A Very Brady Backstory & Success Story featuring Christopher Knight
Acting was never Christopher Knight’s idea. It was the family business and he began auditioning at the age of seven and landing commercials and TV guest spots before a man named Schwartz booked him to play Peter Brady. It turns out that being a Brady is a lifetime assignment. Chris has learned to embrace it and use the force for good, becoming a successful tech pioneer, businessman and entrepreneur. Chris understands that the Brady name gets you in the door. But from there, he feels a responsibility to make the family proud. In other words, don’t break a vase. Chris joins us with some Brady insights.
More Path Links
Louise Palanker (00:00:04):
Welcome to Media Path. I'm Louise Palanker
Fritz Coleman (00:00:06):
And I'm Fritz Coleman.
Louise Palanker (00:00:07):
Here at Media Path, we take a nice drone shot of the media landscape for you, and then we hone in on what you are going to wanna see up close, sort of like that opening shot of the Brady House. And then cut to Mike Brady walking in to the sweet, sweet smell of pork chops and apple sauce. <laugh> a tasty analogy since our guest today is Christopher Knight. Once a boy portraying a delightful and occasionally confused Peter Brady, Chris has grown into a confident, accomplished, and multi-talented man, and we are going to talk to him about that journey. But first, Fritz, what have you got for us?
Fritz Coleman (00:00:39):
Well, I wanna talk about our contest. I'm very proud of the contest we put together.
Louise Palanker (00:00:43):
Yeah, Dina put together
Fritz Coleman (00:00:44):
The contest where, um, our, our producer Deaner has been, and her team of minions has been working on this thing. Uh, but we want you to have a chance to win some product from some of our guests. For instance, we have Cindy Williams book, Shirley U Jest. We have Ira Shapiro's, great book called Betrayal, which is about Mitch McConnell. We have a pair of tickets to my August 7th opening for Mark Arthur Miller in his show called Soul Searching at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood. Two tickets to that, it will be a blast. Here's how you enter. It's very easy. Just comment on the post section of our Facebook group, but you have to join first. Keep that in mind. Can't just post. You have to join first. Just search Media Path with Fritz and Weezy podcast community. Sign up to be a member of the, uh, community. And that will be it. And if you have any questions, you can always email us at media path podcast gmail.com and Dina will, uh, answer your question. But we'd love to have you sign up, Chris, we're giving away some good
Louise Palanker (00:01:42):
Tchotchkes. Am I eligible for this contest?
Fritz Coleman (00:01:45):
I would keep you and your family.
Louise Palanker (00:01:46):
Okay. Got all right. All right. So my media picks, I'll, I have a couple, we'll start with this one. It's called, uh, Mormon No More. We've got blended families on the menu. So I thought I would tell you about a documentary on Hulu called Mormon No More, which focuses on L G B LGBTQ Q. Folks within the l d s Church, same sex relationships are still prohibited by Mormon elders. And that intransigence has been deadly rates of suicide, anxiety, and depression. And gay teens are greatly higher within Mormon communities. Kids who grow up Mormon are taught that the only way to make it into the celestial kingdom of eternal life with your family members is to engage in an opposite sex marriage. And so they do. But now, gay LDS parents are leaving their marriages and the church and leaving devastated spouses in their wake. They are forming new blended families and teaching their kids that living an authentic life is what matters Most Mormon, no more fellows, two LDS women who fell in love, left their husbands and are together raising their seven kids. That's one more than the Brady's, unless you count Cousin Oliver <laugh>. Their story is beautifully told and invites each of us to live, teach, and celebrate our truth.
Fritz Coleman (00:02:53):
Awesome. Yeah, it's, so, we've had two very interesting, uh, diametrically opposed views of the LDS church, and then the fundamentalist LDS church, what we talked about last week, which is a little darker.
Louise Palanker (00:03:06):
Fritz Coleman (00:03:07):
Well, I have a great movie. It's Elvis. It's sat in theaters now. I'm sure it'll stream in some year. I went to theater last weekend to see Elvis. This was good timing, Weis, because you and I interviewed Sally Hodell, who was author of Elvis Destined to Die Young. And in it, she hints at what a diabolical character Colonel Tom Parker was. Well, this movie Dramatizes that Colonel Tom played by Tom Hanks was not a colonel, and he was not really Tom Parker, but he was a northern European immigrant in the United States illegally, who was responsible for both the successes and the failures, who was just a dark character overseeing at one time the most famous person on the planet. Now, in the movie, it kind of seemed like cartoon villain to me a little bit, but, but I guess it was true to the Rio Colonel Parker.
Austin Butler plays an eerily right on Elvis from his almost feminine beauty to the physical part of his performances, to his speaking voice, to the songs, which he sang himself with uncanny accuracy. Wow. Really a very talented man. This movie's another Baz Lehrman Fever Dream. If you remember Mulan Rouge, it's a constant explosion of sight and sound, many times overdone. But to make a point, Luman uses a device used in movies a lot lately where he takes an original song like an Elvis song, then he does a mashup and he morphs it into like thumping hip hop beats. And it's kind of an, not, not all Elvis purists are gonna be happy about this, but I think it kind of makes Elvis's songs contemporary. And uh, it's pretty interesting cuz you know, they've been worn out in our minds for over 50 years. There are scenes where Elvis, as a young man is brought up in a really poverty stricken area of Tupelo Mississippi and is being exposed to the power of early blues.
Then he gets caught up in the redemptive spirit of the gospel music of the church. And as we know, he ended up being the first to expose White America to those genres of music before him. That music had been mainly found on race records or black music stations. They're Arthur Crudup and Big Mama Thornton portrayed whose songs Elvis first covered. That's all right, mama and Hounddog. There are many clashes in this movie, innocence Against Greed, the Sacred against the Profane Commerce against Art. And one of the oldest stories in Hollywood, an innocent gifted person gets bamboozled by a conman. But it's an amazing movie and a beautiful, and the performances are spectacular.
Louise Palanker (00:05:31):
And it seems like a guy like Elvis who, who grew up without a lot of sophistication or any sophisticated folks around him, by sophisticated, I just mean people that would understand the law and contracts. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and all the complexities that he's about to launch himself into, come face-to-face with all these big huge decisions as the world watches. He had to rely on one guy and he was the type of person that was gonna pick a guy and stick with that guy cuz he would feel lost without the, that one guy.
Fritz Coleman (00:06:00):
And he was loyal to people that were loyal to him. You know, he had this fatal loyalty to everybody, including all of his, you know, the Memphis Mafia that lived with him at Graceland. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But he tried to quit Colonel Tom a couple of times. But Colonel Tom was a master. He, he gotta start in the carnival, and he was a great BSer and he just had a way of luring him back in and making it lucrative and worth his while. It was very sad, but I guess that was the dynamic. And there's a clip on YouTube that shows Dick Clark at his symposium about con, uh, current music in 1998. And somebody asked him a question about Colonel Tom Parker, and he went off on him. He said, this man was evil incarnate and, uh, fascinating. But anyway, great movie and I highly recommend it, even if you're not an Elvis fan. It's a great piece of American music history.
Louise Palanker (00:06:48):
Absolutely. So, I have one more, uh, pick for you. It's a YouTube gem. Now, you may not know this here in America, but Sir Tom Jones is a coach on the UK version of The Voice, where he is known to, with the slightest suggestion, stand up from his coaching chair and launch into song. And it is a thing of glorious beauty, sir Tom throws down some serious sounds and when the sir lays into a song, that song just gives up and says, I have been sung by my one True Love and I forever wore forsake all others. When Tom Uhhuh, when Tom erupts into song, the audience goes completely mad. And fellow coach Jennifer Hudson pulls out her phone and begins filming as if the entire production is not being professionally recorded. She's like, Ooh, man, do I have a good seat for this <laugh> <laugh> just type Tom Jones and the Voice into YouTube. And you're welcome.
Fritz Coleman (00:07:35):
One of the great singers of all time.
Louise Palanker (00:07:36):
It's so much fun to watch him on the Voice. So much fun. Well,
Fritz Coleman (00:07:39):
We have a fantastic guest. I can't wait to talk to him.
Louise Palanker (00:07:41):
Yes. Christopher Knight is a technology pioneer, an entrepreneur and a businessman, but he has long since accepted that he will never outrun his Brady heritage. Chris played Peter Brady from 1969 through 74, and since then, the spinoffs and reunions just keep on coming. So let's start out by, uh, talking about your early childhood, Chris, cuz I, I, I found this part interesting. Your dad's an actor, and when you guys moved to Hollywood, all of you kids start going on auditions. Did you like that? It doesn't sound like it was ever your initial idea.
Christopher Knight (00:08:13):
Uh, I feel like my early childhood hasn't ended. Uh, no, it wasn't my idea. I mean, in a, in a, in a very real kind of way. Um, your parents are, as we all are, a reflection of their parents, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, and, and the world that they grew up in. And though my my dad was born in the United States, he, his parents weren't, you know, they were immigrants mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and though I wasn't around when my dad was a boy, um, my recollection of my grandparents' home, my paternal grandparents' home was that it was odd. Hmm. And I now look at that with more adult eyes. And the oddity was that it was very old school. It was very, uh, European or different, it was different than my friend's home who lived by me, um, who perhaps didn't have immigrant, uh, grandparents. Um,
Fritz Coleman (00:09:11):
You're, you're talk your grandparents
Christopher Knight (00:09:12):
Different than my home. It was just, it was just, it was just, uh, rooted in something that was foreign to me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I would learn over, over years perhaps that that was because it was rooted in, in their upbringing in middle Europe, you know? Mm-hmm. Talk
Fritz Coleman (00:09:24):
About your ies, that's important. You were hung, you're half Hungarian and have
Christopher Knight (00:09:28):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I don't even know if it's Hungarian. And, and this is the, the truth is, is that my grandfather, when I sat 'em down, I think it was like 85, 86, and, uh, at that time, Jesus, he was, he was in his nineties. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, he lived 103. Oh, wow. Um, he came here in 2012, uh, because he, he felt that, um, war was coming. It was getting risky to, to be living where he was living in that area. He couldn't point to exactly on a map, because at the time we were dealing with the map is pre the pro-Soviet Union collapse. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and it was, you know, Czechoslovakia was a, was a, uh, you know, inside of the Soviet sphere mm-hmm. <affirmative> at that time. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, the area that he grew up in or was born into his was Bohemia. Uh, that part of, uh, uh, the Czech Republic as we know it today.
