Hand color tinted photo of Jean Stapleton, Sally Struthers, Rob Reiner & Carroll O’Connor from the 1970s television series, All In The Family
All in the Family is an Emmy Award-winning American situation comedy that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12, 1971 to April 8, 1979. In September 1979, the show was revamped, and given a new title, Archie Bunker’s Place. This version of the sitcom lasted another four years, ending its run in 1983.
Produced by Norman Lear, it was based on the British television comedy series Till Death Us Do Part. The show broke ground in its depiction of issues previously considered unsuitable for U.S. network television comedy, such as racism, homosexuality, women’s liberation, rape, miscarriage, breast cancer, menopause and impotence.
The show ranked #1 in the yearly Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976. As of 2009, it has along with The Cosby Show and American Idol been the only shows to top the ratings for at least five consecutive seasons. TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time ranked All in the Family as #4. Bravo also named the show’s protagonist, Archie Bunker, TV’s greatest character of all time.
This long-running comedy revolved around Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), a working-class, World War II veteran, very outspoken bigot, seemingly prejudiced against everyone who was not a U.S.-born, politically conservative White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, heterosexual, and dismissive of and anyone not in agreement with his view of the world. His ignorance and stubbornness tend to cause his malapropism-filled arguments to self-destruct. He often responds to uncomfortable truths by blowing a raspberry. He longs for simpler times, when people sharing his viewpoint were in charge, as evidenced by the nostalgic theme song, “Those Were the Days,” the show’s original title. (In the first pilot, the family name was Justice rather than Bunker.)
By contrast, his wife Edith (Jean Stapleton) is a sweet, understanding, if somewhat naive woman. She usually defers to her husband, but on the rare occasions when she takes a stand, she proves to be one of the wisest characters, for example in the episodes “The Battle of the Month” and “The Games Bunkers Play”. Archie often tells her to “stifle” herself and calls her a “dingbat”, but despite their very different personalities, they love each other deeply.
They have one child, Gloria (Sally Struthers), who is married to college student Michael Stivic (referred to as “Meathead” by Archie, and “Mike” by nearly everyone else) (Rob Reiner). Mike is part of the counterculture of the 1960s. He and Archie represent the real-life clash between the two generations: those who were born around World War I and those who were born around World War II. They constantly clash over religious, political, social, and personal issues. For much of the series, the Stivics live in the Bunkers’ home to save money, providing even more opportunity for the two men to irritate each other. When Mike finally graduates college and the Stivics move out, it turns out to be to the house next door, offered to them by George Jefferson, the Bunkers’ former neighbor, who knows it will irritate Archie. In addition to “meathead”, Archie also frequently cites Mike’s Polish ancestry, referring to him as a “dumb Polack” (pronounced Polock).
The show is set in the Astoria section of Queens, one of New York City’s five boroughs, with the vast majority of scenes taking place in the Bunkers’ home (and later, frequently the Stivics’ home), with occasional scenes taking place in other locations, most often (especially during later seasons), Kelcy’s Bar, a neighborhood tavern, where Archie spends a good deal of time and eventually buys.
Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker, frequently called a “lovable bigot,” an assertively prejudiced blue-collar worker. Former child actor Mickey Rooney was Lear’s choice to play Archie, but Rooney declined the offer due to the strong potential for controversy and, in Rooney’s opinion, poor chance for success.
Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker, née Baines. Stapleton remained with the show all through the original series run, but decided to leave before the first season of Archie Bunker’s Place had wrapped up. At that point, Edith was written out as having suffered a stroke and died off camera, leaving Archie to deal with the death of his beloved “dingbat”. Stapleton appeared in all but four episodes of All in the Family and had a recurring role during the first season of Archie Bunker’s Place.
Sally Struthers as Gloria Bunker Stivic, the Bunkers’ college-age daughter, married to Michael Stivic. Gloria frequently attempts to mediate Archie and Michael’s arguments. The roles of Archie and Edith’s daughter and son-in-law (then named “Dickie”) initially went to Candice Azzara and Chip Oliver. However, after seeing the show’s pilot, the original production company, ABC, requested a second pilot, expressing dissatisfaction with both actors. Lear recast the “Gloria” and “Dickie” roles with Struthers and Reiner. Penny Marshall, whom Reiner married in April 1971, shortly after the program began, was also considered for the role of Gloria. During the earlier seasons of the show, Struthers was known to be discontented with how static her part was, frequently coming off as irritating and having just a few token lines. As the series continued, Gloria’s character became more developed, satisfying Struthers. She appeared in 157 of the 202 episodes in the first eight seasons—from January 12, 1971 to March 19, 1978.
Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic, Gloria’s Polish-American hippie husband who is part of the counterculture of the 1960s. He constantly spars with Archie (in the original pilot, the character was Irish-American). Michael’s character is in many ways as stubborn as Archie, even though his moral views are generally presented as being more ethical and his logic somewhat more sound than Archie’s. For his bullheadedness, Stivic is sometimes criticized for being elitist. While Archie demonstrates the lion’s share of hypocrisy, Michael has on occasion shown the same. As discussed in All in the Family retrospectives, Richard Dreyfuss sought the part, but Norman Lear was convinced to cast Reiner. He appeared in 174 of the 202 episodes of the series in the first eight seasons—from January 12, 1971 to March 19, 1978.
Sherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford and Mike Evans as George Jefferson, his wife Louise and their son Lionel, Archie’s African American neighbors. George is Archie’s combative black counterpart, while Louise is a smarter, more assertive version of Edith. Lionel first appeared in the series’ premiere episode “Meet the Bunkers”, with Louise appearing later in the first season. Although previously mentioned many times, George was not seen until 1973. Hemsley, who was Norman Lear’s first choice to play George, was performing in the Broadway musical Purlie and did not want to break his commitment to that show. However, Lear kept the role waiting for him until he had finished with the musical. Plots frequently find Archie and George at odds with one-another, while Edith and Louise attempt to join forces to bring about a resolution.
Mel Stewart, as George’s brother Henry Jefferson. Stewart filled in for Hemsley. The two appeared together only once, in the 1973 episode in which the Bunkers host Henry’s going-away party, marking Stewart’s final episode and Hemsley’s first. Even when the Jeffersons were spun off into their own show in 1975, Stewart’s character was rarely referred to again and was never seen. In the closing credits of the “The First and Last Supper” episode, Mel Stewart is incorrectly credited as playing George Jefferson. Stewart was actually playing George’s brother, Henry Jefferson, who was pretending to be George for most of the episode.
Betty Garrett and Vincent Gardenia as the liberal and Roman Catholic next-door neighbors Irene and Frank Lorenzo. Irene was a strongwilled coworker of Archie’s, and Frank was a jovial “house-husband” who loved cooking. Gardenia, who also appeared as Jim Bowman in Episode 8 of Season 1 (as the man who sold his house to the Jefferson’s) and as Curtis Remply in Episode 7 of Season 3 (as a swinger opposite Rue McClanahan), became a semi-regular along with Garrett in 1973. Gardenia only stayed for one season as Frank Lorenzo, but Garrett remained until her character was phased out in late 1975 (later resurfacing as a regular in the sitcom Laverne and Shirley, where coincidentally, Betty’s love interest—and later husband—is also named Frank (Phil Foster) who’s also Laverne’s father).
Danielle Brisebois as Edith’s 9-year old niece, Stephanie Mills. The Bunkers take her in after the child’s father, Floyd Mills, abandons her on their doorstep in 1978 after Mike and Gloria moved to California at the end of the previous season. (He later extorts money from them to let them keep her.) She would remain with the show through its transition to Archie Bunker’s Place.
Allan Melvin as Archie’s neighbor and best friend Barney Hefner. The character first appeared in 1972 as a fairly minor character. Barney’s role expanded toward the end of the series, after the departures of Reiner and Struthers.
James Cromwell as Jerome “Stretch” Cunningham (1973–1976), Archie’s friend and coworker from the loading dock. What Archie did not know was that Stretch was Jewish, evident only after Stretch died and Archie went to the funeral. Archie’s eulogy for his friend is often referred to a rare occasion where he was capable of showing the humanity he tried so earnestly to hide.
Liz Torres as Theresa Betencourt (1976–1977), a Latina nursing student, who initially meets Archie when he is admitted to the hospital for surgery; she later rents Mike and Gloria’s former room at the Bunker house.
Bob Hastings as Kelcy or Tommy Kelsey, who owns the bar Archie frequents and later buys. Kelcy was also played by Frank Maxwell in episode “Archie Gets The Business.”
Jason Wingreen as Harry Snowden, a bartender at Kelcy’s Bar who continues to work there after Archie purchases it and eventually becomes his business partner.
Gloria LeRoy as Mildred “Boom-Boom” Turner, a buxom, middle-aged secretary at the plant where Archie works, who is not initially fond of Archie due to his and Stretch’s leering and sexist behavior, but later becomes friendly with him, occasionally working as a barmaid at Archie’s Place.
