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"Funny, I'm a shoe salesman, yet I'm not happy to come home."

—Al Bundy

Wikia MWC - Al at first sight

Al enters

Al Bundy (played by Ed O'Neill) is the husband of Peggy Bundy, father of Kelly and Bud Bundy, and long-term women's shoe salesman at Gary's Shoes. Al is known to tell tales of his high-school football days, most notably the time he scored four touchdowns in a single game for the 1966 Chicago All-City Championship Game, and for blaming the outcome of his life on his wife and the Bundy Curse. Al Bundy is also notable for being the founder of NO MA'AM, an anti-feminist organization, after he loses his parking spot and the local nudie bar is turned into a Coffee House. Al is also notable for his 1971 Dodge, for which he has been paying for years, never quite owning it outright. The Dodge is said to be a 1971 model; however, in "Requiem for a Chevyweight (Part 1)" Al is shown to have had the Dodge since high school, which he graduated from in the late 1960s...

Biography[]

Al Bundy was born on November 7, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois to an unnamed father (Oral Bundy in the comic book) and an unnamed mother. He had an older brother named Eugene Bundy. Al would say how his childhood was ideal, unlike now; he actually ate dinner back then. When he was a child, the highlight of Thanksgiving Day was riding along with his parents, who were drunk on Wild Turkey bourbon, to buy a sweet-potato pie from Aunt Maddie's bakery; at home he would consume the entire pie himself while his parents slept off the booze.[50] His father worked in the bowling alley as a manual pinsetter; his dad would often suddenly wake up in the middle of the night screaming “”Wait! “Wait!"[51] Al’s parents divorced when he was young; his father left the family for a prostitute.

Al spent his 12th birthday with his father, watching his mother get drunk doing the “Singapore Sling”; later, father and son sneaked into their basement to peruse Dad's "Playboy" magazines.

As a child, Al frequented a library, but he rarely returned books on time and constantly battled the librarian, Miss DeGroot, who belittled him as much as he did her. To try to teach him a lesson, Miss DeGroot agreed to let Al check out one more book: The Little Engine that Could. Al held onto the book for 30 years before he attempted to return the book unnoticed to avoid paying fines.

He attended James K. Polk High School in the 1960s, and was considered a top athlete, playing fullback for the Polk High Panthers and earning the nickname "Touchdown Bundy". His jersey number was 33. His greatest achievement in high school was scoring four touchdowns in a single game against Andrew Johnson High at the High-School City Championship in 1966. He also scored the most touchdowns in one season for the team, making him the MVP that same year. He boasted to Aaron Mitchell that he never played halftime, as the team would be too far ahead whenever he played. [52]. It is mentioned that at one game, Al knocked out the coach after he suggested they quit for being behind by three touchdowns, with Al telling his team that he is not a quitter and to give him the ball, and telling the coach to get out of his way. [53]

At some point Al met Margaret “Peggy” Wanker ; from there, his luck seemed to plummet. He was offered scholarships by various junior colleges and would have made something of his life if he did go. He had drilled four holes into the girls' locker room and joked that for years he hadn't even thought women had heads. In the final game, he broke his leg after being tackled. He claimed that it was Peggy's fault; she had distracted him during the game by shouting at him although he had warned her many times not to do it anymore.

It is implied that he had many women during his high-school years because he was a football hero. He claimed that his jersey number, 33, was about "how many women deep the line was to ride the Wild Bundy!"

Al and Jack

Al and his rival, Jack at their high school reunion

In high school, he had a rival named Jack, a fellow athlete who always tried to outdo him in just about everything and split the school down the middle. On graduation day, they were planning to finally settle things by fighting in the schoolyard until one was the winner, but this was cancelled when Al decided to take a $10 bet from a classmate to jump a Mustang going 50 MPH, but missed by 2 inches. They eventually get the chance to settle the dispute at their 20-year high-school reunion.

When Al was in high school, his mother convinced him to take a job as a women's shoe salesman, as a temporary summer job so he could also pay for the Dodge. His father disapproved and called him a "Fruitcake".

