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Cousin Oliver sucked.

Here’s my biggest complaint about The Brady Bunch:

The show ran for five seasons.

The writers had six kids, two parents, a housekeeper, a dog and a butcher to work with, not to mention a host of special guest stars ranging from Joe Namath to Desi Arnaz, Jr. to Vincent Price.

And yet they still needed to add stupid cousin Oliver to the mix in order to have enough material.

Not good.

Even stranger:

Wikipedia reports that Cousin Oliver was added to The Brady Bunch’s cast in hopes that his “with Dutch Boy haircut and wire-rimmed glasses, his resemblance to pop singer John Denver and juvenile appeal would help the flagging series.”

I confirmed this information on three other sites, including an interview in the Washington Post.

Let me say that again:

The producers of The Brady Bunch added a character to the show in hopes that his resemblance to John Denver would somehow boost ratings.


I also found that Robbie Rist, the actor who played Cousin Oliver, appeared on John Denver’s variety show several times and won a John Denver Look-Alike contest.

This story gets stranger by the minute.