10+ 'Married With Children' Behind-The-Scenes Secrets Fans Didn't Know

Before Married...With Children came along, TV families were a lot different. They got along, supported one another, and were so unbearably boring to watch it was enough to make you claw your eyes out.

Married...With Children changed all that. They dared to shine a light on the ugly side of familial relations. There's a lot that went on off-camera, too. See for yourself with these 10+ Married...With Children behind-the-scenes secrets that fans didn't know!

The show broke all the rules.

Back in the late '80s, there was a government-mandated rule that big networks had to devote an hour between 7 PM-8 PM to either the news or family programming.

Since FOX wasn't technically a network at the time, it didn't have to play by these rules.

Ed O'Neill owes his success to *Of Mice And Men*.


Ed was performing in the play in Hartford, Connecticut. It just so happened that a FOX executive was in the audience. He told Ed about the series and insisted that he audition for the role of Al.

Early on, the budget for the series was incredibly small.


So much so that during an episode where Buck (the family dog) goes on a credit card spending spree, the items he purchased had to be brought from the cast and producer's own homes!

David Garrison quit the show to pursue his love of theater.


Garrison played Marcy's first husband, Steve. After his departure, Garrison would make four subsequent returns to the series, each time embodying a new aspect of Steve's character.

This may be sacrilegious to die-hard fans, but I always preferred Jefferson.

*Married...With Children* was FOX's first prime time series!

The first episode of Married...With Children premiered on Sunday, April 5, 1987.

At the time, FOX had the reputation of being the bad boys of network TV, often airing content no other network would touch.

Al Bundy made it difficult for Ed O'Neill to be taken seriously.


The tipping point occurred when O'Neill was screening for Flight of the Intruder. Audiences couldn't help but laugh every time Ed walked into the scene.

Which wasn't the response producers were hoping for, considering the film was about a court-martialled Navy captain.

Ted McGinley thought Jefferson was a wuss.


McGinley was cast to play Jefferson (Marcy's second husband) after actor David Garrison quit the show.

Supposedly McGinley thought that Jefferson was too soft, so the writers ended up making him into a secret agent!

It's the longest-running live-action TV series in FOX's history.

Over the course of Married...With Children's historic 11-year-run, they totaled 259 episodes.

The series finale aired on June 9, 1997. It's ironic that the show nobody wanted, ended up being one of the most important series of all time.

Katey Segal designed Peggy's style with a specific purpose in mind.


Katey didn't want anyone to know it was her! She had serious concerns that the show would tank and as a result, could seriously affect her blossoming music career.

As Katey explained on The Talk, "She's really in drag. She just was all dolled up.

Katey Segal kept one very special prop from her time spent on the show.

According to Katey, she knew that the show had officially become a success when she no longer had to style her own hair and could wair a wig.

She still has Peg's wig stored safely in her home.

Ed O'Neill was a football player on the show and in real life.


Everyone knows about Al Bundy's glory days on the football field. But it may surprise you to learn that Ed also spent some time on the gridiron.

He was signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted rookie.

Creators Michael Moye and Ron Leavitt had two very different actors in mind for Peggy and Al.

They created the show with Roseanne Barr and Sam Kinison in mind. Both of whom were offered the role with no caveat or need to audition.

Their respective managers made it clear that Sam and Roseanne were interested in features — not television.

Michael Richards could have been Al.

Michael was one of the few finalists being considered for the part. In the end, they ended up passing — which turned out to be a good thing for all parties involved.

Michael went on to star in a little-known passion project called Seinfeld. Maybe you've heard of it?

Ed O'Neill's Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is in front of a shoe store.


For those who may not know, Al Bundy's job was a shoe salesman.

The placement of Ed's star is a clever tongue-in-cheek homage to his most prolific character.