21 Secrets Producers Hid From Fans On Married With Children
Talking about the television industry in the late 80s and end of 90s the TV series and sitcoms played a vital role in getting TRPs for them. It was really the sitcoms who were driving the television industry. From that list, the top drivers were shows like Home Improvement, Fresh Prince of Bell-Air and Married… with Children who were winning over. But Married… With children was one of its own kind. It instigated a lot of careers of all the newbie actors and have helped them to showcase their talents to the audience. The cast of the show also includes the famous comedian Chistina Applegate, who played the role of the daughter of the lead actor Al Bundy and got eminent for her exception comic timing.
Ed O’Neill (Al Bundy) – 263 episodes, 1987-1997
There is no wrong in saying that it was the whole cast’s contribution that the show was a big success but the head of the family Mr.Edward Leonard “Ed” O’Neil was the star of the show.We fans know him as El Bundy. There were many small roles which he played in different movies but Married…. with children gave a kick start to his career as he got eminent from this sitcom. He was there in all the episodes of all the seasons. And his stardom has not been washed out with the age he is still serving the industry through the famous show Modern Family and also gave his voice to a famous character in Finding Dory. That was not enough here, he is even Black Belt in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, which he gained at the retirement age of 60. WHAAAATTTTTT????
David Faustino (Bud Bundy) – 262 episodes, 1987-1997
David Faustino was only 9 years old when he started appearing on TV in the role of Bud Bundy. When I was of his age I used to think of whether I should skip Pokemon today or not. His childhood has been passed out in front of a camera. He was such a charm that people were soo much sure about him that he is going to be a superstar one day. But maybe destiny had a different gift for him in its box. But luckily he didn’t fall into the trap of Drug addiction like other 90’s Stars. Though this doesn’t mean he was straight from the heaven, he was once arrested for illegal possession of Marijuana in 2007 for which he got bail. He is free from all those things now and living a happy life serving his voice at one radio station as an RJ for connecting the dots.
Ted McGinley (Jefferson D’Arcy) – 170 episodes, 1989-1997
Fans of Ted McGinely knows him as the Suave male bimbo Jefferson D’Arcy. He was the god in both appearance and acting skills which is why his acting career stayed with him for a long period of time. He did a number of roles in different TV shows but fame touched his feet through the show Hope & Faith. His fellow members used to believe that he is a cursing guy. In whatever show that he is cast, he seemingly puts a cancellation date on it. But MacGinley, of course, denies the fact clarifying that there are shows like Happy days and The Love Boat which lasted for a long period of time. He is 58 but still, he does not miss a chance to entertain people with the same enthusiasm. Today also people enjoy watching him over and over again.
David Garrison (Steve Rhoades) – 84 episodes, 1987-1995
David Garrison started off as a theater actor but gained more fame when he decided to become a TV actor as Steven Bartholomew Rhodes on Married with… Children. After the show ended, he went on to appear in numerous shows like Everybody Loves Raymond, Law & Order, NYPD Blue, and The Good Wife. Years later, he went back to theater acting and played the original role of The Wizard in Wicked from 2005 onwards. After bidding the role goodbye in 2007, he starred in the new play Red Remembers in 2009, followed by many others. His most recent appearance was as Fagin in a production of Oliver!, which ended in December 2013. He’s now 64.
Katey Sagal (Peggy Bundy) 263 episodes, 1987-1997
Catherine Louise “Katey” Sagal famously played the big red-haired Peggy Bundy on the show, but she sported a much different look in the years that followed. More than a decade later, she landed a long-running gig as a voice actress on Futurama and then as Gemma Teller Morrow in the crime drama series Sons of Anarchy, where she regained her fame status and her husband Kurt Sutter is the writer-director. She got nine award nods and bagged a Golden Globe and Prism award for her role on the show. She turned 63 in January 2017.
Christina Applegate (Kelly Bundy) – 261 episodes, 1987-1997
Christina Applegate may be a huge Hollywood star now, but she was first known as Al and Peggy’s promiscuous blonde bombshell daughter Kelly on Married… with Children. After the series ended, she starred as a single mom on Jesse, played the lead in Samantha Who? (where she was also an executive director), and took more movie roles in hit movies like the Sweetest Thing and Anchorman movies. Amid her career struggles, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. Fortunately, her cancer was detected early and wasn’t the life-threatening kind. Just two weeks after her condition was announced to the public, she had a double mastectomy and was declared cancer free. It was interesting how she has become a spokesperson for and has helped raise millions for breast cancer awareness five years earlier. Since then, she has become more of an activist and even found her own charitable organization, Right Action for Women, dedicated to breast cancer screening.
