Today, we all remember Married…With Children as one of the best sitcoms on TV. However, when it aired for the first time in 1987, people weren’t sure. At a time when shows like Full House and Growing Pains showed the world near-perfect families, Katey Sagal and Ed O’Neil headed up a delightfully dysfunctional working-class family. For some viewers, it was an instant favorite. Others, however, needed a little time to warm up to the Bundy family.
In the early days, the viewers weren’t the only ones unsure about Fox’s original sitcom. Katey Sagal was almost certain that the show would flop. For the first three seasons of Married…With Children, she was waiting to hear that the show was canceled. She would have been fine if it had, though. Before the sitcom, Sagal was a singer and had a place in Bette Midler’s Harlettes. This was also the reason behind Peggy Bundy’s instantly-recognizable style. We’ll dive deeper into that in a moment, though.
How Katey Sagal Knew She Was in a Hit Show
During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Katy Segal revealed that she did her own hair for the show for the first three years. It took her hours to create Peggy’s now-iconic bouffant. However, when she came to the set to begin work on the fourth season, she found that the production company had purchased wigs. That’s when she knew they had a hit on their hands.
“I think the first time we knew [that the show was a hit] was when they bought me a wig,” she said. “All of a sudden, they started dishing out money… Wigs are not cheap.”
The Reason Behind Peggy Bundy’s Iconic Look
In the early days of working on Married…With Children, Katey Sagal was almost sure it wouldn’t last. If it didn’t, she hoped she could go back to her full-time singing career. However, she worried that the brash and brazen couch potato character would hurt her chances of landing lucrative gigs in the future. So, she said, “I sort of had this idea that I would disguise myself so that nobody will recognize me when I take this off.”
Looking back at the character that launched her acting career, Katey Sagal said, “She was really in drag. She was just all dolled up.” It took Katey hours to get her hair like that and even longer in the makeup chair. Then, there was Peggy’s purposely tacky wardrobe that was dated even when the show premiered. “I really didn’t look like that,” Sagal said, “So I could go back to my normal life.”
These days, there’s no mistaking Katey Sagal or the iconic matriarchal characters she has brought to life over the years. Sagal might be the only person who could say that being a tackily-dressed Bon Bon-devouring couch potato launched her career.