View Full Version : 'All in the Family': 12 Memorable Moments
01-12-2011, 12:07 PM
Today, Jan. 12, marks the 40th anniversary of the CBS show's debut, and it's hard to say if the comedy would've been as influential in today's television landscape.
While there are plenty of shows that feature sex and violence -- and even cartoons like 'South Park' handle some political/cultural issues -- there aren't many that deal with politics, race and sex the way this show did. It was controversial then, but with today's 24-hour news, cable pundits, the Internet and political correctness, it would get a lot of heat (if it made it on the air at all).
So in honor of 'All in the Family's' anniversary, here's our list of 12 great moments from the show. It's hard to pick just a dozen, but these are all classic...
01-12-2011, 12:08 PM
1. A visit from Sammy Davis, Jr. The thing about Archie Bunker was that he wasn't a racist in the most nasty definition of that word. He didn't deny blacks access to his house or utter the worst slang terms. He just came from another generation and another way of thinking. And he was massively clueless and ignorant.
The singer-actor accidentally leaves his briefcase in Archie's cab and comes over to the house to get it, which leads to a very funny scene where Archie can't seem to say the right thing at all and everyone in the neighborhood comes over to see Davis.
01-12-2011, 12:08 PM
2. Archie meets Mike. This is a flashback episode where Mike comes over to the house for the first time, and Archie gives him the nickname that will stick with him for the next several years. (Trivia: Archie's nickname when he was a kid was also Meathead.)
01-12-2011, 12:10 PM
3. Archie and Edith meet the swingers. And we're not talking Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn. Edith answers an ad in the, um, swap section of a newspaper because she wants to meet new people. (Vincent Gardenia played the role of a swinger before he played neighbor Frank Lorenzo.)
4. Archie's rebuttal. Archie goes down to a local TV station to give a rebuttal to the station's editorial about guns. This debate is still going on.
5. Archie and the $20 bill. A mix-up involving money is a staple of sitcoms. Just the other night I was watching a 'Dick Van Dyke Show' episode with a scene similar to this. Archie accidentally gives George Jefferson a phony $20 bill, leading to a funny math problem.
6. Archie kills himself. Edith was known for talking and talking and talking and talking. Sometimes Archie would get so annoyed he'd mimic offing himself so he didn't have to listen to her anymore.
7. Mike and Gloria leave for California. A lot of people weren't expecting the emotional bond between Archie and Mike.
8. Edith slaps Archie. Archie promises Edith that he won't gamble anymore, but then she gets a phone call ...
9. Archie might have been poisoned. This time Archie might really be poisoned, after eating some canned mushrooms. This show did frantic slapstick just as well as it did political humor.
10. The chair trick. Gloria shows Archie something women can do that men can't. I bet you'll be trying this tonight with your family.
11. Lionel's Engagement. The Bunkers go to Lionel's engagement party, with predictable results.
12. Archie on the election of a black president. Archie gives his prediction on when the United States will finally elect a black president. He says it won't happen until another important job is filled by a black person.
'All in the Family' airs Tuesdays through Fridays at 8AM and 6PM on TV Land.
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