Michael (Buck) – 190 episodes, 1987-1995
Buck was undeniably the cutest cast member among the Bundys. Played by a tri-colored Briard named Michael (or Mike), the dog retired and left the show in 1995. His wisecracking canine character was later replaced by a Cocker Spaniel named Lucky, who was possessed with Buch’s reincarnated spirit. Unfortunately, Michael didn’t enjoy much of his retirement as he passed away in May 1996, just less than a year after his final appearance on the show.
Tiffani Thiessen (Heather McCoy) – 1 episode, 1990
Tiffani Thiessen started out doing beauty pageants when she was a lot younger. In 1989, she was named Cover Girl magazine’s “Model of the Year” and just a year later, she was cast as a guest star in Married… with Children . for the What Goes Around Comes Around episode, in which she played Bud’s high school reunion dance date, Heather. By this time, Thiessen had already done a few episodes as the recurring character Kelly Kapowski on Saved By The Bell and went on to do more until 1999, but it was on Beverly Hills 90210 that she really became famous for playing Valerie Malone. More recently, the 42-year-old actress played a lead recurring role in White Collar in 2009 until 2014 and currently plays herself in Dinner at Tiffani’s.
Matt LeBlanc (Vinnie Verducci) – 3 episodes, 1991
When Matt LeBlanc guest starred as a character named Vinnie on Married… with Children in 1991, fans (and perhaps casting directors) were already seeing a potential Joey Tribbiani in him. A few years later, in 1994, he bagged the role as Tribbiani in Friends, which ultimately catapulted him and a couple of his co-stars to fame. For 10 years, LeBlanc appeared in all 200+ episodes of the hit comedy sitcom. He went on to continue playing the role in the spin-off titled Joey for two years while occasionally appearing in other TV shows and films. In 2011, he played a fictional version of himself on Episodes, which earned him a Golden Globe Award and four Emmy nominations. The 49-year-old actor has been hosting Top Gear since 2016.
Pamela Anderson (Cashew) – 2 episodes, 1990-1991
Even early on, Pamela Anderson makes quite an impression. She first appeared on Married… with Children at 23 in 1990 during the 5th season of the show. She played Yvette, a bodacious and beautiful blonde in the show’s sexy dream sequences. Sounds just perfect for her, doesn’t it? She returned to the show the following year as a character named Cashew. As we already know, Pam’s career skyrocketed after that when she took roles in Home Improvement and Baywatch. More recently in 2010 and 2012, she competed in Dancing with the Stars. Now, the model-turned-actress is turning 50 in July and is busy being an activist for PETA, being a mom to her two boys and, more recently, being remarried to her ex-husband Rick Salomon.
Harold Sylvester (Griff) – 44 episodes, 1994-1997
Sylvester is best known for his role on the TV series Married… with Children as Griff, the co-worker, and friend of Al Bundy at the shoe store. Harold’s other TV roles include the miniseries Wheels (1978), the short-lived 1981 series Walking Tall, Today’s F.B.I., Mary (1985), Shaky Ground, and “A Different World”. The most recent TV show in which he starred was The Army Show. Sylvester had a recurring role on the TV series City of Angels. He has made guest appearances on shows, ranging from The Eddie Capra Mysteries to Hill Street Blues to Murder, She Wrote to NYPD Blue.
E.E. Bell (Bob Rooney) – 23 episodes, 1993-1997
E. E. Bell (born Edward Earle Bell; December 27, 1955) is an American comic actor best known for his role as Bob Rooney on the sitcom Married… with Children. He also had a recurring role as Barney the security guard in the Nickelodeon sketch comedy series The Amanda Show. He also had a guest role as Leslie the tow truck driver on Drake & Josh and as the Mystery Guest on How I Met Your Mother. In 2016, Bell had a small role as a bartender in the Coen brothers’ film Hail, Caesar!
