All in the Family


The story of Archie Bunker and his working-class family in Queens arrived on American TVs as loudly and rudely as the “terlet” flush that broke TV ground in the first episode. Archie embodied the shift among blue-collar union guys from New Deal Democrats to what would become Reagan Democrats, clashing with academic lefty son-in-law Michael “Meathead” Stivic. Carroll O’Connor wrung humanity out of his stubborn, racist character, without excusing him, like a man sucking the last wisp of smoke out of a cheap cigar. And the show never let politics overwhelm its heart; it used one of the oldest setups in sitcomville (the locked-in-the-storeroom) to have Archie and Meathead bond over the story of how, as a poor kid forced to wear a shoe on one foot and a boot on the other, Archie earned his embarrassing childhood nickname. Good night, Shoebooty, and thanks.

Get This TV Show

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at