I'm sorry but whenever I watch Modern Family, the only thing I can really think of when I see Ed O'Neill is his character, Al Bundy, from Married... With Children. The show debuted way back in 1987 and ran for 10 iconic years. I feel like this show is in that category of classic sitcoms that still resonate with audiences years and years later.
So let's time travel back to 1987 - the year of a devastating stock market crash and the year that the Giants won the Superbowl. It was also the year that the pilot for Married... with Children aired, you know. It was kind of the antithesis of the then current successful hit The Cosby Show, which painted the picture of the perfect family - this family was... a little bit less perfect, but maybe only by... a little. And maybe the family's dysfunctional realness is what people liked about it.
Every family has a few crazies. It's what makes family family... and obviously they did a good job casting for this show because pretty much all of them are currently still doing great work. So, let's start with my favorite character from the show; the aforementioned Al Bundy...
Al Bundy, played by Ed O'Neill
I already mentioned Al Bundy and how profound an impact he had on my younger days growing up. Wikipedia describes him beautifully, and in a way that I couldn't compete with. I've included part of the entry below:
[Al Bundy] is a beer loving, indebted, American father of two, portrayed as both a comedic and tragic figure. Although he is cheap, unsuccessful, lustful, unhappy, and scheming, he nevertheless stands by his family, displaying wit, self-sacrifice and resilience in times of crisis. He and his wife, Peggy Bundy, were rated the 59th best characters on television by Bravo.
He's gone on to have an incredibly successful career, and hit the jackpot with Modern Family, where he once again plays a man's man. It seems like that's been a theme from his acting career - he's a red blooded American who shows heart, often, even if he doesn't wear it on his sleeve in most cases. He also looks great for 68!
Margaret "Peggy" Bundy, played by Katey Segal
Peggy Bundy was Al's lazy, self-indulgent wife who refused to cook or clean the house and never worked a day in her life. Looking back, she was probably one of the worst parenting role models to ever grace a television screen, but she was hilarious. She made Al's life difficult, and as a couple they were both perfectly horrible at pretty much everything.