Shane Sweet (Seven) – 12 episodes, 1992-1993
He also briefly appeared in the Fox network sitcom Married… with Children as “Seven” who was written out of the series at midseason with no explanation. After Married… with Children in 1993, he went on to co-star in the Nickelodeon series The Journey of Allen Strange. He also appeared in the Nickelodeon game show Figure It Out in the second and fourth seasons.He graduated from John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California in June 2004. In the early 2000s, Sweet was a member of the music group Atalanta. In 2005 Sweet formed a band named The Celestial Matinee. He toured with this band in 2007.
Denise Richards (Girl #2) – 1 episode, 1991
Back in 1991 when Denise Richards starred in Married… with Children as “Girl #2,” she wasn’t famous yet. Her role was not so memorable, but it definitely gave her the exposure that she needed. Soon after, she landed better roles in shows like Friends, Spin City, and even in films like Wild Things and Scary Movie, in which she played sexier roles. In 2005, she made news for her personal life troubles, specifically for her high-profile divorce from her famous husband, Charlie Sheen. Denise Richards is as hot as ever now at 45 years old and still appears in several shows and movies. She lives in Los Angeles with her two biological and one adopted daughters.
Fergie (Ann) – 1 episode, 1994
Fergie became famous worldwide as the lead and only female singer in the group Black Eyed Peas, more so when she pursued a solo career and made Billboard Charts with her hits like Glamorous, London Bridge and Big Girls Don’t Cry. But Married… with Children, fans and viewers know that she was first an actress who had appeared in a few episodes as the guest star, Ann, in 1994. She was 19 at the time and obviously had a lot of potential for Hollywood. Aside from being a songwriter, chart-topping singer, actress, and voice actor, she’s also proudly married to actor Josh Duhamel. At age 41, she enjoys being a wife and mother to their 3-year-old child, Axl Jack.
Amanda Bearse (Marcy D’Arcy) – 263 episodes, 1987-1997
After being introduced to the world as Bundy neighbor Marcy Rhoades-D’arcy on Married… with Children, Amanda Bearse only appeared in other shows a handful of times before finally shifting to a career in directing. She’s helped direct hit shows like Dharma & Greg, MADtv, and Rosie O’Donnell’s The Big Gay Sketch Show. It was also revealed later on that she no longer got along with her co-star, Ed O’Neill. In fact, the latter didn’t get an invite when she got married to Carrie Schenken in 2010 from fear of O’Neill laughing during the ceremony. Turns out O’Neill was much like his onscreen character, who teased Bearse’s character endlessly about her chicken legs.
Vanna White (Coco) – 2 episodes, 1993-1995
Vanna White is just many of the very attractive female stars on Married… with Children. White, who was 36 in 1993, starred as Coco, a ghost from Al Bundy’s past and a self-professed admirer of the latter. However, she first gained fame and became more prominent on television when she first became the “Letter Turner” lady on Wheel of Fortune in 1982. She hasn’t acted since then and has appeared only as herself on TV and film. In 2006, she was honored with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. She turns 60 this February 18, 2017.
Keri Russell (April Adams) – 1 episode, 1995
For veteran actress Keri Russell, Married… with Children was just part of the beginning of her long-running career in acting. In 1991, the former Mickey Mouse Club teen played April Adams, a girl that Bud was dating and was also being pursued by his schoolmate, Nikolai. After the boys’ fight goes public over the university radio station, April finally rejects both suitors. In 1998, she landed the role of her lifetime as the title character on WB Network’s Felicity. It continued to open more doors for her both in television and film. Since the show ended, she made her Broadway debut and, more recently in 2014, starred in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Jane Lynch (Greta) – 1 episode, 1994
Jane Lynch first guest starred on Married… with Children in 1994 as the demanding Greta, a hotel guest who physically and sexually harasses Bud in the “Valentine’s Day Massacre” episode. Of course, she became even more famous later on when she starred in Boston Legal, The L Word, Two and a Half Men and, more importantly, as Sue Sylvester on Glee. Lynch has publicly outed herself as gay and is an active supporter of PETA. Since 2013, she has also hosted the NBC game show, Hollywood Game Night, for which she has won two Emmy Awards. The 56-year-old actress is also a new divorcee after her separation from wife Lara Embry was finalized in 2014.