Um, perhaps <laugh> because the city's names at all. That's so interesting. He was there during the Austria Hungarian, um, uh, empire. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, and left it. Then it turned, uh, you know, it became a part of, um, essentially a, the German sphere of influence from, you know, the Nazi invasion. Um, and then was taken over by the Soviets. And then now today it's just, it's, it's the Czech Republic. So there's, there was a problem with names and him really knowing what the name was today for the city. So he couldn't point to the city, but he, the general region is that bohemian region of, um, of the Czech Republic. Uh, what city? I don't know. My, my mother's a little more mysterious. She was an only child. Um, I, I have, um, uh, like an immigration map, if you will, that I would, that that was presented by, I think it was, um, ancestry at one time. I did a little work for them and, and, um, that I knew about my, my father's, uh, family. I didn't know anything about my mother's. Uh, but on it, you can see the, the immigrants coming here to this country in, uh, uh, early 19 hundreds, but indicating at the time, I guess the, the, the, uh, sense is taken every 10 or so years. Um, they get to requote where they're from, <laugh>. Oh, there's not, they're not consistent what, what with where they're from. And they're either from Russia or England. What
Fritz Coleman (00:11:50):
An interesting con un what an interesting identity crisis to not be able to describe exactly where you're from. I mean, so much of your, like your subconscious identity is that, is, there's no one where to point to on the map. That's so interesting.
Louise Palanker (00:12:02):
Yeah. But there's a lot of people, like, especially me, I'm Jewish, I'm Jewish, all four grandparents are Jewish. And like, you know what Chris is talking about, the borders keep changing. And, you know, is it Romania, is it Ukraine? Is it, you know, where is it exactly.
Christopher Knight (00:12:13):
And that's my mother's family. She's, you know, is she, we think it's Miz or someplace over there, but her, her, um, uh, immigrant, uh, grandparents, I don't know if it was grandparents or great-grandparents, but she had, her family had been here, uh, a few more generations. Um, but again, on this, on this census, dad, I think it was from 1880, every 10 years they get to requote where they're from. And it's not consistent, so they
Louise Palanker (00:12:36):
Christopher Knight (00:12:36):
Right. No one's checking what they said 10 years ago. If at the time we were, um, allies with Russia, then they were from, uh, someplace in Russia. And, or it was, it was, I think it's Belarus. I mean, I, I believe it's Minsk. It could be Ukraine, it could be, um, uh, uh, Kyiv. But it's all that region that's,
Louise Palanker (00:12:55):
I think they're just cosplaying their census. They're like, we're Scottish, aren't we? <laugh>, why
Christopher Knight (00:13:01):
<laugh>? Yeah. But they ended up in England before they came to the, you know, the United States. And
Fritz Coleman (00:13:05):
So know, but that's, so he was always interesting because, because I mean, he just, he just represented something that probably plays out over all of Ellis Island and all the immigrants of this country. You, you sort of had to be sensitive as to what America's relationship was with the country. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> you were coming from to make sure they said, well, you're from there, we're throwing you back out or something. That's very
Louise Palanker (00:13:26):
Interesting. Right. I mean, it's like things became very uncomfortable for German immigrants Yeah. Before World War I and World War ii. So Yeah. It's like, I'm from wherever you need me to be from. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I just wanna
Christopher Knight (00:13:36):
Stay here. And, and looking back on it too, I, I have, um, um, no, um, although I'm hesitating, and I, I say this with no hesitation, meaning that I, i, with conviction, I, I believe this, I have no proof of this of course, but that if part of my dad's, um, medieval Catholic family, cuz they were real ruthlessly Catholic <laugh>, um, were, would have been, perhaps they would've been Nazis. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> if they would've remained where they were. Um, and they proba not that they ever shared it or that I saw any, any evidence of, of sentiment pro-Nazi in their home. I, I look back on it now going, you know, there was, there was some strident beliefs that perhaps, um, one could associate with them going that route. Mm-hmm.
Fritz Coleman (00:14:30):
<affirmative> very well, very
Christopher Knight (00:14:31):
Jewish. Very, right.
Fritz Coleman (00:14:32):
Christopher Knight (00:14:32):
That was a big issue.
Louise Palanker (00:14:34):
Or, or believing Yeah. That somehow, you know, Anglo-Saxon humans are, you know, superior or, and then were, were, were they okay with that marriage? Do you feel like their grandparents were okay with your parents' marriage?
Christopher Knight (00:14:46):
There was so much lo in my dad's family with these, you know, literally part of what, what was unique about my grandparents' home is that my dad was the youngest of seven born children. One, uh, there was rumors of didn't survive, uh, but no one had any information on him or would talk of it. Um, um, two sisters and a brother all older than my dad, never moved out of the house. When my family, when his family moved from Brooklyn to, uh, the United States, they moved to Burbank in like 58. Um, those two girls, and one of his brothers came with them, had their own rooms, and they never moved out. Yeah. My dad and his two older brothers, uh, found with a way, uh, found a way on their own.
Louise Palanker (00:15:36):
There's a door here somewhere, I just know it.
Christopher Knight (00:15:38):
And it's, it was just, and I guess, I don't know if that's more old school or you old European or you know, way Catholic, you know, I don't know. But
Louise Palanker (00:15:47):
I think that happened in a lot of immigrant families, simply because that home felt more natural to them than the rest of the United States. So they, in a lot of immigrant families, they kind of, they stay in, in the ho the first home purchased, uncles and aunts kind of stay put because they speak the, the old tongue there, and they're just more comfortable. The foods they cook and everything just feels more, more like home to them.
Christopher Knight (00:16:11):
As I understood. It was a tradition that the oldest girl, um, in some cases stayed with mom and dad mm-hmm. <affirmative> to take care of them in their, in, you know, in their older age. My dad was way younger than his brothers and sisters, literally. Um, I can only imagine the the lack of birth control being, being, being practiced. But she gave birth to my dad in 1925 when she was 43 years old, you know, uh, and they had a picture of the family pre himm and pre his sister who was born two years earlier than him. Uh, and they were about 13 years younger than everybody else. Um, and that photo, it was like sort of one of those old photographs from, you know, 1920 that sort of hand painted lightly, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it was, it almost looked like a painting, but it was a painted photograph.
It didn't include my dad and his sister, and they never took another family photograph. Oh, wow. And in fact, we found it in the raptors of my, of my grandfather's house. Um, and it was wrapped, um, in the sports page from the Brooklyn paper Wow. In 1958. And that Brooklyn paper was announcing that the Dodgers were moving to Los Angeles, and I had to rip it apart. Oh, no. Because I didn't know what was in it. I didn't know what the, the, the, this thing had been stuffed up into the rafters to never be seen again. And, um, and that was because it didn't complete the whole family. So we'll just put that away. And, um, but it was, I had to, I had to burrow through this Brooklyn sports page about, you know, this historic event, uh, to realize what was in it. And, um,
Louise Palanker (00:17:47):
But your dad grows up an American, American boy, and he becomes an actor.
Christopher Knight (00:17:51):
Well, he, and, and oddly and interestingly, he was studying architecture. He went to Catholic U Wow. Studying to be an architect on his GI Bill. He luckily just missed fighting. He was, he was training. And the war ended to be, uh, I think it was a torpedo bomber. Uh, I think they had a life expectancy of one and a half missions. So, um, but he never, you know, he was studying flight when, uh, the war ended, but he still got a GI bill. And, um, and he was educated. He went to Catholic u to be an architect, and as it turned out, the architect, uh, architectural students had to build the sets. And that was his introduction to theater. Oh. And my dad being quite a, um, um, a looker for, you know, um, by his own admission <laugh>, he, he was, he was, um, um, a lifeguard for a, an umpteen years in Jones Beach back there in New York, um, outdoors kind of guy bureau.
Um, he saw himself quite the matinee idol. Um, but he was studying to be an architect, and then he saw what he wanted to do when he watched other actors on stage getting all that attention. Wow. That was for him. Yeah. So, um, you know, he and Ca and Catholic Youth had an incredible, uh, theater arts department. So, um, that's what he did. And I grew up in, you know, in a family, though I was born in New York, we were raised here, uh, because my dad as an actor, uh, to whom theater was acting and everything else wasn't. Hmm. Um, but that he would be excused for pursuing, making money in other mediums, because now he had a family. He wouldn't do that before having a family <laugh>, because that was not what you would do if you were a real actor.
Fritz Coleman (00:19:36):
Did he celebrate your career when you lowered yourself and went into television?
Christopher Knight (00:19:40):
He did. You know, he did. He was, he was very warm, much more so I got a comparison, much more so than my mom. She was, she had issues with it. She had issues with it because she was an artist, you know, Parsons grad. She, I didn't realize how much of an artist she was because she just put everything away when children were born, because the, the, the act of life, uh, in having kids and more than she could, uh, afford or take care of, um, w was so frightening to her. There was no time for anything else. And being an only child, I don't think she really understood what it was to have multiple children. And, uh, and they kept coming, you know, <laugh>
Louise Palanker (00:20:19):
Did she feel like, and you just, she couldn't control 'em. And you've described your, your home life as being somewhat chaotic. Your, do you think your mom felt embarrassed or defensive about the Brady family depicting something she wasn't able to create
Christopher Knight (00:20:32):
Absolutely. A ab Right. On the money. Exactly. That. I mean, I, I, it was frustrating to me why, you know, that, I mean, you as a, as a child who you start out with your parent's sentiment as you're younger, and then of course, either, either you continue and you double down on it because you know, you're, you're totally in their camp, or you're like me, you're, you're, uh, um, opposed at, at some age to their views. Um, and you set out to make your own. But you start with like opposite views, if you will. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and I, you know, I, I knew that the Brady Bunch was simplistic, clearly, um, and silly. Uh, we were playing characters two, three years younger than ourselves. And in itself, the show was sort of a throwback to the, uh, family shows of the, of the fifties. I mean, is that the rollback to Ozzy and Harriet?
