The Racy Banned Episode
Not to get too much into politics, but when we learned of this fact, we weren’t that surprised. Back in 1989, the Fox network pulled an episode from being aired due to the content being too racy for television. Now this was according to a woman named Terry Rakolta. See why we weren’t surprised? Anyway, Terry a housewife from Michigan, managed to make such a to do about the content of the show that she got advertisers to pull out of the show! Fox in turn had to remove the episode that was so offensive to her. Don’t worry though, the episode did eventually air on FX in 2002, for the public to enjoy.
Peggy Bundy’s wardrobe, as well as her, well, entire look, was one calculated move after another. Actress, Katey Sagal, who played the role of Peggy, came into the audition dressed as what she thought Peggy would look like, huge red wig and all! Obviously producers loved her initiative and the fact that she actually managed to capture Peggy’s character. Actress, Christina Applegate, who played the role of Kelly, did something very similar at her audition too, wait till you get a load of that one!
The First Kelly and Bud
Many people don’t know this, but there were two different actors who played the roles of Kelly and Bud in the pilot episode. Actress, Tina Caspary and actor, Hunter Carson, played the Bundy children at first. However, Al Bundy himself, actor, Ed O’Neill, didn’t feel the chemistry with the original actors and asked producers to recast the roles. The producers obviously obliged and in came in Christina Applegate and David Faustino. All of the scenes up until then had to be reshot since the public would have noticed the casting change.
Frenemies are a mix between the words friends and enemies, and is used when you aren’t sure if you are indeed, friends or enemies. That was the exact dynamic between Ed O’Neill and Amanda Bearse.There were rumors that the two did not get along at all on set, and that it was due to the fact that Bearse was a lesbian in real life (not cool, O’Neill). We hope this is just a rumor, especially considering he now plays the father of an openly gay son on the hit sitcom, Modern Family.
The pilot of Married with Children was so successful on its opening night that the network played the pilot several more times that day. Something about the dysfunctional Bundy family really struck a chord with the audience, who couldn’t get enough of them! This was the first time Fox had a prime-time television series, and they were more than proud of its ratings and success. Who would have thought such a simple storyline would be such a hit?!
The Various Names
Jokes and pranks on set are common, and on a set like this one, of a show that is all about laughs and jokes, it was almost asking for it. Throughout the show’s filming, many people had trouble spelling Al Bundy’s name for some reason. Many variations of his name were used, such as, Al Bumby, Al Birdy, and Al Boondy. We aren’t sure the point to all of this but the one thing we do know is that every character had a nickname on set and in the show.
During the show’s 10 year run, actress, Katey Sagal was pregnant three times. Sadly, her first pregnancy ended up with a still born child who arrived six weeks early. The other two pregnancies came to term and resulted with healthy children. While she as pregnant though, producers and wardrobe had some serious work to do to hide her pregnancies from the cameras. They did a good job of that too, since we never noticed anything.
Actress, Christina Applegate had to wear a wig during the tenth and final season of Married with Children. The reason for her need for a wig was due to the fact that during that time she was also shooting a movie where her hair was dyed brown. Kelly Bundy would never be caught dead with brown hair, seeing as her bottled blonde do was a serious topic of discussion throughout the show’s storylines.
Married with Children has broken some records. The show is still the longest running live-action series on Fox. The show was on filmed between 1987 and 1997, with 259 episodes and 11 seasons! The show hangs at the number 8 spot on the list of longest running weekly comedic shows in US tv history. Re-runs of the show can still be seen on TBS and Fox, and are just as funny twenty (!!) years later.
For those of you who paid little or no attention to this small detail, here’s the scoop: in Al’s shoe shop there was a sign behind the register that read Vista Cards rather than Visa cards. We are pretty sure it had more to do with producer’s not wanting to drop brand names than anything else, a lawsuit could come easily enough, so they did the smart move of adding one small T to the whole situation to avoid a legal battle.
Al Bundy was a pretty straight forward man. He was a husband, father, business owner, and lover of all things dirty. We have seen plenty of scenes when Al goes to another room to read Big ‘Uns magazine. Interestingly enough, Al is presented as a conservative man; guess even a conservative man had his faults. As we can all see here, one of the scenes where Al decides to do double duty and open up not one, but two magazines. Oh Al.
Someone wasn’t paying attention! Throughout the show’s run, the Bundy’s address somehow changed from 9764 Jeopardy Lane to 9674 Jeopardy Lane. Although a minor change that many didn’t notice, but it’s big enough to mention. Jeopardy Lane is a made up street name that is set to be in Chicago, so were the numbers, but we still find it hilarious that someone mixed them up.
Peggy has a maiden name, guys, she wasn’t always a Bundy. Not to put anyone out here, but Peggy’s maiden name was Wanker. Hey we didn’t think it up! The British swear word, which we will not define here, is pretty funny for her last name. However, the term wanker wasn’t used in that format at the time of the show’s inception, so the writers get a break here.