Milla Jovovich (Yvette) – 1 episode, 1989
Milla Jovovich may be known to play fierce female lead characters in action movies now, but she used to play sweeter roles on television. In 1989 at the age of 13, she starred on Married… with Children as Yvette, a foreign exchange student who stayed with the Bundy family. After being on the show, she took on more TV roles until going on a hiatus in 1992, when she decided to pursue music. She returned to acting in 1997 and achieved greater success after playing the lead role of the pro-world alien Leeloo in the French sci-fi film, The Fifth Element. The Resident Evil saga brought her, even more, fame after that. She’s only 41 and is very much active in the industry.
Ian Ziering (The Kid) – 1 episode, 1990
Ian Ziering also rose to fame on Beverly Hills 90210, but before that, he took on guest roles such a baseball player on Married…with Children. After his decade-long run on 90210, he starred in a handful of TV shows and did some voice acting for video games like Freelancer and Biker Mice from Mars. Since 2013, he has starred as Fin Shepard in the Sharknado TV film series. The 52-year-old actor has been married to Erin Ludwig for 7 years and shares two daughters with her.
David Boreanaz (Frank) – 1 episode, 1993
David Boreanaz incidentally also played a leather-sporting dude named Angel way back in the 1993 episode of Married… with Children. However, at the time, he was Kelly Bundy’s cheating biker boyfriend. Four years later, he was cast as the vampire-slash-private investigator on the cult series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel in 1999. At 47, the happily married Boreanaz continues to play a dark and brooding character in Bones, after first bagging the lead as Seeley Booth in 2005.
Katey Sagal was simply an up and coming actor when Married… with Children cast her in the role of Peggy Bundy. It didn’t take long for Sagal to completely absorb the role, turning into one of our favorite sitcom housewives. She would play Peggy in 260 episodes over a 10 year period.
Ed O’Neill was already pretty well known by the time he starred as Al Bundy on Married… with Children in 1987. He started acting on television in 1970 when he was cast as one of the extras on All My Children in 1970. Thanks to those two hit TV sitcoms, he built a good foundation for his acting career and is now a member of the lead cast on America’s best sitcom, Modern Family.
Married With Children Pilot Episode
In this priceless photo is the main cast of Married… with Children, taken before the season started airing. Little did they know that they were about to become wildly famous for being part of one of the most memorable and well-received TV sitcoms ever. It was so good, in fact, that the show’s fans are still dreaming of a reunion!
Original Al Bundy?
As with many other lead TV sitcom roles, Al Bundy’s character wasn’t originally meant for Ed O’Neill. Before the actor was offered the role, the show’s casting directors wanted Michael Richards to audition for the part. However, Richards ended up being cast as Kramer in Seinfeld, which later catapulted him to even bigger fame. We really can’t complain, because O’Neill was well-loved by fans of the show!
Remember Al Bundy’s favorite magazine, Big ‘Uns? It made several appearances throughout the history of the show and people would remember Bundy always getting quite cranky every time he loses it. Can you imagine how much happier and preoccupied he would’ve been if the show’s storyline took place during the current Internet generation?
Casting David Faustino
Despite the obvious difficulty in casting young actors in TV shows, the producers of Married… with Children took a shot with David Faustino for the role of Bud Bundy. Fortunately, the child star ended up growing up with the show and did a total of 259 episodes. It later led to him bagging the role of the character Mako in the cartoon, Legend of Korra.
Real Life Acting Inspiration
Turns out David Faustino’s character, self-professed rapper Bud Bundy rubbed off on him during those hundreds of episodes of playing him on Married… with Children. Several years after the show ended, Faustino himself became a rapper and went under the stage name, D’Lil. In 1992, he released his own hip-hop album. Quite hard to imagine if you grew up seeing him as Bundy!
Fictional County in Wisconsin
Remember Peggy Bundy’s hometown, Wanker County? Throughout the show, the remote and small area of “Wanker County” became a recurring joke for its inbreeding problem. According to Al Bundy, in Wanker County, “Nothing says lovin’ like marryin’ your cousin.” Obviously, there would absolutely be no need for any online dating services in that area!