You know, it's sort of the blended version of Ozzie and Harriet. Yeah. <laugh>. Um, and, you know, I, you know, was a year from being drafted. Uh, Vietnam is going all on all around us during the shooting of the show. The show is being produced 60, 69 through 70, uh, four. Um, those were tumultuous years, but no, no, that was dealt with in the show. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, at the time I was cited, my life, you know, in this family was uniquely different than the life I led outside of the set. Um, but at the same time, I, I, my mom just despised its simplicity and it's the lack of realism in it. But over time, I also realized that, you know, this environment seems to be healthier <laugh>, and I'm working in Hollywood. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and the environment I get at home. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um,
Fritz Coleman (00:22:20):
So she didn't understand the, the, the, the, um, the mission of American television to be escapist. It didn't have to reflect reality. Maybe it's to take you out of the reality of your lives. And on some level, it took her out of the reality of her life and said, okay, well, we're not this, but for a minute I can fantasize.
Christopher Knight (00:22:39):
Yeah. She, she said it was unrealistic and everything had to be realistic. And, and, and, um, I, I think part of that was, was, was, was because she was, um, she wasn't able to, to provide that for us. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, you know, in her defense, I mean, it was, it was a struggle. You know, my dad was an actor who, who decided that he could work in television because it wasn't, it, it wouldn't be below him if he had a family to feed. Um, so that's why we came to California. I mean, he was a New Yorker. He wanted to be a stage actor, and there was very little work back there. So he came out, we drove cross country, uh, uh, um, in 1958 for Thanksgiving. My brother was a year older than me. I was two. He was three. Can you imagine that?
This is before the highway system. This is before seat belts. Um, and we're driving cross country to spend a week with my grandparents, cuz they had moved out to California. And, um, my dad was going to investigate what work there was in this new industry, um, <laugh> that was called television. Yes. Now might, it doesn't seem like it's going away and there's work there, uh, uh, for actors. So my dad was going to investigate that. We never went back, um, came, never went, moved back to New York. My mom says, my attitude as a two-year-old completely changed. And I can understand why. I mean, we were living in a one bedroom flat, you know, barely making ends meet in, in the upper East side. Um, and then we moved to California where there's open spaces in the weather's bedroom. My mom said your attitude sort of changed somewhere around the Grand Canyon as we got into Arizona
<laugh>. So, uh, and I, there's something, there's something, you know, um, uh, probably very truthful about that. It probably did <laugh> because it's like my brother literally was trying to kill me from the time we were infants here. And I are, you know, wonderful friends today. We've had our ups and downs throughout the years. But he admits that recognizing now because we shared this small environment in a crib together, um, that, that, that's prob that was what he was trying to do. He was so pissed off that I came around <laugh> at it as an infant. Um, that he would do anything he could to annoy me or break things like my fingers, um, and other things. And, you know, I, I, my, we, we, uh, my dad being from Brooklyn, he raised pigeons through raising pigeons. We came to California, we raised pigeons in California. He taught us the pigeon raising. But it's interesting when you're raising birds like that, how much, um, well, the, you know, the idea of a pecking order stems from the nest, um, and how birds survive. I mean, it's, the, the nest of birds is as big as, um, the season provides. In other words, they're not all gonna survive. Okay. And my dad thought that. He literally thought that he, he didn't think we'd all live <laugh>. Wow. You know, survival of the fittest. It's, it's gonna be survival of the fittest. It was
Louise Palanker (00:25:25):
The setup. An air and a spare. Yeah. But you got your, your pigeons apart on the Brady Bunch.
Christopher Knight (00:25:31):
Right. I got, I got some sanctuary that I was able to go off that lick. Banco. You know, my sister is three years younger than me. And my, my brother, bless his soul, he is not around anymore. He was seven years younger than me. I'm working and I'm 11. That means he's four. My mom
Fritz Coleman (00:25:46):
Was with me. So you're talking about that. So you moved out here, <laugh>, you spent too much time in the car with your younger brother and then my older brother. Brother older. Older brother. And what, what, what launched you under your, when, when did you start the audition process? Well,
Christopher Knight (00:25:57):
Getting, getting back to the whole reason for working us is that, I guess that was a, an what happened to them was they were kids, you know, the parents, uh, uh, you know, put them out to work. You literally rent your kid out to a family who, who needs something done, you know, for a while, uh, happened to his brother. Um, as the story goes, uh, you know, for a month they had to live with another family cuz they were building something or needed some help somewhere. And, um, uh, he, uh, was, um, needing to repay, uh, the family for something that he had destroyed or, or, or stole or something. Anyway, anyways, we had to go up to another family. Um, and that's the way they worked amongst themselves, you know, and, and, and so my dad's idea was, well, you can, you know, at eight years old, seven years old, we get you an agent, there's nothing gonna stop you. I mean, there, there's no resume required at seven, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, it's, it's, it's literally excuse the expression shit against the wall. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we'll just see, you know, put you out on those interviews and if you get work, you get work if you don't. Okay.
Louise Palanker (00:26:55):
So what is it about your personality that gets you the job?
Christopher Knight (00:26:59):
I don't know. My mom thought it was gonna be my brother. He was the outgoing one. I wasn't, I was sort of internal. And I guess in her mind, Solan, I watched everything. Um, but I was in, I, I was introverted, but something happened inside those rooms because my brother and I went on every interview together for two years. We, I mean, they don't bring you in the room at the same time. Um, they interview you separately, like they do every other kid there. But I got the very first interview I went on and it, and then the third interview, and it just kept going like that. And he never worked.
Louise Palanker (00:27:33):
Oh my gosh. How did that affect
Christopher Knight (00:27:34):
You? Never, for two years. He never worked. And then finally said, why do I have, you know, this is not working out for me. Uh, do I have to keep doing this? And my mom said no, you know, I guess my dad was disappointed in that because, you know, his, his his opportunity was maybe in the future if he would've continued at it. But I hated going. I mean, what kid would wanna go on interviews? You're, I mean, I was a kid who loved my friends. They were my, they were my sanctuary and, and actually protectors against my brother all through school as well. And, and, and, you know, we make plans for the afternoon. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, little sort of, I lived a Huck Finn kind of life out there in the West Valley. It was wide open spaces. And, um, no mean, my mom literally said, don't come home till dinner. You know, I mean, go play on the freeway. All the, all those expressions. Not that she meant that, but there was, there was none of what we have today in the way of that worry that, that a mother has. And I did. I mean, I had this incredible freedom and, and explored like crazy. Um, but does your
Fritz Coleman (00:28:30):
Father ever get work in television?
Christopher Knight (00:28:32):
Yeah, a little bit. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> a little bit, but he also worked at Dodger Stadium. He worked at Brooks Brothers. He did all the things that actor does. Oh wow. Except for weight tables. He never had that job. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, highly edge. I mean, I, I laugh at it. I mean, I laugh at it. It's a, it's a, it's a cruel, a cruel reality that, that actors are the most educated, homeless people there are <laugh>. Wow. I mean, or near homeless. Uh, you know, he's, he, you know, and he had an artful dodger kind of, kind of streak to him, you know, about, about, about right and wrong, you know, rules were, you know, meant to be bent to his favor. You know, he was a survivor. Um, he just, he, you know, and it just, it was <laugh>. There wasn't enough resource to go around mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that's what caused a lot of that, um, angst.
Fritz Coleman (00:29:22):
What, what was your, what was your first, uh, job in
Christopher Knight (00:29:24):
Television? Is a Purix commercial. Yeah. Purix commercial sliding into home plate. Like what, I mean, how many kids go in that interview and what was wrong with everyone who didn't get the role? I mean, they didn't even really test your sliding ability cuz you're in an office, you know, <laugh>. Uh, so, so it couldn't be your skillset. Um, and I got it. You know, it's, you know, it, um, I, I can't tell you what it was. Uh, um, and I don't even remember the interview. I don't remember the initial interview for the Brady Bunch. But why would I, I mean, you go on so many over, you just forget all about 'em. Not that I have to remember the Brady's is because it turned into a success, but there was no anticipating that it would've been the one to stay on the air and then continue to be sort of like this evergreen over, you know, after 50 years. So,
Louise Palanker (00:30:13):
Well, the Brady brand has enjoyed success in tv, film, stage, animation, and music. And so the next logical step was podcasting <laugh>. So talk about the real Brady Bros. Because that's a show that really delves into the minutiae of things that most people don't remember about their childhood. But you are consistently not only reminded of but asked about.
Christopher Knight (00:30:37):
Right. Well, what's interesting is, um, most people have, you know, until they go back through photos, you know, forget their childhood until something sparks a, a memory mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And yes, I have this, this show to help that spark. Um, and thinking that, well, it's had 50 now through 53 years on the air that all those sparks have had, have sparked, um, was how I entered this. Um, but no, in fact, they sparked also just in conversation with somebody else who was there, whose eyes were, uh, viewing different, uh, different things, you know, or who, whose processes, um, recorded different events, um, well, uniquely their way mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And we get to share, you know, our perspectives on what we were in, um, what we saw, what we did, how we view it now. And it's a hoot. I never expected it to be this much fun or that there would be this much revelation in it. Um, in doing the podcast. And this podcast was actually the idea of our old friend, ed man,
Louise Palanker (00:31:43):
Ed man who is my partner at Premier Radio, my, my brother for life. And we, like you created the Brady Bunch with your five siblings, ed and I with a few other siblings created Premier Radio networks. We don't have a theme song, but, um, you know, that's, that could be in the works, you know, at a moment. But yeah, ed and I have have a lot of wonderful memories together, creating something innovative in the radio space. And, you know, he's a perfect fit for you guys. I love the episodes that he hosts where it's a q and A,
Christopher Knight (00:32:11):
The q and
Louise Palanker (00:32:12):
A, right. Because he's got that great radio voice.