Al mentions that the very first fight he and Peggy had when they were dating was in his Dodge near a maple tree on Maple Lane in 1967. He uses the same spot and the same car nearly 30 years later to make up with her after he moved out.

At some point after high school, Al was forced to marry Peg. Peg points out that Al tried to get out of the wedding that day by putting iodine on his face and pretending to have chickenpox. Peg’s father, Ephraim Wanker, indicated that he had pointed a shotgun at Al to make sure he married Peg on their wedding day and was doing it again when they renewed their marriage vows. Al's family attended the wedding alongside the Wankers; Al's father tried to flirt with his new daughter-in-law at the reception with "If you like my son, I'm twice as fun."

Relationships

Family

Wikia MWC - Peg's Al

The real Al returns after being sexy

Al often gives the appearance and the opinion that he cannot stand his family, often making degrading, horrific, and insulting remarks to them, and threatening physical violence against his wife Peggy and his son Bud. But on many occasions he has proved that he in fact cares about and loves his family and will intentionally sacrifice his chance at happiness, blessings, and success for them. He has a million chances to leave them, but he never actually does.

Peggy Bundy[]

Al and Peggy met while the two were in high school, and it has been suggested many times that Al often took her on dates and was willingly intimate with her. However, Al has often said that Peggy had an annoying habit of trying to get his attention during the football games while he was on the field, which on several occasions resulted in him getting injured. Al also insists that his marriage to Peggy was not entirely willful, something her father, Ephraim Wanker proved was true when he drunken mentioned he had once held a shotgun on Al to force his marriage to Peggy. This was proven when he once more held a shotgun to Al's head to get him to remarry her, the joke being on Al since the gun was never loaded the first time; Peg had been pregnant with Kelly, having conceived her in Al's Dodge after his team won the city championship.

Peg has implied in many episodes that Al has a small penis and suffers from premature ejaculation, claiming that he tends to last less than a minute during sex and becomes too exhausted to try again. This even made him the joke of the neighborhood in "'Til Death Do Us Part", to the point that his name is associated with anything that can be done quickly. However, in that same episode, he redeems himself by training and giving her a satisfying sexual encounter.

Peg has also stated that she used showerheads and vibrators to satisfy her sexual needs when Al did not.

Despite his shortcomings, she is often willing to have sex with him, much to his dismay. He is typically forced into have sex with her, usually when she is suddenly turned on by something when he least suspects it. In some cases, he ends up being tricked into having sex with her to get something he needs (such as the TV remote in Kelly Bounces Back, a cash prize in Nooner or Later, and food in What I Did for Love). He is often shown screaming in horror as she drags him away to the bedroom or mounts him as he desperately calls out to the kids to save him. Though in rare instances, he is willing to initiate sex with her, such as "Hot off the Grill" and "The Stepford Peg", when seeing her get dirty while doing housework is a big turn on for him.

Aside from the intimacy issues, Al has often complained about her laziness. He always complains about how she never cooks or cleans for him and when he gets home from work he usually finds her sitting or lying on the couch. He also takes issue with her taking and spending his money, often leaving him with nothing.

However, Al has indeed shown that he loves Peg--albeit on rare occasions. Despite everything she puts him through, he has never divorced her. Whether this means that he cares about her or just that he fears her family is not determined. It is hinted that Al does have a strong moral compass, in that he cannot bring himself to commit adultery even when he is sorely tempted. At times, he will engage in sex with her willingly when he is aroused by her or sleeping with her since he can't bring himself to cheat. Another issue Al cannot consider is suicide. Although he has joked about it, Al admitted that while his life is drab, suicide would be a horrible way to go and it is a victory to "never put a gun in my mouth".

Also, when tensions rise to the point that Al and Peg separate, he admits he "kind of likes" Peg and his children.

