TV | Pop Culture | 70s

12 Facts About 'All In The Family' That Will Have You Saying "Those Were The Days"

- Page 1

On the air from 1971 to 1979, All In The Family was a staple television show many of us watched with our parents.

‘‘The program you are about to see is All in the Family. It seeks to throw a humorous spotlight on our frailties, prejudices, and concerns. By making them a source of laughter, we hope to show—in a mature fashion—just how absurd they are,'" was the disclaimer that CBS ran before the start of the first episode.

Not only did the show push the envelope, it went so far past the line that it kept viewers tuning in week after week to see stories about previously taboo topics.

With outrageous subjects including race relations, menopause, rape and homosexuality, it's only natural that crazy things happened behind the scenes. Buckle up, Meathead, because these facts will blow your mind.

1. It was based on a British comedy

The creator of All In The Family bought the rights to BBC series Till Death Do Us Part that ran for ten years at the beginning of 1965. About a working-class conservative man living with his wife, daughter and liberal son-in-law, his opinions were much like Archie Bunker's.

2. Archie Bunker went by a different name

The original script pilot episode named the show Justice for All starred Carroll O'Connor as Archie Justice and Jean Stapleton as his wife, Edith. They then cast Kelly Jean Peters and Tim McIntire for Gloria and Richard (Meathead's original name), but ABC passed on the show saying that the older cast lacked chemistry with the younger actors.

Recasting the roles of Archie and Edith with Candy Azzara and Chip Oliver, changing the name of the show to Those Were The Days, they shot a new pilot, but ABC was still not interested.

Mental Floss

3. A Revamp of CBS helped the show to finally get on the air

Robert Wood became president of CBS in 1969 and made the bold decision to cancel several long-time running shows on the network. This including Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies and Mayberry R.F.D. Market research at the time showed that audience wanted more cutting-edge and socially relevant shows.

This paved the way for Lear's revamped pilot, now called All In The Family with recasting the roles of Gloria and Michael with Sally Struthers and Rob Reiner.

The show ended up premiering on the network in 1971 as a summer replacement show.

4. Archie Bunker was inspired by Lear's father

Norman Lear's father, Herman, often told his son that he was the lazy, and called him "Meathead." He also referred to his wife as "Dingbat" and told her to "stifle" on several occasions, catch phrases we all remember well from the show.

Mr. Lear also had a chair in the living room that only he could sit in. Sound familiar?

5. Mickey Rooney turned down the role of Archie

After reading the script, Rooney said that all the racist banter would not succeed on the show. Even after O'Connor got the part, he was skeptical of the show saying that CBS would cancel it after six weeks.

6. Harrison Ford also turned down a role

The future Star Wars star was originally approached to play the role of Bunker's ultra-liberal son-in-law, Michael "Meathead" Stivic. Funny enough, I can see him in the role.

Page 1 Next Page

More Throwbacks

TV

8 Young Celebrities We Grew Up Watching Who Ended Up Behind Bars

You might think that growing up in the spotlight would be difficult, but you would hope that having money at a young age would help set you up for a successful future. As we've learned over the years, that is not always the case. As it turns out, being pushed into the spotlight and having people judge you while you go through puberty is apparently not all that good for you. Who would have guessed? Can you sense the sarcasm? Going through this intense scrutiny at such a young age isn't really that great, and not everyone handles it as

90s

'Mad About You' Stars Officially Sign On To A Revival And Reveal What They've Got Planned

We knew it was a possibility that Mad About You would come back, and now it's looking as though it's a lot more likely as both former stars have signed on for a revival. In the last year alone, we've seen two other huge 90s hits come back and exceed expectations. Will & Grace came back to NBC after a political commercial kind of took over everyone's minds and we realized we wanted more. And of course there is Roseanne as well, which has been killing it in the ratings every episode. It's honestly only a matter of time before all

80s

Remembering The Magic Of Legendary 'Night Court' Star Harry Anderson

Harry Anderson was known for his iconic role on Night Court as well as his recurring role on Cheers. Audiences fell in love with his portrayal of Judge Harry Stone, and we were all heartbroken to learn that he had passed away on April 16th, 2018. The actor was found dead in his home in North Carolina home on Monday, at the age of 65. No foul play is suspected at this time, but it's still a shock to know that he's gone. Looking back over his career will give you waves of nostalgia. Let's take a moment to honor

90s

13 Secrets From The Set Of 'Married With Children' That'll Make You Believe In Love And Marriage

Married...With Children is one of those shows that felt different from all the rest. Every other sitcom was trying to put forward this false homage to the happy family, but honestly, that's not the way the real world was. There is always a little bit of conflict in the real world. We don't all get along all the time and yes, sometimes we can be a little inappropriate. The only family that seemed to give us a more accurate representation of family life was the Bundys. Al Bundy was a little bit rough around the edges, and Peggy was
×