Christopher Knight (00:32:14):
Fritz Coleman (00:32:15):
Let me ask you something. Do you think that, um, um, people's interest in your podcast and in the Bradys in general is for a couple of reasons. First of all, we have all these great new nostalgia channels like me, which is introducing the Bradys to an all new, several generations of people, but also in the general malaise in which we find ourselves in, in this this country. People are drawn back to those warmer, um, family simpler shows where, where there's more black and white, there's more, at the end of the day, everybody argues, but it's a family sitting around the table and we all love one another. Do you think there's a little bit of that, uh, drawing people back toward those great memories?
Christopher Knight (00:32:59):
Yeah, and, and we've experienced these, these cycles mini cycles. Uh, and I think right now we're in a major cycle. We, we are as turbulent, maybe even more so, uh, as a society today as we were when this show was, uh, conceived and, and, and, uh, you know, licensed, uh, to go to air mm-hmm. <affirmative> in, uh, 68, 69, um, with all that was going on at that time. And I think there's a reason for, for that. And that is because, um, the more yes, the more, the more people, um, find the outside world, um, dangerous, uh, or distrust it, the more they wanna fall back into, into thoughts of childhood. Um, that if it wasn't trustworthy, we romanticize it as though it was because there was an innocence in our childhood. And there's an, there's, there's some kind of need for us to, um, find that innocence again, um, and rest from what our mind wanders through, uh, in the, the, the space outside the walls of your, your home.
And, and I think that's the reason for the success of the show too. And the reason it's continuing to be evergreen, firstly, it's because it is almost last of a genre of the innocent type of depiction of family. Um, that throwback to the fifties and that, and that fifties era was really I ideal. I mean, if you think about it, it, it's, it's, it's, you know, United States wasn't up until that point, you know, a superpower. And all of a sudden it's got, you know, it's growing like crazy. Um, the automobile is tying people together. We're finishing, uh, you know, this, this, this, you know, our ribbon of highway, our, our being was, was in that time was about a purity. And no, there was, there was no reason to believe that we couldn't be anything we wanted, you know? And, and there was, so, there was so much positivity, uh, in that era promising also that anybody has tried, tried to relive it, you know, ever since. And though, you know, I think comedy is much better today, um, than it was back, back then. There was a lot of controls placed on, on comedy. The fact is, is it was more innocent back then. And there was something to about it. I mean, we've, we, we re-approach it every Christmas. We all, as even adults, get into the idea of that innocence again with Santa Claus mm-hmm. <affirmative> and the holidays, and then we leave it. That's a good, we leave it for
Fritz Coleman (00:35:36):
11 months. But you know what, uh, it, it was a safe haven and especially in contrast to where we are now. But you didn't avoid topics that were in the forefront of people's consciousness. Like you joined the military in one episode,
Christopher Knight (00:35:48):
Didn't at all. No. That was later. Yes. Right. That
Fritz Coleman (00:35:51):
Was what, and also, uh, you know, you, you went into real family problems like Marsha with a, with a alcohol issue there for a while.
Louise Palanker (00:35:59):
But that's the reunions, that's not the original reason. Oh,
Fritz Coleman (00:36:01):
Those are the readings. I know. But
Christopher Knight (00:36:02):
The question that I would have if we would've continued, we, we, we did Five seasons is all originally mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And the reason for that is in part was because it's a kid show about, about the, um, uh, about kids. About kids. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, about young kids, about that innocence that really only plays, or you can play with kids mm-hmm. <affirmative> who are requiring that kind of innocence in their home to be healthy. As you grow up to be an adult, you cannot continue, you know, uh, playing that and, and, and be a healthy adult. So you have to grow up. Um, I don't know what the show would've done with us if it, if it never went off the air and tried to just be on for 20 years. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, it would've, the show would've had to have morphed. So when coming back to these reunions, um, they updated it with the current events that were mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, of the time. Uh, because we are adults now and you can't ignore the current events mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But if you go back to the original show, there were, there was no room for current events cuz it wasn't about what happened outside the front door.
Louise Palanker (00:37:08):
Christopher Knight (00:37:08):
Might have been still, it was about what happens inside of that door. That's what a kid's issue. That's where a kid's initial community is and what they're trying, uh, the place that they're trying to figure their place in. But do first, do you first do it there, do
Louise Palanker (00:37:24):
You feel that Robert Reed maybe had some influence over their reunions to get into more, uh, more i issues that that actual people face? Or is that just something that needed
Christopher Knight (00:37:36):
To I don't think so. Yeah. I don't think it was Bob Reed. I think it was a network. I mean, the networks recognize why are they bringing it back? Well, it's still got this popularity. They won't die. I mean, every network is looking to leverage success. So, um, it's a business. So if they think that they're going to be, if they're putting it on the air, it's cuz they think they're gonna get ratings. And if they, they're gonna get ratings, it's because there's something in the air about that innocence being needed again. And that's why I call 'em mini cycles. I mean, there's been these reunions every like seven years and now I call a major cycle because it's like an overwhelming need now. But in those mini cycles you got Gordon Gecko, you got, you got, you got other issues that are pulling us apart slightly. Um, and, and we sort of a need for a reprieve and all of a sudden the Bradys are, are, are re resurrected to display that, except for it's not the kids show anymore. It's always sort of an adult cut on it. Um, so it isn't exactly what we remember from our childhood because, well, we're not kids anymore and we really, you know, unless we are all having our own family and we're dealing with those kids, could it even approach being that innocent?
Louise Palanker (00:38:49):
Well, what I, what I really love with, uh, the podcast and with the, the renovation show was getting to know your real, the real people, your real actual personalities. Cuz you kind of get a window into why you were each cast. Because everyone is just so likable and you guys are are, you know, just kind of like jump off the screen. You're just really charming, good natured folks and you could see why Sherwood cast you kids. Cuz everyone has just such a wonderful personality. And that's why I think
Christopher Knight (00:39:21):
Louise Palanker (00:39:22):
Thank you. That to me explains the longevity of the show is it's y you guys. So tell us how you enjoyed the, the renovation show and if that was fun to just get to be yourself.
Christopher Knight (00:39:32):
It was, it was, it was remarkable. I mean, here it is. The network has bought a home. They have no idea what to do. It. They, because it wasn't like they had an idea, it was, they were reading an article in a paper that the Brady Home was for sale and they said we should buy it. And somebody, somebody in the, in that, in that creative meeting at, at uh, HGTV said we should buy it. And somebody else said, yeah, we should <laugh> and they did. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I mean it, you know, it had to move on it quickly. It, it moved part too quickly for them to conceive of what they were gonna do with it once they owned it. So they were working backwards. Um, but, you know, we met with them cuz at one point after they owned the home, the home that they bought, okay, so now what are we gonna gonna do with this?
So that they needed to then go do a little Brady history, um, and brought us together, those who were in Los Angeles, um, uh, to just discuss their purchase of the home and, you know, and not that they were telling us what was gonna happen with the home, but they wanted us somehow involved. Um, uh, but before then, we just sat down and talked the Brady in the house and they didn't realize that the 50th anniversary of the Brady's of the airing, you know, was the next season, the season that this thing would come out in. Oh. It was like, oh, let me take a note of that. <laugh>. Okay. So the whole idea just sort of snowballed into a bigger and bigger project because it was just really well timed. Um, and what became very real for us when we started the production is, um, reality has, um, though it might be real moments, it has constructs, um, um, that are thought through before putting the camera in front of anything. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, uh, otherwise you just, you wouldn't have really, you just have a match up still
Louise Palanker (00:41:16):
Has to be produced, right?
Christopher Knight (00:41:17):
Yeah. So they're thinking of arcs and, and, and, uh, concepts that they're going to, um, move on. And one of the concepts that they started with, um, and they were dedicated to was that we are gonna see this house and open the front front door. And it was gonna be like, oh my gosh, what happened? Like, like it was no longer looked like our house. And it was, it was like, guys, we didn't even know about this place, <laugh>. We didn't know where this was and we know the inside isn't gonna look like our set, so you wanna, I mean this is reality. Um, but it needed to be played that way, um, for the sake of the audience. But in, in, in doing that, what they were presenting to us is the way the audience saw us and to a person in our cast, none of us knew where that house was. <laugh>. We all started living in LA I know today I think there's three of us who, who live, um, outta state. Um, but four of us grew up in the valley and none of us knew where that house was and didn't ask where it was for years. Wow. I know for me it wasn't until about 95 Oh my, when I, and I realized, you know, I picked up Lloyd knows where that house is. Lloyd Schwartz. Yeah, sure.
Louise Palanker (00:42:34):
Which Schwar is on. Did they use a crane to get those establishing shots? Yes. Or was there
Christopher Knight (00:42:38):
An office building? Oh, being on our show?
Louise Palanker (00:42:40):
Yeah, on your show. There
Christopher Knight (00:42:41):
Wasn't, if you notice, it really doesn't move. It's, it's literally almost a photograph. They did bring cameras out there and put it up on a ladder. Okay. And, and, and take that shot. But it's an establishing shot. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we joked about, there's no way the house that we walk through, the set that we walk through could be in that house. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, because there, it doesn't look, I mean, mom and dad's bedroom is down the hallway in the back. How could it be out front? Because that window up front is obviously somebody's room. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there wasn't a window out front. They put, um, the set dresser's put a, um, a full window up to make that house. It's a one story house a's split level California ranch style split level house. You saw it on HGTVs project mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, but when they took the, the stock shot, it was just a f um, a faux window placed on, uh, that barn siding right in front to make it look like that was a bedroom.
Okay. Um, there wasn't one. And I, I mean literally, I, you know, and this is part of what we deal with on the podcast, um, it, it bring, it brings into question like how did it all come together, Brady episode number one, the, the, the, uh, the wedding episode, uh, the honeymoon. Um, the boys are depicted, uh, living in a different house. They're not living in that house. They didn't have that house. Why they didn't have that house? Because that house was a big set with an investment that only comes with the series that got a green light. Okay. Come with a pilot <laugh>.
