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All in the Family
File:All in the family.jpg
The title screen as seen in the opening credits
Format Situation comedy
Created by Norman Lear (based on Till Death Us Do Part, created by Johnny Speight)
Starring Carroll O'Connor
Jean Stapleton
Rob Reiner
Sally Struthers
Danielle Brisebois
Theme music composer Lee Adams
Charles Strouse
Opening theme "Those Were the Days"
Performed by Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton
Ending theme "Remembering You"
by Roger Kellaway and Carroll O'Connor (instrumental version)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 9
No. of episodes 208[1] (List of episodes)
Location(s) CBS Television City
Hollywood, California (1971-1975)
Metromedia Square
Hollywood, California (1975-1979)
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Tandem Productions
Distributor Viacom Enterprises (1976-1991)
Columbia Pictures Television (1991-1996)
Columbia TriStar Television (1996-2002)
Sony Pictures Television (2002-present)
Original channel CBS
Picture format Color
Original run Template:Start dateTemplate:End date
Followed by Archie Bunker's Place
Related shows Maude
The Jeffersons
704 Hauser

All in the Family is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12, 1971, to April 8, 1979. In September 1979, a new show, Archie Bunker's Place, picked up where All in the Family had ended. This sitcom lasted another four years, ending its run in 1983.

Produced by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin, it is based on the British television comedy series Till Death Us Do Part.[2] Despite being considerably softer in its approach than its BBC predecessor, the show broke ground in its depiction of issues previously considered unsuitable for U.S. network television comedy, such as racism, homosexuality, women's liberation, rape, miscarriage, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, menopause, and impotence.

The show ranked number-one in the yearly Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976. It became the first television series to reach the milestone of having topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive years, a mark later matched by The Cosby Show and surpassed by American Idol, which notched its eighth consecutive year at #1 in 2012 and whose streak is still ongoing. The episode "Sammy's Visit" was ranked #13 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.[3] TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time ranked All in the Family as #4. Bravo also named the show's protagonist, Archie Bunker, TV's greatest character of all time.[4]


The comedy revolves around Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor), a working-class World War II veteran. He is a very outspoken bigot, seemingly prejudiced against everyone who is not a U.S.-born, politically conservative, heterosexual White Anglo-Saxon Protestant male, and dismissive of anyone not in agreement with his view of the world. His ignorance and stubbornness tend to cause his malapropism-filled arguments to self-destruct. He often responds to uncomfortable truths by blowing a raspberry. He longs for simpler times when people sharing his viewpoint were in charge, as evidenced by the nostalgic theme song "Those Were the Days", the show's original title.

By contrast, his wife Edith (Jean Stapleton) is a sweet and understanding, if somewhat naïve, woman. She usually defers to her husband. On the rare occasions when Edith takes a stand she proves to be one of the wisest characters, as evidenced in the episodes "The Battle of the Month" and "The Games Bunkers Play". Archie often tells her to "stifle" herself and calls her a "dingbat".[5] Despite their different personalities they love each other deeply.

They have one child, Gloria (Sally Struthers), who is married to college student Michael Stivic (Rob Reiner). "Michael" is referred to as "Meathead" by Archie and "Mike" by nearly everyone else. Mike is a bit of a hippie, and his morality is informed by the counterculture of the 1960s. He and Archie represent the real-life clash between two generations. They constantly clash over religious, political, social, and personal issues. For much of the series, the Stivics live in the Bunkers' home to save money, providing even more opportunity for the two men to irritate each other. When Mike finally finishes graduate school and the Stivics move out, it turns out to be to the house next door. The house was offered to them by George Jefferson, the Bunkers' former neighbor, who knows it will irritate Archie. In addition to calling him "Meathead", Archie also frequently cites Mike's Polish ancestry, referring to him as a "dumb Polack".

The show is set in the Astoria section of Queens, one of New York City's five boroughs, with the vast majority of scenes taking place in the Bunkers' home (and later, frequently, the Stivics' home). Occasional scenes take place in other locations, most often (especially during later seasons) Kelcy's Bar, a neighborhood tavern where Archie spends a good deal of time and which he eventually buys.


Main characters[]

File:All in the Family cast 1976.JPG

The Bunkers & the Stivics: standing, Gloria (Sally Struthers) and Michael (Rob Reiner); seated, Archie (Carroll O'Connor) and Edith (Jean Stapleton) with baby Joey.

  • Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker. Frequently called a "lovable bigot", Archie was an assertively prejudiced blue-collar worker. Former child actor Mickey Rooney was Lear's first choice to play Archie but Rooney declined the offer due to the strong potential for controversy and, in Rooney's opinion, a poor chance for success.
  • Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker, née Baines. Stapleton remained with the show all through the original series run but decided to leave before the first season of Archie Bunker's Place had wrapped up. At that point Edith was written out as having suffered a stroke and died off-camera, leaving Archie to deal with the death of his beloved "dingbat". Stapleton appeared in all but four episodes of All in the Family and had a recurring role during the first season of Archie Bunker's Place.
  • Sally Struthers as Gloria Stivic, née Bunker. The Bunkers' college-age daughter was married to Michael Stivic. Gloria frequently attempted to mediate Archie's and Michael's arguments. The roles of the Bunkers' daughter and son-in-law (then named "Dickie") initially went to Candice Azzara and Chip Oliver. However, after seeing the show's pilot, ABC, the original production company, requested a second pilot expressing dissatisfaction with both actors. Lear later recast the roles of "Gloria" and "Dickie" with Struthers and Reiner. Penny Marshall (Reiner's wife, whom he married shortly after the program began in April 1971) was also considered for the role of Gloria. During the earlier seasons of the show, Struthers was known to be discontented with how static her part was, frequently coming off as irritating and having only a few token lines. As the series continued Gloria's character became more developed, satisfying Struthers. Struthers appeared in 157 of the 202 episodes during the first eight seasons—from January 12, 1971 to March 19, 1978.
  • Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic. Gloria's Polish-American hippie husband was part of the counterculture of the 1960s. He constantly sparred with Archie (in the original pilot, the character "Michael" was Irish-American). Michael's character was, in many ways, as stubborn as Archie, even though his moral views were generally presented as being more ethical and his logic somewhat sounder. For his bullheadedness, Stivic was sometimes criticized for being an elitist. He also struggled with assumptions of male superiority. He spoke of believing in female equality, but often tried to control Gloria's decisions and desires in terms of traditional gender roles. While Archie demonstrated the lion's share of the hypocrisy, Michael had, on occasion, shown his own. As discussed in All in the Family retrospectives, Richard Dreyfuss sought the part but Norman Lear was convinced to cast Reiner. Reiner appeared in 174 of the 202 episodes of the series during the first eight seasons—from January 12, 1971 to March 19, 1978. Reiner is also credited with writing three of the series' episodes.[6]

