It’s been almost 30 years since the dysfunctional family from Chicago, better known as Married… With Children, graced our TV screens.
The show was known as the first prime-time television series to air on Fox and ran for whopping 10 years, with 262 episodes.
Modern Family’s’ Sofia Vergara, Ed O’Neill Turn Into Peg and Al Bundy for The Hollywood Reporter.
The show took the world by storm with Al, Peggy, Kelly, Bud and their beloved dog Buck becoming the family everyone wanted to be. Here are 43 secrets about the show.
Peggy Invented Her Signature Look
Katey Sagal was the one who invented her iconic Peggy Bundy style. She showed up to her audition dressed as a cocktail waitress and it worked.
Kung Fu Master
Neil who played Al Bundy was actually a black belt in Brazilian jujitsu.
Roseanne Almost Played Peggy
Roseanne was originally offered the role of Peggy Bundy by FOX.
Married… With Children was actually remade in Russia – it translated to “Happy Together”.
Rock band “Anthrax” guest starred in an episode of season 6 and performed the song “In My World” from their album “Persistence Of Time”.
The House Really Exists
The home from the show’s introduction is actually a real house in Deerfield, Illinois – 25 miles north of Chicago.
No Dodge Here
Although Al calls his car his ‘Mighty Dodge”, the car in the show is really a 1972 Plymouth Duster.
Kelly and Bud Bundy were originally played by Tina Caspary and Hunter Carson in the unaired pilot. However for the real show they were replaced by Applegate and David.
FOX’s First Prime Time Show
The first show aired on Sunday, April 5, 1987. It went live at 7pm EST and was followed by “The Tracey Ullman Show” at 8PM.
The Theme Song
“Love and Marriage” was originally recorded by Frank Sinatra and eventually ended up as the theme song.
Kramer Was Almost Cast
Two years before landing the role of Kramer on Seinfeld, Michael Richards auditioned for the part of Al Bundy. However producer, Michael Moye, admitted that no one was getting the role right until Ed O’Neill walked in.
Bud Was A Real Life Rapper
Bud Bundy, aka Grandmaster B, released an album called “D’Lil Balistyx” in 1992. Also Bud Bundy’s room in the show was actually designed by David himself, including the posters of Nas and Ice Cube.
Jeff Darcey Bond
Actor, Ted McGinley complained that his character was turning into a pansy, so the writers created a secret agent role for him.
The Walk Of Fame For Al
Ed O’Neill was given a Hollywood star on the walk of fame on August 30, 2011. It was placed in front of the DSW shoe store on Hollywood Boulevard.
You May Recognise This From Somewhere Before
The shot of the cars on the interstate in the opening credits was taken from 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation.
Birthday Messages From Al
Ed O’Neill used to make birthday and holiday phone calls to his biggest fans, whilst in character. In true Al Bundy style, he called them to collect.
The Big Spoiler
When Ed O’Neill was on holiday when he overheard a couple talking about the newspaper article announcing the end of “Married… With Children”. This is how he found out the show was being cancelled.
“Married… With Children” was the longest running show without an Emmy. That was until “Baywatch” ended in 2001 – they also won no Emmy.
Matt Le Blanc starred as Kelly’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, Vinnie. Le Blanc also went on to star in the shows spin off, “Top Of The Heap”, however it later failed. He’s now obviously more known for his role of Joey Tribiani.
The Family Name
Contrary to popular believe, the Bundy’s were not named after the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. Instead they were named after the wrestler, King Kong Bundy, who guest starred on two episodes.
The Cast’s Best Friend
The family dog, Buck, was on the show since the day it began until the day it ended. Sadly Buck passed away at age 13 in 1996.
Believe it or not, during the first few seasons the budget was really low. During the episode where Buck the dog went shopping, all of the items were bought in by the cast and staff.
It Was All A Wig
Peggy’s hair was so large, it’s no surprise that it was actually a wig. In the first seasons, due to the low budget they could not afford a wig and they had to use her actual hair for the hairdo.
O’Neil Knew A Few Als
O’Neill famously said his character and his mannerisms were based on friends and people that he knew. He figured that has his hometown didn’t get FOX, it would take them a few months to get mad at him.
Married With Children Ruined O’Neills Career
Although the show was the making of O’Neill, when he tried to get into movie roles, all focus groups laughed when they saw him.
There Were Two Spin-Offs
The show made two separate attempt at spin-offs. One of those was presented in season 10, in the episode ‘Enemies” and it was supposed to be a low brow version of “Friends”.
O’Neill Got The Role
Ed has a lot to thank his role as Lenny on “Mice and Men” – as this is what got him the audition for Al.
The Show Became Popular Due To Angry Activists
An angry family values activist started a letter campaign against the shows poor values. This got so much media coverage that it actually boosted the shows popularity.
Dislike On And Off Camera
Ed O’Neill said in an interview that he did not get a long with Amanda Bearse, the actress who played Marcy. Pretty ironic considering his character didn’t like her either.
Al’s Guardian Angel
Sam Kinison was originally supposed to play the character of Al Bundy. When this didn’t pan out, they cast him as Al’s guardian angel in a handful of episodes.
Peggy’s Maiden Name
Peggy’s maiden name was mentioned very few times in the show. This was because her last name was Wanker.
The Cosby Show
According to the LA Times, the title of the show was originally “Nod To The Cosby’s” as ” The Cosby Show” was really popular at the time.
The producer of “Married… With Children”, Ron Leavitt once won a competitive eating contest against wrestling legend King Kong Bundy. However he has since lost a battle with cancer.
Bud’s Full Name
The youngest child of the Bundy family full name is rarely mentioned. Bud’s actual name was Budrick Franklin Bundy.
Bond Seal Of Approval
Sir Roger Moore and former James Bond has admitted he is a huge fan of the show.
O’Neill’s Other Movie
Ed O’Neill once acted in a movie called ‘Dutch” and this movie was referenced twice in the show.
The UK Version
The UK attempted their own version of the sitcom, it was called “Married For Life” and it ran for just 7 weeks. The US version was eventually screened in the UK.
It is thought the show was cancelled due to the cost of airing it. In it’s peak popularity, it cost networks $1million an episode.
Wife Guest Star
Ed O’Neill’s real life wife, Catherine Rusoff, guest starred on the show a few times.
Amber Does Pilates
After retiring from acting, actress Juliet Tabklak became a Pilates Instructor and also a Chiropractor in 2012 after graduating from Palmer College of Chiropractic West in San Jose, California.
Kelly And Christina Share A Birthday
Kelly Bundy’s birthday is 25th November 1971, which happens to be Christina Applegate’s actually DOB.
The Lost Episode
There is actually one so-called ‘lost’ episode called “I’ll See You In Court”. It didn’t make it onto air until FX showed it in 2002, 5 years later.
The Big Ending
When O’Neill found out the show was getting cancelled, he suggested it finish with the Bundy’s winning the lottery and then immediately being hit by a tornado.
Ed O’Neill was the only cast member to appear in all 260 episodes of the show.
During Season 10, Christina had to wear a long blonde wig after she died her hair red for her role in “Nowhere”.