NOT the Cosby
The Bundy family showed quite a contrast compared to the Cosby, despite the shows airing in the same TV sitcom era. While the Cosby played the fun-loving and proper family, the Bundys’ reputation was tainted with onscreen raunchiness and displeasing character traits. Of course, in real life, it was Bill Cosby who ended up having legal issues in real life.
Almost Peggy Bundy
Fans probably can’t imagine anyone else playing Peggy Bundy aside from Katey Sagal on Married… with Children. However, the role was initially supposed to be offered to Roseanne Barr. After the dust settled, Roseanne ended up landing a role on her own self-titled show just a year later. The show ran for a decade and even found a lifetime partner in her co-star, John Goodman.
The Wrongly Branded Family Car
Several times throughout the show, fans may remember Al Bundy mentioning that he loved the Dodge and hated Plymouth vehicles. Funnily, their family car was actually a 1972 Plymouth Duster, making Al’s statement an obvious and intentional “mistake” by the writers. Of course, car fanatics probably caught this and it only added hilarity and more interest to the show.
No Emmy Here
Married… with Children went on to become one of the best American sitcoms in the history of television, running for 11 years with over 250 episodes. It even featured a long list of very talented actors and actresses who would later become huge award-winning Hollywood stars. And yet, the show only got several nominations (at the Golden Globes and Primetime Emmy Awards) and never bagged an actual award.
Al Bundy is infamous for his notably displeasing personality. Aside from being a slow-witted slob, he gets annoyingly cranky all the time–which admittedly makes good TV. We need to remember though that it stems from his childhood when his alcoholic mother used to treat him poorly. This resulted in Al having a highly pessimistic attitude. We have to commend Ed O’Neill for portraying the character very well.
Because of Married with Children‘s edgy and offensive nature, many networks didn’t want to pick up the show and believed that it would never survive past the first season. Thanks to Al Bundy’s multifaceted character, though, the show kept fans entertained and ran for a decade with 260 episodes until 1997. It’s a real success for the show amid numerous controversies and boycotts that aimed to stop it from airing throughout its history.
Christina Applegate’s Success
Christina Applegate kickstarted her acting career with her role as Kelly on Married… with Children. Of course, by now we already know that she went on to take many other big time TV and film roles after the sitcom went off the air. In fact, she was so in demand that she juggled being on the show and working on the 1999 film Nowhere, which required her to dye her hair red so she had to wear a wig during filming for Married… with Children. Interestingly, her co-star Katey Sagal had to wear a red wig when filming as Peggy.
Ed O’Neill Would Call Fans As Al Bundy
During Married… with Children filming, Ed O’Neill would often take fan requests and call to greet them on their birthdays–while in character as Al Bundy! And in true Al fashion, of course, he would call collect. Hilarious! What a true Hollywood class act. We’re sure fans around the world hoped to get a call from him. No wonder he’s one of the biggest and most notable TV stars today!
Katey Sagal Hollywood Walk of Fame Star
Katey Sagal became among the many notable actors recognized for their work in television. After becoming famous while on Married… with Children, Sagal went on to star in many other high profile TV shows, such as Sons of Anarchy as Gemma Teller. In September 2014, Sagal was honored with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame–right next to co-star Ed O’Neill’s.
Family With Misfortunes
Perhaps one of the main reasons why fans got helplessly hooked on Married… with Children and its family is the fact that they, especially Al Bundy, were all so caught up in their misfortunes that they ended up not being able to attain the life that they wanted. Heck, Al even couldn’t afford to have separate plots in the cemetery for him and his wife Peggy. Like a car crash, you feel terrible about it but still just couldn’t look away.
Original Theme Song
As with all TV shows, the theme song for Married… with Children contributed to the overall personality of the show and can easily hit its many fans with a strong wave of nostalgia. Sadly, their song “Love and Marriage” encountered several copyright issues. While it was aired several times, the song was removed from all the American edition DVD releases. Aww.
More Sad News
Here’s some bad news, for the stars of the show, at least. Sometimes before the last season, news broke that Fox network had canceled the show and wouldn’t be renewing it after 1997. What was even more shocking is that the stars themselves weren’t informed about the cancellation properly. In fact, Ed O’Neill and Christina Applegate learned that they won’t be playing their characters anymore from a couple that O’Neill went on the vacation as he did and from one of Applegate’s friends respectively. Ouch.
