If you grew up in the nineties, there were not one but three different Kelly’s to worship as TV goddesses. The Kelly Next Door—Kelly Kapowski on Saved By The Bell, The Spoiled Brat Kelly—Kelly Taylor on Beverly Hills, 90210. Lastly, but certainly not least, there was the Funny Vixen Kelly, Kelly Bundy on Married…With Children. Played by Christina Applegate, Kelly instantly became a breakout star of the show. Her entrances on the show were always met with raucous applause from the studio audience. It was a time when skin-tight outfit after skin-tight outfit certainly helped that fandom for Kelly Bundy.
In a lot of ways, Kelly is the heart of the family. Despite making fun of him, she genuinely does seem to care about her brother Bud and is usually happy for him when he winds up with dates. She is naive enough to have a pet turkey around Thanksgiving and not expect her family to do the unthinkable. She’s usually the Bundy with the kindest heart, and she’s seldom mean-spirited aside from the sibling barbs she trades with Bud.
10Tina Caspary Was Originally Cast
After playing Kelly for 11 years, it’s hard to think of anyone else besides Christina Applegate in such a memorable role. But, in the original pilot, a girl named Tina Caspary attempted to play Kelly. As with a lot of TV Pilots, the show was working out the kinks and Tina’s chemistry with Ed O’Neill just wasn’t there. The role was recast with Applegate at the helm and the rest is history.
9Wigged Out 10th Season
Kelly was a bottle blond from the very first episode. Peggy had begun dying her hair when a boy in elementary school liked another girl over her little Kelly. But, during the show’s tenth season, Christina Applegate was also filming a movie called Nowhere.
The movie was an unconventional look at teenage life in Los Angeles. It’s the concluding chapter in the “Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy.” For the role of Dingbat, she had to dye her hair red and chop off Kelly’s signature long locks. She wore a wig for a lot of the season.
8She’s A Virgin?!
If you believe her brother Bud, Kelly is one of the easiest girls in Chicago. However, between her sweet-natured naivety in bringing boys home and Al smashing all of their heads into the door, it’s quite possible that Kelly was actually a virgin! Or, at least, that’s actually how Christina Applegate played her.
According to an interview with NPR, she once said about her famous role, “Ditzy, yeah? Lazy thinker. I guess, you know, I had to play her as a genius. You know, in her own mind, she’s a genius—and a virgin, actually. So those are my little secrets that I had about her. You know, she was really, like, kind of a product of that time.”
7Always There For Her Family
For people that have had a warring relationship with their siblings, then you might certainly understand the concept of “I can do whatever I want and say whatever I want about my family, but you can’t.” Kelly and Bud would always trade nasty barbs at one another, insulting their looks and sexuality. However, if you crossed the Bundy children, you had to pay the piper. One early episode featured a meeting of Kelly’s Bundy and Tiffani Amber-Thiessen, who quickly learned that the only one that can humiliate Bud is Kelly.
6The Decline Of Western Civilization, Part II
If you grew up during the eighties and early nineties and were a part of the hair metal scene, then you know full well that Kelly was a poster child for that era and those kids. She was the epitome of a video vixen come to life and squeezed into tight dresses and fishnets.
Besides the look of some metal girls of the time, Applegate actually based Kelly off a real person: rock groupie Cindy Birmisa. She was also featured in the rockumentary, The Decline Of Western Civilization, Part II – The Metal Years.
5Smarter Than The Average Blond
Despite what just about everybody has ever said about her on the show, Kelly isn’t nearly as dumb as her family would have you believe. Christina Applegate player her as if she was a genius, and, in her own way, she was. She knew how to pick winning numbers on a roulette wheel and definitely knew how to use her femininity to her advantage. At least in one instance, she proved she could be taught when Al plowed her with all kinds of sports trivia to get her ready for a game show.
4Like TV Mother, Like TV Daughter
Christina Applegate and her TV mom Katey Sagal has great chemistry on the series. Kelly and Peggy were quite the mother-daughter duo. Both women knew how to muse their whiles to get what honey wanted and then also both had the knee twitch down pat.
One more connection for the actresses that the male Bundy actors didn’t share was their showbiz routes. Sagal’s famous family included her father, Boris, and her twin sisters, the Doublemint Twins. Christina Applegate’s mother is Nancy Priddy, a singer-songwriter who has appeared with her daughter in several projects.
3Hardest Worker In The Family
For a girl who once reported that “God did not invent this package to work,” Kelly is actually the hardest worker in the family. The aspiring model/actress was also a weather girl and a waitress. Most famously, she was also the fictional superhero exterminator The Verminator who worked at Chicago’s favorite theme park, TV Land.
Over the course of the series, Kelly dated a lot of guys. Her most famous and consistent (re: for several episodes) boyfriend was Vinnie Verducci, who was played by future Friend, Matt LeBlanc. But he wasn’t the only actor to get his start playing one of Kelly’s idiot boyfriends.
She had had a few, Corey Feldman once played Ralph, a punk who tried to take advantage of Kelly until she walked out on him, and the future Angel, David Boreanaz cheated on Kelly, which met the wrath of Al in a movie theater.
1“Oh, What A Feeling”
Over the course of the show, just about every cast member had one or more of their family members guest starring on the Married…With Children. Christina’s mom guest-starred on the series, too.
Nancy Priddy took part in an early episode, “Oh, What A Feeling.” She played the mother of a spoiled brat that Al noticed when he tried to get a new car. Al had a meltdown, telling her that, if the kid didn’t want the car, he’d be happy to have it.