Hard to Believe Facts About Married... with Children
Love and marriage, love and marriage — Married... with Children is one of those shows 90’s kids will never forget. Raunchy jokes, hilarious characters and plenty of reasons to laugh are what defined the popular sitcom.
Years have passed since the show's last episode was aired, and new details continue to be revealed from the cast as well as the producers. Wait until you hear what the original cast had to say about a possible Married... with Children reboot!
Meghan Markle Grew Up on the Set of the Show
A little-known fact about Married... with Children is that Ed O’Neill actually has a strong connection to new duchess Meghan Markle. Her father, Thomas Markle, was the show's director of photography, and Markle frequently visited the set after school.
The Opening Credits Had a Surprise Cameo
The intro to the show is fairly simple, and if you were a 90’s kid, the theme song is probably stuck in your head right now. Sorry about that. If you go back and rewatch the season one opening credits, you might notice the clip of the interstate with cars.
The Show Spawned Some Spin-Offs
Married... with Children was such a success, the creators wanted to move forward with several spin-offs. Three, to be exact. Top of the Heap was the most successful spin-off of the iconic sitcom. It focused on the show's side characters, Charlie Verducci and his son, Vinnie, who was played by sitcom legend Matt LeBlanc.
Peggy Was a Pure Parody
It may look like Peggy was the ultimate 60’s housewife, but that's because Katey Sagal insisted she look that way. The idea for Peggy’s look came from Sagal herself, not the producers.
Michael Richards Auditioned for Al Bundy
Ed O’Neill wasn't the only one who really wanted to play the notorious 60’s dad Al Bundy. Yep, before he was Kramer on Seinfeld, Michael Richards auditioned for the leading male role on Married... with Children. The fact that he didn't make the cut is what actually led him to his Seinfeld role!
Kelly and Bud Looked a Lot Different in the Pilot
Don't worry about not remembering a different Kelly and Bud, because the original pilot never actually aired. The siblings were originally going to be played by actors Tina Caspary and Hunter Carson. Things didn't work out, and they were replaced by Christina Applegate and David Anthony Faustino.
The Show Had a Different Name
Shows’ titles sometimes change, especially when they are first in production. Married... with Children isn't the only one that went through this change, but this particular working title raises a lot of questions that no one but the producers can answer.
A Small Decision Changed Ed O'Neill's Career
It's hard to imagine Al Bundy as anyone other than Ed O'Neill. Apparently, it was pretty easy for him to get the iconic role. He made a simple choice that ultimately changed his career.
The Show Faced a Lot of Controversies
Because of the show's raunchy humor and somewhat sexist jokes, the Bundy family faced a lot of criticism. Although it's true that in modern times, Married... with Children might not be so well received, wait until you hear about a woman who made it her mission to get the show canceled.
An Angry Viewer Tried to End the Show
Terry Rakolta was a viewer who really, really didn't like the show. In 1989, she launched a campaign to get Married... with Children off the air. "I care that there are advertisers out there paying the freight for this. They're taking my dollars and putting them into softcore pornography."
It Was Fox's First Primetime Show
Married... with Children definitely made history, especially since it was Fox's first primetime show. The network launched the sitcom on April 5, 1987. It had 259 original installments and was considered the longest-running live-action show in the network's history.
Al Bundy's Legacy Lives On
Because Married... with Children was such a huge sitcom hit, it clearly made plenty of history, not only for Fox but also for the TV industry as a whole. Al Bundy skyrocketed Ed O'Neill into the A list acting world, and the character left quite a lasting mark — a physical mark, actually.
The Cast Was the Last to Know About Cancellation
Most of the time, TV show casts are completely aware when their show is about to get canceled, but that wasn't the case for the cast of Married... with Children. When FOX decided to cancel the show, they didn't notify them beforehand.
Katey Sagal Hid Multiple Pregnancies
Sagal became pregnant three times during the show's 10-year run. Her first pregnancy was supposed to be written into one of the episodes, but, unfortunately, she miscarried. This made the show decide to rewrite Peggy's storyline.
The Mysterious “Lost” Episode Didn’t Air in the U.S.
This show has plenty of raunchy secrets. One of the episodes was purposefully hidden from the U.S audience. It was supposed to air in 1989, but it remained unbroadcasted until 2002. Other countries were allowed to see it, but because of the storyline, the network had to pull the plug in America.