Barnard Hughes as Father Majeskie, a local Catholic priest who was suspected by Archie one time of trying to convert Edith. He appeared in multiple episodes.
Lori Shannon as Beverly La Salle who played in three episodes. “Archie the Hero” “Beverly Rides Again” “Edith’s Crisis of Faith”
Estelle Parsons as Blanche Hefner, (1977–1979) Barney’s wife. Blanche and Archie are not fond of one-another, though Edith likes her very much. The character is mentioned throughout much of the series (though in early seasons, she is named “Mabel”), though she only appeared in a handful of episodes during the last couple of seasons.
Actors in multiple roles
A number of actors played multiple roles during the show’s run:
Jean Stapleton played both Edith Bunker and Judith Klammerstadt in the episode “A Girl Like Edith”. The end credits list actress “Giovanna Pucci” for the latter character. In fact, this is a play on words with Stapleton’s married name: Jean Putch.
Vincent Gardenia portrayed neighbor Jim Bowman, who sells the Jeffersons their house in “Lionel Moves Into the Neighborhood”; Curtis Rempley, half of a wife-swapping couple Edith befriends in “The Bunkers and the Swingers” (from the show’s first and third seasons respectively); and later had a recurring role as neighbor Frank Lorenzo during the 1973–74 season.
Gloria LeRoy played the wife of one of Archie’s old Army buddies (Duke Loomis) in third season episode “The Threat” and later portrayed Mildred “Boom-Boom” Turner in a few episodes between 1974 and 1978.
Allan Melvin played New York Police Department Sergeant Paul Pulaski in the second-season episode “Archie in the Lock-up” and later played the recurring role of Archie’s best friend Barney Hefner from 1972 on.
Marcia Rodd appeared in two episodes during the 1971–1972 season, playing two different characters, first as a single mother who accuses Mike of being the father of her eight-year old son in “Mike’s Mysterious Son”, and Maude’s daughter Carol in the episode “Maude”. (Adrienne Barbeau would take over the role of Carol on spinoff series Maude.)
Bill Macy first appeared as a uniformed Police Officer in the “Archie Sees a Mugging” episode before returning as Maude’s husband in “Maude” (1972).
Roscoe Lee Browne appears as Hugh Victor Thompson III in “The Elevator Story” (1972) and then returns as Jean Duval in “Archie in the Hospital” (1973).
Burt Mustin played the role of night watchman Harry Feeney in the episode titled Archie is Worried About His Job. He came back later in a few episodes, as Justin Quigley, starting with Edith Finds an Old Man.
Sorrell Booke (who played Boss Hogg in the Dukes of Hazzard) played Mr. Bennett, the owner of a television station in “Archie and the Editorial (1972)” and then returned four more times as Mr. Sanders, Archie’s boss down at the loading dock.
“Kelcy” or “Kelsey”
The name of the establishment is Kelcy’s Bar (as seen in the bar window in various episodes). However, due to a continuity error, the end credits of episodes involving the bar owner spell the name “Kelcy” for the first two seasons and “Kelsey” thereafter, although the end credits show “Kelcy” in the “Archie Gets the Business” episode.
In a warning to viewers, CBS ran a disclaimer before airing the first episode (which disappeared from the screen with the sound of a toilet flushing):
‘”The program you are about to see is All in the Family. It seeks to throw a humorous spotlight on our frailties, prejudices, and concerns. By making them a source of laughter we hope to show, in a mature fashion, just how absurd they are.”
All in the Family was notorious for featuring language and epithets previously absent from television, such as “fag” for homosexual, “hebe” for Jews, “spic” for Hispanics, “mick” for Irish, “dago” and “wop” for Italians,”polock” for Polish, “chink” for Chinese, “Jap” for Japanese, “gook” for southeast Asian, “spade” for blacks, and phrases such as “God damn it.” It was also famous for being the first major television show to feature the sound of a flushing toilet; it became a running gag on the show.
While moral watchdogs attacked the show on those grounds, others objected to the show’s portrayal of Archie Bunker as a “lovable” bigot. Defenders of the series pointed out that Archie usually lost his arguments by reason of his own stupidity. (It is perhaps worth noting that Alf Garnett, Archie Bunker’s counterpart in the original British series, was far from lovable and used much stronger language that would not have been allowed on US network television.)
