TV BANTER QUIZ #18
All in the Family change the course of television comedy. It brought a sense of harsh reality to a TV world which previously had been populated by homogenized, inoffensive characters and stories that seemed to have been laundered before they ever got on the air.
- The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows: 1946-Present
All in the Family was a groundbreaking American television series that aired on CBS from 1971 until 1979 on CBS. The show ran for nine seasons and It was based on the hit British comedy Till Death Us Do Part about a London working class bigot named Alf Ganett, played by Warren Mitchell. His American counterpart, Archie Bunker (Caroll O'Connor) was a blue collar worker, a dock foreman for the Prendergast Tool and Dye Company. He resided in Queens, New York with his wife, Edith (Jean Stapleton). They shared their home at 704 Hauser Street with their daughter, Gloria (Sally Struthers) and her husband, liberal college student Mike Stivic (Rob Reiner).
The series dealt with issues that had been previously taboo on American network television - issues such as racism, breast cancer, homosexuality, miscarriage and menopause. It was produced by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin and was originally created for ABC which developed the original pilot And Justice For All about a family named Justice. A second pilot was made entitled Those Were the Days. When ABC rejected the second pilot, CBS, which had originally wanted to buy the rights to Till Death Us Do Part as a vehicle for comedian Jackie Gleason who was under contract to them, produced a third pilot entitled All in the Family. The family's name was changed to Bunker and Sally Struthers and Rob Reiner, who did not appear in the first two pilots, took over the roles of Gloria and Mike.
Are you ready to test your knowledge of All in the Family with this 15-question quiz? Ready, set go!
All in the Family Quiz
1. Archie and Edith's son-in-law, Michael Stivic, was of what ethnic background?
2. Who raised Mike Stivic?
|Rob Reiner as Mike Stivic|
A. Mike was raised by his paternal grandparents.
B. He was raised by his older brother.
C. Mike was raised by his uncle.
D. He was raised in an orphanage.
E. He was raised by his stepmother.
3. Who was Stretch Cunningham?
A. Stretch was Edith's cousin.
B. He was Archie's army buddy.
C. He was Archie's friend and co-worker from the loading dock.
D. He was a taxi driver and a long-time friend of the Bunker family.
E. Stretch was Mike's college friend.
4. What was Edith Bunker's maiden name?
5. Who was All in the Family producer Norman Lear's first choice to play the role of Archie?
A. Mickey Rooney
B. Hal Holbrook
C. Jack Klugman
D. Ted Knight
E. Walter Matthau
6. Why did Archie Bunker call his son-in-law Mike "Meathead?"
A. Mike's father was a butcher.
B. The nickname was associated with Mike's Polish background (Polish sausage).
C. It was Archie's way of saying that Mike ate too much while living under his roof, especially expensive food items such as meat.
D. Mike was a vegetarian and Archie thought giving him a nickname with the word "meat" would annoy him.
E. It was a derogatory nickname meaning that Mike was stupid or as Archie put it "dead from the neck up."
7. Archie always got the middle initial in the name of an American president wrong. Which president was it?
A. Dwight Eisenhower
B. Gerald Ford
C. Richard Nixon
D. Jimmy Carter
E. Lyndon Johnson
8. Why did Carroll O'Connor miss the taping of four episodes of All in the Family?
A, He missed the episodes due to a contract hold out.
B. He was ill with mononucleosis
C. He missed the episodes due to the death of his brother in a car accident.
D. His doctors ordered him to rest because he was run down.
E. He missed the episodes because his contract provided him with some time off.
9. Where did Archie and Edith's daughter, Gloria, work?
|Sally Struthers as Gloria Stivic|
A. Gloria worked as a receptionist at a dental office.
B. She worked at the cosmetics counter at Kressler's department store.
C. She served food at a Donnelly's Diner.
D. Gloria was employed as a grocery store cashier.
E. She worked at a daycare centre.
10. Which of these actors was offered the role of Mike Stivic?
A. Al Pacino
B. Michael Douglas
C. Harrison Ford
D. Tim Allen
E. Kevin Costner
11. What was the name of the Bunkers' Irish-American neighbour whose husband enjoyed cooking?
A. Molly O'Rourke
B. Jane Connelly
C. Margaret Russo
D. Irene Lorenzo
E. Milly Wilde
12. The Bunkers' next-door-neighbours were an African-Americans couple named George and Louise Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford). What was the name of George Jefferson's brother? (This is your bonus question. Give yourself a bonus point if you answer it correctly.)