While on Married with Children, Ed O’Neill also starred in a made for television movie about a guy who volunteers at his girlfriend’s son’s school to get closer to him (bad move). The film and tv show storyline overlap when in Married with Children, Al mentions the film on a plane, and secondly when Peggy and Al go to rent a movie at the store and he chooses that one. Nice branding.
Married with Children was nominated for seven Emmy Awards throughout its run. However, the show, with all of its popularity, never won a single Emmy. This upsetting fact was added to the fact that Married with Children and Baywatch, were the only shows at the time to run as long as they did, yet not receive a single accolade for their work. Not sure we’re okay with this!
Al Bundy had a thing for his beat up old Dodge. Except that, wait a second, it wasn’t a Dodge! The car in question was actually a 1972 Plymouth Duster with a top made of vinyl. The cars were indeed owned by the same company and looked a lot alike, but Al, your car wasn’t a Dodge at all! We aren’t sure if this was a genuine mistake or a point made on purpose, but we didn’t really care then, and we don’t get it now.
Real Life Inspiration
In a case of art imitates life, when actor Ed O’Neill was researching and working out his role of Al, he immediately thought of his own family. Ed’s uncle Joe was his inspiration for Al. Joe seemed to have many of Al’s characteristics and it was something that helped Ed get prepared for his role as the family patriarch. Well, thank you uncle Joe, the show wouldn’t be the same without you!
Bud’s Full Name
… is Budrick! His full name was in fact, Budrick Franklin Bundy. Why on earth would the writers of the show be so cruel to such a young man?! It’s just as bad as the fact that Peggy’s maiden name was Wanker. Lucky for Bud, everyone really did just call him Bud. However, do you remember the nickname he gave himself? We do. We may tell you in a bit.
Now this kind of behavior wouldn’t fly in 2017, but darling Al Bundy started an anti-feminist organization that’s sole agenda was to make sure there would never be female domination. In real life though, the name of the organization – NO MA’AM, actually stands for, National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood. We wonder if Al knew that, or more so, the writers of Married with Children.
Peggy Loves Oprah!
Over and over again, Oprah is mentioned on Married with Children. Peggy absolutely loved the television show host. When Al wasn’t in charge of the television, it was Peggy who was glued to the screen, watching her Oprah Winfrey Show. Peggy used to refer to the show on a few occasions, and even went out to work for a day (because she couldn’t hack it for more than that) in order to get herself a VCR player to record the show.
In a very strange twist, the youngest Bundy, Bud, had a dream of becoming a rapper. This dream was actually a dream and reality of the man who played him, David Faustino. We couldn’t believe it at first, but David was actually a rapper during the early 90s, going by the name D’ Lil and recording an album titled, Balistyx, back in 1992. Oh boy.
What happens when a show in the United States becomes mega successful? Other countries around the world take the concept of the show and make their own version of it. An English adaptation of the show, called, Married For Life, was aired in the UK, only to tank after just seven weeks. Listen guys, this show just had the perfect mix of everything, getting that right is super hard.
This is what happens when writers are allowed to name characters. During the first season of Married with Children, Al had a coworker named Luke Ventura. The name Ventura came from the fact that the writers of the show were fans of professional wrestler, James Ventura, also known as, The Body. James’ the wrestler actually went on to be the 38th Governor of Minnesota, from 1999 to 2003.
Barr As Peggy
The role of Peggy Bundy was actually written with actress, comedian and producer, Rosanne Barr in mind. Despite the fact that Rosanne was one funny woman, she didn’t end up getting the role of Peggy due to lack of chemistry with the character. In the end it was actress Katey Sagal who won the role, and good thing too, she was a shoe-in for it!
Al Bundy loved to come home and immediately go to his favorite spot – the couch. He loved watching his television more than any other person on the show. However, his favorite show on the show (yes, we know this is confusing), was Psycho Dad. The fact that Psycho Dad was his favorite show was a nod to the fact that he himself was not 100% upstairs. We aren’t saying he was actually psycho, but he sure wasn’t the most loving parent we’ve seen.
While we are very glad that Ed O’Neill got the part of Al Bundy (who else could have played him with such success?), we cannot forget those who almost became Al. The part of Al Bundy was initially offered to comedian, Sam Kinison, who turned it down (thankfully!). Ed O’Neill was the next logical choice and he knew what kind of gold this show had as its potential; and all is right in the world again.
Al Bundy, as we all know, worked at a show store called, Gary’s Shoe and Accessories for Today’s Woman. Other than that being a very long name for a store, it also didn’t have very many customers over the years, as Al keeps crying about from time to time. However, the most interesting fact regarding the store has more to do with the fact that Gary, as in Gary’s Shoes, was in fact a woman, not a man.
We fans of the show only know how much we loved the sitcom and everyone in it. What we didn’t know what that it cost producers $1 million to produce just ONE episode of the show. Initially it was worth it because the profits were rolling in, but over the course of the show and the years that were rolling by, profits were getting smaller and so the show ended up being cancelled because of lack of funds. Shame.
