“Fake Jan” Remembers the Brady Bunch
Geri Reischl, who played “fake” Jan Brady on the Brady Bunch Variety Hour, dishes with BettyConfidential about cutting class with Cindy and how she wanted to hook up with Greg or Peter
She will be forever famous as “Fake Jan,” the teenager who replaced original Brady Bunch star Eve Plumb on the well-meaning, but truly awful 1977 network series The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, and Geri Reischl is just fine with that.
Now, with the release of the new book Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, which was co-authored by Susan Olsen (a.k.a. Cindy) and contains a number of Geri’s photographs and reminiscences, we asked Fake Jan about her time as a Brady.
A child actress from Bellflower, California, Geri had done extensive commercial work when she was chosen, at age 16, to join America’s favorite fictional family for their first all-singing, all-dancing comedy extravaganza. The series lasted only nine episodes, but its badness is so legendary, that as recently as 2002, TV Guide named it the fourth worst show of all time.
Overall, Geri remembers the experience of becoming a Brady fondly. “I had never really watched The Brady Bunch,” Geri tells BettyConfidential.com. “What really excited me most was that it was a variety show and I was going to be able to sing and dance, which I really loved.”
Not everyone else was so lucky. Florence Henderson, who played mom Carol, had a background in musical theater, but many of the other cast struggled with the musical variety format. “Susan hated the disco numbers,” recalls Geri. “And most of them really weren’t really hip on doing the variety show – except Barry [Greg] and Maureen McCormick [Marcia] who were trying to launch musical careers – but they all loved working together so they hoped for the best.”