In addition to its candid political dialogues, All in the Family’s story lines also included a sense of realism, and occasional forays into deathly serious subject matter, not previously associated with sitcoms. A 1973 episode, for example, found the Bunkers discovering a swastika painted on their front door. (It had been intended for their Jewish neighbors down the street.) An activist from the fictional “Hebrew Defense Association” showed up, proposing violent retaliation against whoever painted it, but upon leaving, he was blown up in his car, as the Bunkers watched in horror from their front door. To interweave illness, crime, or in this case, the off-screen violent death of a character into the plot of a comedy show was an unprecedented move.
While Archie’s bigotry and short-sightedness were the focus of much of the humor, Mike Stivic’s naive, liberal nature was on the receiving end of occasional jabs. In the episode Edith Writes a Song, where the family is held by African-American burglars, Mike attempts to intervene on Archie’s behalf, explaining to the burglars how Archie does not know about the pain of ghetto poverty. One of the burglars, played by Demond Wilson and Cleavon Little, responds: “And you do?”
Lear bought the rights to Till Death Us Do Part and incorporated his own family experiences with his father into the show. Lear’s father would tell Lear’s mother to “stifle herself” and she would tell Lear’s father “you are the laziest white man I ever saw” (two ‘Archieisms’ that found their way onto the show).
There were three different pilots shot for the series. The first, shot in New York in 1968, was named Justice For All in reference to Archie’s family name (later changed to Bunker). The second, shot in Hollywood in 1969, was titled Those Were the Days. Different actors played the roles of Mike, Gloria, and Lionel in the first two.
ABC became uneasy and canceled the project at about the time Richard Dreyfuss sought the role of Michael. Rival network CBS was eager to update its image, and was looking to replace much of its then popular “rural” programming (Mayberry R.F.D., The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres) with more “urban”, contemporary fare (see Rural purge), and was interested in Lear’s project. They bought the rights from ABC and re-titled the show All in the Family.
Lear initially wanted to shoot in black and white, perhaps feeling that it would emphasize the Bunkers’ stark surroundings to greater effect. While CBS insisted on color, Lear had the set furnished in rather neutral tones, keeping everything relatively devoid of color.
All in the Family was the first major American series to be videotaped in front of a live studio audience. At the time, sitcoms were shot with multiple cameras on film in front of an audience (like Mary Tyler Moore and The Dick Van Dyke Show), and the 1960s had seen a growing number of sitcoms filmed on soundstages without audiences, with a laugh track simulating audience response. After the success of All in the Family, videotaping sitcoms in front of an audience became common format for the genre during the ’70s. However, the use of videotape also gave All in the Family the look and feel of the classic sitcoms of early television, which had been performed live before a studio audience (including the original live broadcasts of The Honeymooners, to which All in the Family is sometimes compared).
In the final season, the practice changed to playing the already taped and edited show to an audience and recording their laughter to add to the original sound track. Thus, the voice-over during the end credits was changed from Rob Reiner’s “All in the Family was recorded on tape before a live audience” to Carroll O’Connor’s “All in the Family was played to a studio audience for live responses.” (Typically, the audience would be gathered for a taping of One Day At A Time, and get to see All In the Family as a bonus.) Throughout its run, Norman Lear took pride in the fact that canned laughter was never used (mentioning this on many occasions); the laughter heard in the episodes was genuine.
The house shown in the opening credits is located at 89–70 Cooper Avenue in the Rego Park neighborhood of Queens, New York. There are a number of notable differences, however, between the Cooper Avenue house and the All in the Family set: Particularly obvious, one may notice there is no porch on the Cooper Avenue house, while the Bunkers’ home featured a front porch; the Cooper Avenue house was a two-family duplex, while the Bunkers’ house was presumably a single-family home (as evidenced by a number of times Archie referenced the Jeffersons as living “across the alley”, indicating that the Bunkers’ and Jeffersons’ homes did not share a common wall). The Bunkers’ address was the fictitious 704 Hauser Street.
All in the Family is the first of three sitcoms in which all the lead actors (O’Connor, Stapleton, Struthers, and Reiner) won Emmy Awards. The other two are The Golden Girls and Will & Grace.