Kelly Bundy[]

Al seems to value his daughter Kelly, whom he usually calls "Pumpkin", although in most episodes he wonders just exactly how dumb she can really be. He also seems to either pretend that his daughter isn't promiscuous or he just doesn't get the fact that she is, but he is always quick to punch and eject any boy she brings home--unless he can find a way to exploit him for his own personal gain. He has become angry with her at times; in "Calendar Girl", when he finds out that she ate his last Hershey's Kiss, he punishes her by putting her in the Bundy Will, which means that she will be stuck with all his debts, to which she screams out "No! Daddy! NOOOO!!!"; in "The Gas Station Show", he chokes her twice for leaving the car brakes on while the rest of the family had to push the car to the gas station. Other times he jokes with Bud about her stupidity, or tries to tease her, such as in "Scared Single" when she becomes catatonic after being stung by poisonous insects and he jokes that he "used to call her Pumpkin, and now she is one!" after she becomes unresponsive to his call.

But overall, it is shown that he truly loves his daughter and will do his fatherly duty to protect her from harm and make her happy. This was seen when he beat up her ex-boyfriend at her request.

Bud Bundy[]

Al seems to value his son, the next male heir in the Bundy family, for his intelligence more than for his athletic ability or his skill with women, both of which he seems to lack in comparison to his father. Both of them seem to have similar interests, such as going to the nudie bar, doing a panty raid, and reading "Big'Uns" or "Playboy" and on some occasions, even participate in those activities together. Both of them end up getting jobs they hate that involves dealing with people (Al with the shoe store and Bud working for the DMV in the later seasons) But unlike Al and the rest of the family, he manages to attend and graduate from college, and he has been known to use his higher level of intelligence to blackmail his father.

Though, most notably in the early season, he would often snitch to Al about Kelly's failing grades or her whereabouts at night, Bud believed that Al was the man of the house and that as men they must stick together. Al is usually willing to show that he will discipline Bud by threatening to give him "Five across the eyes" (in other words, slapping him across the face with the back of his hand) whenever he's done something bad enough to upset him.

Al has said that he wanted someone with more athletic ability, like Aaron Mitchell, or with better business skill, like Little Floyd, to be the son he always wanted. On the other hand, Bud has sometimes said he isn't related to Al to avoid being embarrassed by him, stating that he's actually adopted or Al is just some random guy he happens to know. Also, unlike his father, he seems lack the ability to get as many women as Al did back in high school, often making him the butt of jokes and Al even tells Jefferson that he'll never be able to pass on the Bundy name. His chances of meeting women improve during his college years and he uses his intelligence to make up for his lack of sex appear and hatch a plan to get girls, such as creating a fake persona (Grandmaster B), going skydiving, creating a fraternity, or going on a game show, though many of his plans didn't work out in the end.

Still, there have been many moments when Al has been proud of Bud, such as when he gets into his first bar fight at the nudie bar, when he learns to run a lemonade stand in the middle of winter, when he is chosen to go to the White House, or when he successfully blackmails Al by getting him placed under house arrest and tortured by Marcy, Kelly, and Peggy.

Overall, it is shown that Al is proud of Bud for being intelligent and doing something more with his life.

Al's Father[]

Al had a strong relationship with his father and its shown that he cherishes the memories of him and his father together, as well as the things he inherited from him, such as the hammer that was used to build a private room in "If Al Had a Hammer" or the collection of Playboys his dad left him in "Desperately Seeking Miss October". He also noted that his father took him to a nudie bar when he turned 18, just as Al's grandfather, Jebediah Bundym took his dad, and would now take Bud there to continue on the male Bundy tradition. [54]

Al stated that at one point, his father left him and Al's mother for a prostitute; it is unclear when this happened or if they later reconciled. [55]

In "Grime and Punishment", after Bud successfully blackmails Al for being a slumlord, Al reminisces about his father, referring to him as a "sweet guy" who sold Al's Schwinn bicycle "for the price of a drink". He then got revenge on his father by enlisting him in the U.S. Army and getting him sent off to fight in the Korean War. Al then says that by the time his dad returned from the war, he was traumatized and left wheelchair-bound, only able to communicate by blinking. But, deep down, Al knew his dad was proud of him for carrying on the Bundy tradition of getting mad AND getting even, and now Al was proud of Bud for carrying on the tradition.

