The Brady Bunch played this sneaky trick on 500 fans while filming in Hawaii
The misleading story of 500 fans who met The Brady Bunch in Hawaii.
Every fan of The Brady Bunch remembers the Hawaii episodes, but there’s a certain group of 500 fans who might have reason to be as salty as the ocean over one of the Brady family’s earliest moments in season four.
According to producer Lloyd Schwartz, one of the most complicated shots of the three-episode arc wasn’t Greg’s big wipeout. Instead, it was an innocuous scene that occurred in the first episode “Hawaii Bound,” just when the Bradys have arrived at their hotel.
Schwartz told this story in the book he wrote with his dad, series creator Sherwood Schwartz, Brady, Brady, Brady: The Complete Story of The Brady Bunch as Told by the Father/Son Team Who Really Knew: "One of the first scenes we filmed was the Brady family arriving at the hotel. Sounds like a simple shot, right? Not so."
Why? Lloyd blamed the tourists: "Any time a show films on location, crowd control becomes an issue. Hawaii is all tourists, and all tourists at the hotel became a crowd that wanted to see their favorite TV family. By the time we got the shot all lined up, there were 500 people (no exaggeration) all crammed onto the sidewalk – and all in our shot."
Of course on the show, the Brady family isn’t famous, so Schwartz said they had to think quickly to get the shot as fast as they needed to stay on schedule. Schwartz said, "The Brady family is supposed to be an average American family, so 500 spectators would not normally be cheering upon their entrance to the hotel."
That’s why, he explained in the book, The Brady Bunch producer had to tell a little white lie to all 500 of those fans. He said he grabbed a bullhorn to deliver this misleading message:
"We want you all to be in our show. So here’s what I need you to do. When I yell 'Action!' follow me over this way. And don’t look at the camera, or we can’t use the shot."
How did the massive crowd react? Schwartz said, "They were thrilled. They thought they were going to be on TV. What I didn’t tell them was that the camera was not going to be following them. As soon as I got them out of the camera line, the camera would then start rolling and pan away from the tourists to capture the Brady vehicle arrive, seemingly alone, as they went into the hotel."
In the episode, you can see a flicker of this crowd to the right of the screen as the Brady’s car pulls up to the hotel. Next time you watch, you’ll know it was a sneaky trick the producer played to capture the innocent beginning of this memorable Brady adventure.
And don’t worry, Schwartz confessed he didn’t feel exactly right about acting so shifty with the show’s fans, but in the end, he insists it was justified. He said, "My deception worked. I felt bad, but not nearly as badly as I would have felt if I had 500 unexplained people yelling at the Brady bunch: 'Marcia, I love you!', 'Florence, I have all your albums!'"
Could you imagine being on vacation when suddenly the entire Brady family checks into your hotel? That alone must’ve been something to write home about, even for fans who didn’t end up on screen!