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Happy Fake Jan Day!

Cheese Balls for Everyone!

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Given the recent rapid rise of COVID cases and the passing of our beloved Betty White (click here), it is time for some levity. And total we put all our troubles behind us in celebration of “Fake Jan” Day.

When you think of a new actor taking over an established role, the TV show that immediately comes to mind is “Bewitched.” And, let’s face it, Dick York as Darrin No. 1 in the classic ABC fantasy sitcom was far better than Dick Sargent as Darrin No. 2. Of course, it’s no easy feat stepping in for an actor known for a certain role.

But there is one actor has made a career inheriting a part from someone else, and it was in those painful but eerily addictive eight episodes of variety-themed “The Brady Bunch Hour.” I am talking about Geri Reischl in the 1976-77 TV season, who in place of Eve Plumb as Jan Brady is so firmly entrenched in popular culture as “Fake Jan” that today, January 2nd, is designated as “Fake Jan Day.”

Plumb was the first actress to bow out of playing a Brady girl in one of the revivals, with Susan Olsen as Cindy replaced by Jennifer Runyon in 1988 television movie “A Very Brady Christmas”; and Maureen McCormick as Marcia replaced by Leah Ayres in short-lived CBS 1990 dramedy “The Bradys.” Even Allan Melvin as Sam the butcher, Alice’s (Ann B. Davis) “squeeze” on “The Brady Bunch”, was replaced by Lewis Arquette (the father in real life to the acting Arquette siblings) in aforementioned “A Very Brady Christmas.”

In honor of “Fake Jan Day,” let’s take a walk down TV memory lane for a look at other established roles that had another actor replace the original. For a look, click here