In "Requiem for a Chevyweight (Part 1)", Al has a flashback where he and his dad work on the Dodge that he just bought and then mentions that he's going out with the "grooviest chick in school" named Peggy Wanker to see the Rolling Stones perform. His dad warns him to not let her get her hooks into him, but Al claimis that she worships the ground he walks on and listens to him.

After his father's death, Al reminisces about him from time to time and still tries to talk to him. In one instance, he saw him as a ghost in his living room in "Desperately Seeking Miss October" after seeing from the afterlife that Peggy sold the copies of Playboy magazines they had collected. He also heard his voice from the afterlife as he was about to tear down his room, after W.O.M.B. took it over, in "If Al Had a Hammer".

Al's Mother[]

In the early seasons, Al would think about conversation he had with his mother when he was younger, before realizing how much of a drunk she was. She was also part of the reason he became a shoe salesman.

Al implied that his mother may have been an alcoholic, after telling Steve Rhoades in "Desperately Seeking Miss October" that she would get drunk on Singapore Slings and then pass out, allowing him and his father to sneak into the basement and look his collection of Playboys, sharing a special father-son moment. However, Al still cared about his mother and wanted her to get better.

In A Three Job, No Income Family , as Al contemplates eating a toothpaste sandwich, he thinks back to when he was a child and told his mom that he wanted to become the President of the United States. She reassured him that he could be President someday, only for his adult self to say "Yeah, right, Mom! Try saying that when you're sober!."

In "The Agony of De-Feet", while sitting at Gary's Shoes & Accessories for Today's Woman by himself, he thought about how his mother convinced him to take a job at the shoe store, as it is clear he doesn't want to. She tells him that it is just a stepping stone on his career path and he can eventually become the president of his own company. He thanks her and offers her a Bloody Mary while she tells him to rub her feet, causing his older self to shiver and hold himself as he sees what his life has become.

In "A Bundy Thanksgiving", Al described his parents' Thanksgiving tradition, which involved his mom chugging more than half of a bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon after giving some to Al's dad as the family meal for Thanksgiving. Then the family would drive drunk to Aunt Maddie's for pie and return home and pass out, while Al ate the whole pie.

At one point, he also threated to sue her and see her off to jail, claiming that she owed him $5 from some time ago, before hanging up and calling her a deadbeat. [44]

Friends[]

Steve Rhoades[]

Steve was Al's neighbor and for a time his only real friend. Though Steve initially condescends to the Bundys, due to his materialistic and refined background, he becomes more like them over the years. Al included Steve in some of his activities, such as when Al had told him about an attractive repairwoman. At first, Steve asked him " You made me drop everything for this?!" and when a chastened Al replies in the affirmative, Steve then lightens up and says "Thanks, Al!" and the two drink beer while leering at her together.

Another example is when Steve stops by Al's workplace and suggest they do something together that's cultural and refined, such as going to the museum or an opera. Just then Brandi Brandt walks in, causing him to scream out "Hooter Alert!" to bring Al out of the stockroom.

Another show of his care for Steve is seen, when Al refused to cash in on a large reward for handing over a fugitive Steve to the FBI. Al hides him even stopping his wife from alerting the cops, showing that he truly did value Steve as a genuine friend.

Marcy Rhodes/D'Arcy[]

Al and Marcy do not get along. Marcy holds neo-feminist values while Al feels that a woman's place is in the home, making dinner for her working husband (which he, comically, doesn't get in his own household). Through the years, Marcy and Al have had battles to try and one-up the other. One highlight of the constant struggle between Al and Marcy is the episode "NO MA'AM"; in which Al starts an anti-feminist group in order to fight, what he feels, is the growing number of people and places that support ideas like Marcy's. The Jiggly Room is turned into a coffee house and his usual bowling night is replaced by Ladies' Night at the local bowling alley. All this proves to be too much for Al and he, and his associates, hold 'The Masculine Feminist' Jerry Springer hostage. Marcy shows up and reveals Al's identity to the world and has him arrested.

Despite all these incidents between Al and Marcy, Al feels a strange sort of affection for March. When she's really low, he has been there to help her, such as when her Aunt Tuney died and he offered her a Bundy Burger and said that although her aunt had passed on, she was there with them in spirit.

