Best Motivated Safe
October 15th, 2017 by Proprietor
There was a lot of inside prop comedy within the Brady Bunch. Actually it helped at least keep continuity in what was often a very scattered continuity show. Tiger was a strong part of the continuity of the show for about a season. Then his dog house just remained in the backyard.
Usually the prop continuity was something taken from a show. The Driscoll’s Toy Store Box that was a permanent fixture in the carport after Peter’s heroic episode is a good example. After the episode, whenever the car pulled up or there was activity in the carport, the box was visible. Even in the final season, when Bobby beat Mike’s boss in pool, the box was visible.
A box of Safe Laundry Detergent was another prop that remained visible within the Brady House, whenever there was a necessary laundry gag or someone was in the laundry room. With six children, Alice would be necessary to do laundry alone. The Safe Laundry Detergent box became a fixture after the Brady’s were approached to do a commercial.
The episode starts with the Brady family at the grocery store, Bobby is playing with the automatic doors, is chastised by Carol, then as the family treks across the parking lot to the station wagon, they are stalked by a man who is looking at them through his hands. Turns out that the man is a commercial director, and he was looking for an All American Family to be in his next commercial. Skip Farnum approaches the family, and talks to Carol. The children are excited, but Carol takes the business card and states she will talk it over with Mike.
Mike always has connections, you would not think an architect is well connected, but Mike has connections, and after discussing the commercial with Carol, they decide to invite Skip Farnum into their house. After checking out the Brady House, Skip Farnum is one hundred percent positive, the Brady family is perfect for the commercial. Skip Farnum even loves Alice. The Brady’s agree to do the commercial after Mike has a lawyer go over the contract.
Then the catch happens. Since the Brady’s are good people, and feel that they should believe in the product they sell, Mike asks Carol which laundry detergent she uses. After going through a litany of laundry detergents, it turns out Carol does not use Safe, she actually uses Best, because Safe could not handle the Brady dirt. Mike decides to call Skip Farnum and explain that the deal is off. The children are disappointed.
Except, the fact that Carol did not use Safe anymore did not matter. Skip Farnum explained to Mr. Brady that the Safe the Brady family will be filming the commercial for is a new and improved Safe. Wanting to believe in the product they will be promoting, Mike and Carol decide to have a wash off. The Brady children will dirty up their clothing, then Alice will do one load of laundry in Best, which the Brady household finds is the best, and another load in Safe. If Safe is better, the Brady’s will do the commercial. Unfortunately Alice forgot to write down which pile of laundry was done in Safe, and which pile was done in Best. So the Brady children have to rinse and repeat the whole dirty up clothing. It turns out that the new and improved Safe is the better laundry detergent, and the Brady Bunch will do the commercial.
This is where things go sideways in the Brady world. Now Mike and Carol want to do a good job in the commercial, so they have a friend’s sister, an actress named Myrna, coach them. Myrna is a Stanislavski school motivational actress. What is the character’s motivation? While Mike and Carol listen to Myrna, and rehearse, Alice and the children overhear, and decide to be motivated as well.
Commercial day is an exciting time at the Brady house. Camera crews are setting up, Skip Farnum is prepared for a wonderful wholesome commercial, and totally blindsided by the train wreck that happens. Skip Farnum calls action, Carol is doing her house mother thing, Mike enters, he and Carol overplay their parts, and Skip Farnum freaks out. Setting aside the scene, Skip Farnum decides to bring in Alice. Alice enters as if she is going to a royal ball, not dressed in her normal housekeeper uniform, and dances around with the laundry. Skip Farnum freaks out. Skip Farnum then decides to bring in the children, whom rather than being just dirty, look like they crawled through a swamp. The whole running gag through out the entire event, and main word used, “motivated”. Skip Farnum calls off the entire commercial. As the crew is packing up to leave, the ironic punchline is delivered. Skip Farnum recalls to his main cameraman a horrible actress he worked with. As Skip Farnum stammers through the name, the cameraman says, Myrna. Both men exit, with Carol and Mike looking at each other in disbelief.
The final scene has a delivery truck back into the Brady yard and deliver a years supply of Safe laundry detergent as payment for the work done. Carol and Alice look at the invoice and letter at first with disbelief, then good humor. After that, a Safe laundry soap box was present in every laundry gag done on the show.
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