Flashback: Davy Jones Meets 'The Brady Bunch'

L-R: Davy Jones on 'The Brady Bunch,' the cast of the series
Photo Credit
CBS via Getty Images; Hulton Archive/Getty Images

If you’re a diehard couch potato who loves television the way Homer Simpson does (“Teacher! Mother! Secret Lover...”), then you know how much fun it can be to see the characters from one series turn up on another series, whether it’s the doctors from St. Elsewhere having a drink at Cheers, the cops from Law & Order teaming up on a case with the boys from Baltimore on Homicide: Life on the Street, or—as is the case here—a member of one of the small screen’s most successful bands meeting a member of one of TV’s most famous families.  

On Dec. 10, 1971, ABC debuted an episode of The Brady Bunch which has gone on to become one of the most beloved in the series' history, thanks to the guest star whose appearance was spoiled by the episode’s very title: “Getting Davy Jones.”

The plot, in case you’ve somehow managed to avoid seeing it for the last half-century, revolves around Marcia (Maureen McCormick) and two of her friends being assigned the task of finding someone to perform at their senior prom and Marcia—taking a suggestion from Jan to heart—deciding that she can use her lofty position as the president of Davy Jones’ local fan club to get him to appear. After all, he did once write her a handwritten letter saying that if he was ever in town and could help her with anything, he’d do it!

Of course, no one believes at first that Marcia is ever going to be able to pull off such a coup, but she’s so confident that the kids begin to accept that it might actually come to pass. Unfortunately, this acceptance arrives right around the time Marcia realizes just how hard it is to actually get in touch with Davy, and she’s just about to give up all hope when—lo and behold!—Davy shows up at the Brady house, apologizes for all the trouble he’s gotten Marcia into with his letter, and offers to head to the prom...as long as she’ll be his date.

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More important than this insanely convenient happy ending, however, is the performance that we see Davy give in the studio during the episode. No, it’s not a Monkees song—he was on his own by this point in his career, though not by much—but it’s a solo number that, as a result of this episode’s popularity, quickly became his signature solo number despite the fact that it never actually cracked the Billboard Hot 100: “Girl.”

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Fast-forward to 1995: The Brady Bunch has become such a cultural institution that it’s been transformed into a movie, one which takes the early ‘70s aspects of the series and brings them into the modern age, making the Brady family extremely out of place and yet somehow still kind of cool in their retro sort of way. During the film, there’s inevitably a school dance, and to the surprise of precisely no one who grew up with the original show, Marcia successfully manages to book Davy Jones to perform. Yes, of course, he sang “Girl” again, but this time he had a grunge band backing him up, and damned if it didn’t sound amazing...and to this day, one of the funniest gags in the movie is the way that the students initially don’t care anything about Davy, but the teachers instantly flock to the stage, smitten with their teen crush all over again.

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Last but not least, it should be mentioned that Davy wasn’t the only Monkee to make an appearance in The Brady Bunch Movie: a little later in the proceedings, the Brady kids perform at a talent show in order to win $20,000 and save their house, and while their performance of “Keep On” is positively ridiculous, the judges love it...and you’ll never guess who the judges are.

We’ll give you a hint: their first names are Micky, Peter, and Davy...and you can see both the original Brady Bunch version of “Keep On” and the movie version below.

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Warner Records/Rhino
'Heaven and Hell' and 'Mob Rules' features bonus discs of rare material.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
"Purple Rain," in the rain.
(Epic)
The band's fourth studio album peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200.

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