It won numerous Emmys:
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – Carroll O’Connor, 1972, 1977–1979
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Jean Stapleton, 1971, 1972, 1978
Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in a Comedy Series – Sally Struthers, 1972 (tied with Valerie Harper for The Mary Tyler Moore Show), 1979
Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role in a Comedy Series – Rob Reiner, 1974, 1978
Outstanding New Series – Norman Lear, 1971
Outstanding Comedy Series – Norman Lear, 1971, 1972, 1973 (with John Rich); Mort Lachman and Milt Josefsberg, 1978
Outstanding Direction in a Comedy Series – John Rich, 1972; Paul Bogart, 1978
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series – Burt Styler, 1972; Michael Ross, Bernard West and Lee Kalcheim, 1973; Bob Weiskopf, Bob Schiller, Barry Harman and Harvey Bronsten, 1978
Outstanding Live or Tape Sound Mixing – Norman Dewes, 1972
It was nominated an additional 34 times.
Its Golden Globe Awards are:
Best TV Actor, Musical/Comedy – Carroll O’Connor, 1972
Best TV Actress, Musical/Comedy – Jean Stapleton, 1973, 1974
Best Supporting Actress, Television – Betty Garrett, 1975
Best TV Show, Musical/Comedy – 1972–74, 1978
There were also 21 nominations.
A particularly marking episode, that produced the longest sustained audience laughter in the history of the show, is the famous episode-ending scene in which the guest star Sammy Davis, Jr. played himself. Archie is moonlighting as a cabdriver. Davis leaves a briefcase behind in his taxi and goes to the Bunker home to pick it up. After hearing Archie’s racist remarks, Davis asks for a photograph with him. At the moment the picture is taken, Davis suddenly kisses a stunned Archie on the cheek. The ensuing laughter went on for so long that it had to be severely edited for network broadcast, as Carroll O’Connor still had one line (“Well, what the hell — he said it was in his contract!”) to deliver after the kiss. (The line is usually cut in syndication.)
The series’ opening theme song “Those Were the Days”, written by Lee Adams (lyrics) and Charles Strouse (music), was presented in a unique way for a 1970s series: Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton seated at a console or spinet piano (played by Stapleton) and singing the tune on-camera at the start of every episode, concluding with live-audience applause. Several different performances were recorded over the run of the series, including one version that includes additional lyrics. The song is a simple, pentatonic melody (that can be played exclusively with black keys on a piano) in which Archie and Edith wax nostalgic for the simpler days of yesteryear. The additional lyrics in the longer version lend to the song a greater sense of sadness, and make poignant reference to social changes taking place in the sixties. A few perceptible drifts can be observed when listening to each version chronologically: In the original version Jean Stapleton was wearing glasses and after the first time the lyric “Those Were The Days” was sung over the tonic (root chord of the song’s key) the piano strikes a Dominant 7th chord in transition to the next part which is absent from subsequent versions. Jean Stapleton’s screeching high note on the line “And you knew who you WEEERRE then” became louder, longer, and more comical, although it was only in the original version that audience reaction is heard to her rendition of the note; Carroll O’Connor’s pronunciation of “welfare state” gained more of Archie’s trademark enunciation and the closing lyrics (especially “Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.”) were sung with increasingly deliberate articulation, as viewers had initially complained that they could not understand the words. Also in the original version the camera angle was shot slightly from the right side of the talent as opposed to the straight on angle of the next version. In addition O’Connor and Stapleton singing, footage is also shown beginning with aerial shots of Manhattan, and continuing to Queens, progressively zooming in more closely, culminating with a still shot of a lower middle class duplex home, presumably representing the Bunkers’ house. (The house differs from the set however, in that it features what appears to be a glassed in sunroom, while the Bunkers’ home, as seen in the actual episodes, features an open porch.) The camera then returns to a few final seconds of O’Connor and Stapleton, as they finish the song. In as In one version, at the conclusion Archie hugs Edith at the end, while another version sees Edith smiling blissfully at Archie, while Archie puts a cigar in his mouth and returns a rather cynical look to Edith.
In interviews, Norman Lear stated that the idea for the piano song introduction was a cost-cutting measure. After completion of the pilot episode, the budget would not allow an elaborate scene to serve as the sequence played during the show’s opening credits. Lear decided to have a simple scene of Archie and Edith singing at the piano.
The closing theme (an instrumental) was “Remembering You” played by Roger Kellaway with lyrics co-written by Carroll O’Connor. It was played over footage of houses in Queens intended to represent the Bunkers’ neighborhood, and eventually moving back to aerial shots of Manhattan, suggesting the visit to the Bunkers’ home has concluded.
Except for some brief instances in the first season, there was no background or transitional music.
Mistakes, contradictions and inconsistencies
In “Meet the Bunkers” from the first season, Mike and Archie discuss with Lionel how Archie’s parents had visited them a few months prior; however, later episodes suggest that Archie’s parents had been deceased for several years prior to Mike and Gloria’s marriage.
