It wouldn’t be the 1970s without The Partridge Family. And on the most recent episode of the ’70-set sitcom The Kids Are Alright, fans were able to c’mon and get happy as the musical TV show was recalled in a hilarious way with original star Danny Bonaduce.
In what was originally supposed to be a top-secret cameo in the episode “Low Expectations,” Bonaduce played Boris, a security guard at the television studio where The Partridge Family was filmed. In the episode, wannabe child star Timmy Cleary (Jack Gore) entered a contest to appear on Bonaduce’s classic TV sitcom The Partridge Family. But in a hilarious twist, the real Bonaduce played a studio guard who told the kid the show was looking to replace Partridge Family star Danny Bonaduce, aka “The Dooch,” and “end his reign of terror” on the set of the sitcom, which ran on ABC from 1970 to 1974.
“You know that guy once threw apple juice at me,” Bonaduce said of his child star self.
The episode featured references to Partridge Family sweetheart Susan Dey and even featured footage from the original show with a scene with Bonaduce and late co-star David Cassidy. Gore’s Timmy was also seen wearing one of the Partridge Family’s signature red velvet suits with a ruffled shirt underneath, and yes, he even performed a rendition of The Partridge Family classic “I Think I Love You.”
Danny Bonaduce was also referred to as “an icon” in the episode as young Timmy realized he would need to learn how to play the bass to replace him in the TV show about a traveling musical family. In real life, Bonaduce has joked that David Cassidy used to chastise him for “strumming” his bass instead of plucking it.
No biggie. Just my second time sharing the screen with the great @TheDoochMan or “The Duce” as we call him here at @TheKidsABC. Ironically the first time was on Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. @realjackgore #TheKidsAreAlright #ThePartridgeFamily #SetLife #DannyBonaduce pic.twitter.com/MBCFpZTLNd
— Mary McCormack (@marycmccormack) March 27, 2019
Bonaduce’s appearance on The Kids Are Alright was originally supposed to be a surprise, but it didn’t work out that way. Co-star Michael Cudlitz said spies on the set spilled the guest star news early.
“I remember there was [sic] photos of Danny out literally the afternoon after he shot [the episode]…and Tim Doyle, our creator, put on it on his Twitter, he was like, ‘Well I guess that’s out of the bag!'”Cudlitz said, per KSRO.
— The Kids Are Alright (@TheKidsABC) March 27, 2019
Danny Bonaduce has been working as a radio DJ for decades, so The Kids Are Alright episode marks his first acting gig in a while. According to IMDB, Bonaduce last appeared on the show The (206) back in 2013 and the TV movie Bigfoot in 2012.
The Kids Are Alright airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.