Type
Scripted
Premiered
Apr. 05, 1987
Status
Canceled/Ended
Runtime
30 min.
Country
USA
Network
FOX TV Network
Genre

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Married ... with Children tv show photo

Married ... with Children

The Bundys are a stereotypical American family. Al is a shoe salesman who is fond of frequently reliving his doubtful 15 seconds of fame on the football field. Al is terrified of the all-to-frequent amorous advances his ditsy wife Peggy, a woman who must spend most of Al's wages at the salon and the mall. They have two children.

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Al Bundy Married ... with Children
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Al Bundy

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  Played by:
Ed O'NeillEd O'Neill
O'Neill was born into an Irish Catholic family in Youngstown, Ohio. His mother, Ruth Ann (née Quinlan), ...

Character Bio

Al Bundy photo
The head of the Bundy family, Alphonse "Al" Bundy is doomed to fail in all aspirations because of the "Bundy curse." Once a promising fullback for fictional Polk High School (his proudest moment in life was scoring four touchdowns in a single game), he was on his way to college on a scholarship until he impregnated his girlfriend, married her, broke his leg, and ended up a shoe salesman at "Gary's Shoes" in the "New Market Mall." Al often spends time attempting to recapture his glory days, but is usually undermined in spectacular fashion by bad luck and poor judgment. He considers his family to be the cause of his failures, and his resentment of them (and fear of having sex with his wife) provides much of the show's humor. However, Al is still devoted to them, given that he protectively beats up Kelly's boyfriends, once threatened a male stripper that "if my wife loses anything in your pants, so will you," once gave his entire paycheck to Bud to enjoy his 18th birthday at the "nudie bar," and holds down a lousy job to put food on the table (which, ironically, there is not much of in the Bundy household). Despite his yearning for "the touch of a beautiful woman," he always passes on those rare temptations, once explaining, "I actually kinda like my family."

He frequents "nudie bars" and strip joints with his friends. The only thing that seems to consistently put him in the mood for his wife is watching her do manual labor, which virtually never happens. It is mentioned in a Season 5 episode, aired in 1990, that Al is 43. Al has extremely severe foot odor, prefers the escapism of television and bowling over his dysfunctional family, and life of drudgery and starvation (as Peg refuses to cook, she claims that she is allergic to fire, despite the fact that she smokes) and is often seen in his trademark couch potato pose—seated on the sofa with one hand stuck under the waistband of his pants.

The foot odor is not his only health problem; once in 1993, he had a bad case of dandruff. He also has terrible teeth, as noted in the episode "Tooth or Consequences," where his extremely poor dental hygiene (green, black, bleeding, and fizzing teeth amongst them) leads to a trip to the dentist with typical bad luck results.

Al's favorite television series, the fictional Psycho Dad, was a source of joy and entertainment that Al seemingly, at times, wanted to emulate. He would hum the words to the theme song, and pretend to "shoot" his fictional gun while watching the show. Much like Al, "Psycho Dad" was tormented by his family, and was stated to kill his wife and get revenge on his children in the opening credits and during various fictional "airings" of the episode, though no video was ever shown. His other joys were Westerns, often John Wayne films, most notably "Hondo," until Peg's family ruined his recording of the movie by taping over it with a song dedicated to her. He has also referenced "Shane" when the clan ruined his enjoyment of that movie.

Al also has his "faithful" 1974 Dodge Dart that invariably had failed brakes, constant breakdowns and numerous other problems associated with its age. At the time of the fourth season at least, Al was still paying it off, despite it being well over 20 years old. By the eighth season, the Dart had passed one million miles. Al's Dodge actually appears to be a 1972 Plymouth Duster. After winning a game show, the Bundys added a Ford Mustang to their fleet.

The producers originally wanted to cast comedian Sam Kinison as Al Bundy. However, they ultimately chose not to, due to the profaneness of Kinison's comedy routines. Kinison would later play Al's guardian angel in the episode "It's a Bundyful Life," spoofing Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. The producers also considered Michael Richards for the role.



Episode Screenshots

11x11 - Bud on the Side
Season 11, Episode 11
08x23 - The Legend of Ironhead Haynes
Season 8, Episode 23
09x08 - Sleepless in Chicago
Season 9, Episode 08
06x11 - Al Bundy, Shoe Dick
Season 6, Episode 11
[More Episodes]


Al Bundy Photos

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