I can vaguely remember watching a Brady Bunch Christmas special as a child, but my first real exposure to them came in the form of a Lunachicks song called “Jan Brady”, from the album Babysitters On Acid (1990), which chronicles the adventures of a young girl who becomes possessed by the titular TV character: “Jan Brady has returned, took over my soul and body. Then the hairstyle flew up all by itself, Never to be changed. I am Jan, Jan I am, I like to eat green eggs and ham!” Fun!
Having never seen the original series, I will always see the Brady Bunch as they were depicted in the post-modern pastiche/parody movies… so for me, Jan will always jitter like Jennifer Elise Cox, and have crazy voices in her head. Bizarrely, according to all available sources, Cox is actually three years older than Christine Taylor, who played her older sister Marcia on screen. Taylor has since gone on to marry Ben Stiller, and appear with him in some of my fave comedies (specifically Zoolander and Dodgeball)… and it’s always fun to see the bloopers where he cracks up at his own hilarity, and she glares at him in familiar frustration. According to Wikipedia, the couple met in 1999 while filming the pilot for Heat Vision and Jack, a sci-fi sitcom vehicle for Jack Black, created by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab, of Scud: The Disposable Assassin and The Sarah Silverman Program fame. The pilot was never picked up, but the relationship blossomed. Bless. Taylor has a resume as long as your arm, and I can’t claim to have seen everything she’s been in… but in most of the shows I have seen there seems to be a bizarre running theme of her losing her hair. First Jan hacked it off in a dream sequence, then witches magick-ed it off in The Craft, then she shaved her own head bald in Friends! Thankfully the new millennium has been much kinder to her, as all Derek Zoolander ever did was let her hair down, to save the tight bun from pinching her skin. Bless.
(Note how I started blogging about Jan, but ended up blogging about Marcia instead? Guess that’s how it goes… sorry Jan!)
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