Supporting characters[]

File:Archie and Lionel All in the Family 1971.JPG

When Archie visits a local blood bank to make a donation, he meets his neighbor, Lionel Jefferson, who is there to do the same thing.

  • Sherman Hemsley as George Jefferson, Isabel Sanford as his wife Louise, and Mike Evans as their son Lionel, Archie's African American neighbors. George is Archie's combative black counterpart, while Louise is a smarter, more assertive version of Edith. Lionel first appeared in the series' premiere episode "Meet the Bunkers", with Louise appearing later in the first season. Although previously mentioned many times, George was not seen until 1973. Hemsley, who was Norman Lear's first choice to play George, was performing in the Broadway musical Purlie and did not want to break his commitment to that show. However, Lear kept the role waiting for him until he had finished with the musical. Plots frequently find Archie and George at odds with one another, while Edith and Louise attempt to join forces to bring about a resolution. They later moved to an apartment in Manhattan which resulted in their own show The Jeffersons.
  • Mel Stewart, as George's brother Henry Jefferson. The two appeared together only once, in the 1973 episode in which the Bunkers host Henry's going-away party, marking Stewart's final episode and Hemsley's first. Even when the Jeffersons were spun off into their own show in 1975, Stewart's character was rarely referred to again and was never seen. In the closing credits of "The First and Last Supper" episode, Mel Stewart is incorrectly credited as playing George Jefferson. Stewart was actually playing George's brother, Henry Jefferson, who was pretending to be George for most of the episode.
  • Bea Arthur as Edith's cousin Maude. Maude was white-collared and ultra-liberal, the perfect foil to Archie and one of his main antagonists. She appeared in only two episodes, Cousin Maude's Visit, where she took care of the Bunker household when all four were sick and Maude, during the show's second season. She then went on to her own spin-off series, Maude, in fall 1972.
  • Betty Garrett and Vincent Gardenia as the liberal and Roman Catholic next-door neighbors Irene and Frank Lorenzo. Both first appeared as a married couple as Irene was trying to use the Bunker's phone. However, during an argument earlier in the episode, Archie and Mike had broken the phone wire. Irene being a 'handyman' of sorts with her own tools, she carried in her purse, fixed it. Irene fixed many things at the Bunker house during her time on the show. She also had a sister that was a nun who appeared in one episode. It is revealed in the episode Edith's Christmas Story that Irene has had a mastectomy. Archie got her a job as a forklift operator at the plant where Archie worked. Irene was a strongwilled woman of Irish heritage, and Frank was a jovial Italian househusband who loved cooking and singing. He also was a salesman, but it never was said what he sold. Gardenia, who also appeared as Jim Bowman in Episode 8 of Season 1 (as the man who sold his house to the Jeffersons) and as Curtis Remply in Episode 7 of Season 3 (as a swinger opposite Rue McClanahan), became a semi-regular along with Garrett in 1973. Gardenia only stayed for one season as Frank Lorenzo, but Garrett remained until her character was phased out in late 1975.
  • Danielle Brisebois as Edith's 9-year-old grandniece, Stephanie Mills. The Bunkers take her in after the child's father, Floyd Mills, abandons her on their doorstep in 1978 after Mike and Gloria moved to California at the end of the previous season. (He later extorts money from them to let them keep her.) She would remain with the show through its transition to Archie Bunker's Place.
  • Allan Melvin as Archie's neighbor and best friend Barney Hefner. The character first appeared in 1972 as a fairly minor character. Barney's role expanded toward the end of the series, after the departures of Reiner and Struthers.

Recurring characters[]