Fritz Coleman (00:44:08):
But you know what, before you continue, I think you have to set this up for people who are not show business savvy. That was an exterior of a house. They find one that sort of tells the story of the Brady's, but the, but the show itself was shot where
Christopher Knight (00:44:19):
At Paramount, paramount
Fritz Coleman (00:44:20):
Is a big long stage. Yeah.
Christopher Knight (00:44:23):
Big one of their biggest stages. Um, and we took the whole thing up and it's, uh, you know, all sets are on one floor. The stairway clearly goes up and then it dead ends. So if you're an actor going off to the boys' bedroom, you'd go up the stairs, that shot would cut, uh, we'd disappear around and stop then, then they show us walking either down the hallway or just into the boys' room. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But that boy's room was, you know, some were, you know, further down the set mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, there wasn't a second floor that we shot on. So they, it wasn't a real house. There wasn't a real sky. There was no, I mean, clearly looking in that backyard, it wasn't outside. You can see the shadows from the trees, you know, 45 different directions. Um, so
Louise Palanker (00:45:08):
Even your driveway was indoors. Yes. When Mike would pull in
Christopher Knight (00:45:12):
Louise Palanker (00:45:13):
That was all indoors
Christopher Knight (00:45:14):
Big enough said that you could Dr you could drive cars. Yeah. You know, as long as you turned them off. So you'd go up the stairs without too much carbon monoxide, <laugh> Yeah. Bring
Louise Palanker (00:45:22):
Out into the stair. So you'd go up the stairs, they'd say cut and you'd walk back down the stairs
Christopher Knight (00:45:26):
And we Well, yeah. So we weren't just stuffed up there. Yeah. They wouldn't photograph us walking back down. But then, right. If the scene is to continue in one of the bedrooms upstairs, then they'd show, they reset a camera in the boys' room. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, and then show us coming into the boys' room. And then when put together, of course it gives you the, the flow and, and, and, and represents the, you know, that the, the b the boys' bedrooms upstairs cuz you walked upstairs to get into it. Nonetheless. That's a set, that's what we knew. Uh, that's the environment that we are in. And, and though it was home, uh, the set was the home. Right. It wasn't the mm-hmm <affirmative>. Well, let's just say the set, the sound stage was the home, the set was inside of the sound stage. The whole thing was the home.
Um, and it was a piece of that sound stage that was our environment. The, the, the, the audience at home over 50 years has come to know us living in that home, um, uh, to such a degree, even if they're from, you know, the entertainment industry and know how this works, lose track of the fact that we didn't really live there or that we didn't all live together. I mean, uh, just a a funny aside here. So at one point during the, you know, the, I don't think it was 2010, you know, the reality, um, craze, uh, there was, somebody had an idea about doing, um, something for Harris. Uh, uh, I think it was a Harris backed thinking about backing a reality show that could help, help advertise their hotel. And they wanted to theme all these hotel rooms. And one of the hotel rooms in theme that they were wanting to, uh, or contemplating, um, building or, or showing on television was something like the Brady Room.
So somebody's reaching out to see if there'd be interest. And I'm thinking, okay, so the question goes, okay, so what you want to, it's gonna be a hotel, but it's gonna be done like the Brady House. Okay. Yeah. All right. So, and then, uh, what are we gonna do there? Um, my question? Well, you live there? Uh, uh Okay. Okay. And, and, and then do what? Well just be the Bradys. Be you guys. I go, you realize we're not, we're not a family. <laugh> <laugh>. We don't live in a home together. It was like a long quiet, it was like
Fritz Coleman (00:47:41):
<laugh>. Oh my
Christopher Knight (00:47:42):
God. You know, it was, uh, yeah. But, but we think you do, you know, so we'll just do that. I go, but that was scripted. Realize there's a, there was an effort to making us a family. How did
Fritz Coleman (00:47:54):
This person all position
Christopher Knight (00:47:55):
Of responsibility? Well, I never went, it never went anywhere. I mean this, and now
Fritz Coleman (00:47:59):
Christopher Knight (00:47:59):
You that. You said America trying to do television Yes. Benefit themselves as wards.
Fritz Coleman (00:48:03):
You brought up a good point. You're not a family, but talk about the family that you were not on script, but off script. You worked with other kids. It was a kids show presented by kids. You worked together all day. You went to school on set all day. You, you spent eight, 12 hours a day. How was that? How was that having all that youth on the set and was it hard? Was it like a real family? What was the vibe?
Christopher Knight (00:48:29):
Well, I, I mean, um, I think it was, it was exceptional. Uh, um, <laugh>. So I wouldn't, if I had children, I wouldn't let them be in show business until they're really 18. Not because of my personal experiences. <laugh>, I know it sounds um, odd, but the reason is, is I don't think that they're gonna find themselves in a Brady bunch like environment. I got lucky. Um, number one, because it was a show about kids. It was six of us. It was almost a critical mass of us children. Mostly when you're, um, a kid in a show, uh, that lasts any length and you're growing up, uh, part you're an appendage to an adult environment, that's really not about you. Sherwood Schwartz wanted it to be a kid-friendly environment. In fact, I'm very lucky that he had this concept for the characters, cuz it, it is certainly wouldn't have been a member of the cast had he been looking for actors.
He didn't want actors <laugh>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> pretty clear to me in looking at the shows today and some of the writing, he didn't like actors very much <laugh> mm-hmm. <affirmative> because of, you know, they were hard to work with. He wanted just real kids and who, who he could then get performances out of. Uh, that, um, he, he wasn't interested in the performance. Again, I'm, I'm working with very, very limited memories of my interviews, but I don't believe any of the interviews required reading a scene. Wow. Or any acting whatsoever. It was like, you know, give me a matchbox, you know, toy and, you know, you know, which one do you like best? You know, it's just, you know, having a, a conversation with a kid is what ultimately drove to the selections that you see. Um, I had very little experience speaking, you know, as a kid. I worked a lot, but, uh, talking was, I'm was very difficult for him.
I was, I was introverted and, and getting anything out in a sequence a little a d d would, would, would be the reason I would ultimately discover caused me to blurt everything out as it all wanted to come out at one time. So, um, it, um, it was lucky that, that, that what she wanted as real kids and he wanted a real environment for them so that it was wholesome for him. And you know, it on a kid set managed appropriately by the, by the exec. Um, there's more restrictions for the adults, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there's, you know, profanity is held to a, a minimum degree. Um, so there's, um, more restrictions on being maybe as adult as one could be in an environment like that. Uh, they certainly didn't stop people from smoking back then. There were smoking on sets and so forth. But, um, there was just, uh, it, it was a clean, it was a cleansed environment.
But one of the benefits to then all the adults working on, you know, behind the scenes and on the set is the hours were limited because government required us to be done in our eight hours. So there was nothing they could do to, I mean, they weren't gonna go overtime. Now, there were, I mean, they would do the adult scenes if there were any in a show after the kids had been dismissed for the day. Like they, the Mike and Carol scenes would be done after, you know, six o'clock we, if we had an eight o'clock call, had to be wrapped and out by five. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, if it was a nine o'clock call, most of 'em were nine o'clock calls out by six, and there was no stretch in that. And if it was in, during the school season, they, they had us less.
They had, of that eight hours, three of it had to be schooling. So, you know, it, it, but for those working around it, it meant that they weren't gonna have to work all these overtime hours. So for those who were not needing the extra money from overtime and wanted to manage their own lives at home, um, it was a very measured show to do. It was predictable in that regard, because some of the hours in show business can be rather ugly. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, you, you, you work 12 hours, 14 hours a day, but we're working eight hours, nine hours a day. And that was what these individuals working on our show wanted. So they accepted the, the, the, you know, some of the restrictions because it was a childlike environment, but at the same time, they were more family people themselves. And that was the reason why they wanted the predictability in ours. And it was like, we had then, there were six of us, a little critical mass of kids, but we had all these adults around that we either turned into an extension of us or that gave us an experience around adults.
Fritz Coleman (00:53:04):
I'm fascinated. Most kids don't get, um, the fact that Sherwood wanted Anex, you know, actors with no experience.
Christopher Knight (00:53:11):
He didn't say inexperience. He, he didn't, he didn't want
Fritz Coleman (00:53:14):
Christopher Knight (00:53:15):
Now that doesn't mean, cuz Barry had quite a bit of experience, but he didn't want them to come off Actory. He,
Fritz Coleman (00:53:20):
Knowing that, that was my question. How do you direct children that don't have a lot, lot of speaking, acting experience, that, that's, that must be, that must require a certain skill on a director's part.
Christopher Knight (00:53:32):
I'm not certain that most kid actors, at least through 10 or 12 can con, would have the capacity, um, to, to act the way, um, an adult would be trained to act. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So even if they had some schooling, um, uh, to be an actor, I, I, I, I didn't, but I don't believe that you teach a child the things that you teach an adult. The, the, the, the depth of what it go, what goes into bringing a character to life. Um, but I mean, so you, so you, but so, so the experience when a kid has is just literally the experience of knowing your lines. You know, you gotta, you gotta line
Fritz Coleman (00:54:09):
By line tongue and there's
Christopher Knight (00:54:10):
'em through, and, and you gotta hit marks and you gotta do stuff. And it's about playing and it's about playing, um, in a different kind of way. It's not just, you know, it's, but, but most kids are actually kind of gifted at play acting Right. Until they're, you know, um, they're
Fritz Coleman (00:54:24):
Old enough to think
Christopher Knight (00:54:25):
About it as you do <laugh>. Well, exactly. And that's part of why they're, that, you know, the old statement, you know, the, the actors don't wanna work with children or, or, or animals <laugh> outside of the fact that you, you know, that animals might make you work forever trying to, you know, get an acceptable cut with kids. I mean, how do you, you know, the kid can upstage in adult without even trying with no experience, the kid.
