Married ...with Children (2)

Part 2: A look back at more of my favorite episodes
April 28, 2008

Thanks to all the great response on my last Married ...with Children article, in case you missed it, it can be located here:

Married ...with Children Part 1

And now I bring you more of my all time favorite episodes, starting with...

3.8 The Gypsy Cried (Original Air Date: 2/5/1989)

Steve and Marcy hire a fortune teller for a party, and everyone gets good fortune readings, except for Marcy who gets a prediction of misfortune, betrayal, disaster and tragedy in her future. So when she as to accompany her boss to the Women in Banking Convention in New York, he brings Steve, Al and Peggy along to avoid the worst possible outcome. One of the funniest moments in the series happens here, as Al takes off his shoes on the plane, all the oxygen masks drop down simultaneously.

Madame Olga: I feel very strong vibrations here.
Al: Did you leave your toy running under the couch again?
Peggy: No. It's in the shop, it's being turbo-charged.

4.1 Hot Off the Grill (Original Air Date: 9/3/1989)

It's Labor Day and everyone in the neighborhood is out of town having a good time, except of course the Bundy's. So Al decides to throw a barbecue with the Rhodes' where he'll make his special Bundy burgers that require last year's grease and ashes intact on the grill. Only Peggy accidently loses the ashes, so she has Kelly and Bud search the neighborhood for replacements. This is a truly unique episode, for one thing Al becomes turned on to Peggy while watching her scrub the picnic table and winds up having sex with her...a lot, and and for once she's not in the mood. The episode also has one of the best endings, I won't spoil it, but I'd describe it as almost Shakespearean. Some memorable quotes include:

Al: Greetings, vultures. Your meal ticket's here.

Al: See, this is a holiday for the working guy. Celebrates all the people who work, so that all of the people who don't get to live longer and have more than he does. So, tomorrow, unless God willing I die in my sleep, I get up for me, and celebrate for me. Tomorrow, is Al Bun-Day.

Kelly: I don't wanna sit around the house all day and sleep. It's like being at school.
Al: No, the difference between here and school is, you'll be outta here when you're eighteen.

Peggy: You know, I wish you could've seen your father when he was in high school, before all this happened.
Al: As I recall, they almost did.

Al: Sex again. Peg, we've been married for 17 years now, can't we just be friends?
Peggy: No. I don't like you, I just wanna have sex with you.

Peggy: I hate barbecues. I hate Labor Day. I hate watching buzzards circle while I'm having sex.

4.11/4.12 It's A Bundyful Life (Original Air Date: 12/17/1989)

It's Christmas time again, and this time Al thinks he's played things smart by joining a Christmas club, and all he has to do is cash the check, only he waits till the last minute and the bank closes before he can get in. After the family dismisses him and leaves him alone to fix the Christmas lights, Al makes a momentous wish he had never been born, right before electocuting himself. When he comes to, he's greeted by his guardian angel (played by the late Sam Kinison, who was a top choice initially to play Al) who's there to fufill Al's wish. And the twist in this blatant It's a Wonderful Life spoof is after seeing how happy his family is without him, Al decides he wants to live. Featuring cameos from a pre-Jefferson Ted McGinley, and Thomas Ian Nicholas (Rookie of the Year, American Pie) as well as great Al monologues and quotes including:

Al: I hate Christmas. Mall is full of nothing but women and children. All you hear is, "I want this! Get me this! I have to have this!" then there's the children. And they're all by my store, cause they stuck the mall Santa right outside ringing his stupid bell. As if you need a bell to notice a 300-pound alcoholic in a red suit. "Ho, ho, ho!" all day long, so nice as can be, I go outside and ask him to shut the hell up. He takes a swing at me. So, I lay a hook into his fat belly and he goes down. The beard comes off, all the kids start crying, and I'm the bad guy!

Al: Christmas is not the time for regrets, that's what anniversaries are for.

Al: 'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, no food was a'stirrin', not even a mouse. The stockings were hung around Dad's neck like a tie, along with a note that said "Presents or die." The children were plotting all night in their beds, While the wife's constant whining was splitting his head. But Daddy had money this year in the bank, then they closed up early, now Dad's in the tank. And all of a sudden, Santa appeared, with a sneer on his face, and booze in his beard. "Santa," I said as he laughed merrily, "You do so much for others, do something for me." "Bundy," he said, "You only sell shoes, your son is a sneak thief, your daughter's a flooze. Ho, ho!" Santa said, "Should I mention your wife, Her hair's like an A-Bomb, her nails like a knife." He climbs up the chimney, that fat piece of dung, he mooned me two times, he stuck out his tongue. I heard him exclaim, as he broke wind with glee, "You're married with children, you'll never be free."

