‘Married with Children’ Star Katey Sagal Opened Up on ‘Fantastic’ Experience on Show: ‘Whole Thing Just Clicked’

by Joe Rutland

Actress Katey Sagal has done more than “Married with Children” in her career, but even she remembered how much the show meant to her.

“We just got on great, so that was fantastic,” Sagal said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. Sagal, who played Peg Bundy, was talking about working with Christina Applegate [Kelly Bundy], on-screen husband Ed O’Neill [Al Bundy], and on-screen son David Faustino [Bud Bundy].

“The original pilot had two different kids,” Sagal recalled. “Then when we got picked up, they replaced them with Chris and David and that was instant chemistry. The whole thing clicked. We were all kinda a bunch of little outcasts.”

‘Married with Children’ Debuted on FOX Way Back In 1987

“Married with Children” debuted on FOX in 1987. It was one of the network’s earliest sitcoms. The show revolved around the antics of the Bundy family, with father Al an out-of-luck shoe salesman. Al continued having flashbacks to his high school football days throughout the show’s run.

Peg [Sagal] was a stay-at-home mom with a big hairdo who was a pretty sex-starved wife. Kelly [Applegate] played the “dumb blonde” sister role while seemingly not noticing her sex appeal to the male generation. Bud [Faustino] was always trying to be older than his youth, plus looking for affirmation from his father as well.

The show wasn’t always received well by some because it was considered edgy back in the late 1980s. But “Married with Children” was one of the network’s first hit shows.

Let’s talk briefly about O’Neill, who actually was a football player in real life before turning to act.

Ed O’Neill Played Al Bundy Character Like One Of His Family Members

He said in an interview on “The Rich Eisen Show” that the key to getting that role was his interpretation of Al’s emotions. O’Neill said most actors had read Al as a loud, angry man. But he went a different way.

“I saw the guy as one of my uncles…My uncle Joe was like, resigned, life was going to be bad,” O’Neill said. “My aunt, his wife would say, ‘Joe, I ran over the dog today in the driveway.’ And Joe would say, ‘What’s for dinner?’ So it was sort of like that. That was how I read it and they had not heard that interpretation. So, long story short, they thought that was funny.”

Indeed, that was the way O’Neill played Bundy throughout the sitcom’s run. Anyone who’s seen “Married with Children” knows Al had a knack for putting his hand just below his belt before sitting down. That would usually be when Peg started peppering Al about his day. Then the hilarity would ensue afterward.

The show totaled 11 seasons and 259 episodes. Somewhere, Outsiders who love classic TV shows can find it in rerun land right now.