And, despite all the snarky comments Marcy makes to Al, she has even been attracted to him on a few occasions, a good example being the episode, "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" when he changes his fashion and attitude.

Al and Marcy have also found commonality on the fact that they are the main breadwinners, and occasionally express resentment to each other to support loafing spouses.

Jefferson D'Arcy[]

Al initially did not take well to him, considering him to be an idiot especially because he married Marcy. However, he slowly accepted him since he often fell into funny situations with her or unintentionally humiliated her. Jefferson soon became Al's closest friend, something that often angers Marcy when he is bonding with him; unlike Steve who was more of a foil, or straight man, to Al, Jefferson tends to be very encouraging and attuned to Al's behavior.

Trivia[]

  • It is not actually clear if Al had a full first name, as Al can be short for several first names such as Alfred, Albert, Alan, Alvin, Alex, Alistair, or Alphonse.
    • In "Al Bundy, Shoe Dick", when the museum curator presents Al with a reward check, it is difficult to read but it appears to be made out to "Alvin P. Bundy".
      • Peg also calls Al "Alvin Bundy" in "Ship Happens (Part 2)" to convince the reporters that he is the twin brother of Al.
    • In "Un-Alful Entry", his driver's license says "Al Bundy", implying that Al is the name given to him at birth and that he doesn't have a middle name. A driver's license typically requires the full legal name to be written out.
    • Several websites state that Al's first name is Alphonse, but have not provided any verifiable sources to back this up.
    • In "Al... with Kelly", during a dream sequence, Al is called "Al Hercules Bundy" by one of his fantasy girls, Yvonne.
    • Al's driver's license as seen in the trailer
      In the trailer for the Married... with Children animated series, when Al is being robbed, a close up of Al's wallet with his driver's license reveals that his name is "Albert".
  • Throughout most of the show, Al wore the same light blue dress shirt, reddish-brown tie and either blue-grey or brown dress pants to work (or a very minor variation of it). In Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?, he starts to fully dress up in a black suit and white pinstriped shirt with black suspenders for a while, before realizing that he really doesn't need to dress up anymore. In the last few seasons, it was shown that he wore other shirts to work briefly (such as a green dress shirt with a red tie and brown slacks), but eventually went back to his original fashion.
  • His favorite food is Weenie Tots, claiming that they're "nature's perfect food". He even becomes excited when he has a chance to see the Weenie Tots factory in "Weenie Tot Lovers and Other Strangers" and when he's about to become the father-in-law of Lionel Tot, one of the heirs to Tot Industries (makers of Weenie Tots).
  • Another favorite food of his is pizza. He specifically prefers pizza with extra cheese, but claims that women never remember to order it like that for him. He has even mentioned that if he were single, his life would revolve around prostitutes and pizza in "Frat Chance" and "Old MacBundy Had a Farm".
  • His favorite show is "Psycho Dad".
  • His favorite movie is "Hondo" [56], though he misses it when it is shown on TV because of Peggy's family in season 2's All in the Family and when he was stuck inside a store in Assault and Batteries. Al holds the film in very high esteem, once telling Peggy's family members, "Your lives are meaningless compared to 'Hondo'!".
  • Another favorite movie of his is Shane [57], which he also missed when it was on TV because of Peggy's family.
  • His hobbies include fishing and bowling, which have been a major theme in a number of episodes.
  • Along with Bud, he enjoys reading Big 'Uns magazine, though in the early seasons, he specifically mentions reading Playboy, stating that he started collecting them with his dad at age 12 and even meets Playmate Brandi Brandt at his shoe store in Desperately Seeking Miss October.
  • In "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?", its revealed that Al wears white Hanes underwear, size 34.
  • His favorite toilet is a Ferguson, referring to it as "the Stradivarius of toilets" while his favorite toilet paper is "Aurora White".
  • When Al is excited about something, he sometimes performs the duckwalk, made famous by musician Chuck Berry, where he hops on one leg while strumming an imaginary guitar. This can be seen in various episodes, such as The Godfather.
  • In Rites of Passage, Al mentions that his father took him to the Nudie Bar when he turned 18, just as his father's father Jebidah Bundy did for him and now Al was going to take Bud there, claiming that "throughout history, all male Bundys and looking at hooters that don't belong to them go hand in hand".
  • His favorite songs are "Anna (Go to Him) " by Arthur Alexander, which was the song he struggled to find the name of in the episode Oldies But Young 'Uns, and "Duke of Earl" by Gene Chandler.
  • His least favorite song is "Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro, which Peggy points out in season 1's Thinnergy and uses it to torture him. Al makes reference to the song again in season 5's Oldies But Young 'Uns, referring to it as "Bobby Goldsboro's musical sphincter lock known as 'Honey' ".
  • He was named 'Rookie Shoe Salesman of the Year' in 1968.
  • Al is shown to have exceptional fighting skills as he managed to beat up a lot of people in the series and lose none. This is contributed to the fact that Ed O'Neil is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
  • When Al is shocked at something he has seen, he often uses the phrases "Great Caesar's Ghost!" or "Gadzooks!"
  • When he is about to enter a fist fight or accept a challenge, he typically says "Let's Rock!" or a minor variation.
  • Al mentions that he had been deported to Mexico due to Peggy stealing his wallet and leaving him without any picture I.D. in "Mr. Empty Pants".
  • Al cries whenever he hears the theme of the television show Lassie, as seen in "Change for a Buck".
  • Al Bundy was based on or modeled after Sam Kinison.
  • Al is left-handed. This can be seen in several episode, such as "Weenie Tot Lovers and Other Strangers" when he writes out a check to Bud and "Kelly Breaks Out" when he takes notes while talking to a customer service representative.
    • Though, in "A Dump of My Own" Al is able to write "GUN" on the wall clearly with his right hand.
    • He is also able to bowl right-handed despite being left-handed. Among the members in Gary's Angels, Griff is the only one who actually bowls left-handed.