  • James Cromwell as Jerome[7] "Stretch" Cunningham (1973–1976), Archie's friend and co-worker from the loading dock. What Archie did not know was that Stretch was Jewish, evident only after Stretch died and Archie went to the funeral. Archie's eulogy for his friend is often referred to as a rare occasion where he was capable of showing the humanity he tried so earnestly to hide. In the episode titled, Archie in the Cellar, Billy Sands is referred to as Stretch Cunningham, the voice on the tape recorder telling jokes. Sands also appeared as other characters on the show during its run, usually in Kelsey's Bar as a patron.
  • Liz Torres as Theresa Betancourt (1976–1977), a Latina nursing student, who initially meets Archie when he is admitted to the hospital for surgery; she later rents Mike's and Gloria's former room at the Bunker house. She called Archie "Papi."
  • Bob Hastings as Kelcy or Tommy Kelsey, who owns the bar Archie frequents and later buys. Kelcy was also played by Frank Maxwell in episode "Archie Gets The Business". The name of the establishment is Kelcy's Bar (as seen in the bar window in various episodes). However, due to a continuity error, the end credits[8] of episodes involving the bar owner spell the name "Kelcy" for the first two seasons and "Kelsey" thereafter, although the end credits show "Kelcy" in the "Archie Gets the Business" episode.
  • Jason Wingreen as Harry Snowden, a bartender at Kelcy's Bar who continues to work there after Archie purchases it and eventually becomes his business partner. Harry tried to buy the bar from Kelcy first, but it was first come up with the money and Archie does first by taking a mortgage out on his house, which the Bunkers own outright.
  • Gloria LeRoy as Mildred "Boom-Boom" Turner, a buxom, middle-aged secretary at the plant where Archie works. Her first appearance was when Archie is lost on his way to a convention and Mike and Gloria suspect he and she could be having be having an affair. Archie gave her that moniker as she was walking by the loading dock. He said when she walked, "Boom-Boom". She is not initially fond of Archie due to his and Stretch's leering and sexist behavior, but later becomes friendly with him, occasionally working as a barmaid at Archie's Place. Gloria LeRoy also appeared in a third season episode as "Bobbi Joe," the wife of Archie's old war buddy "Duke".
  • Barnard Hughes as Father Majeskie, a local Catholic priest who was suspected by Archie one time of trying to convert Edith. He appeared in multiple episodes. The first time was when Edith accidentally hit Majeskie's car in the shopping parking lot with a can of cling peaches in heavy syrup.
  • Lori Shannon as Beverly La Salle, a transvestite entertainer, who appeared in three episodes: "Archie the Hero", "Beverly Rides Again", and "Edith's Crisis of Faith".
  • Estelle Parsons as Blanche Hefner (1977–1979), Barney's second wife. Blanche and Archie are not fond of one another, though Edith likes her very much. The character is mentioned throughout much of the series after Barney's first wife, Mabel, had died, though she only appeared in a handful of episodes during the last couple of seasons.
  • Bill Quinn as Mr. Edgar Van Ranseleer (a.k.a. "Mr. Van R"), a blind patron and regular at the bar. He was almost never referred to by his first name.
  • Nedra Volz as Aunt Iola. She was Edith's aunt who was mentioned several times in the 8th season and stayed with the Bunkers for two weeks. She wanted to move in, but Archie would not allow it.
  • Francine Beers and Jane Connell as Sybil Gooley, who worked at Ferguson's Market. She predicted that Gloria and Mike were having a baby boy by performing a test on Gloria. She also appeared in the episode "Edith's 50th Birthday" and spilled the beans on her surprise party because she had not been invited. She and Archie did not get along and he referred to her as a "Big Mouth".
  • Rae Allen, Elizabeth Wilson, as Cousin Amelia. Archie detested both her and her husband who were both wealthy. Once she sent Edith a mink and Archie wanted to send it back, until he found out how much it was worth. In another episode, both Amelia and her husband gave the Bunkers Hawaiian shirts. Amelia was played by various actresses throughout the first few seasons of the show.
  • Clyde Kusatsu as Reverend Chong. Reverend Chong appeared in several episodes. He refused to baptize little Joey in Season 6 and then remarried both Archie and Edith and Mike and Gloria in Season 8 and gave counsel to Stephanie in Season 9 as it was learned she was Jewish.
  • Ruth McDevitt as Josephine 'Jo' Nelson. She played Justin Quigley's girlfriend, the older man Edith found walking around the supermarket. She appeared in three episodes from the 4th-6th seasons. Gloria and Mike adopted them as their godgrandparents. Out of most of the characters, Archie took a liking to Justin and Jo. She died following the end of the 6th season.
  • William Benedict as Jimmy McNabb. He was Archie's and Edith's neighbor who was starting a petition to keep minorities out of their neighborhood. He appeared in two episodes during the first and second season and was referred to many times during the first few seasons.

Actors in multiple roles[]

Template:Unreferenced section A number of actors played multiple roles during the show's run:

