‘All in the Family’: Watch Carroll O’Connor Give Advice to Aspiring Kids on ‘American Bandstand’ in 1976

by Keeli Parkey

During the historic television run of “All in the Family,” the actor who brought the character Archie Bunker to life appeared on one of the most popular youth programs of its time.

That actor was Carroll O’Connor. That youth program was “American Bandstand” hosted by Dick Clark. And during O’Connor’s appearance on the show, he offered some pretty great advice to the teenagers in the audience and those watching from home.

The advice was geared more toward those who were hoping to have careers as entertainers. However, it still has some truth to it for those hoping to pursue other professional interests.

A video of O’Connor’s appearance on “American Bandstand” can be found on YouTube. The title of the video states that the interview between the legendary “All in the Family” actor and Dick Clark took place during 1976.

What prompted O’Connor to offer his words of wisdom to the viewers was a question by Clark.

“One time in your life you weren’t doing this sort of thing for a career,” Clark said. “You were a teacher. How did you get into that?”

To put it simply, the future famous television star began teaching because he needed a job.

“Well, I taught in New York for about three years in high schools there, when I couldn’t get a job as an actor,” O’Connor said.

Clark then said to the “All in the Family” star that many of his show’s viewers “will want to be dancers and some will want to be actors.”

Then he asked O’Connor: “Would you discourage anybody from doing that?”

O’Connor’s answer, “No.” Then he added: “Not a bit, not a bit.”

‘All in the Family’ Star Told Teens to Accept Advice from Others

Then, O’Connor shared his words of advice – and a dose of reality to viewers.

“But it is a thing that takes a while,” he said. “I would recommend to anybody that he try to get very good professional advice as to whether he really has talent. And, accept that advice, too. If somebody says you don’t have any, accept it.”

Following this dose of reality, the “All in the Family” star then shared some words of hope.

“But, if you get the right kind of professional encouragement that you can really count on, then go ahead with it and don’t let anybody stop you,” O’Connor said. “And, you’ve got to go through 10-12 years, maybe, without earning a dime.

“And, you’ll have all the pressure of people saying, ‘Oh, get out of that crazy business. Get into something that’s more stable and something that’s more secure and sure. But if you really feel you have it, and good people tell you you have it – then stay with it.”

O’Connor said he did not have any regrets about choosing to be an actor. You can watch his appearance on “American Bandstand” below.