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The Joke's on Al is the 26th and final episode of Season 10, along with being the 235th overall episode. This was the second episode in which Deborah Harmon played a high school rival of Peggy, the first being Alley of the Dolls.

Plot Synopsis[]

Al and Jefferson are in a practical joke contest - always one-upping the other. A beautiful woman comes to the Bundys' door claiming to be an old friend of Peg's. When the woman starts coming on to Al, he is sure it is one of Jefferson's practical jokes. He goes along with the idea and even takes it as far as planning a mock-wedding to get the upper hand. It turns out that the woman had held a grudge against Peg for many years and plans on going through with the wedding. Peg and Ephraim show up in time to save the day.

Recurring cast[]

Guest Stars[]



  • The title of this episode is a reference to the saying "The joke's on you"


  • Amanda Bearse does not appear in this episode, although she directed it.
  • Deborah Harmon, who played June Morgan, previously appeared on MWC in season 2's "Alley of the Dolls" as Peggy's high school rival, Mimi Stoatz.
  • This episode marks the return of Katey Sagal after being away to give birth to her second child.
  • Buck the dog, who played Buck Bundy died two days after this episode aired on May 28, 1996 . He was thirteen years old.
  • In the original airing of this episode, during the end credits, Griff is showing being strapped to the electric chair and nervously comments that the joke should be over now. The executioner adjusts the straps as Griff nervously fidgets and then slams the door.
    • On the DVD version, a still frame of Griff already strapped to the chair is shown while "Love and Marriage" plays over the credits.
  • The original dialogue from the ending credits:
    • Griff: (nervously) Hey, I know what this is. This is a practical joke because I've been in NO MA'AM one whole year. Annnyy minute now, you're going to rip that hood off and say "Gotch ya!"
    • Executioner: (tugs on the chest strap) You bet I am !
  • The executioner in the original ending credits is played Bert L. Cook, who was a production staff member for the show.

Cultural References[]

  • After Kelly sees Griff's mugshot and asks Bud to guess who went to jail for eating a lot of people, he quips "Tommy Lasorda?".
    • Tommy Lasorda was a former baseball pitcher and manager, who was best know for managing the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1976 to 1996. He retired from the Dodgers about two months after this episode originally aired.
    • Bud's line is likely a reference to Lasorda being known for having a large belly and eating large portions of food. Ironically, he had been a spokesman for the weight loss food company, Slim Fast during the late 80s and into the 1990s.
  • After Kelly sees Griff's second mugshot on the TV and tries to get Al to guess who is in jail, he tells her "Unless its Pauly Shore, I do not care".
    • Pauly Shore is an actor and comedian who at the time this episode originally aired, was known for appearing in several box office flops.
    • He had previously appeared on MWC in the season 3 episode, "A Three Job, No Income Family" as Al's boss at Burger Trek.
  • Gary Coleman is continuously misidentified throughout the episode, mostly by Al. Instead of being recognized as either himself or his Arnold Drummond character from Diff'rent Strokes, he is confused with:
    • Webster Long from Webster
    • Steven Q. Urkel from Family Matters
    • Freddy "Rerun" Stubbs from What's Happening!!
    • Isaac Washington from The Love Boat
  • After Lucky sees June and Al, Lucky says "I've seen 15 'Murder, She Wrotes' that started like this." in reference to the CBS mystery drama series.
  • After Bob Rooney belives Gary Coleman is Issac from The Love Boat, he calls Bob Rooney "Free Wiley" in reference to the 1993 film about a killer whale.


  • The song "Chain Gang" by Sam Cooke is heard while Griff sits in jail and admits that he didn't eat anyone.
  • The NO MA'AM members play "The Wedding March" on a kazoo.



  • Bundy Living Room / Kitchen
  • Bundy Backyard
  • Chicago Police Department Holding Cells
  • Execution Chamber


  • The Chicago Cannibal is sentenced to die by electrocution. In Illinois, a criminal's death is carried out by lethal injection, not electrocution.
◄ Season 9 Season 10 Episodes Season 11 ►
Guess Who's Coming to Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerA Shoe Room with a View
Requiem for a Dead BriardReverend AlHow Bleen Was My KellyThe Weaker Sex
Flight of the BumblebeeBlonde and BlonderThe Two That Got AwayDud Bowl IIBearly Men
Love Conquers AlI Can't Believe It's ButterThe Hood, the Bud and the Kelly (Part 1)
The Hood, the Bud and the Kelly (Part 2)Calendar GirlThe Agony and the Extra C
Spring Break (Part 1)Spring Break (Part 2)Turning JapaneseAl Goes to the DogsEnemies
Bud Hits the BooksKiss of the Coffee WomanTorch Song DuetThe Joke's on Al