Louise Palanker (00:54:46):
I think one of the healthier aspects of this show, as opposed to even leave it to Beaver, where there were, you know, two children, well, sometimes there'd be friends on the set, but if you read like Ron Howard's book, like he really looked forward to the days when he was gonna be in a classroom and there'd be other kids there. But you guys had a peer group. You had a built-in peer group that I think was healthier ecosystem within which to grow up.
Christopher Knight (00:55:08):
And that, and then you look at the ages, we were, that those really formidable years, uh, where we depicted these characters and worked together led leads to where we are now. And what you, I believe perceived in watching HG HGTVs mm-hmm. <affirmative> Brady renovation is our, our relationships with one another. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> are totally real. I mean, because I, you know, I, I've known Barry and Mike, you know, for 53 years. I, I I, the only people on this planet that I, I I'm in touch with that I've known longer my own, my own sips. So, um, we have and we're foxhole buddies of sorts. Yeah. Yeah. Because it's like, you know, our experience was, was owned by very few, and we had Bob and we had Florence and we had Anne as examples n and, and they were all different, um, providing us with, uh, you know, sort of, um, uh, a measure of example mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
And then we had all the other, um, individuals on the set, all being adults who, um, were sort of like aunts and uncles to all of us. And I mean, I remember quite really, I mean, I think it was in the first season we had our Christmas episode, and I w I marveled at what Christmas was like on the set that year mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and, and that, you know, and laugh at it later, knowing that Sherwood Schwartz was throwing us Christmas and he's, he's Jewish, you know, he doesn't probably celebrate Christmas. He celebrates Hanukkah <laugh>. But it was a, it was a much more kind of festive Christmas than we had at home. Wow. Now, mind you, as I say these things too, to our audience, I don't wanna be negative or sounding negative toward, toward my house. I just had this, I had, I had two homes, <laugh> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I had, I had some place to compare what home was like. And it happened to be television and a television series. So yeah, maybe it was, it's unfair because it was, it was going to, it was gonna be invested in to be a bigger event than the Christmases that we had at home. But it also, it gave me, uh, you know, an example of what you could aspire to.
Louise Palanker (00:57:08):
But you would see everybody's parents on the set and get to be able to sort of, to compare, you know, what your family unit was like as, you know, as opposed to all the other five different kids whose parents probably came and went.
Christopher Knight (00:57:21):
You got to know the mothers. Yeah. The mothers is the mothers alter, except for Barry's mom was around for a year or two, and then he was under, he, um, was able to drive. Mom didn't have to be there as long as there was another one of, and it was my mom that could be assigned his, his, uh, guardianship while he was there. Of course, we also had our, uh, an incredible welfare felt welfare worker in Francis Whitfield, who was also our teacher when we were in school up till eighth grade. Um, she was Mother Teresa. She was just another of these wonderful parental, um, guardians. And, um, we were just very lucky in all the players that we had around us, and that we had each other. And that the show was about what it, what it was about. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the show was about, you know, kids finding their place and
Louise Palanker (00:58:12):
Fi solving problems. <laugh>.
Christopher Knight (00:58:14):
Louise Palanker (00:58:15):
And finding resolution
Christopher Knight (00:58:16):
And, and being, and, and, and having it done. So in a way that it's respectful to the kids. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and the adults, you know, it wasn't at the expense. It wasn't like we had, you know, the comedy leaped from, you know, there being somebody that needed to be blind mm-hmm. <affirmative> or stupid. But
Louise Palanker (00:58:31):
If you're gonna have an experience that you learn from it.
Christopher Knight (00:58:34):
Yeah. I mean, and I've, and I realize how much I've learned from it, not at the time it was going on, but looking back on it, I'm going, geez, you know, who am I today is in part, relative to those experiences mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and that's what's so unique about this, cuz I don't think you could, you would say to, you know, uh, to your own child, let's get you into show business. Cuz that's where you're gonna find real health <laugh>.
Louise Palanker (00:58:57):
Fritz Coleman (00:58:58):
<laugh>. So you were one of, I don't wanna say the fewest people, I don't know what the numbers are, but one of those, uh, fortunate people who was able to walk across this bridge from intense child stardom to a successful and creative adult life. You have many skills in the business world, and kind of describe what you did after your overall show.
Christopher Knight (00:59:21):
I, you know, I would find out when I was 30 some odd years old that I had a d d and you don't have late onset a d d a, adhd. It's, you know, you've had it since you were a child. I get to look back on that. You know, looking back on your childhood, you, it's hard to see ad D in photographs mm-hmm. <affirmative> because it needs motion. But you can watch the, the I watch me now and all that stuff that is clearly a result of the a d d that I had. It's the twitching, it's the, you know, ask me to stay still when it's, you know, I'll, I'll stay still, but the, the energy's gonna come out in some frenetic odd kind of way. Um, uh, my speech patterns and so forth, I can, I see it all. Um, I didn't know what that was at the time, but the, the, you know, that bit that's in me, um, is that I call the squirrel.
Right. <laugh>, you know, your attention is always at something that's, that's in front of you. Uh, helped, you know, when all of a sudden that, that, that, uh, chapter in my world ended, I was interested in school. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, like Ron Howard writes about, you know, I was looking forward to being with, with my peers, uh, learning stuff. I was always very much into science and, and, and, uh, engineering. Um, that's what I wanted to do. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, I wanted to be an astronaut or, you know, uh, uh, scientist of some sort. I saw myself in a lab coat anyway, so I, you know, I was just naturally curious about everything around me. So it was very easy to make a transition into something else because I, you know, whatever crossed my path, I was, I was interested in. But when the computer came around into my personal life, it, um, and this is like 85, um, it helped transform me as a person cuz I was now a young adult struggling with whatever this was, uh, my own personal manner, um, uh, organization that was haphazard and unable to be bound focused. Um, and the computer helped me. Yeah. The computer put everything in a place that I could read it. Correct my spelling, which was tore it at. Yeah. Um, um, and, um, it, it didn't, it, it, you know, unlike my mom, I didn't, it didn't, it didn't judge me for not knowing how to
Fritz Coleman (01:01:27):
Spell. Aw. Lemme tell you a funny
Christopher Knight (01:01:28):
Story. Got it. It got it, it got it corrected. Yeah.
Fritz Coleman (01:01:31):
Let me tell you a personal story about exactly what you're talking about. My older son, who is 35 years old, and I was diagnosed early on with h d and we had to, um, we had to, it was really affecting his life. We had to take him out of regular high school and put him in a special school. And he was diagnosed. They went through a long battery of tests with a psychologist who specialized in adhd. And the school where this boy ended up had classes for parents of a d d children. So it was a six week class and we would go once a week on Wednesday. And at the end of the class period, six, six weeks, I went to the teacher and I said, I just feel like I should pay you double the tuition for this class because I learned more about myself in this class than I did about my son. I mean, I knew my son's problem cause they were, they were, you know, officially diagnosed. But everything, all of the syndromes, all of the lifestyle weirdnesses and uh, and and problems I had were all, because I myself was a D H D, but they didn't have the names for it when I was growing up. They called it, you know, you have bad reading comprehension or something like
Louise Palanker (01:02:45):
That. It was always an insult. Like, you're a daydreamer and, and, uh, you're lazy. You know, you're not trying.
Fritz Coleman (01:02:50):
Yeah. Anyway, uh, I, it was such a revelation to me, but that didn't come into my life until I was like 45 years old. But it was, I, I thought, wow, it answered so many questions about my past. And it sounds like you had a similar circumstance.
Christopher Knight (01:03:04):
Exactly the same experience. Yeah. And then everything else made sense. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that was sort of like dark closeted because people didn't need to know about the struggles that you were having because they didn't see them, because you learned to compensate for them. Yeah. In odd kind of ways. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But it, you know, um, you, you were kind of aware where it was that you were going to step out too far into the light mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, and, you know, fall off the ledge. Uh, reading was my big thing. I mean, cuz I always, my parents were both really smart people mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, highly educated and, uh, you know, expected that for their children. So we, you know, greatest skipper raised in an educated environment mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and though they paid very little attention to our grades and so forth, uh, we always, you know, all of us got good grades and I think I'm the only one in our family that, that, that had this ADHD thing. But, um, fortunate, do you believe my mom had something? My dad might have had something <laugh>,
Fritz Coleman (01:04:05):
Why? Yeah. You don't know. And then now that was undiagnosed. But, but, but just to, to put a third act on this thing, the beauty is now, and I'm really proud of where schools have gone because the awareness about this particular disorder has been raised so much that now schools are, especially public, schools are insisted on adhering to certain things. Like the, uh, children who are officially diagnosed have to be given longer to test. They can be tested outside the classroom in another environment. They have to be given longer to do projects. So society's become very, very aware of this and is trying to, uh, is trying to boost these children a little bit, which is wonderful. Certainly not. Well,
Christopher Knight (01:04:44):
I think there's, there's a great value in people that have these kind of, uh, thought patterns because they think differently. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and as a result of thinking differently, they, they can arrive at, at, at, at, um, at conclusions and at, at, at at, at the answer to problems that no one else even saw yet as a ingenuity.
Louise Palanker (01:05:02):
Christopher Knight (01:05:02):
Problem solving. And they, they, and I, and I, and I think, and I think part of it is, it's, it's always been around. I mean, our awareness is, is what it is because we're now kind of aware of it and we're not, uh, we recognize that not everyone is built with the same formula. Um, and I I, I have to believe because physical, physical, something physical has, is a great, um, moderator of it, but we don't live those lives anymore. Mm-hmm. It, it, it stems out of, um, you know, the person who would see the lion or could sit there for eight hours watching for them Yeah. Without getting, you know, their focus, you know, destroyed, uh, is that person, you know, so there's a value to them. It's a matter of finding where that value is in. Yeah. They
Fritz Coleman (01:05:53):
Would've been just, and your coping mechanisms often drive you to great success. Our friend Henry Winkler is dyslexic, Jay Leno's dyslexic, and they talk very openly about how their brain had to morph around these ideas. And it may, it, it, it exercised muscles in the other part of the brain that led them to great success. Yeah.
