Married… With Children first aired on Fox April 5, 1987, and quickly became America’s favorite family show. The final episode aired on June 9th, 1997, a decade later. To this day, Married… With Children is the longest-running family sitcom. The show portrays a father stuck in his glory days (Al Bundy) married to a naggy wife (Peggy Bundy) who are parents to two children: a promiscuous daughter (Kelly Bundy) and a daredevil son (Bud Bundy). Here are 15 little-known behind-the-scenes secrets the producers have confessed over the years.
Roseanne Barr Was Almost The Star
Roseanne Barr was the producer’s first choice to take Peggy Bundy’s role. She had her own TV show at the time playing a naggy wife, so the producer knew she could deliver what they had in mind for Al Bundy’s wife. When approached with the opportunity, Roseanne declined and it went to their second choice, Katey Sagal. Everything worked out for the best, as none of us can imagine the show without Katey! Roseanne would’ve had a much different approach.
Bonus fact: when Katy Sagal auditioned, she came dressed as who she imagined Peggy to be, big red wig and all! The crew loved it!
Towards the end of the pre-production stages, the producers of Married… With Children still weren’t convinced they had the name of the show. Married… With Children was really close to being called “Not The Cosbys.” The producers thought viewer ratings might be higher if they played off The Cosby Show’s popularity. It was a close call, but “Not The Cosbys” ended up taking a back seat to the show’s eventual name, Married… With Children.
The Original Uncle Otto Passed Away
Uncle Otto seemed to be more sophisticated than the rest of the family, which is why casting over-the-top transvestite actor Divine to play his role seemed to be an odd fit. Although Uncle Otto did have a secret love of fashion (which he shared with Kelly) and seemed to be more comfortable singing along with girls than the fellas. Tragically, Divine passed away right before he was supposed to start filming. James Haake then took the role.