Al Bundy's Legacy Wasn't Always a Good Thing
In 1991, Ed O'Neill wanted to make sure he wasn’t only known forever as the funny and edgy Al Bundy. No one wants to be typecast, right? Well, he tried his hand at movies in a war film called Flight of the Intruder. He played a Navy captain, and there was absolutely nothing funny about the movie.
Al Bundy Was a Real Person (Sort of)
Well, Al Bundy’s characteristics were made of real people. In order to perfect his controversial personality, O'Neill said he based his performance on a few family members and a high school friend. He revealed that none of the people would recognize themselves on the show, because his hometown didn't receive the Fox network at the time of the show's debut.
Al and Peggy Were Almost Completely Different People
Seriously — the actors that were first considered for Al and Peggy Bundy were Sam Kinison and Roseanne Barr. Considering Roseanne's sitcom success, this probably would have worked extremely well. At least, the producers of the show thought so.
The Show Started with an Extremely Small Budget
Just like many shows, Married... with Children started with small budgets — so small, in fact, that some of the items you saw on TV were actually brought from the personal homes of cast and crew. This happened when Buck the dog went on a shopping spree in one of the earlier episodes.
Ed O'Neill Had Some Secret Talents
Al Bundy may be a simple guy, but Ed O'Neill made sure he was completely different from his iconic TV persona. He received a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2007 and has been training for 22 years, which means he released all his Married... with Children frustrations onto the gymnasium floor.
Some Castmates Hated Each Other
Remember Marcy D’Arcy? She was quite the character, wasn't she? You either loved her, or you hated her, but one thing was certain. Al Bundy and Marcy didn't seem to get along that well on screen.
The Show Never Won Any Emmy Awards
Believe it or not, the show never won any Emmy awards. That's right — even though it was an incredible show, it never won TV’s top award. In fact, Married... with Children actually broke a record no one wants to break. It was the longest-running show that never won a single Emmy all the way until 2001. After that year, the title then belonged to Baywatch.
David Faustino Had a Crush on Alyssa Milano
Imagine going into work and frequently seeing Alyssa Milano. David Faustino, a.k.a. Bud Bundy, couldn't believe his luck when he discovered that Who's the Boss? was shot on the stage next door. He admitted to having a huge crush on Alyssa Milano, but he apparently never did anything about it.
Faustino Was Upset About Cancellation
David Faustino revealed that he felt the cancellation was extremely abrupt and uncalled for on Fox's part. He was quoted as saying, "They made just a real hard, cold business decision, like, while we were shooting the last season. It was like, ‘Oh, no, we’re cutting it. That’s done.’"
Ed O’Neill Was One of the Highest Paid TV Actors of All Time
Although the show started off with small salaries and a small budget, it achieved incredible salary heights once it became successful. In fact, the main stars like Ed O'Neill made more than $500,000 per episode by the end.
The Show Had an Alternative Ending
After Ed O'Neill discovered that the show would end, he went straight to the producers to discuss his idea for the ending. It seemed pretty out there, but it was quite fitting, considering how abruptly everyone found out about the show's cancellation.
Is the Show Getting a Reboot?
Although the cast of the show has had several reunions on and off screen, it's clear that nobody really wants a reboot. It may be Fox's longest-standing live-action show, but if they wanted to make a reboot, it would have to happen without the main cast.
Fox Capitalized on Strategic Airing
When Married... with Children first aired, it proclaimed itself a new voice on TV — an edgy voice — but what really helped the show lock down its audience was the strategic timing. The network had to take into consideration the "Family Viewing Hour," which was 8 p.m. at the time. Everything had to be family-friendly at that time, and Married... with Children wasn't.
The Edginess Inspired Other Series
Because of Fox's bold move to introduce slightly edgier shows to its audience, Married... with Children inspired plenty of other series that did the same. It paved the way for shows like Malcolm in the Middle and Arrested Development as well as The Simpsons and Family Guy.
The Cast Has Staggering Estimated Net Worths
We know that Ed O'Neill received more than $500,000 per episode during the last season. His estimated net worth stands at $65 Million, but he's not the only one who is worth millions. In fact, most of the show's cast went on to enjoy continued success after the show.