Appearances[]

Al Bundy appears in every single episode of the show.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Just Shoe It
  2. A Man for No Seasons
  3. The Legend of Ironhead Haynes
  4. Peggy Sue Got Work
  5. Cheese, Cues and Blood
  6. Al... with Kelly
  7. NO MA'AM (episode)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Reverend Al
  9. Damn Bundys
  10. England Show (Part 3)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Un-Alful Entry
  12. Al Loses His Cherry
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Peggy Turns 300
  14. 'Til Death Do Us Part
  15. You Gotta Know When to Fold 'Em (Part 2)
  16. What Goes Around Came Around
  17. Torch Song Duet
  18. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  19. 19.0 19.1 T*R*A*S*H
  20. Dud Bowl II
  21. I Can't Believe It's Butter
  22. 976-SHOE
  23. The Love Line
  24. She's Having My Baby (Part 1)
  25. Route 666 (Part 1)
  26. Kiss of the Coffee Woman
  27. Mr. Empty Pants
  28. You Better Shop Around (Part 2)
  29. Yard Sale
  30. 30.0 30.1 Poke High
  31. Banking on Marcy
  32. If I Could See Me Now
  33. He Thought He Could
  34. I Who Have Nothing
  35. Requiem for a Chevyweight (Part 2)
  36. Luck of the Bundys
  37. Master the Possibilities
  38. A Three Job, No Income Family
  39. Psychic Avengers
  40. All Night Security Dude
  41. The Dateless Amigo
  42. God's Shoes
  43. 'Tis Time to Smell the Roses
  44. 44.0 44.1 Al on the Rocks
  45. Flashback
  46. Rites of Passage
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 And Baby Makes Money
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 I Who Have Nothing
  49. The Wedding Repercussions
  50. A Bundy Thanksgiving
  51. Where's the Boss?
  52. Field of Screams
  53. Go for the Old
  54. Rites of Passage
  55. A Shoe Room with a View
  56. IMDb logo Hondo (1953 film) at the Internet Movie Database
  57. IMDb logo Shane (1953 film) at the Internet Movie Database

External links[]

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