  • Jean Stapleton played both Edith Bunker and Judith Klammerstadt in the episode "A Girl Like Edith". The end credits list actress "Giovanna Pucci" for the latter character. In fact, this is a play on words with Stapleton's married name: Jean Putch.
  • Vincent Gardenia portrayed neighbor Jim Bowman, who sells the Jeffersons their house in "Lionel Moves Into the Neighborhood"; Curtis Rempley, half of a swinging couple Edith befriends in "The Bunkers and the Swingers" (from the show's first and third seasons respectively); and later had a recurring role as neighbor Frank Lorenzo during the 1973–74 season.
  • Gloria LeRoy played the wife of one of Archie's old Army buddies (Duke Loomis) in third-season episode "The Threat" and later portrayed Mildred "Boom-Boom" Turner in a few episodes between 1974 and 1978.
  • Allan Melvin played New York Police Department Sergeant Paul Pulaski in the second-season episode "Archie in the Lock-up" and later played the recurring role of Archie's best friend Barney Hefner from 1972 on.
  • Marcia Rodd appeared in two episodes during the 1971–1972 season, playing two different characters, first as a single mother who accuses Mike of being the father of her eight-year old son in "Mike's Mysterious Son", and Maude's daughter Carol in the episode "Maude". (Adrienne Barbeau would take over the role of Carol on spin-off series Maude.)
  • Bill Macy first appeared as a uniformed Police Officer in the "Archie Sees a Mugging" episode before returning as Maude's husband in "Maude" (1972).
  • Roscoe Lee Browne appears as Hugh Victor Thompson III in "The Elevator Story" (1972) and then returns as Jean Duval in "Archie in the Hospital" (1973).
  • Burt Mustin played the role of night watchman Harry Feeney in the episode titled Archie is Worried About His Job. He came back later in a few episodes, as Justin Quigley, starting with Edith Finds an Old Man. Mr. Mustin died during the production of the 7th season.
  • Sorrell Booke (who played Boss Hogg in the Dukes of Hazzard) played Mr. Bennett, the owner of a television station in "Archie and the Editorial (1972)" and then returned four more times as Mr. Sanders, Archie's boss down at the loading dock.
  • Val Bisoglio played Mr. Silvestri, who pays a visit representing "Organized Crime" in "Archie Sees A Mugging" also appears as an armed robber who robs Archie, Edith, Mike and Gloria at gunpoint at Kelcy's Bar while celebrating Gloria's new job and Archie's television appearance in "Archie and the Editorial".
  • Priscilla Morrill Played the nurse tending to Archie in "Archie Goes To The Hospital"; she also played a classmate of Edith Bunker who repeats the line "God He Was Beautiful" three times in regards to Buck Evans in the episode "Class Reunion"; Jean Stapleton also credits her as her stand-in for the episode "A Girl Like Edith" where Jean Stapleton had a dual role.
  • Ken Lynch played the policeman who guards the cell when Archie is behind bars in "Archie in the Lock-Up", in season one, and returns in season 3 as one of the two refrigerator repairmen in "Everybody Tells The Truth".
  • Richard Stahl appears as a Lawyer representing a "Station Wagon Filled With Nuns" in season one episode "Archie's Aching Back" and also appears during season four as the Doctor Archie sees in "Archie Eats And Runs".


Lear bought the rights to Till Death Us Do Part and incorporated his own family experiences with his father into the show. Lear's father would tell Lear's mother to "stifle herself" and she would tell Lear's father "you are the laziest white man I ever saw" (two "Archieisms" that found their way onto the show). Three different pilots were shot for the series. Justice For All (1968) was shot in New York, and named in reference to Archie's family name (later changed to Bunker), while Those Were The Days (1969) was made in Hollywood. Different actors played the roles of Mike, Gloria, and Lionel in the first two.

After stations' and viewers' complaints caused ABC to cancel Turn-On after only one episode in February 1969, the network became uneasy about airing a show with a "foul-mouthed, bigoted lead" character, and rejected the series[9][10] at about the time Richard Dreyfuss sought the role of Michael. Rival network CBS was eager to update its image, and was looking to replace much of its then popular "rural" programming (Mayberry R.F.D., The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres) with more "urban", contemporary series, and was interested in Lear's project. They bought the rights from ABC and retitled the show All in the Family.

Lear initially wanted to shoot in black and white. While CBS insisted on color, Lear had the set furnished in rather neutral tones, keeping everything relatively devoid of color.

All in the Family was the first major American series to be videotaped in front of a live studio audience. In the 1960s, most sitcoms had been filmed in the single-camera format without audiences, with a laugh track simulating audience response. Lear employed the Multi-camera format of shooting in front of an audience, but used tape, whereas previous multi-camera shows like Mary Tyler Moore had used film. Thanks to the success of All in the Family, videotaping sitcoms in front of an audience became common format for the genre during the 1970s. The use of videotape also gave All in the Family the look and feel of early live television, including the original live broadcasts of The Honeymooners, to which All in the Family is sometimes compared.

For the show's final season, the practice of being taped before a live audience changed to playing the already taped and edited show to an audience and recording their laughter to add to the original sound track. Thus, the voice-over during the end credits was changed from Rob Reiner's "All in the Family was recorded on tape before a live audience" to Carroll O'Connor's "All in the Family was played to a studio audience for live responses". (Typically, the audience would be gathered for a taping of One Day at a Time, and get to see All In the Family as a bonus.) Throughout its run, Norman Lear took pride in the fact that canned laughter was never used (mentioning this on many occasions); the laughter heard in the episodes was genuine.

Theme song[]

The series' opening theme song "Those Were the Days",[11] written by Lee Adams (lyrics) and Charles Strouse (music), was presented in a unique way for a 1970s series: Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton seated at a console or spinet piano (played by Stapleton) and singing the tune on-camera at the start of every episode, concluding with live-audience applause. Several different performances were recorded over the run of the series, including one version that includes additional lyrics. The song is a simple, pentatonic melody (that can be played exclusively with black keys on a piano) in which Archie and Edith wax nostalgic for the simpler days of yesteryear. A longer version of the song was released as a single on Atlantic Records, reaching No. 30 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart early in 1972; the additional lyrics in this longer version lend the song a greater sense of sadness, and make poignant reference to social changes taking place in the 1960s and early 1970s A few perceptible drifts can be observed when listening to each version chronologically: In the original version Jean Stapleton was wearing glasses and after the first time the lyric "Those Were The Days" was sung over the tonic (root chord of the song's key) the piano strikes a Dominant 7th chord in transition to the next part which is absent from subsequent versions. Jean Stapleton's screeching high note on the line "And you knew who you WEEERRE then" became louder, longer, and more comical, although it was only in the original version that audience laughter was heard in response to her rendition of the note; Carroll O'Connor's pronunciation of "welfare state" gained more of Archie's trademark enunciation and the closing lyrics (especially "Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.") were sung with increasingly deliberate articulation, as viewers had initially complained that they could not understand the words. Also in the original version the camera angle was shot slightly from the right side of the talent as opposed to the straight on angle of the next version.

