the world needed The Brady Bunch to impress his kid— sort of an eerie commentary on the power of the tube and its significance in the lives of American children." 

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