Sherwood Schwartz's favorite Brady Bunch episode was all about fatherhood
Dads are not supposed to have favorites, but when it came to picking his favorite episode, the "father" of The Brady Bunch, series creator Sherwood Schwartz, did not hesitate. He immediately selected "Father of the Year."
"Every time I see it, it brings a tear to my own eye because it was done so well," Schwartz told the Television Academy in a 1997 interview.
In the episode, Marcia secretly writes an essay about how much she loves her step-dad. In order to submit it, she must sneak out of the house. Of course, she gets caught. Mike punishes her for breaking the house rules. Oh, the irony!
"When you're being punished for doing something for somebody you love, who doesn't know you're doing that… it's… it really was a wonderful episode," Schwartz said.
Robert Reed, who played Mike Brady and famously soured on some of the plots, also loved this episode.
"Bob [Robert Reed] loved this one," Schwartz explained, "because it was dramatic and tender."
What added to its impact was how early it arrived in the series. "Father of the Year" aired as the 14th episode of the first season. Mike had barely been Marcia's dad for 13 episodes.
Behind the scenes, Schwartz strived to be a great dad himself. He brought his son, Lloyd Schwartz, onboard the Brady Bunch crew, initially as a dialogue coach. Lloyd was reluctant to take the gig.
"When first offered the dialogue coach position, [Lloyd's] initial reaction was to reject it, fearing that cries of nepotism might be raised," The Star Tribune wrote in 1974. "The offer was made by the series creator, Sherwood Schwartz, his father."
Dad rationalized hiring his son. "The elder Schwartz pointed out his son's extensive background in the required fields, how even his experience working as a summer camp counselor would be an asset," The Star Tribune wrote.
Lloyd would go on to direct several episodes and work his way up as a production associate, an associate producer and, finally, coproducer.
Gee, thanks, dad!
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