In addition to O'Connor and Stapleton singing, footage is also shown beginning with aerial shots of Manhattan, and continuing to Queens, progressively zooming in more closely, culminating with a still shot of a lower middle-class semi-detached home, presumably representing the Bunkers' house in Astoria. The house shown in the opening credits, however, is actually located at 89–70 Cooper Avenue in the Glendale[12] neighborhood of Queens, New York. There is a notable difference, however, between the Cooper Avenue house and the All in the Family set: there is no porch on the Cooper Avenue house, while the Bunkers' home featured a front porch. The footage for the opening had been shot back in 1968 for the series first pilot, thus the establishing shot of the Manhattan skyline was completely devoid of the World Trade Center towers which had not yet been built. When the series aired two years later, the Trade Center towers, although under construction, had still not yet risen high enough to become a prominent feature on the Manhattan skyline (this would not happen until the end of 1971). Despite this change in the Manhattan skyline the original 1968 footage would continue to be used for the series opening until the series transitioned into Archie Bunkers Place in 1979. At that point a new opening with current shots of the Manhattan skyline were used with the Trade Center towers being seen in the closing credits. This opening format – showing actual footage of the cities and neighborhoods in which the show was set – would become the standard for most of Norman Lear's sitcoms including Maude, Good Times, and The Jeffersons.

At the end of the opening the camera then returns to a few final seconds of O'Connor and Stapleton, as they finish the song. In one version of the opening, at the conclusion Archie hugs Edith at the end, while another version sees Edith smiling blissfully at Archie, while Archie puts a cigar in his mouth and returns a rather cynical look to Edith. Additionally in the first three versions of the opening Archie is seen wearing his classic trademark white shirt. In the last version of the opening done for the series ninth season Archie is seen wearing a grey sweater jacket over his white shirt.

In interviews, Norman Lear stated that the idea for the piano song introduction was a cost-cutting measure. After completion of the pilot episode, the budget would not allow an elaborate scene to serve as the sequence played during the show's opening credits. Lear decided to have a simple scene of Archie and Edith singing at the piano.

The closing theme (an instrumental) was "Remembering You" played by Roger Kellaway with lyrics co-written by Carroll O'Connor. It was played over footage of the same row of houses in Queens as in the opening (but moving in the opposite direction down the street), and eventually moving back to aerial shots of Manhattan, suggesting the visit to the Bunkers' home has concluded.

Except for some brief instances in the first season, there was no background or transitional music.

Setting and location[]

Template:Unreferenced Lear and his writers set the series in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria. The exact location of the Bunkers' house at 704 Hauser Street is completely fictitious (no Hauser Street exists in Queens), however, and factually incorrect with the way addresses are given in Queens (all address numbers are hyphenated, containing the location of the nearest number street to keep in line with the Queens street numbering system). Nevertheless, many episodes reveal that the Bunkers live near the major thoroughfare Northern Blvd, which was the location of Kelcy’s Bar and later Archie Bunker's Place.

The façade of the house shown at the show opening is an actual home located at 89-70 Cooper Avenue, Glendale, New York (Template:Coord.Template:Citation needed

Many real life Queens institutions are mentioned throughout the series. Carroll O’Connor, a real life Queens native from Forest Hills, said in an interview with the Archive of American Television that he suggested to the writers many of the locations to give the series authenticity. For example it is revealed that Archie attended Flushing High School, a real high school located in Flushing Queens, while Edith mentions several times throughout the series that she shops at Gertz Department store, a then existing department store located in Jamaica and Flushing, Queens. Additionally the 1976 episode, "The Baby Contest", deals with Archie entering baby Joey in a cutest baby contest sponsored by the Long Island Daily Press, a then-operating local newspaper in Queens and Long Island.

Additionally the writers of All In The Family continued throughout the series to have the Bunkers, as well as other characters, use telephone exchange names when giving a telephone number (most other series at the time, such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, were using the standard 555 telephone number) at a time when AT&T was earnestly trying to discontinue them. At different times throughout the series the telephone exchanges Ravenswood and Bayside were used for the Bunkers' telephone number. Both exchanges were and still are applicable names for phone numbers in the neighborhoods of Astoria and Bayside. This may have had to do with the fact that at the time many major cities in the United States, such as New York, were resisting the dropping of telephone exchange names in favor of all-number dialing, and were still printing their telephone books with exchange names. This fact is referred to in the 1979 episode "The Appendectomy", when Edith, while dialing a telephone number, uses the Parkview exchange name only to correct herself by saying that she keeps forgetting that it's all number dialing now. However, she comes to the conclusion that the number is exactly the same either way.

Broadcast history[]

NOTE: The most frequent time-slot for the series is in bold text.

  • Tuesday at 9:30-10:00 PM on CBS: January 12—April 6, 1971
  • Saturday at 8:00-8:30 PM on CBS: September 18, 1971—March 8, 1975
  • Monday at 9:00-9:30 PM on CBS: September 8, 1975—March 8, 1976
  • Wednesday at 9:00-9:30 PM on CBS: September 22—October 27, 1976
  • Saturday at 9:00-9:30 PM on CBS: November 6, 1976—March 12, 1977
  • Sunday at 9:00-9:30 PM on CBS: October 9, 1977—October 1, 1978
  • Sunday at 8:00-8:30 PM on CBS: October 8, 1978—April 8, 1979


Main article: List of All in the Family episodes

A particularly notable episode, that produced the longest sustained audience laughter in the history of the show, is the famous episode-ending scene in which the guest star Sammy Davis, Jr. played himself. Archie is moonlighting as a cabdriver. Davis leaves a briefcase behind in his taxi and goes to the Bunker home to pick it up. After hearing Archie's racist remarks, Davis asks for a photograph with him. At the moment the picture is taken, Davis suddenly kisses a stunned Archie on the cheek. The ensuing laughter went on for so long that it had to be severely edited for network broadcast, as Carroll O'Connor still had one line ("Well, what the hell — he said it was in his contract!") to deliver after the kiss. (The line is usually cut in syndication.)


