Wanna see something scary? Read this interview with Robbie Rist, who will forever be known as The Brady Bunch‘s reviled Cousin Oliver, and scroll down to see what he looks like today at age 42. (I’m trying to convince myself that it’s my own lost youth that makes me shudder when I look at this picture, not the appearance of this fellow who looks like Ted Nugent with Cousin Oliver’s face PhotoShopped on.) At least Rist is a good sport, talking pleasantly about his show-killer reputation (besides helping The Brady Bunch jump the shark, he also played a kid Ted and Georgette adopted during the final season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and he was on CBS’ Early Show the day Bryant Gumbel left), his music career (you can hear his tunes on his MySpace page), and the horror movie he’s currently taking around the festival circuit, called Stump the Band.
Washington Post blogger Liz Kelly calls herself a big dork for how much she enjoyed talking to Rist, but I think I can out-dork her. Recently, I was watching a Simon & Simon rerun, one from the first season, when they still had the good Tejano-style theme song. It was on Sleuth, that new channel on the nether reaches of your cable dial that’s dedicated to reruns of old cop shows. As I was watching Gerald McRaney and wondering how this fairly bland drugstore cowboy could have transformed himself into Deadwood‘s thoroughly evil and terrifying Hearst, I spotted the kid actor at the center of the episode’s plot (he was a teenage hacker, probably before the term had been coined, who’d been kidnapped by evil bank employees and forced to help them embezzle funds electronically) and immediately identified him as Rist. He was about 17 but still looked 13. I felt myself torn between anticipating his rescue and hoping for his demise because, after all, he was Cousin Oliver.
Dork that, Liz Kelly!