When you heard the beloved song “Love and Marriage” from the late Frank Sinatra on your TV set, you knew it was only time for one thing: Married with Children. The Fox show became both sensational and controversial at times, but its lasting effect on sitcoms will live on for decades to come. We’re coming at you with 10 surprising facts about the popular show, so in the words of the immortal Al Bundy: “Let’s rock.”
There are certain times when you’ve gotta let art imitate life in order to get the best results. Luckily, the star on our first slide did.
10. Just Like Real Life
Al Bundy was a parody of Ed O’Neill’s early life. While he had a football scholarship to Ohio State, the actor transferred to Youngstown State University where he was a defensive lineman. After being cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers, he became a teacher before getting into acting. He’s not the only one whose life was parodied on the small screen.
9. Like Father, Like Son
While he was gaining fans with the role of Bud Bundy, David Faustino ran a weekly hip hop night at Whisky a Go-Go called Balistyx, which was also the name of his 1992 debut rap album. During season six of the show, he adopted a hip hop persona called Grandmaster B. In 2011, Faustino returned to the rap game under the moniker Lil’ Gweed. Maybe he could write a song about this next person’s sudden change of hair color.
Christina Applegate is known for her long, blonde hair, but during season 10, she was forced to rock a blonde wig on the set. The Hollywood, California native had to dye her hair red for a cameo appearance in the 1997 film Nowhere, which was shot in the summer of 1995. The color of Kelly’s hair wasn’t the big issue when the show started; the network was a little concerned about getting new fans.
7. First One Out The Gate
There was a lot of pressure behind the show doing well in the ratings. Fox, which debuted in the fall of 1986, was sending the sitcom out as its first ever prime-time show during the 1987 spring season. The series finale was such a hit that the network decided to air it twice that evening. The two families on the show share one thing in common, and it involves a wrestling ring.
6. Hard Times
The Bundys were named after professional wrestler King Kong Bundy, who was in the main event of Wrestlemania II with Hulk Hogan. The New Jersey native appeared in the two episodes of the program. The Rhodes were named after the late wrestler Dusty Rhodes, who won numerous titles in his time in the National Wrestling Alliance. From wrestling to the dollar signs, the show brought a huge burden to various networks.
5. No More, Please
During the show’s run, 262 episodes delivered laughter to everyone around the world except for TV networks. In order to have the show in syndication, local stations were throwing down $1 million per episode, which forced many of them to ask for the cancellation of the show. Out of the 262 episodes, one particular episode crossed several lines.
4. The Lost Episode
For the third season, an episode titled “I’ll See You In Court” was set to be aired on February 19, 1989. This particular episode dealt with the Bundy and Rhodes couples recording themselves having sex at a motel. Producers were forced to pull the show because, at that point, sex wasn’t a issue discussed on TV. They did air the episode on June 18, 2002 through FX. During filming, this cast member had three surprises occur in their life.
3. Three Times A Lady
While filming the series, Katey Sagal was pregnant three times. Unfortunately, her first pregnancy ended with a stillbirth, but she gave birth to her daughter Sarah Grace in 1994 and her son Jackson James in 1996. For those two pregnancies, Peg was simply written off the show temporarily. Speaking of family, the show made it a bit easier from the cast to spend more time with theirs on set.
2. Family Affair
Several of the cast’s family members made appearances throughout the sitcom, including Ed O’Neill’s wife Catherine Rusoff, Christina Applegate’s mother Nancy Priddy, and David Faustino’s brother, Michael. One of the actors mentioned managed to do something would only be considered cool back in the ’90s.
1. Pick Up The Phone
Ed O’Neill did something that most TV actors wouldn’t think about doing today; he called up fans to wish them a happy birthday as Al Bundy. Of course, he would call collect, which was all the rage in the ’90s. Today’s equivalent would be a simple retweet on Twitter.