During the show's sixth season in December 1975, CBS began showing reruns on weekdays. This lasted until September 1979, at which point the reruns entered off-network syndication. Since the late 1980s, All in the Family has been rerun on various networks including TBS, TV Land and Nick at Nite. Since January 3, 2011, the show has been airing on Antenna TV.


All in the Family is one of three television shows (The Cosby Show and American Idol being the others) that have been No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive TV seasons. The show remained in the top-ten for eight of its nine seasons.

NOTE: The highest average rating for the series is in bold text.

Season Rank Rating
1970–1971 Not in the Top 30
1971–1972 #1 34.0
1972–1973 33.3
1973–1974 31.2
1974–1975 30.2
1975–1976 30.1
1976–1977 #12 22.9
1977–1978 #4 24.4 (Tied with 60 Minutes and Charlie's Angels)
1978–1979 #9 24.9 (Tied with Taxi)

The series finale was seen by 40.2 million viewers.[13]

Spin-offs and TV specials[]

All in the Family was the launching pad of several television series, beginning with Maude on September 12, 1972. Maude Findlay, played by Bea Arthur, was Edith's cousin; she had first appeared on All in the Family in the episode "Cousin Maude's Visit", which aired on December 11, 1971, in order to help take care of the Bunkers when they all were sick with a nasty flu virus. Maude disliked Archie intensely, mainly because she thought Edith could have married better, but also because Archie was a conservative while Maude was very liberal in her politics, especially when Archie denounced Maude's support of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Maude was featured in another All in the Family episode in which Archie and Edith visited Maude's home in Westchester County to attend the wedding of Maude's daughter Carol—it aired as the finale of the second season on March 12, 1972, titled "Maude". The episode was essentially designed to set up the premise for the spin-off series that would air later in the year. In the episode, Bill Macy played Maude's husband, Walter; it was a role he would reprise for the weekly series that fall. Marcia Rodd, the actress who played Carol in the episode, would be replaced by Adrienne Barbeau in Maude. The show lasted for six seasons and 141 episodes, airing its final episode on April 22, 1978.

The second and longest-lasting spin-off of All in the Family was The Jeffersons. Debuting on CBS on January 18, 1975 The Jeffersons lasted 11 seasons and 253 episodes compared to All in the Family's 9 seasons and 208 episodes. The main characters of The Jeffersons were the Bunkers' former next-door neighbors George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley) and his wife, Louise "Weezie" Jefferson (Isabel Sanford). George Jefferson was the owner of a chain of seven successful dry-cleaning stores; as The Jeffersons begins, they have just moved from the Bunkers' neighborhood to a luxury high-rise apartment building in Manhattan's Upper East Side. George was considered to be the "black Archie Bunker," and just as racist as Archie.

Other spin-offs of All in the Family include:

  • Archie Bunker's Place was technically a spin-off, but was more of a continuation of the series.
  • 704 Hauser features the Bunkers' house with a new family.

There were also three spin-offs from spin-offs of All in the Family:

  • Good Times, which featured Maude's former maid Florida Evans and her family in a Chicago housing project.
  • Gloria, a spin-off of Archie Bunker's Place where Gloria divorces Mike, moves back to New York, and starts a new life.
  • Checking In, a spin-off of The Jeffersons in which the Jeffersons' maid Florence gets a job as head of housekeeping at a hotel.

At the height of the show's popularity, Henry Fonda hosted a special one-hour retrospective of All in the Family and its impact on American television. Included were clips from the show's most memorable episodes up to that time. It was titled The Best of "All in the Family", and aired on December 21, 1974.

A 90-minute retrospective, All in the Family 20th Anniversary Special, was produced to commemorate the show's 20th anniversary and aired on CBS February 16, 1991. It was hosted by the creator, Norman Lear, and featured a compilation of clips from the show's best moments including interviews with cast members Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers. Reiner and Lear promoted the special the previous week on The Arsenio Hall Show.

The special was so well-received by the viewing audience that CBS decided to air reruns of All in the Family during their summer schedule that year. The network placed All in the Family back in its old time slot of 8 pm on Saturday nights. During its summer run, the 20-year-old program consistently placed in the weekly top 20 Nielsen shows.Template:Citation needed

DVD releases[]

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (formerly Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment) released the first six seasons of All in the Family on DVD in Region 1 between 2002-2007. No further seasons were released, because the sales figures did not match Sony's expectations.

On June 23, 2010, Shout! Factory announced that they had acquired the rights to the series, and have since released the remaining three seasons.[14][15][16][17]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
The Complete First Season 13 March 26, 2002
The Complete Second Season 24 February 4, 2003
The Complete Third Season 24 July 20, 2004
The Complete Fourth Season 24 April 12, 2005
The Complete Fifth Season 25 January 3, 2006
The Complete Sixth Season 24 February 13, 2007
The Complete Seventh Season 25 October 5, 2010
The Complete Eighth Season 24 January 11, 2011
The Complete Ninth Season 24 May 17, 2011

Cultural impact[]

File:All in the family props.JPG

Archie and Edith Bunker's chairs on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

The program has been referenced or parodied in countless other forms of media. References on other sitcoms include That '70s Show, The Brady Bunch and The Simpsons. The animated series Family Guy pays homage to All in the Family in the opening sequence which features Peter and Lois Griffin playing the piano and singing a lament on the loss of traditional values.