A. George Jefferson's brother was Henry Jefferson.
B. His brother was Albert Jefferson.
C. His brother's name was James Jefferson.
D, The name of George Jefferson's brother was Tom Jefferson.
E. His brother was Sam Jefferson.
13. In a 1973 episode of All in the Family, Gloria does something that Mike really finds alluring. What does she do?
A. Gloria loses a great deal of weight.
B. She wears an attractive red dress.
C. She wears a dark wig.
D. She tries a new French perfume.
E. She changes her hairstyle.
14. In a classic 1972 episode of All in the Family, Archie Bunker meets Sammy Davis Jr. who pays a visit to the Bunker home. How did Archie meet Sammy?
A. Sammy left his briefcase in Archie's taxicab.
B. Archie and Edith attended a performance of the singer in Manhattan.
C. Archie bumped into Sammy at LaGuardia Airport.
D. Archie's car was hit by a limousine in which Sammy Davis was a passenger.
E. Lionel Jefferson (son of George and Louise) asked Sammy to give a speech at his college and introduced the entertainer to Archie.
15. After the departure of Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers, Archie and Edith took in a 9-year-old child named Stephanie Mills. Who was Stephanie Mills?
|Danielle Brisebois as Stephanie Mills|
A. Stephanie Mills was the daughter of Archie and Edith's neighbours, Jack and Fiona Mills. Her parents had been tragically killed in a car crash.
B. Stephanie was the daughter of Archie's cousin, Ralph Mills, who had been sent to prison for assault and robbery. Her mother had died of a drug overdose.
C. She was an orphan whose parents had died in a fire in the Bunkers' Queens neighbourhood.
D. Stephanie was the daughter of Edith's step cousin Floyd Mills (from her aunt's second marriage). The child had been abandoned by her alcoholic father and her mother had died in an automobile accident.
E. She was the granddaughter of a friend of Archie's who had died of cancer. Her parents were both severely ill and could no longer take care of her.
Mike was of Polish-American background and was born in Chicago. Interestingly, in the original pilot, Gloria's husband was named Richard and was portrayed as an Irish American by Tim McIntire while Kelly Jean Peters played the role of Gloria.
Mike was raised by his uncle because his parents died in a car accident when he was quite young.
|James Cromwell as Stretch Cunningham|
Jerome "Stretch" Cunningham was Archie's friend and co-worker from the loading dock. Archie thought of Stretch as "the funniest man in the world" and described him as the Bob Hope of the loading platform. Stretch was Jewish. a fact that Archie did not know until Stretch died of a heart attack and he attended his friend's funeral. In one memorable scene, Archie delivers a eulogy for Stretch. Note: The episode about Stretch Cunningham's death is entitled "Stretch Cunningham, Goodbye (Season 7, Episode 19, Air Date: January 29, 1977).
Actor James Cromwell portrayed Stretch Cunningham. Cromwell, now 73, was arrested last February for disturbing a meeting of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents while protesting the alleged mistreatment of animals on campus.
Edith Bunker was born Edith Baines.
Norman Lear's first choice to play Archie was Mickey Rooney. Rooney was offered the part but turned it down when told he would be playing a bigot. According to Lear, the actor told him, "They're going to kill you dead on the street. Norm, they're gonna kill you. They're gonna shoot you dead on the street." Rooney wanted to do a show about a blind Vietnam veteran who was a private eye.
Archie constantly referred to his son-law Mike as "Meathead" in a derogatory fashion, meaning that Mike was "dead from the neck up."
Archie Bunker often flubbed names. For some reason, Archie never get Richard Milhous Nixon's middle initial right. He always referred to him as Richard E. Nixon rather than Richard M. Nixon. It's an interesting bit of trivia that at the 1960 Republican National Convention, Nelson Rockefeller mistakenly introduced Nixon as Richard A. Nixon. Could there be connection there?
In the summer of 1974, Carroll O'Connor missed the taping of four episodes of All in the Family due to a contract dispute with Tandem Productions, owner of the popular CBS sitcom. His contract dispute disrupted the beginning of the shows's fifth season. At the time, according to Associated Press, O'Connor's weekly salary was between $25,000 and $35,000. The actor claimed that money was not the real issue, although he did want "certain back money due me." He said that he was holding out for "different working conditions." He desired a Monday-through-Friday work week rather than a Wednesday-through-Tuesday week and at least 12 weeks off during his 24-week-a-year schedule.
The dispute was resolved, of course, and Caroll O'Connor returned to the show. During O'Connor's absence, three episodes were filmed about Archie's failure to return home from a convention. A fourth episode, not shown in sequence, made no mention of Archie at all. The producers warned O'Connor that the story could end with Edith discovering that Archie had been murdered if an agreement were not reached.
