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All In The Family…Over Forty Years Later, Still One-of-a-Kind and Now on DVD!

Archie with Sammy Davis Jr.
Classic scene when Archie meets Sammy Davis Jr…watch the video at the end of this story -Youtube

In 1971, Norman Lear got approval from CBS for a new comedy series about a family who lived in Queens New York that was lead by a bigoted but lovable patriarch by the name of Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor). The other key cast members were Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton) and Mike and Gloria Stivic (Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers).

Even if you don’t know the show you may know Struthers from campaigns like “feed the children” (check out this hilarious parody from ‘In Living Color’) or getting pulled over for driving drunk in Ogunquit last summer while there performing at the Ogunquit Playhouse.

I venture to say anyone over 35-years-old remembers the show, casually if not intimately. And if you’re of an age where you have no idea what I’m talking about, you should really make it a point check out a few episodes online or do what I’m going to do: ask for the DVD set of all 208 episodes, available as of today, for Christmas.

Norman Lear is 90 now and writing an autobiography.  He loosely compares ‘All In The Family’ to ‘Modern Family’ but says, while they’re dealing with things going on today, it’s not as topical.  ‘All In The Family’ was on top of things that were not only part of the era’s pop culture but part of what was going on in the news at the time.  It set the bar and, most will agree, nobody since has raised it.


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