Popular T-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers showing O'Connor's image and farcically promoting "Archie Bunker for President" appeared around the time of the 1972 presidential election. In 1998, All in the Family was honored on a 33-cent stamp by the USPS.[18]

Archie and Edith Bunker's chairs are on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.[19] Originally purchased by the show's set designer for a few dollars at a local Goodwill thrift store, the originals were given to the Smithsonian (for an exhibit on American television history) in 1978. It cost producers thousands of dollars to create replicas to replace the originals.

Also, then-US President Richard Nixon can be heard discussing the show (specifically the 1971 episodes "Writing the President" and "Judging Books by Covers") on one of the infamous Watergate tapes.[20]


All in the Family is the first of three sitcoms in which all the lead actors (O'Connor, Stapleton, Struthers, and Reiner) won Emmy Awards. The other two are The Golden Girls and Will & Grace.

Primetime Emmy Awards and Nominations[]

  • Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated; Lost to Jack Klugman for The Odd Couple)
  • Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series: Jean Stapleton (Won)
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy: John Rich for "Gloria's Pregnant" (Nominated; Lost to Jay Sandrich for The Mary Tyler Moore Show: "Toulouse Lautrec Is One Of My Favorite Artists")
  • Outstanding New Series (Won)
  • Outstanding Series - Comedy (Won)
  • Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy:
    • Stanley Ralph Ross for "Oh, My Aching Back" (Nominated)
    • Norman Lear for "Meet the Bunkers" (Nominated)
      • Both lost to James L. Brooks and Allan Burns for The Mary Tyler Moore Show: "Support Your Local Mother".
  • Outstanding Achievement in Live or Tape Sound Mixing: Norman Dewes for "The Elevator Story" (Won)
  • Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series: Carroll O'Connor (Won)
  • Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series: Jean Stapleton (Won)
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy: John Rich for "Sammy's Visit" (Won)
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Comedy: Rob Reiner (Nominated; Lost to Edward Asner for The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Comedy: Sally Struthers (Won; Tied with Valerie Harper for The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Outstanding Series - Comedy (Won)
  • Outstanding Single Program - Drama or Comedy for "Sammy's Visit" (Nominated; Lost to Brian's Song)
  • Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy
    • Burt Styler for "Edith's Problem" (Won)
    • Burt Styler and Norman Lear for "The Saga of Cousin Oscar" (Nominated)
    • Philip Mishkin and Alan J. Levitt for "Mike's Problem" (Nominated)
  • Outstanding Comedy Series (Won)
  • Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated; Lost to Jack Klugman for The Odd Couple)
  • Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series: Jean Stapleton (Nominated; Lost to Mary Tyler Moore for The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy: John Rich and Bob LaHendro for "The Bunkers And The Swingers" (Nominated; Lost to Jay Sandrich for The Mary Tyler Moore Show: "It's Whether You Win Or Lose")
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Comedy: Rob Reiner (Nominated; Lost to Ted Knight for The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Comedy: Sally Struthers (Nominated; Lost to Valerie Harper for The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy: Michael Ross, Bernie West and Lee Kalcheim for "The Bunkers And The Swingers" (Won)
  • Outstanding Comedy Series (Nominated; Lost to M*A*S*H)
  • Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated; Lost to Alan Alda for M*A*S*H)
  • Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Jean Stapleton (Nominated; Lost to Mary Tyler Moore for The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Best Supporting Actor in Comedy: Rob Reiner (Won)
  • Best Supporting Actress in Comedy: Sally Struthers (Nominated; Lost to Cloris Leachman for The Mary Tyler Moore Show: "The Lars Affair")
  • Outstanding Comedy Series (Nominated; Lost to The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Rob Reiner (Nominated; Lost to Edward Asner for The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated; Lost to Tony Randall for The Odd Couple)
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Jean Stapleton (Nominated; Lost to Valeria Harper for Rhoda)
  • Outstanding Comedy Series (Nominated; Lost to The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Outstanding Art Direction or Scenic Design for a Comedy Series: Don Roberts for "The Unemployment Story", Part II (Nominated: Lost to Thomas Azzari for Fish: "The Really Longest Day")
  • Outstanding Comedy Series (Nominated; Lost to The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series: Paul Bogart for "The Draft Dodger" (Nominated; Lost to Alan Alda for M*A*S*H: "Dear Sigmund")
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Carroll O'Connor (Won)
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Jean Stapleton (Nominated; Bea Arthur for Maude)
  • Outstanding Comedy Series (Won)
  • Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Rob Reiner (Won)
  • Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Sally Struthers (Nominated; Lost to Julie Kavner for Rhoda)
  • Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series: Paul Bogart for "Edith's 50th Birthday" (Won)
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Carroll O'Connor (Won)
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Jean Stapleton (Won)
  • Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series:
    • Bob Weiskopf, Bob Schiller, Barry Harman and Harve Brosten for "Cousin Liz" (Won)
    • Mel Tolkin, Larry Rhine and Erik Tarloff for "Edith's Crisis of Faith", Part II (Nominated)
    • Bob Weiskopf and Bob Schiller for "Edith's 50th Birthday". (Nominated)
  • Outstanding Comedy Series (Nominated; Lost to Taxi)
  • Outstanding Directing in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series: Paul Bogart for "California, Here We Are", Part II (Nominated; Lost to Noam Pitlik for Barney Miller: "The Harris Incident")
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Carroll O'Connor (Won)
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Jean Stapleton (Nominated; Lost to Ruth Gordon for Taxi: "Sugar Mama")
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series: Sally Struthers for "California, Here We Are" (Won)
  • Outstanding Video Tape Editing for a Series: Hal Collins and Harvey W. Berger for "The 200th Episode Celebration of 'All in the Family'" (Nominated; Lost to Andy Zall for the pilot episode of Stockard Channing in Just Friends)
  • Outstanding Writing in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series: Milt Josefsberg, Phil Sharp, Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf for "California, Here We Are", Part II (Nominated; Lost to Alan Alda for M*A*S*H: "Inga")

