Zap2it: You did “Dancing With the Stars,” and now you’re involved in another competition with “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.” What’s the appeal of such shows for you?
Florence Henderson: When I started in television, most everything was live, and you really had to be on your toes. To be on with Johnny Carson and Jack Paar and Steve Allen, all those great shows that I got to perform on, you had to be quick.
You learned an enormous amount of material in five days or less, and that was the challenge … and I loved it. Maybe that’s why I respond to these competitive things.
Zap2it: Were there other “Cook-Off” contenders you particularly enjoyed while taping the show?
Florence Henderson: What fun it was to work with Penn Jillette! He is brilliant; he comes up with the darndest lines. And he’s huge — like a big giant. Often, I was next to him or Judy Gold, and I felt like the tiniest person in the world.
Zap2it: Such endless affinity comes your way for “The Brady Bunch”; how is that from your perspective?
Florence Henderson: I feel blessed. When I was lucky enough to get my first job when I was 18, right out of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, I just realized how much I loved the business. My goal, really, was to have longevity.
I think it’s because I’m flexible. I say “yes’ a lot, and I don’t take myself terribly seriously, though I take what I do very seriously.