All in the Family, the sitcom that made Archie Bunker a TV legend, is beloved by fans new and old. But only the die-hards know this obscure trivia.
The 1970s sitcom All in the Family is one of the most iconic ever, following Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor) and his family as they go through life. Archie is known for having very strong opinions that are considered offensive today.
After nine seasons, fans of the show are also very familiar with Archie’s wife Edie (Jean Stapleton) and daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers). But there are a lot of behind-the-scenes details of All in the Family that only the biggest fans of the sitcom know about. Read on to find out.
The Show Led To Seven Spin-Offs
Most of the time, when a show is successful, it might get one spin-off. And usually that spin-off doesn’t do very well ratings-wise or with critics. Fans are also often disappointed as they miss the original characters or don’t like the new storylines and setting.
Only true fans know that All in the Family led to seven spin-offs. Yup, seven. The shows were called 702 Hauser Street, The Jeffersons, Checking In, Archie Bunker’s Place, Good Times, Gloria, and Maude.
Edith Passed Away In The Spin-Off, Not The Original Show
An interesting fact that only true fans know is that when Edith Bunker passed away, it actually took place in the spin-off series, Archie Bunker’s Place.
Fans think that it was part of the original show because they recall Archie gripping a pink slipper of his wife’s and crying. But this took place in the pilot of his spin-off. It’s definitely easy to see why fans would have gotten this confused.
Harrison Ford Could Have Played Michael
Remember Michael Stivic, Archie’s liberal son-in-law who was also referred to as “Meathead?”
As it turns out, Harrison Ford could have taken on this role. He declined, but this is such a fascinating fact to learn about the show. Sure, Ford’s film career definitely took off, but being on this iconic TV show would have also gotten him a lot of attention.
Fans Couldn’t Figure Out Part Of The Theme Song
Fans couldn’t figure out certain parts of All in the Family’s theme song, and even wrote to and phoned the network about it. The lyrics are “Gee, our old LaSalle ran great,” but no one knew what the musician was singing. In fact, the song was rerecorded so when the third season premiered, it was much clearer.
Mickey Rooney Turned Down The Role Of Archie
Before casting Carroll O’Connor, producer Norman Lear wanted Mickey Rooney to play Archie, and the actor said, “Norm, they’re going to kill you.” He thought that the show was going to upset a lot of people.
No one can really picture another actor in this role, so it’s something that only the biggest fans would know.
Sally Struthers Wasn’t In Two Episodes Because She Wanted To Get A Movie Part
Sally Struthers got involved in a legal dispute with Tandem Productions in 1975 because she wanted a leading role in a movie called The Day Of The Locust. She wasn’t in two episodes of All in the Family while this was going on.
Her contract said that she couldn’t act unless it was on All in the Family so that was the reason for the legal issues.
Rob Reiner Had A Hairpiece In Season 1
Rob Reiner is famous for having played Michael, but only true fans know this fact about him: in the first season, the 24-year-old actor was having some hair loss issues.
Reiner wore a hairpiece from that point on, which might not be obvious from watching any of his scenes.
Norman Lear Said Archie Would Die After A Contract Dispute With O’Connor
The behind-the-scenes details of popular shows often involve a lot of negotiation about salary, and more often than not, actors want a lot more money than they are being offered.
In 1974, O’Connor was unhappy with his contract, and Norman Lear said that Archie would die. There were actually five episodes of the show that didn’t have Archie because of this dispute.
The Series Is Adapted From A British Sitcom
It’s easy to assume that All in the Family is a completely new show as it’s so legendary. But it’s actually adapted from a British sitcom.
Till Death Do Us Part was a sitcom that aired on BBC1 and that was the inspiration for All in the Family. It’s definitely a much darker title.
Originally Had The Title Justice For All
True fans know that Archie Bunker’s last name was Justice at first. And as it turns out, the show was going to be called Justice For All.
It’s not the worst name in the world… but All in the Family just sounds right. It’s such a famous title that it’s hard to think of the sitcom being called anything else.
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