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Leavitt said the show was his and Moye's "adolescent rebellion against all those shows where everyone sat together at the dinner table and got along and talked and hugged and solved the world's problems in 22 minutes. I would go nuts seeing that. That wasn't my memory of what it was like to eat with my family."
Fourth appearance — "The New Adventures of Psycho Dad" On Fox!:
Who's that tall dark stranger there?
The one with the gun and the icy stare?
The one with the scalp of his ex-wife's hair??
Psycho Dad! Psycho Dad! Psycho Dad!!
He's a darn good pa!
But he hates the law!
Chopped up Reno to eat it raw!!
Psycho Dad! Psycho Dad! Psycho Dad!!
Fifth appearance of lyrics (second to last appearance of the show itself):
Who's that ridin' across the plain?
Who's lost count of the wives he's slain?
Who's the man who is plum insane??
Psycho Dad! Psycho Dad! Psycho Dad!!
When 'Psycho Dad' got cancelled and Al asked who'd do that, Marcy showed up at his house to mock him with the following lyrics:
Who's the man whose show is gone?
Whose tv hero is on the run?
Who'll be watching VH1?
Loser Al! Loser Al! Loser Al!
And it's spinoff, "Psycho Mom"
Who's the gal who needs no man?
Killed him dead with a frying pan!
Did it 'cause he missed the can!
Psycho Mom! Psycho Mom! She's Psycho Mom!
Actor Allusion: In one episode, Jefferson is followed around by kids who think he was on Happy Days and The Love Boat. Ted McGinley was indeed on both of those shows (and is considered notorious for making those shows jump the shark).
As the show became more popular, this happened with guest stars, too, most notably during Gary Coleman's multiple appearances on the show. ("Watchu talkin bout, Bundy?")
During a flight, after Al is asked to put his shoes back on.
Banned Episode: The episode "I'll See You in Court" was banned by FOX in the light of moral guardians complaining about the show's content (it was about the Bundys and the Rhoades having sex in a hotel room where they're being videotaped). It finally premiered on FX in June 2002.
Channel Hop: In-universe — Psycho Dad going from PBS to The New Adventures of Psycho Dad on Fox finally gave him a reason to watch the network.
Jon Lovitz, who started out in the critically-panned 11th season, but went on to be apart of SNL's second Golden Age (from 1986 to around 1993, though Lovitz stayed on the show from 1986 to 1990). On Married... with Children, Lovitz played a TV executive who "helps" Kelly make her talk show more salient to network TV viewers,
Garrett Morris from the original 1970s cast (as one of Al's friends in the early episodes, particularly the one where Al wins Steve's paycheck in a poker game and the one where Al's barber dies and Al gets his hair done at a salon filled with camp gay men and only one beautiful woman),
Don Novello, a lesser-known feature player and writer from the 1979-1980 season and the 1985-1986 season, appeared on "Requiem for a Dead Briard"note the episode where Buck the dog dies and is sentenced to be reincarnated as The Bundys' new dog, Lucky as his recurring character, Father Guido Sarducci,
and Tim Kazurinsky (from the latter half of season six through season 9 under Dick Ebersol's reign as executive producer) as the angel whom Al mistakes for God and original creator of God's Shoes.
The sightings of Milla Jovovich (as a French exchange student), Michael Clarke Duncan (bodyguard), and Fred Willard (timeshare salesman).
Missing Episode: Season 3's episode "I'll See You in Court", where The Bundys and the Rhoades sue a motel for videotaping them during sex and using the surveillance footage as pornographic movies for other motel guests. It was pulled because of the backlash involving Terry Rakolta (a Michigan housewife who protested against the show because of the episode "Her Cups Runneth Over" because its bawdy jokes centered around a lingerie-cum-marital aid store), but premiered on the cable channel FX and was released on DVD twice — once on a collection of the show's "Most Outrageous" episodes, and again when the compete third season was released. On both occasions, "I'll See You in Court" was branded as a "Lost Episode."
The Other Darrin: The role of Grandpa Wanker was originally going to be played by Divine, but after Divine's tragic death, Tim Conway was cast.