Kelly: Pleasures of the flesh muddy the thinking.
Peggy: She's right, you know. I saved myself for marriage.
Al: Oh, come on! The football team retired *her* jersey!
5.1 We'll Follow the Sun (Original Air Date: 9/23/1990)

Labor Day rears its ugly head again, and this time Al decides to take the family on a cross country road trip, only problem is a completely immobile traffic jam is keeping them from getting anywhere further away than viewing distance of their house. Features one of the great family slugfests as well as those quotes including:

Peggy: Hi, honey, did you miss me?
Al: With every bullet so far.

Bud: When I was a freshman they flushed my head down the toilet. When I was a sophomore they flushed my head down the toilet. When I was a junior, I was getting cool. So they let me flush it myself. But now, I'm a senior, ready to rule. This year, he's back, he's cool, he's dry.
Kelly: Until he goes to sleep.

5.7 Married ...with Aliens (Original Air Date: 11/4/1990)

While searching for change in the mall fountain, Al slips and hits his head, and begins seeing aliens stealing his socks. And while everyone dismisses Al's claims as being nothing more than symptoms of a concussion, little do they know the aliens are actually real, and require the dirty socks for spaceship fuel. Quite possibly one of the silliest plots ever during the course of the show, but the result on the other hand is very amusing, partly due to Ed O'Neill's always amazing comic deliveries. Some of the aliens were performed by Phil Fondacaro (Troll, Bordello of Blood), Debbie Lee Carrington (Total Recall, Men in Black) and Tony Cox (Me, Myself and Irene, Bad Santa).

Al: Peg! Three little green aliens came in here and...they stole my socks!
Peggy: Honey, were they green before or after they touched your socks?

Peggy: Al, sweetheart, you banged your head tonight. You are having a hallucination. You're probably seriously hurt and need medical attention. Now go to sleep.

Al: Guys, just one more thing, you sure you don't want the redhead for your intergalactic zoo?

5.8 Wabbit Season (Original Air Date: 11/11/1990)

After suffering a nervous breakdown at the shoe store, Al decides the best method to reduce his stress is to start a vegetable garden. Only problem is in an ironic twist a pesky rabbit that can't be killed is keeping Al's stress level at the max. Another silly and very cartoonish entry in the series, but also hysterically funny, taking many obvious cues from Looney Tunes, as well as possessing the always great Al lines:

Al: Oh, Peg, it was horrible. Sixteen straight hours of shoe selling mayhem. Last thing I remember, I was down on one knee, waiting on an over-flowing glacier of a woman. First thing they teach you when you're a rookie shoe salesman is when you get a fat one in the chair, never look up. I looked up, Peg! I saw underwear! It said "Saturday!"
Peggy: So, what?
Al: Today's Wednesday!

Al: Old McBundy had a farm, B-U-N-D-Y. And on this farm, this was no wife, B-U-N-D-Y. With a no wife here and a no kids there, a hooker coming over on Friday night. Big luscious hooters and a pizza and a beer there. Old McBundy had a farm, B-U-N-D-Y!

Peggy: That's Al, folks!

5.12 Married ...with Who? (Original Air Date: 1/6/1991)

After an extensive alcohol binge, Marcy wakes up to discover she has gotten remarried to ex-con Jefferson D'Arcy, and since she can't remember the event decides to put together a proper ceremony, only she makes the mistake of putting the Bundy's in charge of the wedding budget. A hilariously cheap wedding ceremony ensues with a minister/sea captain performing over CB radio, Buck as a bridesmaid, and the cake consisting of a single Twinkie. On a side note, a small continuity error happens when Al invests the squandered wedding budget funds into his retirement property on Lake Chicamocomico. When it was first mentioned in "Nightmare On Al's Street," he was already aware it was a toxic dump, yet is surprised to find out that fact at the end of this episode, oops.

Peggy: Question two, who would you rather spend the night with? A: Your wife, or B--
Al: B.

Marcy: All I know is I woke up this morning with a man in my bed. I don't even know who he is.
Al: Well, that's easy, he slept with you, he's the stupidest man on Earth.
Peggy: Al, we're talking about sex, leave it to those who do it.

Al: Jeff, all kidding aside, run. Run hard, run now, run silent, run deep. Run like Mexican water through a first time tourist, but the keyword here
Jefferson: Don't you think she's cute, Al?
Al: Run.

And that wraps things up for Part 2. Next time I'll be covering my final episode picks from the rest of the series, as well as honorable mentions, stay tuned!
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