Last update May 13, 2010

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The Bundy Stigma

The principal cast does have problems to get good movie or TV parts after the cancellation of the show as people recognize them as "Bundys". Only Christina Applegate (Kelly Bundy) got a new show of her own: "Jesse" on NBC. It lasted for two seasons from 1998 to 2000 on an excellent Thursday night time slot. There are some MwC references on Jesse. In the 1999 episode "The Best Deal Possible", David Faustino - who impersonated Bud on Married... with Children - plays a car dealer; Jesse's love interest Diego calls her "Pumpkin" in the car dealer's presence. At the end of the episode, Jesse's Beetle has a breakdown which reminds Bundy fans of Al' Dodge. The car dealer says, "ah, love. I hope to find it myself one day," and he refers to Diego as "Big Guy", a term Bud often used for Al. In the 1999 episode "My Casual Friend's Wedding", we meet a groom who cheats on his bride on wedding day. The same thing happens on the final MwC episode "How to Marry a Moron" (1124). The groom is played by Charles Esten in both episodes. If you want to find out what the principal cast has been doing since the cancellation of Married... with Children, check out their biography pages at the Facts section.


The show was followed by some foreign remakes. The most successful ones are the Russian remake Schastlivy vmeste and the Chilean remake Casados con hijos, both with over 200 episodes. Check the Remakes page for details.


The producers of Married... with Children tried to launch three spin-offs. The first attempt succeeded with the Married... with Children episode "Top of the Heap" (525) as a pilot for a series with the same name. The regular series episode premiered on Fox on April 14, 1991, but only six regular episodes were produced (plus the pilot). We see three regular characters in the pilot (Joseph Bologna as Charlie Verducci, Matt LeBlanc as Vincent "Vinnie" Verducci and Joey Lauren Adams as Mona Mullins). The Verduccis also appeared in the Married... with Children episode 518, Vinnie also in 609. The actress Joey Lauren Adams reappears in 713. Pamela Anderson was a guest actor in the series "Top of the Heap", which was followed by "Vinnie and Bobby", also on Fox. It premiered on May 30, 1992. Seven episodes were produced, featuring Vinnie and Mona again. Married... with Children co-creator Ron Leavitt was partially responsible. Two other Married... with Children spin-off episodes were produced: "Radio Free Trumaine" (926) with David Garrison as Dean Steven Rhoades and Keri Russell as April, and "Enemies" (1024) with Nicole Eggert as Shannon, but they were never followed by regular series.


Series co-creator Ron Leavitt co-created the sitcom "Unhappily Ever After", which is quite similar to Married... with Children. This show premiered on January 11, 1995 on the Warner Bros. Network. A lot of directors and writers jumped over to "Unhappily Ever After". The show even had some of the guest cast of Married... with Children. At the end of the first season UEA episode "Run", the character "Mr. Floppy" denies the accusation in a fictitious viewer letter that UEA was a copy of MWC. The Father in the family on UEA is played by Geoff Pierson. He played Roland Squab in the Married... with Children episode 220. UEA was cancelled after five seasons in 1999.

There's also an MwC plagiarism in Poland. It's called "Swiat wedlug Kiepskich" - the Polish title of MwC is "Swiat wedlug Bundych". There you can meet Ferdynand Kiepski (the unemployed father), Halina Kiepska (his wife who's a nurse), Waldek Kiepski (the 25-year old son), Mariola Kiepska (the pretty daughter), Halina's mother, the neighbour Pazdzioch, the other side neighbour Boczek and the mailman Edzio. Apparently only Halina and Edzio are working.

There are even two pornographic parodies on Married... with Children. They are called "Married with Hormones" and "Married with Hormones 2".

Quiz, Sketch & Award Shows

The sixth and seventh episode of the 2002 NBC series "The Rerun Show" premiered on August 20, 2002, featuring Mwc's "Dance Show" (0505) along with "The Partridge Family"'s "My Son, the Feminist", and MwC's "Weenie Tot Lovers And Other Strangers" (0517) along with "Bewitched"'s "A Bunny for Tabitha". In American quiz shows, Married... with Children is still good for questions. On November 21, 1997, (what is) Married... with Children was a US$ 400 answer (or "question") in the first round of Jeopardy!. The question (or "answer") was in the "Politically Incorrect" category: "A 1989 protest of a michigan woman against this fox sitcom only boosted its popularity." Andrea Martin (foreign news correspondent for NBC News and wife of Allan Greenspan) was the first to buzz in and give the correct "question". It was Celebrity Week in Washington, DC, and Bill Maher was one of the contestants on that day. It's astonishing that he didn't know the answer as he played a host in the episode "You Can't Miss" (717). On January 23, 1998, the first puzzle (category "Star & Role") on the Wheel of Fortune was -- -'----- -- -- ----. The answer is "Ed O'Neill as Al Bundy". The song "Married with Children" by the British rock group Oasis has nothing to do with the sitcom, though. Question #6 of 15 on an Austrian June 2000 "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" show: Who is Al Bundy's wife on Married with Children? Peggy, Kathy, Mandy or Marcy? It was a US$ 1500 question. The weekdaily German ZDF quiz show "Risiko" featured the show twice: in 1998 and in August 2002.

In 2009, Married... with Children won the TV Land Innovator Award.

Other References

Ed O'Neill can be seen in TV commercials in many countries before and after the cancellation, usually as Al Bundy. For instance, he was the spokesman for a US phone company, the Dutch shoe industry or a supermarket chain in Switzerland. Ed's face was also used for a Swiss cable operator ad. Microsoft Germany advertizes with the (translated) slogan "A Terribly Reliable Family" which is a reference on the (translated) German title of the show: "A Terribly Nice Family". The German title of the US TV series "In the House" is "A Terribly Nice House". The production crew is still proud of their show: writer Kim Weiskopf was wearing a Burned Beyond Recognition shirt from episode 822 during an interview in an E! documentary about "Three's Company". Some original MwC lines have been heard on US radio commercials, eg Al's "okay everybody, shoot me" or his "I'm going to play this record over and over and over again until I bleed from my ears".

For more information about the post-production era check out the Today page. For more information about the cast check out the pages about them in the Basics section.

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© Andreas Carl 2005

Thanks a lot to Scott J., Richard Ballard, Ralph Morse, Grail, StuartM, Carolyn Crapo, Harald van Bebber, Leandro M. Pinto and Bertram Thompson. Special thanks to Gert Walliser.