Golden Globe Awards and Nominations[]

  • Best Supporting Actor - Television: Rob Reiner (Nominated; Lost to Edward Asner for The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Best Supporting Actress - Television: Sally Struthers (Nominated; Lost to Sue Ane Langdon for Arnie)
  • Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy: Carroll O'Connor (Won)
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Nominated; Lost to Carol Burnett for The Carol Burnett Show)
  • Best TV Show - Musical/Comedy (Won)
  • Best Supporting Actor - Television: Rob Reiner (Nominated; Lost to James Brolin for Marcus Welby, M.D.)
  • Best Supporting Actress - Television: Sally Struthers (Nominated; Lost to Ruth Buzzi for Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in)
  • Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated; Lost to Redd Foxx for Sanford and Son)
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Won)
  • Best TV Show - Musical/Comedy (Won)
  • Best Supporting Actor - Television: Rob Reiner (Nominated; Lost to McLean Stevenson for M*A*S*H)
  • Best Supporting Actress - Television: Sally Struthers (Nominated; Lost to Ellen Corby for The Waltons)
  • Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated; Lost to Jack Klugman for The Odd Couple)
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Won; Tied with Cher for The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour)
  • Best TV Show - Musical/Comedy (Won)
  • Best Supporting Actress - Television: Betty Garrett (Won)
  • Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated; Lost to Alan Alda for M*A*S*H)
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Nominated; Lost to Valerie Harper for Rhoda)
  • Best TV Show - Musical/Comedy (Nominated; Lost to Rhoda)
  • Best Supporting Actor - Television: Rob Reiner (Nominated; Lost to Tim Conway for The Carol Burnett Show and Edward Asner for The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated; Lost to Alan Alda for M*A*S*H)
  • Best Supporting Actor - Television: Rob Reiner (Nominated; Lost to Edward Asner for Rich Man, Poor Man)
  • Best Supporting Actress - Television: Sally Struthers (Nominated; Lost to Josette Banzet for Rich Man, Poor Man)
  • Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated; Lost to Ron Howard and Henry Winkler for Happy Days)
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Nominated; Lost to Carol Burnett for The Carol Burnett Show)
  • Best TV Series - Musical/Comedy (Won)
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Nominated; Lost to Linda Lavin for Alice)
  • Best TV Series - Musical/Comedy (Nominated; Lost to Taxi)
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Nominated; Lost to Linda Lavin for Alice)

See also[]

Template:Wikiquote Template:Commons

  • Till Death Us Do Part
  • Archie Bunker's Place
  • All in a Family
  • List of American television shows based on foreign shows


  1. As referenced by
  2. "According to an article by Michael B. Kassel on the ''"The Museum of Broadcast Communications"''". 1920-06-02. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  3. Template:Cite journal
  4. The 100 Greatest TV Characters at Bravo.comTemplate:Dead link
  5. This is an allusion to an early 20th Century comic strip, The Dingbat Family, by cartoonist George Herriman.
  6. "".;cast_crew_list. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  7. Revealed in "Stretch Cunningham, Goodbye" episode.
  8. Source: The end credits of season three episodes, and onward, mention Tommy Kelsey as the character playing the bar owner.
  9. Neuwirth, Allan (2006). They'll never put that on the air: an oral history of taboo-breaking TV comedy. Allworth Communications, Inc.. pp. 132–133. ISBN 1-58115-417-8. 
  10. Gitlin, Todd (2000). Inside Prime Time. University of California Press. p. 212. ISBN 0-520-21785-3. 
  11. "Those Were the Days". 
  12. 89-70 Cooper Ave (1970-01-01). "Location of the target house as per Google Maps".,-97.119141&sspn=36.760861,79.013672&ie=UTF8&ll=40.71272,-73.860998&spn=0.009499,0.038581&z=15&iwloc=A&layer=c&cbll=40.712707,-73.860995&panoid=wnxHEX-XUhQD_BahBRULxw&cbp=11,107.93,,0,4.05. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  13. - Das Online-Fernsehmagazin (2005-05-23). "Die erfolgreichsten Serien-Finale". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  14. "All in the Family DVD news: DVD Plans for All in the Family". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  15. "All in the Family DVD news: Announcement for All in the Family - The Complete 7th Season". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  16. "All in the Family DVD news: Announcement for All in the Family - The Complete 8th Season". 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  17. "All in the Family DVD news: Announcement for All in the Family - The Complete 9th Season". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  18. All in the Family stamp at National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution
  19. "NMAH, The Bunker's Chairs". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  20. James Warren (1999-11-07). "Nixon on Tape Expounds on Welfare and Homosexuality". Chicago Tribune. 

Further reading[]

  • All in the Family: A Critical Appraisal, edited by Richard P. Adler, (Praeger; 1979) ISBN 0-275-90326-5
  • Archie & Edith, Mike & Gloria : the Tumultuous History of All in the Family, Donna McCrohan, (Workman Publishing; 1988) ISBN 0-89480-527-4
  • Stay Tuned: Television's Unforgettable Moments, Joe Garner, (Andrews McMeel Publishing; 2002) ISBN 0-7407-2693-5

External links[]


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