Old School Americana & Nostalgia


New Behind-the-Scenes ‘Married… With Children’ Memoir Coming Soon

New Behind-the-Scenes ‘Married… With Children’ Memoir Coming Soon

When it hit Fox Television’s airwaves, Married…With Children added a new layer into presenting a family sitcom on TV. The show tested boundaries with its bawdy humor and occasional double entendres. Ed O’Neill, Katey Sagal, David Faustino, and Christina Applegate formed the Bundy family, raising hell one episode at a time.

Keeping the show on the air proved to be a Herculean test for its producers. Yet it lasted 11 seasons, helping establish Fox as an alternative network to ABC, NBC, and CBS. Now, for fans of the show, writer/producer Richard Gurman has put some things down on paper. Hopefully, Buck the dog will not chew up this manuscript.

Anyway, Gurman has written Married… with Children vs. the World: The Inside Story of the Shock-Com That Launched Fox and Changed TV Comedy Forever. In it, Gurman offers an inside look at how the show came together. But it also alludes to many battles producers had with the network executives.

‘Married…With Children’ Stars Share Opinions

O’Neill, Sagal, Faustino, Amanda Bearse, and David Garrison are all interviewed for their perspectives on the sitcom. There’s no word as to why Applegate was not interviewed. She has been battling multiple sclerosis, though, so her health might have been an issue.

Running gags on Married…With Children included Peg’s (Sagal) lack of sexual satisfaction from Al (O’Neill). Also, Kelly (Applegate) showed up as a “dumb blonde” nearly all the time. Her dating selection always came under scrutiny from Al before he’d let her go out. And who can forget Bud (Faustino), who always was looking for a hookup in the dating world? Marcy D’Arcy (Bearse) and her first husband, Steve Rhoades (Garrison), came over and bragged about their good lives. It happened just enough for Al to throw a barb in Marcy’s direction. And this continued even when Marcy got another husband, Jefferson D’Arcy (Ted McGinley).

For those who don’t know, Garrison chose to leave Married…With Children so he could be closer to his family in New York City. That paved the way for McGinley, who had sitcom experience with Happy Days, to come on board. Jefferson and Al got along like best buddies, looking to slip away for some time at the “nudie bar.” In one episode, Al helps Bud celebrate a big birthday by taking his son to his favorite strip joint.

There hardly wasn’t an episode where Applegate wasn’t dressed provocatively in one or more scenes. It was enough to send up whoops and catcalls from studio audience members.

O’Neill, Faustino Offer Their Thoughts

In reading advance copies of the book, O’Neill and Faustino shared their thoughts. “When he sent me his new book Married… with Children vs. the World, I figured it would be a trip down memory lane,” O’Neill said, according to Remind Magazine. “So I was stunned by some revelations I never knew. And reminded how brilliant much of the writing was. What a time that was. If you liked Married… With Children, then you should read this book. You’re in for a treat!”

Faustino said, “I had almost as much fun reading Married… with Children vs. the World as I had working on the show. Almost. Richard Gurman chronicles, from his vantage point inside the writers’ room and the sound booth, how we broke the china in the family sitcom kitchen, and upended the television industry by doing so. What could be more fun than that?”

Gurman might be able to offer insights as to why O’Neill and Bearse did not get along at all. O’Neill has explained what happened in the past from his perspective. Yet Gurman might avoid it altogether. It will be interesting to read Gurman’s thoughts on how close Fox was, if at all, to pulling the show off its network. Also, the sitcom holds one interesting record. It never won an Emmy Award, making it one of the longest-running shows to win one. One might assume Emmy voters didn’t look too kindly upon Married…With Children. Well, the show had quite a run of guest stars. They included Pamela Anderson, Tiffani Amber-Thiessen, Milla Jovovich, Matt LeBlanc, Tia Carrere, Jerry Springer, Sam Kinison, and Keri Russell.

Gurman’s book is scheduled to be released in April.

Reruns of Married…With Children can be seen for free on Pluto TV. Also, the reruns are available on streaming platforms (with a subscription) like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, and others.