9 Quick Questions for Christopher Knight
‘The Brady Bunch’ middle brother revisits the classic TV show
Christopher Knight, 65, will always be known as the middle brother, Peter, on the iconic show The Brady Bunch. Since 2020, Knight and Barry Williams, 68, who played his older brother, Greg, have been taking listeners on a nostalgic journey of the show in their weekly Apple podcast The Real Brady Bros. Knight and Williams recap episodes, share their memories of making the show and discuss how The Brady Bunch resonated with viewers when it first aired and still relates to the present day.
How did the podcast come about?
There was a suggestion from someone from the distribution company [Knight was doing a non-Brady Bunch-focused solo podcast] about this new genre of podcasts that are becoming quite popular — episodic recaps. My entire life has been entrapped, enrapt, gloriously wrapped in Brady — bow-tied in Brady — but I didn’t actually think in that way, initially. … If someone would have gone to Barry Williams to ask him to do a podcast, the nature of Barry would have been to do it about The Brady Bunch, because he wraps himself most tightly in it. If [episodic recap podcasts are] popular, I thought, it shouldn’t be led by me, but the man who wrote the book [Williams wrote a 1992 memoir titled Growing Up Brady].
What is it like for you to watch The Brady Bunch now?
It’s a totally different experience because it’s a different person watching it. Now, there is objectivity, because it’s so long ago. The things that upset you about watching yourself … you forget about. And now, you’re just really watching the show the way your audience always watched the show and chuckling at it for the content that is there not for, I don’t know, how your hair was looking that day. So, it’s a much more honest approach today. And at times, it’s surprisingly funny and touching, and at other times beguilingly just odd and stupid.
Did any of the guest stars make an impact on you?
I was a [L.A.] Rams fan, and [NFL player] Deacon Jones was a giant hero, a local hero. Having him on the show was an exceptional moment for me. Everyone’s favorite football player Joe Namath came through, and that caused some excitement. I wish I was more mature, because some of the people I would grow to admire even more. Vincent Price — I had seen him in some things and I heard he was a huge movie star — but he didn’t act like my image of how the all-powerful movie star would act. So here was a revelation that movie stars could be really humble and real people.
Would you trade your time on The Brady Bunch for a regular childhood?
By being part of Brady — even though it wasn’t real — I got a view of what a functional family was like, because mine wasn’t. The difficult part was that I had a mother who didn’t have any respect for the show. She was an artist herself, and thought that the show was banal and milquetoast and all the things maybe it was, but she was grading it on an adult scale. The fact is, for 53 years, looking back trying to understand why this thing is still discussed — there’s something in it that rings true or provides a warm blanket to continual generations. I think it is simply because it is about a functioning family. It was aspirational, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
What questions do Brady fans ask you the most, and what’s your answer?
“Are you all friends? Are you still friends?” The initial five years of our existence together was shooting a show, but then there’ve been countless reunions and other things, and we’ve become very close friends. We’ve grown up together, we’ve grown old together, we’re a fictional but real kind of family. That’s the life we recognize.
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