Critics Equals Success
For Married… with Children, all the bad publicity was one of the main reasons why it became madly successful. During the show’s 3rd season, family values activist Terry Rakolta was one of the many people who wrote to the show’s sponsors and asked them to withdraw their support in order to help stop it from airing. Needless to say, it didn’t work and all the media attention made the show even more famous.
Katey Sagal Mocked The ’60s With Peggy
We’re sure you noticed Peggy Bundy’s striking fashion sense and interesting ’60s-inspired outfits. What many of us didn’t know is that it was actually Katey Sagal’s idea to dress her character that way and that the actress would sometimes even bring props for her to wear on the set. It wasn’t just for fun, though, it was actually meant to mock the wholesome image of a housewife during that decade.
Al Bundy was definitely the main focus of the show. Actor Ed O’Neill, therefore, was included in every script and appeared in every single episode of Married… with Children. That makes Ed O’Neill the only member of the cast to appear in all 260 episodes, plus the pilot episodes. What a guy, he must’ve enjoyed playing an interesting, unpredictable character!
Ed O’Neill admitted in an interview that he and co-star Amanda Bearse weren’t actually in perfectly good terms. They would often even get into fights over many different and often trivial matters. Fortunately, Bearse only played the family’s neighbor Marcy Rhoades D’Arcy so it was easier for both to respect each other despite their differences and drama on set.
Controversial Dirty Tape
The 3rd season’s 8th episode’s airing was delayed until 2002–5 years after the show went off the air. This is because the episode, titled “I’ll See You in Court,” was deemed too raunchy for television because of its topic that revolved around a recorded sex tape involving the Bundys and the Rhodes in a motel. Perhaps they thought the world was finally ready for it 12 years later?
Modern technology and the new generation has enabled new shows to get additional ratings with DVR numbers after premiering. But back in the day, more than two decades ago during the time of Married… with Children, Fox network aired the show’s pilot a second time on the same day in order to gain more ratings and following from viewers who were just getting to know the Bundy family for the first time.
The Bundys’ house mysteriously changed its number from 9764 to 9674 Jeopardy Lane during the show’s run.
What’s Your Name?
One of the longest-running gags in the show was the misspelling of Al’s last name. He was Al Bundy, Al Bumby, and even Al Birdy.
Tragic Script Write-Off
Divine, best known for being a drag queen and filmmaker John Waters’ protégé, was supposed to appear on the wrap-up episode of the second season of Married… with Children as Uncle Otto. Sadly, the performer died in his sleep in a hotel room just hours after rehearsals and dinner with friends–just a day before he was set to film for the show in March 1988.
You know how shows and films often blur out brand names in order to avoid any problems with companies that are not sponsoring them? Well, instead of blurring out the word VISA, the characters on the show used “VISTA” cards, particularly inside Al Bundy’s shoe store. Definitely better than any distracting blurs, plus it adds some hilarity to the show!
How O’Neill Won The Part
As previously mentioned, Ed O’Neill wasn’t the first and only guy that the producers imagined for the coveted lead part of Al Bundy on Married… with Children. Aside from the fact that they had initially set their sights on someone else, O’Neill’s background was mostly in dramatic movies. Fortunately, he changed their minds and impressed them during his audition.
Bud’s Full Name
Remember Bud? For over a decade, David Faustino played the character with the single syllable nickname and many of the fans never really found out what his whole name was. Well, it’s actually Burdick Franklin Buddy. As for his onscreen rap name, it was Grandmaster B. Predictable, we know. (What we didn’t foresee though was that Faustino would actually go on to become a rapper in real life!)
James Bond Was A Fan
Throughout the history of Married… with Children, many famous actors became unlikely fans of the controversial sitcom. Perhaps the show’s most famous fan was The show’s most famous fan was former agent 007 Sir Roger Moore, who played James Bond in seven films until 1985. Moore called the show his “guilty pleasure” and was good friends with Katey Sagal’s dad.
The writers of Married… with Children were quite lenient when it comes to their stars. Throughout the run of the show, they would allow several plugs of the cast’s own sponsors and projects. Ed O’Neill, for example, mentioned is own movie Dutch as much as twice on the show while in character as Al Bundy. After all, their actors’ fame is also the show’s success!