A Famous Fan
The show had legions of fans, but no one more famous than Sir Roger Moore. Moore played the role of the infamous James Bond. He loved Married with Children and watched it religiously. Moore was also good friends with Boris Sagal, Katey’s real life father, who acted in the film, Sherlock Holmes in 1976, where Boris was the director. It’s both a small world and a talented one.
The theme song of Married with Children is none other than Frank Sinatra himself. The song, Love and Marriage, became synonymous with the show after a while. The song was originally on the show, Our Town, in 1955, but was snatched up by Married with Children in 1987. While there are three versions of the song, the version that is on the theme song of the show is definitely the most famous.
The Bundy’s neighbor, acted out by actor, David Garrison, ended his time on Married with Children after the end of season four. He went on to pursue a very successful theater career, starring in plays like Titanic, I Do! I Do!, Torch Song Trilogy, and Wicked. David returned to Married with Children for four additional episodes throughout the shows long run. Each time he was on the show though, he wasn’t on it as the neighbor but as someone else.
Although this may take a while, there is a Bud Bundy spin off in the works! Actor, David Faustino said that the show is currently being held up due to legal issues but that it will all work out and the show will be filming shortly. Each member of the original cast has agreed to either be a part of the spin off or at the very least make an appearance. Man, if this is true, we are one happy camper!
The character of Bob Rooney never went by just Bob. Interestingly enough, he ALWAYS went by his full name, Bob Rooney. No one ever called him otherwise. The character was also part of the No Ma’am club that was started by dear ol’ Al. We sure hope actor E. E. Bell didn’t think everyone in real life was going to call him by his full name!
In an effort to make a splash, and they sure did, producers put in a random clip between the others in the show’s opening credits. If you look very closely, you will be able to see a but of an image of the Griswald family in the film, Vacation, about to go off to Las Vegas for their very first adventure. Call it subliminal messaging, or genius branding, either way, we found it to be all too funny.
Whether on purpose or not, Ed O’Neill acted just like Al Bundy in his audition. He was called in by a casting director who was asked to do so by a Fox executive who saw O’Neill in the stage show, Of Mice and Men. When O’Neill got into the room for the audition, he managed to seem entirely disinterested and lazy and just walked to the chair where he was directed to sit in and looked all moody about it. Totally Al Bundy material!
Producers of Married with Children were actually considering calling the show, Not The Cosby’s, for a moment or two. The whole point was the point out that the Bundy’s were NOTHING like the Cosby’s, not wholesome, not hard working, and far from wealthy. In the end it was not named that, thankfully, as it was obvious that they weren’t the Cosby’s. Sheesh!
Ed O’Neill had one very big difference from Al Bundy – his work ethic. Ed appeared in all 262 episodes of the show, for the entire duration of the show’s ten year run! That is some serious commitment to the show. This is perhaps the reason Ed took so much time of between Married with Children and Modern Family. We now see O’Neill in almost every episode of that show too!
In a very shady move, producers did not tell the cast that the show was getting cancelled. Producers let the cast figure it out for themselves on their own time! That is absolutely insane. Ed O’Neil was on vacation with his family when he heard two tourists talking about the cancellation as it was announced to the media. Christina Applegate heard about it from two close friends. That’s a cold move, even for Hollywood.
Calling All Fans
In a true legend of Hollywood way, Ed O’Neill would use his downtime on set to call his most loyal fans of the show. While the call was indeed a collect call and the receiver had to pay for it, we think it well worth the few dollars it would have cost his fan to pick up the call. We wonder if they thought it was perhaps a prank call!
During the ten year run of the show, the family members of the cast made cameo and guest appearances. Catherine Rusoff, Ed O’Neill’s wife, made two guest appearances, Katey’s brother, Joey Sagal, and Christina Applegate’s mother, Nancy Priddy, also appeared on the show. David Faustino’s two former girlfriend’s were on the show – Elaine Hendrix, and Julia Teblak were each in an episode.
When actor, Ed O’Neill got his Hollywood star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, his star was situated right outside DSW Shoes! We are not certain that this was done on purpose, but the hilarious circumstances had us laughing a bit. Fans even came out to have O’Neill sign their shoes for them! Ah, Ed, you are never getting away from Al Bundy.
Buck the Dog
The family dog, Buck, was a part of Married with Children from the very beginning of the show’s production. For nine years he was part of the show, making it funnier than ever with his timed barks and carefree attitude. Buck sadly passed away of natural cases on May 25, 1996. It is always sad to lose a pet, and Buck felt like all of ours.
On the show’s 200th episode, producers and writers did something amazing – they brought in George Plimpton to host a special episode that flashes back to all of the best scenes throughout the show’s history, going back as far as the pilot episode. The biggest and funniest dig of the episode was a passive aggressive remark regarding that Emmy that the show never got. Nice one guys.
Kramer vs. Bundy
Another actor who could have played the role of the infamous Al Bundy, was actor Michael Richards, the equally infamous character of Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld. Luckily again for us all, Richards’ style of comedy was too peppy for the producers, who knew that Al needed to be a lazy and grouchy individual. Once again, ladies and gents, Ed O’Neill for the win!