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Torch Song Duet is the 25th episode of Season 10 of Married... with Children and the 234th overall series episode. Directed by Gerry Cohen and written by Donelle Q. Buck , it premiered on FOX-TV on May 19, 1996.

Plot Summary[]

Al and Griff are listening to the sports quiz show on the radio - the winner gets an all-expense paid trip to the Olympics as well as running one of the Chicago legs of the torch-carrying relay. Al has been banned from the station, so he feeds the answers to Griff who ends up winning the contest. Al begs and pleads to at least run the torch until Griff finally gives in. Moments later, a beautiful woman tells Griff how hot she thinks he would be running the torch and Griff goes back on the deal. On the day of the relay the media camp is set up in the shoe store, questioning Al on what it is like to work with Griff. Al can't take it anymore and tackles Griff as he runs by with the torch. They end up wrestling in the fountain and the torch flame goes out for the first time in Olympic history. The Atlanta games are postponed as they have to take the torch back to Greece to start the relay over. Also, this caused Al to be international hated by the world as he, Kelly and Bud are unable to leave the house until it blows over.

Recurring Cast/Regulars[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Richard Kline as Flint Guccione
  • Renee Tenison as Marla
  • Rosie Tenison as Carla
  • Petra Verkaik as Model #1
  • Victoria Fuller as Model #2
  • Burke Roberts as Reporter #1
  • Nikki Dunn as Reporter #2
  • Alex Carl as himself
  • Larry Brown as himself
  • Bo Jackson as Calvin Farquhar (the radio show host)
  • Roy Jones, Jr. as himself



  • The title of this episode is a reference to Torch Song Trilogy, a collection of three plays written by actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein.


  • In this episode, Kelly has a shorter bob hairstyle compared to the previous episodes. Prior to the season 10 premier, Christina Applegate had actually cut her hair short and dyed it red for her role in the film Nowhere which was filmed during the summer between the 9th and 10th Seasons. As such, she wore a wig for most of season 10.
  • During the credits, instead of a still frame of Al and Peg on the couch, a live scene with Calvin at the radio station introducing Larry Brown, Roy Jones Jr. and Marcy D'Arcy as Bruce Jenner is shown.
  • Bo Jackson, who plays the radio show host Calvin Farquhar, is a retired athlete who has the distinction of being an All Star in both MLB and NFL. He played for the Los Angeles Raiders between 1987 to 1990 and several baseball teams from 1986 to 1994.
  • Flint Guccione the publisher of Big 'uns, is played by Richard Kline, who is best known for his role as Larry Dallas, the sleazy friend of Jack Tripper, on the 1970s/1980s sitcom, Three's Company.
  • Renee Tension, who plays Marla, Griff's love interest in the episode (and one of the Big 'Uns cover models), previous appeared on MWC with her twin sister Rosie in the season 6 episode "Looking for a Desk in All the Wrong Places" during Jefferson's fantasy. She also appeared as Miss Detroit, Marla Strong in "Spring Break (Part 2)".
  • The women who appear with Griff (and Al) on the Big 'Uns Man of the Year cover were all in Playboy:
    • Renee Tension - Playmate of the Month November 1989 / Playmate of the Year 1990
    • Rosie Tension - Posed with her twin sister for the August 2002 issue
    • Petra Verkaik - Playmate of the Month December 1989
    • Victoria Fuller - Playmate of the Month January 1996

Cultural References[]

  • While Griff became distracted by the female customer, Al asks him who holds the record for the longest standing broadjump but does not get an answer. At the time this episode originally aired, the record belonged to Norwegian shot putter Arne Tvervaag, which was set in 1968.
    • As of 2015, the record now belongs to NFL player Byron Jones.
  • After Griff tells Calvin that his ex-wife took everything, Calvin tells him, "Keep your problems to yourself, man. This isn't 'Fraiser!'", which is in reference to the NBC sitcom about a radio psychiatrist.
    • One of the stars of Fraiser, Edward Hibbert, previously appeared on MWC as Dr. Richelieu.
  • Calving offer Griff a prize of 11 pieces of chicken from El Pollo Loco, which is a real restaurant chain that specializes in Mexican-style grilled chicken.
  • Throughout the episode, Marcy is mistaken for Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner, who, almost 20 years after this episode aired, underwent surgery to become Caitlyn Jenner.
  • The name Flint Guccione is a reference to Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler Magazine and Bob Guccione, the publisher of Penthouse Magazine.
  • Griff mentions that he sounds Caucasian when excited " that guy from 'Hangin' with Mr. Cooper'!", referring to actor, Mark Curry and his ABC sitcom.
  • The theme of this episode revolves around the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, GA.
  • Bud tells Al "when people think of Olympic shame, they'll think of Al Bundy first, and then Tonya Harding." referring to the figure skater who was involved with the attack on Nancy Kerrigan while trying out for the 1994 Winter Olympics.
  • Al reveals that his life dream was to feel up actress, Barbara Eden, who is best known for her role as Jeannie in the 1960s sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie.
    • She was previously mentioned in "I Want My Psycho Dad (Part 1)" when Al asked the actor who played Psycho Dad what Barbara Eden looked like naked.
  • While watching television, Al stops on the BET Network, which mentions that "Griff asks O.J. the tough questions". This is in reference to former NFL player O.J. Simpson, who at the time this episode originally aired, was found not guilty in the murder of his ex-wife and her friend.


  • A character can be heard singing a parody of the Barney the Dinosaur ending theme "I Love You"



  • Bundy Living Room / Kitchen
  • Gary's Shoes Sitting Area
  • Sports Radio 600 Recording Booth


  • The reporter, looking off screen, reports that Al has tackled Griff and knocked the torch into a fountain. However, we hear the splash only after the reporter said it happened.
  • The reporter stated that when the torch went out that it was the first time it had been extinguished in 3000 years. While the lighting of altar fires were a part of the ancient games, the first use of it in the modern Olympics was during the 1928 Games in Amsterdam.
  • The reporter mentions that the torch must be re-lit in Athens and the Summer Olympic games have been cancelled indefinitely because of the torch being extinguished before the game. In reality, if the flame from the torch does go out, as it has several times before, it is simply re-lit with a back-up torch or various back up cauldrons across various locations, which wouldn't require the the torch to be sent back to Greece or the games to be cancelled indefinitely.
  • Calvin offers Griff a 12 piece meal from El Pollo Loco if he choose to quit during the challenge. Although El Pollo Loco is a real chain of Mexican-style chicken restaurants, they are primarily based in California and the southwestern US and did not have any locations in Illinois at the time this episode was filmed.
    • Also when Calvin is shown with the plate of chicken, it appears to be fried chicken and mashed potatoes. El Pollo Loco serves only grilled chicken and does not offer mashed potatoes.
    • The chain did not actually open any restaurants in the Chicago area until 2004, several years after this episode aired, but all of those locations had closed by 2012.
  • After Griff's failed attempt at flirting, the female customer exits the store and leaves the door wide open while Griff joins Al at the seating area. Then after the camera shows Calvin and cuts back to the shoe store, the door is already shut.
◄ 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