Happy Birthday Rob Reiner: Remembering His Best ‘All in the Family’ Moments

by Madison Miller
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Today popular comedian and actor, Rob Reiner, is turning 74.

He first got his start in the industry on the popular CBS sitcom “All in the Family” as Michael Stivic. On the show, he earned two Primetime Emmy Awards.

After his time on “All in the Family,” Reiner pursued a career in film. Reiner is an Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated director. He has directed movies like “Stand by Me,” “When Harry Met Sally…” and “A Few Good Men.”

In addition, Reiner is also known for “This Is Spinal Tap,” “The Princess Bride,” “Misery,” “The American President,” and “LBJ.” He has also appeared in a number of films like “The First Wives Club,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and “Sleepless in Seattle.”

Reiner is an incredibly successful director and actor. However, besides small roles on earlier television shows, “All in the Family” is really what gave Reiner the push into Hollywood.

Here’s a look at his best moments and memories of “All in the Family.”

Rob Reiner’s Favorite Moment as Michael Stivic

“All in the Family” first premiered in 1971. It ran for a total of nine seasons until 1979.

While fans of the show have their favorite memories of the Bunker family, Reiner also has his own. Two of his favorite memories were completely improvised moments. One is a scene where he’s putting his shoes on and Archie Bunker tells him he’s doing it wrong.

In an interview with Sirius XM, Reiner said he still has fans talk to him about that moment on the show. He also talked about a completely improvised opening the group did near the end of the show’s run.

“We had become such a tight unit after eight years. What we do is every Friday night we tape the show in front of a live audience … the four of us got together and started improvising an opening act. The writers were writing it down and we learned it and went in front of the 8 p.m. show and we just did it and it worked. That is something I’ll never ever forget,” Reiner said.

Not only does this show the talent in the “All in the Family” cast, but it also shows how tight-knit and in synch the group had become.

Rob Reiner and ‘All in the Family’ Legacy

“All in the Family” is considered one of the best television shows ever. This is in a great deal due to its inclusion of the historical events and topics being talked about during that time. This includes racism and sexuality, which were two major topics on the show.

“Well it was a groundbreaking television show and it, all those cliches, pushed the envelope, cutting edge, all that stuff … I think it will forever be remembered because it really reflected a time in our country’s history. We had this very identifiable group of people set against a backdrop of the most turmoil that we had seen in the country at the end of the ’60s and early ’70s,” Rob Reiner said in an interview with Television Academy.

Michael Stivic is married to Archie Bunker and Edith’s daughter, Gloria, on the show. He represents the counterculture of the ’60s and Archie had called him “Meathead” throughout the show’s run. Stivic’s character is meant to represent a new generation, with entirely different views and thoughts.

“My character wasn’t all that far from me in sensibility. I was certainly a liberal at the time … I was kind of playing out of myself, inhabiting all the passion and the rage and the anger … was all things I was feeling at the time,” Reiner said about playing his character.

At the time, Reiner, as well as the rest of the cast and crew, were unsure of how the world was going to take the show. However, clearly, it was well-received enough to go on for eight years. “All in the Family” represented a very real look into the new family structure and ideals.

Best Michael Stivic Quotes

Of course, in “All in the Family,” some of Michael Stivic’s best moments come from his banter with Archie Bunker.

In one episode, Reiner’s character says, “ In today’s society, people throw things out because they don’t work.” To which Archie responds, “Well you don’t work, maybe we should throw you out.”

The two were infamous for always clashing due to their distinctly different ideologies. However, it was where a great deal of comedy happened on the show. Archie was the center of the show, but it was his interactions with characters like Stivic that made interesting and thought-provoking conversation.

Another one of Michael Stivic’s famous lines is, “I just thank God I’m an atheist.”

Together, the family had argued about anything from Jackson Pollock to “The Star-Spangled Banner” to religion to the working class.

Outsider.com