Zigzagged with the family dog, Buck. On some episodes (such as the one where he brings home a white dog while Al tries to find the chef who created his favorite cheesecake), his thoughts are voiced by Cheech Marin (from the 1970s stoner comedy team Cheech and Chong). Other episodes have Buck's thoughts voiced by Kevin Curran (one of the writers on the show. Curran would later write for The Simpsons and be married to Helen Fielding, the writer of the book Bridget Jones' Diary). The season six episode in which The Bundys and Jefferson start a psychic hotline had Kevin Curran as a human version of Buck.
The Pete Best: The original pilot had different actors playing Bud and Kelly.
Reality Subtext: One episode in the final season guest starred Marcy's identical gay cousin "Mandy". The actress who played both characters (Amanda Bearse) is a lesbian in real life.
First, there was the censors wanting to retitle an episode called "A Period Piece" (which focused on Peg, Kelly, and Marcy getting their periods simultaneously while Al, Bud, and Steve go fishing) into "The Camping Show", even though the show titles for "Married...With Children" were not shown onscreen (and not known at all until "Married...With Children" fan websites and cable guide summaries sprung up in the 1990s).
Then, there was the whole Terry Rakolta incident, which caused an episode that wasn't even that raunchy, but still had heavy sexual references ("I'll See You in Court") to be barred from viewing until FX aired the episode a decade later and the episode was released on DVD.
Perhaps the most egregious of all was how the series ended. You know that last episode where Kelly almost gets married to the man who held her family hostage? Well, despite looking like the perfect plot for the final episode of a dysfunctional family sitcom, it wasn't scheduled to be that way. After FOX spent all of Season 10 moving "Married...With Children" to different timeslots (and made worse by the fact that The Simpsons and In Living Color! were gaining in popularity), the show suffered in the ratings so much that FOX decided to shut the show down after its 11th season. According to the "E! True Hollywood Story" about "Married... With Children", the actors had a lot of different ideas for what the last episode should have been. Ed O'Neill thought that the Bundys should win the lottery right before a tornado ripped through the neighborhood and killed them. Christina Applegate built on this, saying that the Bundy house should have then landed on Marcy, a la The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Ted McGinley suggested the Bundys and Marcy dying or getting hurt in some horrible fashion and Jefferson ending up relaxing on the beach with bikini-clad babes all around him. The kicker to that is the fact that some of the actors didn't know the show was cancelled until they heard the news on a radio broadcast!
Star-Making Role: Christina Applegate was able to build on her role as Kelly and make a successful career in Hollywood films. Even more so for Ed O'Neill, as anybody who knows his name knows him as Al Bundy.
Technology Marches On: The show is a product of the late 1980s into the 1990s, and it shows. Such as the episode where the family tries getting Al to upgrade from Betamax to VHS...and the one where the Bundys buy a computer with features that, these days, would be considered outdated and has Al dismissing computers as a useless fad (when these days, they're used for anything and everything and have vastly improved).
What Could Have Been: The creators originally envisioned Sam Kinison in the role of Al Bundy, but was deemed too much of a risky move, given Kinison's incredibly vulgar stand-up routine. This was lampshaded by having Kinison play Al's guardian angel. This is another case of What Could Have Been: the character was supposed to be a recurring role, but Kinison was killed in a car crash shortly after the episode aired.
Roseanne Barr was also considered for the role of Peg Bundy. Roseanne did end up playing a sarcastic anti-housewife with a loser husband, but it would be her own show on a different channel.
Other than Ed O'Neill, the actor most strongly considered for the role was Michael Richards. His audition ultimately helped him land Kramer, as the same casting director remembered him.
Divine, best known for his drag work in the films of John Waters, was originally going to play Peggy's mother, but died in his sleep the night before shooting on the episode began. Out of respect (and because Peg's mom is said to be inhumanly obese), the writers rewrote Peg's mom's role so that way she's only heard and not seen.
The original title for the series was Not the Cosbys, as, at the time, The Cosby Show was popular for showing functional, loving families (and, most importantly, African-American families that were functional, loving, and middle-class) and Married...With Children was set up as the antithesis of this.
Ed O'Neill starred as Popeye Doyle, a Pilot Movie that was not picked up. Had it been picked up, the Al Bundy we know and love may never have come to be.