'The Brady Bunch' brothers look back at their reunion on 'The Masked Singer'

The Brady Bunch brothers Barry Williams, Christopher Knight and Mike Lookinland talk to Yahoo Entertainment about reuniting for The Masked Singer, which marks the first time that they have performed together in over four decades.

Video Transcript

LYNDSEY PARKER: I am so happy to be doing this and I'm doing it in the squares, so I feel like I'm an honorary Brady right now. Can we do the thing where we pretend to look at each other in squares?


I'm so excited that you guys were on "The Masked Singer" because it's been a really long time since any configuration of The Brady Six had performed together. How many decades had it been since you'd sung together? Sung a song like "Sunshine Day" on stage together?

BARRY WILLIAMS: I'm going to say 1977 when we did the "Variety Hour" was probably the last time we all sang and danced together, and that's 45 years.

LYNDSEY PARKER: So that begs the question, what is more surreal, singing as the mummies on "The Masked Singer" or doing "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour".

CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT: It gets more and more surreal. I think "The Masked Singer".


BARRY WILLIAMS: Oh, absolutely "The Masked Singer". That was just an awesome, unique experience.

LYNDSEY PARKER: You did a Monkees song, which, of course, made me think of my favorite "Brady" episodes, it was one Davy Jones, 1971, another Brady-Monkees crossover. I was here for it.

CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT: After we settled on the Monkees theme for our song, Barry came up with the idea of changing it to Mummies, which was, for somebody like myself who's not really a performer or a singer at all, but a fan of the show and somebody who remembers the song, a challenge to remember to say, or to sing mummies.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Chris, you said that you didn't consider yourself a performer or a singer. But "The Brady Bunch" had four albums. You performed at the Hollywood Bowl. As we've mentioned, there was "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour".

MIKE LOOKINLAND: Tony Orlando opened for us at the Minnesota State Fair. Tony Orlando and Dawn.


MIKE LOOKINLAND: And the fifth dimension was there too, if I'm not mistaken. Tony Orlando came to me after the show, after seeing me perform "Johnny Be Good". And he said to me, kid, you're going to be a star.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Were they trying to push you to be the new "Partridge Family" or like sort of modeled after Ricky Nelson from "Ozzie & Harriet", like kind of turning you guys into real-life pop stars? What happened there?

CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT: You become popular and then people around you see that it's necessary for you to go lateral in your approach to the wares you sell. So why don't we sing? Regardless of whether or not you have the talent to do it, and that's been the bug in the program for me, as here it comes again. This is not the first time that made the reluctant one, the one who really has no talent in the area and being dragged along with song and dance that has been applied to us.

Music is not something that is all comfortable for me. As a matter of fact, as much as I've been forced into it, it's almost created some kind of psychosis. I mean, there's some scar there left for music. There's some deep, dark issues surrounding the home, being forced to sing in front of people when you don't feel like that's where you should be.

I mean, there was days I couldn't walk. And I think back on those, when I was 14 and 15. It was psychosomatic. That was traumatic. But the fact is, as I get older, it's less traumatic.

And the fact is, they are going to pull me through this. This came our way. I've been there before.

I've survived before. Frankly, I'm not as fragile as I was before. So I should be able to handle this.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Is that why "Time to Change" had the voice crack in it? Was that written into the plot to accommodate whatever vocal shortcomings you believed you had?

CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT: In my young mind at the time, it was. It was a way to get me in front of the microphone.

LYNDSEY PARKER: So why did you?

CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT: I think, in fact, in looking back on it, it was coincidental, but the way my brain processed it is everybody was pointing, making fun of me and pointing it out.

LYNDSEY PARKER: You did an album with Maureen McCormick, which I'm very interested to wonder how you kind of became the designated duet.

MIKE LOOKINLAND: By the way, Lyndsey, I have one of those Chris Knight and Maureen McCormick albums in my garage right over there. I can set you up, so we'll talk.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Well I'm very curious. How did you sign up for that album that Mike has, the Maureen McCormick duet album?

CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT: That was the end of me just signing up. I was just becoming old enough to stand my ground and I stood my ground after it was produced and before it was marketed, that's why you can't find them. And the only versions that are out there are the marketing versions with a cut corner, because I said, firstly, I hated the photo.

I wasn't proud of anything that was on the album and I could care less about it selling. And at that point, I just said, no, I ain't doing this anymore. Go have fun with it, but I'm not going to be part of the marketing of it.

BARRY WILLIAMS: And then came "The Variety Hour."

LYNDSEY PARKER: I don't think the Christopher Knight, Maureen McCormick album is on Spotify, but all "The Brady Bunch" albums are on Spotify. And you were covering, like, Badfinger and Bread and The Beatles, "Love Me Do." You were covering some cool stuff. Was there ever attempt, when you were like three or four albums in, to sort of do actually what the The Monkees did, which was wrest control and start writing your own songs or plays? But was there ever any discussions about being more creatively involved with the music?

BARRY WILLIAMS: Well, here's how that went down. I got to deal with N Famous Music, became Paramount Records, and was midway through making that album. And then there was a corporate decision to make them Brady albums instead of Barry Williams albums.


BARRY WILLIAMS: Once that dynamic came into play, that would have been the opportunity to wrest control. I could have just said no, but I was concerned about losing the deal altogether. Once it was "Brady Bunch" albums, there was no way to take control. That just wasn't going to happen.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Did you have aspirations of being a David Cassidy or Donny Osmond or an Andy Gibb, a Shaun Cassidy, that sort of thing?

BARRY WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know about David or Sean or Donny. I don't think it's any secret that I wanted to live the Johnny Bravo dream, yeah, and have. I mean, I have a trio now.

LYNDSEY PARKER: You do, yeah.

BARRY WILLIAMS: And I live in Branson, Missouri. I had a full on variety show 6 and 1/2 years here doing, like, 140 shows a year. I've worked in Vegas, and sung anthems all over the place, and had a musical career.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Do you still have the Johnny Bravo suit? Where it is? Is it in The Smithsonian?

BARRY WILLIAMS: I absolutely do. It's just in the next room. I did have to have it remade, but it does fit.

LYNDSEY PARKER: As well as fitting the mummy suit. Can I ask a little bit more about "The Variety Hour," while I have you? It was such a surreal time for TV. You had such a weird variety of guests. What was it like having Tina Turner on the show?

BARRY WILLIAMS: Completely awesome. The variety show gets criticized pretty heavily. It's a style of show, a Sid and Marty Krofft. It was a circus and I thought it was a great circus.

I loved it. It was kooky and crazy, and the colors, and the costumes were just so over the top. But it's what Sid and Marty Krofft do, and I think in some ways, they're even more popular now than they were. It's kind of like ahead of its time.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Well, kooky, crazy, costumes over the top, I guess it was a good, long game training for "The Masked Singer", all these years later.

CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT: In a way, it was.

MIKE LOOKINLAND: To add to all this, we play up this Chris Knight versus music thing because it's very real, for one, and it's been an ongoing theme for decades. But spoiler alert, we did not get eliminated because of Chris Knight. He was all in and he was great and we had a good time together.

LYNDSEY PARKER: I hope that didn't re-traumatize you Chris, that you got eliminated so fast.

CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT: You know, it works out perfectly for me.


CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT: I had no expectations, and I don't have to actually be dragged along any further. And we had fun.

LYNDSEY PARKER: You should have been keep on, keep on, keep on dancing all through the night.

BARRY WILLIAMS: There you go.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Is what you should have been doing. I feel you should have been on "The Masked Singer" longer but you definitely made an impression while you were on, so thank you so. Much and you have a sunshine day.