My friend and I are huge All in the Family fans. We got to talking about how great it would be if it was still on the air right now offering up its raw comedic perspective on the current political landscape.
Over forty years ago All in the Family tackled topical, controversial subjects on a weekly basis. Archie Bunker would get into consistent fights with his family and pretty much everyone around him about sensitive issues. The show would pull out serious issues, poke fun at them and not sweep them under the rug. Some of the episodes are comedic masterpieces.
When watching some of those old episodes of All in the Family it always leaves me amazed that CBS had gotten away with airing them. They are just as edgy as they ever were – and are still downright hysterical!
I can’t think of another show to compare it to today. I don’t think any of the major networks would ever even touch the show it if it was presented to them today. They probably would feel it would be just too risky for them to air.
They’d probably worry too much about losing sponsors and offending viewers to even considering putting it on the air. Maybe a cable station would take a chance on it, but something like All in the Family airing on primetime network television today – I can’t imagine it.
Nothing was off limits in the Bunker household. Of course, politics would be brought up and Archie and his son-in-law Mike Stivic would go head-to-head with their conservative and liberal views. President Nixon and Watergate prompted plenty of debate between the two.
This got me and my friend talking about if the Bunkers were still around, what could we possibly see go down at 704 Hauser Street today. We know that once Donald Trump got elected as President a fuse would have been lit in the Bunker home that would have erupted in some of those hysterical arguments.
So we tried to imagine what might take place:
Archie: “Whoa, where are you two going?”
Mike: “To a Trump protest.”
Archie: “Aw geez! Can’t you leave the man alone and let him get ready for his job!”
Mike: “He’ll never be ready for the job. Arch, don’t you understand the man is not qualified to be President. He has no respect for the press or women or minorities…”
Archie: “The man is trying to make America great again, he doesn’t have time to worry about them!”
Gloria: “Daddy, don’t you know more people are against Trump being President than for him.”
Mike: “That’s right Arch, he didn’t win the majority vote.”
Archie: “Here we go again…the majority, the majority. Let me tell you two something – the majority are idiots! They don’t bring anything to the table. If they knew anything they would have come up with the big wall idea, but they didn’t! They needed a great man to think up that!”
Mike: “Wait a minute, you support the wall???”
Archie: “You’re darn right! And it’s not going to cost us anything either, Mexico will pay us back for the whole thing. Trump just has to make sure they don’t try to pay us back in pesos that’s all.”
Gloria: “Daddy! He’s not acting presidential. He can’t take any criticism. Even Meryl Streep spoke out about him and he called her overrated.”
Archie: “Well, he’s right! Her with her big mouth doing accents, making boring movies, then getting awards for them. I never liked a movie she was in.”
Edith: “That’s not true Archie.”
Edith: “You liked her in that rafting movie, remember?”
Mike: “Arch, the man has said racist things, attacked the press, spouted out lies, not to mention what he allegedly did to women in private! Who knows what he might do in the Oval Office!”
Archie: “Listen buddy, what the president does in the privacy of the Oval Office is no ones damn business! So hear this Meathead, while you’re under this roof you be respectful of our new President – Mr. Donald M. Trump!”
Ok, that’s an extremely feeble attempt at a scene to a classic television show. But I can imagine those characters, that group of actors, Norman Lear and the shows creative team coming up with some great comedy about the heated political situation today.
There’s really nothing like All in the Family on television anymore. We’ll get some political skewering and discussions from Saturday Night Live, talk shows and all those talking heads on news programs, but it would have been great if we could have heard the loud discussions of Archie and his family about what’s taking place in the country today. It probably would have been an enlightening comedy gold mine.