Christopher Knight (01:06:11):
I'm highly dyslexic. I was the first thing I suffered from, but I, you know, I thought maybe I'm gonna keep this quiet before people realize that I'm, I got a problem <laugh>, but I knew I could read. I just weird. I could, I, I mean, I, you couldn't get my eyes out of a, out of something I was interested in mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And this is the thing, cuz a lot of kids, a lot of boys, they might have no reading problem whatsoever when it comes to a comic book. You know, you can't, you can't feed 'em enough. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But you give them, you know, hell, two cities like me, <laugh> and I'll be turning the first four pages forever. You know, realizing I didn't
Louise Palanker (01:06:46):
Get anything out. And I think what happens is, like, the more creative you are when you're looking at something that doesn't interest you, your creative brain goes off in a creative interesting direction and you don't remember what you've just read. Cuz you're just always creating.
Christopher Knight (01:07:02):
Yeah. I remember just forcing myself to put my hand, my finger next to the words and go through. Yeah. And I, and then, and then like, I have no idea what I
Fritz Coleman (01:07:11):
No. That, that was my son's problem. He, he was diagnosed with, and the, and the doctor explained it beautifully called, it's called a gateway disorder, where you read something and your brain, because of biology and electricity and all kinds of things, doesn't put this information where it's supposed to go. So he could read the same paragraph five times in a row and not remember one thing about what he had just read. And they called it a gateway. It it's your brain not being able to put it in the right compartments
Louise Palanker (01:07:38):
Because he had something better to think about. That's
Christopher Knight (01:07:40):
All <laugh>. Well, I mean, I know that the, one of, one of the downsides of what I have, or the way that it expresses itself is, is the immersion. Hmm. It's, you get in, so you can't get out. You can't stop. I cheaty ch I mean, it's the cheat bang bang, you're the med scientist because you're on something. Right. And it's where it's, you're in a zone. Right. And, and it's, and it's disruptive to leave it mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I cannot, um, go back. You know, it's, I mean, if you ask me to write a paper on me and I don't finish it in, in one sitting, the next time I come back to it, what I wrote is not right anymore.
Louise Palanker (01:08:18):
Christopher Knight (01:08:18):
It's, it's, it's like I can't get to that same spot again. Okay. You know, so I gotta, you know, I, I don't know how to like it or use it in the space I'm now. That's really interesting. You know, so it almost needs to be con and that's, you know, worthless.
Louise Palanker (01:08:32):
Yeah. But it's like, no, I've learned too much for this to make sense ever again. Now I have to
Christopher Knight (01:08:37):
Start off. I, it doesn't, yes. I gotta say that differently now. You know, and I, I'm not sure exactly why, but, you know. No, I understand. But you can re I can rewrite something. I can, you know, you know, as a friend used to say, beat it to pae, you know, <laugh> just rewriting it or, you know, elaborating on it. And, and that's why science to me is a lot more, um, rudimentary. You know, it had, so
Fritz Coleman (01:08:57):
Talk about science and your life and what you're doing and the creativity you're writing to the planet now. Talk
Christopher Knight (01:09:02):
About it. Well, so I did the computer thing for 20 years and found that it was, um, it was right. It was my thing, you know, it was my, my ability without, um, a science degree or an engineering degree to be in with all my friends who were sciences, uh, scientists and engineers and amongst them, uh, developing and creating product, whether it be hardware and or software throughout that arc of the personal computer. Um, until, you know, the, the 2000, 2001 when I finally, um, needed a rest from it, um, had taken a number of companies, um, uh, public or, or out of existence, <laugh>, you know, who knows where it's gonna end up acquired. Um, the exciting, right. And for me, I saw, you know, there's a lot of this, this, this high tech industry is very much like the entertainment industry. It's just as wild.
It's just as crazy. And it's, and it's those, um, on the creative side talk about, you know, uh, you know, the a d d bunch, um, the engineers are, you know, um, it's all on. It's all on them. You know, they're the, they're the, they're the stars. And uh, you gotta figure out how to, how to harness that. You know? And I was a little bit more adept at harnessing that because I was kind of one of them. And, and, and also not coming at it from a point of view of like that like business might or did initially, which is that they have to conform, you know, you get more out of the creative sorts by letting them work their way. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and recognizing that there's a value to that. And, uh, having the sympathy that I did. So I ended up managing engineers, which was interesting cuz like, they're programmers and I have no idea what they're telling me is truthful <laugh>. I don't program
Fritz Coleman (01:10:47):
<laugh>. You're also very, uh, very, uh, philanthropic in your nonprofit work. Talk about that in, in one particular, oh,
Christopher Knight (01:10:54):
That is the Brady. That is the Brady Lynch bell. I couldn't see it where it was. Yeah. There you go. You do have it <laugh>. She, she's so caring. Well, you know, I I I tend to, um, it
Louise Palanker (01:11:03):
Still has sour milk in there. Mm-hmm.
Christopher Knight (01:11:05):
<affirmative> people know the Bradys trust the Bradys, and I'm invited to do this, that, and the other, um, endlessly, um, as I'm sure you are mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, um, uh, you know, there's just, there's just so much time you have in a day. Um, and if I am going to get involved with a a cause I, I'd, um, it's easier for me to be involved than not be involved if, but then not too many. Cuz there's, that will just sink you. But then again, I, you know, I, I am a little bit hesitant to be involved with, um, uh, uh, a cause unless I really know I'm comfortable with, with how much of that which is being raised goes to. Well,
Fritz Coleman (01:11:45):
What in particular? The one that spinal cord injuries
Christopher Knight (01:11:47):
In Massachusetts, that's Journey Ford outta Boston. Um, you know, there is, uh, I was contacted, uh, or having a conversation with a friend, his director actor living here in, in, in LA at the time. This is back in, it was 14 years ago now. Uh, so 2005, 2006. And, and, um, um, he's, he's, um, from Boston's got the Boston accent, um, and, uh, uh, Dondo, he says, wait, um, my brothers got an event coming up he needs, he needs a host for, um, and I'm a terrible host, but I, but the kind of host they're talking about is just an somebody to, um, be there, um, uh, not to organize, not an mc, but a person who, who they could advertise around and, and they, and, and help support the event. Talk up the event, do the PR for, uh, and I What, well, what's your brother?
You know, what's your, what's, what's the, what's the thing for, what's his, um, mon non-profit? Well, it turns out at 19, his brother, the youngest of his large Catholic, uh, Irish Catholic family, uh, dove into a pond when, when summer night. And, um, it wasn't deep where he dove. And he, um, well he was a, a non, um, they said a dependent quadriplegic is what it was. Um, immediately diagnosed as meaning that he might not be able to even feed himself from that point forward. And I mean, the story right there is like, I mean, cuz that's, that's available to all of us. It's not like you have to have a particular chromosomal condition to worry about X or Y. This is something that can happen to any one of 'em face. And, uh, I like to think of myself as a, as, as, you know, a sport, a physical, uh, um, person that needs a life of, uh, of usefulness physically mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
And to think that that could happen. It's like, what would you do? You know, how, how would you handle it? And he's 19 at the time that this happened, a ball player, you know, had a promising possible career as a baseball player. Um, and now all of a sudden overnight, and he's the youngest in the family, which, you know, uh, there's not a lot of extra resources and the world turned upside down anyway. So he, through his own stubborn brilliance, wouldn't take the diagnosis sitting down. Literally, they told him to sit in a chair and he said, look, it, if I told you to sit in a chair for 10 years, not hurt yourself, even you, that has no spine problem, you'd never, you'd never get out of it. And he said, right. You know, it's like this whole, the whole, the whole, the medical profession and as it handles spinal cord injuries is so backward.
Um, but it's backward perhaps because of the cost related to those who encounter, uh, spinal cord injury and or disease from of spinal cords. So, but what he did is he investigated, uh, it took him, uh, you know, he was, um, like little sips initially, um, just tying shoes. Even if it took eight hours to tie one shoe, he was gonna do it. Um, and he was completely dependent at the, at the front end, but over some time he was able to tie his shoes. Um, and, uh, he was able to gain some of his mobility back. Um, learned about, uh, an organization in, uh, LA Jolla, San Diego County, um, that helped individuals with spinal cord injuries through exercise. Something that he as a, as an ex-athlete, um, long four, again, <laugh>, um, that they, that, that through this aggressive form of, um, of, of therapy and exercise, you might gain some of your mobility back.
Um, and he, he was able with his brother living in Los Angeles to do this thing for a couple of years and got back his ability to walk in a walker, um, and, um, take care of himself. Wow. Which was what he was after. But now coming home, he realized he lives in Boston. He's, he's, he's a proud Bostonian thinking also that Boston is one of the centers of, of health. Um, and it doesn't have a place like this. He was, he was angry and insistent that it needed one and, um, it could serve him and others like him. And that's where he was starting from. Wow. You know, I mean, just simply needing to, um, fill a need. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, he created Journey Forward and he, and the reason I was contacted was he was having his first fundraiser back in Boston, and I joined him at the, the hearing the story. I said, fine, whatever he needs, I'll go back. And, um, I've been, you know, doing this every year for him, uh, because he's, he's a true, he's a, he, he's a true
Fritz Coleman (01:16:17):
Hero. Hero. He's
Christopher Knight (01:16:18):
Really inspiring. He's, he, he is courage.
Fritz Coleman (01:16:20):
Yeah. I was gonna say over, over and above the specific injuries, just a very inspiring human being.
Christopher Knight (01:16:25):
Louise Palanker (01:16:27):
Well, now talk about, uh, before we close here, I wa also wanna talk about, uh, Christopher Knight Brands. Cuz this is a, a new chapter for you. Correct.
