Sherwood Schwartz's favorite Brady Bunch episode was all about fatherhood

Schwartz was "Father of the Year" himself for getting his son a job on the sitcom.

The Everett Collection

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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harlow1313 13 months ago
Down with tribalism, my trolling friend.
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harlow1313 13 months ago
Is that you, Jethro, double-naught spyin' again? I thought I recognized the sixth grade education.
Moody 13 months ago
You're giving him too much credit. Most 6th graders have more sense.
Whitechapel 14 months ago
I LOVE The BB. A few years back when my 2 sons were younger, we'd binge watch BB for months. It was such a wonderful time for us. BB is truly a timeless classic.
Pacificsun 14 months ago
Another nice story! Enjoyed reading it!!
Andybandit 14 months ago
Nice story. It was nice how Mike adopted the girls as his own with his last name. Even though he is only their step-dad.
Andybandit 14 months ago
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LoveMETV22 14 months ago
Interesting background story on Sherwood Schwartz. On the whole it was a good show. You either like it or you don't. Regardless of Robert Reed's background or opinion of the series.
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 14 months ago
I don't know if this is a "fair" generality, but given the enjoyment that your comments bring, might understand the perspective.

IMO these (classic TV) actors brought depth into their roles, because they were (or had) been living real life. Life was tough for a lot of them. Meaning to navigate a range of emotions triggered by circumstances and conflicts. In other words they had an authentic "emotional bucket" from which to draw. If they didn't have great childhoods, they could imagine the one they wished for. Same with relationships, etc.. The MeTV Staff has written so many backstories about these shows, it makes us (IMO) come to appreciate the talent that we're watching.
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 14 months ago
That is a fair generality. Some actors had tough lives and if they had drawn on that to better their roles we benefited. MeTV does a good job in most articles not editorializing the negatives (and kudos to them for that) when composing their stories and quizzes. On the whole the stories and quizzes are informative and fun.
LoveMETV22 13 months ago
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