NIGHTMARES IN TV LAND: MARRIED WITH CHILDREN

Posted on Mar 19, 2013 in Featured, Nightmares in TV Land | 3 comments

So as many of you are likely aware by now, on top of being a huge horror fanatic, I am also a rabid fan of a few old TV shows, specifically Married… With Children, The Simpsons and All in the Family. With so much nerdy fandom swishing around in my head (along with all of that discount booze), it was only a matter of time before I envisioned an article that linked these two obsessions together somehow.

Therefore, we now bring you our newest, weirdest segment, which we think is a lot of fun and hopefully you will too. It’s part trivia and part before-they-were stars fun. We’re taking some of yesterday’s best loved comedy programs and revealing their stars’ horror genre roots, as well as its nods and cameos, in our new segment…

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NIGHTMARES IN TV LAND!

We’ll start by bringing you the terrors of Married… With Children!

FIRST FUN FACT:
While many people believe that the Bundy family was named after serial killer Ted Bundy, creators Michael G. Moye and Ron Leavitt actually named the family after their favorite wrestler, King Kong Bundy, who ended up guest starring on the show twice; once as himself in the Halloween episode Flight of the Bumblebee, and once as Peggy’s Uncle Irwin in the episode All in the Family.

AL BUNDY (ED O’NEILL)

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Ed is, without a doubt, my favorite comedic actor, and Al Bundy is one of the most famous Dads in television history.

But can we link Ed to the horror genre?

Before he gained fame as Al, Ed starred in horror-director William Friedkin’s Cruising and later in the dark thriller The Bone Collector. He also played a troll king in the fantasy series The 10th Kingdom.

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But my favorite horror-tie in for Ed is actually the subject of great debate. In the end of the classic, survival horror flick Deliverance, a police officer is questioning Burt Reynolds. The officer isn’t credited in the movie, but he looks strikingly like a young Ed O’Neill. This credit has gone on and off IMDB and other sites hosting biographies of the actor.

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The current scoop is even more interesting though.
To quote IMDB on the matter: “Although Ed O’Neill (Al Bundy) was not actually in the movie, it has been reported so many times that he often doesn’t dispute it.”

Whether Ed or not, this is my favorite Al Bundy horror-tie in!

PEG BUNDY (KATEY SAGAL)

 

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Katey Sagal has had an enormously successful career, and at the time of my writing this she stars in two extremely popular shows, Sons of Anarchy and Futurama. She also manages to still be smoking hot at age 59.

My favorite Katey Sagal horror tie-in is her appearance as Ms. Kilbasser, the leather-clad double-crosser in the second season Tales From the Crypt episode For Cryin’ Out Loud.

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In this she co-stars with Sam Kinison and Lee Arenberg, both of which made guest spots on Married… With Children. (Kinison as Al’s guardian in angel in the two-part Christmas Special It’s a Bundyful Life, and Arenberg as one of Jefferson’s old prison buddies in Luck of The Bundys).

BONUS FACT:
Kinison was originally considered for the roll of Al Bundy, and Roseanne Barr for the roll of Peg.

 

KELLY BUNDY (CHRISTINA APPLEGATE)

 

Applegate has also had a lustrous career, and continues to be a success on the big screen, small screen and the stage. As a teenager in the nineties she became a national sex symbol, and her portrayal of dimwitted, heavy metal chick Kelly Bundy made the role one of the most iconic television characters of all time.

But before she was making us drool with this…

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She was making us shriek with this!

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That’s a nine-year-old Christina in the giant-snake horror turd Jaws of Satan from 1981. Long before she stepped into the leather minis of Married… With Children. Additional Applegate horror clout includes the semi-dark comedy Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead (hey, it features teenagers dealing with a corpse), Mars Attacks, and the Amazing Stories episode Welcome to My Nightmare, wherein a horror fanatic finds himself trapped in the movie Psycho.

BUD BUNDY (DAVID FAUSTINO)

 

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David has been a star since his infancy, and before he was Bud he had small roles in supernatural shows including The Twilight Zone and Highway to Heaven. His greatest contribution to the genre would have to be the 2008 serial killer film The Boston Strangler, in which he plays notorious rapist/killer Albert De Salvo (and yet, oddly, the DVD cover looks nothing like him. I guess they didn’t want people to chuckle at the face of Bud Bundy coming to choke them to death. Also, whether or not De Salvo was actually the killer remains a subject of debate even though he did confess to the crimes).

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Nonetheless, Faustino’s best horror tie-in is one of nepotism. His brother, Michael, was a member of The Monster Squad, playing Eugene in the 1987 cult classic.

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MARCY D’ARCY (AMANDA BEARSE)

 

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But the trophy for the Married… With Children cast’s best horror tie-in easily goes to Amanda Bearse for her famous role in the 1985 horror gem Fright Night, in which she plays the hero’s girlfriend who gets seduced by a vampire and then becomes one!

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HORROR ON THE SHOW

 

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The show had two Halloween episodes, one being the before mentioned Flight of The Bumblebee, and the other being the more horror-themed Take My Wife, Please in which the reaper (played by Sagal) comes for Al on Halloween night.

In addition to its regular cast, Married… With Children, also had many guest stars from the genre and nods in its direction. Robert Englund played the devil in the season 11 dream-episode Damn Bundys, in which Al sells his soul for football stardom.

Linda Blair plays one of Peggy’s white trash cousins, Ida Mae, in season seven’s Magnificent Seven.

And Leatherface and Jason visit Al in a nightmare in season two’s Buck Can Do It.

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Other notable genre stars that made guest spots on the show include Milla Jovovich, Corey Feldman, Richard Moll, Clint Howard, Traci Lords, and the metal band Anthrax.

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On top of all of this, there was also a short-lived comic book adaptation of the show during the height of its popularity. Several of the issues parodied pop horror of the day.

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Would you believe I wrote all of this while wearing a Polk High t-shirt? It’s true. I also still have a pinup poster of Applegate that I bought when I was thirteen. Plus, today I finally found these dolls on Ebay after regretfully not buying them when they were first released in 2005.

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Now that you’ve read this article, I think you can better understand why they will be proudly displayed in the Tavern of Terror, right alongside my Dr. Loomis action figure. Hey, if you’re gonna be a nerd, be a hardcore one!

Tune in next time, same horror bar, for another episode of Nightmares in TV Land, brought to you exclusively by Tavern of Terror!

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3 Comments

  1. Michael Faustino of Monster Squad showed up a lot of times in MWC, right up until the end. Was weird seeing an older Eugene with a snotty attitude!

  2. Yes! I enjoyed him as the snarky car wash manager.

  3. Dude freaking scored 4 touchdowns in 1 game!!!
    His son was a Rap Grandmaster B, Daughter a video
    vixen, and Peg was wifey

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