In “The Jeffersons Move In”, Lionel announces that he is moving next-door to the Bunkers, along with mother, father and aunt; however, later episodes depict not an aunt, but his Uncle Henry as living with the family.
In early episodes, Barney Hefner mentions his wife’s name as “Mabel”, but the character’s name is later changed to Blanche.
In “Archie Finds a Friend”, Mr. Bernstein asks Archie how he celebrates Brotherhood Week, and Archie glibly responds that, as he is an only child, he does not celebrate it; however, later episodes feature Archie’s younger brother Fred Bunker.
In numerous early episodes, Mike describes his first meeting with Gloria, reminiscing about how she was wearing jeans with pink patch pockets; however, a 1977 episode depicting how Mike and Gloria met, she is not wearing jeans, but a miniskirt.
Then-US President Richard Nixon can be heard discussing the show (specifically the 1971 episodes “Writing the President” and “Judging Books by Covers”) on one of the infamous Watergate tapes.
Popular T-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers showing O’Connor’s image and farcically promoting “Archie Bunker for President” appeared around the time of the 1972 presidential election. A number of voters were said to have voted for the fictional TV character as a write-in candidate.
Archie and Edith’s chairs are now in the Smithsonian Institution. Originally purchased by the show’s set designer for a few dollars at a local Goodwill thrift store, the originals were given to the Smithsonian (for an exhibit on American television history) in 1978. It cost producers thousands of dollars to create replicas to replace the originals. In 1998 All in the Family was honored on a 33-cent stamp by the USPS.
The novelty pop project Kingsauce recorded the song “Working class Zero” which pays homage to Archie Bunker On the TV series Family Guy, the opening sequence shows Peter and Lois Griffin playing the piano and singing a lament on the loss of traditional values, which is an homage to the opening sequence for All in the Family. Also, the Family Guy episode “PTV” depicts a fictional All in the Family scene where Archie and Edith get the Jeffersons to move by burning a cross on their lawn while dressed like members of the Ku Klux Klan. However, a two-part episode called “Archie and the KKK” shows that Archie does not approve of the racist organization. The closing credits are also parodied in the episode Stewie Loves Lois.
On retro sitcom That ’70s Show, “Kelso’s Serenade”, Donna wonders if Eric is taking her for granted and imagines her life as like this series. Eric is Archie, Donna is Edith, Kelso is Michael (which is incidentally the character’s first name) and Jackie is Gloria. Afterwards, when Eric asks Donna to do something for him, she exclaims, “Don’t get all Archie Bunker on me or I will kick your ass to the moon!”
An episode of The Simpsons, “Lisa’s Sax”, features a parody of the opening sequence of All in the Family, with Marge playing piano and Marge and Homer singing an updated version of “Those Were the Days.” The episode then proceeds to state that it was filmed in front of a live studio audience. Homer Simpson also has some notable comparisons to Archie as well. including his first line following the intro to Bart: “Hey there ‘meathead’ what are you watching?” The show inspired the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series Wait Till Your Father Gets Home and the DePatie-Freleng cartoon series Meet the Barkleys.
Bob Rivers’ Christmas novelty song, The Twelve Pains of Christmas, a spoof of The Twelve Days of Christmas (song), features an impersonation of Archie Bunker speaking some of his lines from All in the Family, spoken or shouted as lyrics in the song. Some of these include classic Archie lines like “Shut up, you!” and “Edith, get me a beer!” There is an Amazing Race episode called “I’ve Become the Archie Bunker of the Home”.
The television series History Bites was also known to parody the show, as witnessed in the Talkin’ Turkey episode. All in the Family is the first of three sitcoms in which all the main characters won Emmy Awards (O’Connor, Stapleton, Struthers, and Reiner). The other two are The Golden Girls and Will & Grace.
Part of the Bunker kitchen set was used more than 25 years after the show’s debut for another CBS sitcom, “Everybody Loves Raymond”.
An episode of MADtv featured the show taking place in 2001 and Archie (played by Will Sasso) isn’t allowed to say anything offensive.
In Living Color did a parody of the show called All Up in the Family which featured all the characters as African Americans.
The character Archie Bunker was the inspiration for the character Eric Cartman on South Park, as acknowledged by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park.
Archie Bunker’s chair was featured in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
In The Brady Bunch episode Kelly Kids A female next door neighbor was compared to Archie Bunker.