Christopher Knight (01:16:36):
It, it's not exactly brand new anymore. I mean, we started Christopher Knight Home initially, um, uh, under Christopher Knight Brands, uh, the, the holding entity, um, in 19, uh, 19 Jesus, uh, 2011. Okay. And, uh, but it immediately, um, got traction and grew, um, in part because of the, the sensible brilliance of, of the owners of the company who've licensed the brand. Created the brand. A friend of mine from high-tech, uh, uh, business partner in a, a number of, um, past entities, uh, reached out to me who I laughed at at the time. Cuz this guy, when he was in the computer industry, he had already laid off, uh, or laid aside his top secret, um, career with, uh, with the Skunk Works <laugh>. So mean, here's, he's a physicist, and he was working in the computer realm cuz he wanted out of that area. And, um, which is a brilliant, uh, friend of mine.
Uh, now he was in the furniture space, and I kind of chuckled at that. And then lo and behold, a couple months after I chuckled, he's calling me, he said, listen, we have a need for a brand and I think that you're the guy and I'm going, you're crazy. What, what? I mean, what? But he pointed out that he did their, that their company, which he was in, um, um, didn't start, but he got invited into, was looking, they started everybody selling furniture back in, you know, at that time back in the early two thousands was selling furniture, brick and brick and mortar home. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you'd go to a store if it wasn't in the store, you looked in into catalog and that's how you bought furniture. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, although we had, uh, started becoming aware and, and practicing, um, online purchases, it was mostly for things, uh, like stereos or other things that come in boxes or, you know, um, uh, things that could ship to you more, more, uh, you know, uh, more readily.
Um, at this time, 2010, 2011, recognizing that the online idea of furniture sales is probably an area that needs focus. And though no one's doing it well because it requires something deeper. The metadata that one is able to search for on a site for furniture needs to be specific. It's a, it's a longer criteria list than something else because you're trying to make up for the lack of real physical, uh, and tactile response. Um, you're, you know, you're also dealing with a population that, um, uh, has to get their head around the fact that this stuff is gonna be shipped to them. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, you gotta also get your head around as the company, how do you ship it to 'em? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, how do you make sure that it's something that it, it, that, uh, arrives as the thing that they thought it was going to be so that they don't wanna ship it back?
Cuz it's an impossibility at that point to have a business if 50% of everything wants to go in the other direction. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, there were, there were, uh, a few online companies that, um, and the one, uh, that, uh, comes to mind, uh, that did it first was Overstock, uh, which had the unfortunate name of Overstock, making people think that in fact they were selling other people's overstock. It wasn't, it was just a name of an online entity who happened to see a hole in the marketplace for furniture. They also did other things, jewelry and so forth, like Amazon would, but they focused, um, uh, on jewelry and furniture primarily. And that provided then, um, uh, a presentation of furniture that, that they would, they would learn from and it would ever grow. And, uh, made for the experience to be, uh, positive, more positive than others.
Just throwing a picture up and telling you something about it, um, that wasn't nearly enough. So this company that, that imported and manufactured furniture that my friend worked for was looking at them to be sort of the, uh, focus for a new brand for them. And they were intending on getting out of the brick and mortar space for furniture sales because they saw the future for furniture was gonna be online at least where they wanted to be. And that there was gonna be a great deal of growth in that area. And that the reason for the brand was, and the reason for me being that brand was that they needed somebody trustworthy. <laugh> all comes back to being a Brady. Yeah. Um, you know, the, I, um, uh, you know, being a Brady means that you're a member of everyone's family. Right. You're kind of invited to Thanksgiving dinner without even knowing the names of the family and, and, and it's like a weird place to be because all of a sudden people are acting to you in such a familiar fashion and you don't even know who they are.
Louise Palanker (01:21:12):
Yeah. But you're, yet, you're also very good at hosting. And I've watched the videos where you present the, the brand on, on your website, and you're very, you're very good at that.
Christopher Knight (01:21:20):
The fact is, is that people did trust the resistance to pushing the button to, to, to making that first purchase, to gain that experience, um, was the purpose behind the selection of, of me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Uh, and then I've always taken the position that I've got a lot to protect. I w when I was in the high tech space and I was selling computer stuff, I knew that going through that door, um, oddly the Brady's was never gonna go away. Uh, it was there, but it probably opened that door more readily. It answered the phone more readily. Yeah. It gave me an audience more readily. But, um, if I left a stench behind, yeah. It would be remembered more. Sure. It would, you know, there was more, it, it could be a double-edged sword. So, so I couldn't, I had to be more careful and more, more concerned about making certain that, um, what I state is true.
Louise Palanker (01:22:11):
You have to make the family proud. And you're doing that <laugh> now. Talk about your feature documentary. True Love the film.
Christopher Knight (01:22:18):
Uh, you know, you spoke earlier about this idea of, you know, our society right now is that, you know, sort of, uh, this sense of division between us and distrust and all, and there's an air, uh, that, um, it, it, it, when seeing this opportunity come our way, my, I started a production company with a good friend, Phil Vito, uh, three years ago. And, um, Phil and, uh, one of our producers became aware of, um, a sensation on YouTube. At the time, I think she was 13, her name was Callie Truelove. And she, um, uh, I can use the word suffering, I'm, and don't intend to, she has a chromosomal condition called Williams Syndrome. I didn't know anything about Williams syndrome. Um, but her, uh, popularity on, um, on, uh, YouTube was, was, um, uh, because of her nature, just because of her, she was a darling child and also suffering from the Saint Paul Williams syndrome. Um, learning about Williams syndrome and learning about her and learning about her story helped also would also help bring attention to Williams syndrome. It, it, we wanted to do her story and the fact that her name was Truelove. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that's her last name. True love. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um,
Fritz Coleman (01:23:34):
What is the Williams syndrome? We have to tell people?
Christopher Knight (01:23:36):
Uh, it's so ch I think it's a, it's a, uh, mi missing chromosomes on, um, missing Gene on chromosome seven, I believe. But ultimately what it leads to is some, um, children that are born with, um, um, varying degrees of, of heart defects, um, um, some odd, a abnormalities in the face, um, that, that render the individuals sometimes elf like mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, elfish you will. Um, but one of the really interesting aspects of it, and we explore through the movie is that there's a behavior that these children have that is remarkably disarming. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> loving. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. It's just, they, they have just a, a way to express themselves that is, um, how do I, I don't want it to sound dumb, you know, it's like there's no way you can, you know, the same thing a puppy does to you,
Louise Palanker (01:24:33):
Just trusting mm-hmm.
Christopher Knight (01:24:35):
<affirmative> it Well, it just, it's just, it's yes. You, you don't have any distrust, none whatsoever. It, it just warms your heart to be around them. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and they're like that by and large to a person. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And there's something about that missing, um, gene, and, and quite off the subject is there's been some learning going on, uh, uh, secondarily to William syndrome, but apparently, uh, dogs <laugh> being, um, from, you know, uh, a canine, uh, from the wolf population seemed to miss that same part.
Louise Palanker (01:25:09):
Christopher Knight (01:25:10):
Maybe there on the chromosome and that there was some pack of dogs that missed these chromosomes. They made it possible for them to live with people.
Louise Palanker (01:25:17):
Okay. So it's, it's more like they're missing something that, that maybe keeps most of us alive, cuz it's a, an element that is necessary.
Christopher Knight (01:25:25):
Right. Keep us safe. The look, they could be a target for anyone wanting to, you know, do something, you know, um, uh, misdeed. Um, and that's unfortunate, but, you know, I look back, I look at it and going, you know, this has been going on for centuries. That's a one out of 10,000 people. So you know how many millions of people that is. It's interesting that we don't know anything about it because it's all around us, but in, in that these people also look like Elfish mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, and are like, you know, sort of stories of, you know, El Elvis <laugh>. I'm wondering, Hmm. I wonder if maybe that's where it comes from that has something to do it. But we explore through the movie, her meeting, uh, she gained a lot of fans, uh, virtually. Um, but through it, she gets to travel and meet these people, people meet others with Williams syndrome, um, that she, uh, to that point had only met online, um, and get to know her community. Wow. And we get to know, uh, that community as well. Right. And, and in fact, the movie is now on the festival circuit and, uh, next month, uh, actually not next month, next week, two weeks away from, uh, Williams syndrome conference in, um, in Illinois in, um, Shamberg, um, that, um, will be premiering the
Louise Palanker (01:26:32):
Movie. Oh, wonderful. Congratulations. Good
Christopher Knight (01:26:34):
For you. We're a nice piece of work. Well,
Louise Palanker (01:26:35):
We're gonna wrap up the show. Now. I know you can find, uh, Chris on the real Christopher Knight. Is that Instagram? Yes. It's, and where would we find you on Facebook?
Christopher Knight (01:26:44):
Uh, at, at the Real Christopher night as well.
Louise Palanker (01:26:46):
Okay. And then the podcast page is The Real Brady Bros. B r o
Christopher Knight (01:26:50):
S Anywhere podcasts are download where you'll find us. Yeah. Look for the Real Brady Bros. Right. That's Barry and I pontificating about episodes. We use it as we use the episode recap kind of format to then launch into our
Louise Palanker (01:27:03):
Recollections coming to us from Ed Man. And, uh, j we just wanna thank you so much for joining us. We would love to continue the conversation with you on Instagram and Twitter, where we are at Media Path Pod and on Facebook where our show page is, media Path Podcast. And our Facebook group is Media Path with Fritz and Weezy podcast community. You can find full video podcast episodes loaded with bonus visual content on our YouTube channel Media Path podcast. You can write to us at media path podcast gmail.com. If you enjoy the show, please give us a nice rating in Apple Podcast and talk about us on social media. You can sign up for our fun and dish firstname.lastname@example.org. And we would love to thank our wonderful guest, Christopher Knight. Our team includes Friedman, John Madox, Sharon Beo, bill phc, Thomas Hubble, Mason Brown, and you. Our theme music is by me and John Madix. I'm Luie Planker here with Fritz Coleman and Christopher Knight, and we will see you along the media path.
Speaker 4 (01:27:56):
Thank you. I know I get a little warm winded.
Christopher Knight (01:28:00):
Thank you. If we, uh, we ever do another Brady something or other, we should do another show.
Louise Palanker (01:28:05):
Oh, I would love that.