Hello! My name is Julia and you are watching HOW THEY CHANGED. Today we will talk about Married… with Children. Former Laverne & Shirley and Diff’rent Strokes writers Michael G. Moye and Ron Leavitt were tired of the saccharine family sitcoms of the ’80s. So when given the opportunity to create a brand-new show for the then-brand-new Fox network, the two conceived of a series that went against everything they’d been working on up until then. What began with a working title of “Not the Cosbys” became Married… with Children. The show received a boost in popularity shortly after it first came out in 1987, but from an unexpected source. That boost largely came from a family values activist who started a letter campaign complaining about the show’s subject matter, arguing that it was promoting an anti-family narrative. The story caught the media’s attention and shined a spotlight on the show, putting Fox on the map once and for all. Married… with Children was Fox Broadcasting Company’s very first prime-time television series, and it was an absolute hit. If the Internet was a huge thing back in 1987, the sitcom would have been an overnight viral sensation. In fact, the very first episode, which aired on April 15, 1987, had so many viewers that Fox played it over and over again that same night. But there would be something unexpected that would propel this show about the dysfunctional Bundy family to even more success than was anticipated. Married… with Children‘s star Ed O’Neill is apparently a jack of all trades. When he isn’t acting, O’Neill spends his time training in Brazilian Jiujitsu. That’s right, Al Bundy can most likely kick your butt in a fist fight! O’Neill was introduced to the sport by his friend, writer and director John Milius. He has trained in the martial art for more than 20 years, and received his black belt in 2007. He considers the black belt the greatest achievement of his life, apart from his children. If you’ve watched this TV show, you’ve seen the shot of cars driving through the interstate interchange in the opening credits. But the shot isn’t an original one. In fact, it comes from a tremendously famous movie from a few years earlier. The shot from the show’s opening sequence was pulled from 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation. If you look closely, you can’t miss the Griswold family’s iconic green and brown Ford Crown Victoria (Wagon Queen Family Truckster) station wagon. Ed O’Neill’s character in Married… with Children is more than just notoriously cheap – he has become a sitcom legend. But there’s another ’90s sitcom star who could have played Al Bundy. That man is Michael Richards. Richards, who played the iconic Cosmo Kramer in Seinfeld, auditioned for the role of Al Bundy during casting for the show in 1986. Casting director Marc Hirschfeld said Richards just “wasn’t right for Al Bundy.” When Hirschfeld was casting for Seinfeld, though, he remembered Richards. That’s how he became Kramer. When Katey Sagal auditioned to play Peggy Bundy, she really, really wanted the role. Sagal wanted to go above and beyond killing the audition. She intended to get into character and prove she even looked the way Peggy was meant to look. Sagal had a pre-notion of what exactly that look was: an attractive woman with fair skin and huge, red hair. So she showed up to the audition wearing a poofy wig and captivated the casting directors. Ed O’Neill found out about the show’s cancellation while on vacation. He overheard a couple talking about the newspaper article announcing the end of the show. He bought them a meal to thank them for the information. Do Vista Cards Exist? The answer is no. Visa cards exist, yes, but good luck trying to pay for your groceries with a Vista card. Vista cards do exist in Married… with Children, though, and the famous sign displayed in Al Bundy’s shoe shop actually reads “VISTA” cards. Thanks for watching friends! Leave a like and subscribe. Take care.