Gloria worked at the cosmetics counter at Kressler's department store. She was fired from her job, however, when she became pregnant. In December 1975, Gloria gave birth to baby boy named Joseph Michael "Joey" Stivic. Mike and Gloria, both agnostics, wanted their baby to choose decide his own religious beliefs. In an episode entitled "Joey's Baptism" (Season 6, Episode 22, Air Date: February 23, 1976), Archie is determined to have his grandson baptized. Without Mike and Gloria's approval or knowledge, he sneaks little Joey to the church, takes him to the baptistry and sprinkles him with water.
When Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers left the show, Mike and Gloria were written out. At the end of the 1977-78 season, Mike accepts a position as a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). The Stivics move to Santa Barbara with son Joey but their marriage becomes troubled. Mike eventually leaves Gloria and Joey and moved to a California commune with one of his students.
Sally Struthers reprised the role of Gloria Stivic in her own sitcom entitled Gloria. In the short-lived series, Struthers portrayed Gloria as a single mother employed as a veterinarian's assistant in Fox Ridge, New York. Burgess Meredith co-starred as veterinarian, Dr. Willard Adams, Gloria's boss and her landlord. Christian Jacobs.played her young son Joey. Gloria lasted for only one season from September of 1982 until April of 1983. A pilot and 21 episodes of the show were produced .
Harrison Ford was offered the role of Mike Stivic but turned it down because he felt that Archie's bigotry was too offensive.
|Betty Garrett as Irene Lorenzo|
The Bunkers' feisty Irish-American neighbour was named Irene Lorenzo. Irene and her Italian-American husband, Frank, did not fit the stereotypical male-female role models. Frank enjoyed cooking and made all the meals while Irene was more comfortable doing household repairs and other traditional "male chores."
Frank, meanwhile, wore an apron and cleaned. Not surprisingly, this really annoyed Archie. In one classic exchange between Archie and Irene, Archie asks how she feels about her husband doing all the cooking. He inquires if she is worried that people will think Frank is gay. "Is that what you think?" asks Irene. Archie replies, "Oh no, I don't think that 'cause he's Eye-talian and Eye-talians are always bothering women." Irene retorts, "Then there must be a little Italian in you."
|Vincent Gardenia as Frank Lorenzo|
Irene Lorenzo was played by Betty Garrett who passed away on February 12, 2011 at the age of 91. She died in Los Angeles of an aortic aneurysm. After All on the Family, Betty had a role in another popular shows. She portrayed landlady Edna Babish on Laverne & Shirley. She later made TV appearances on Grey's Anatomy, Boston Public and Becker. Vincent Gardenia portrayed Frank Lorenzo. Gardenia died in Philadelphia of a heart attack on December 9, 1992. He was 72.
|Mel Stewart as Henry Jefferson|
George Jefferson's brother was named Henry Jefferson. The Jefferson family was introduced on All in the Family in 1971. Henry's character actually appeared on the show before his brother George. George was not seen by viewers until 1973 because Sherman Hemsley, Norman Lear's first choice for the part, was performing in a Broadway musical and refused to break his commitment to the show. Lear kept the part open for him until he had finished with the musical. George Jefferson's on screen absence was explained by the fact that he would not set foot in the home of a white person. He was, in effect, a black version of the bigoted Archie.
Mel Stewart, who played the role of Henry Jefferson, left the show when Hemsley joined the cast as George. Thus, the Jefferson brothers only appear together once, in an episode in which the Bunkers host a party for Henry who is moving away to start his own business. The episode is entitled "Henry's Farewell" (Season 4, Episode 6, Air Date: October 20, 1973).
From 1983 to 1987, Mel Stewart had a recurring role as Billy Melrose in the Kate Jackson/Bruce Boxleitner series Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Stewart died on February 24, 2002 in Pacifica, California. He was 72 years old and had suffered from Alzheimer's disease.
In an episode entitled "Black is the Color of My True Love's Wig" (Season 4, Episode 11, Air Date: November 24, 1973), Gloria purchases a brunette wig and models it for husband Mike. He really likes her new look but they end up having a fight about it.
In a memorable 1972 episode of All in the Family, Sammy Davis Jr. leaves his briefcase in Archie's cab (Archie was moonlighting as taxi driver). The episode, "Sammy's Visit," (Season 2, Episode 21, Air Date: February 19, 1972), ends in a famous scene in which Sammy plants a kiss on Archie, much to Archie's horror.
|Sammy Davis Jr. kisses Archie Bunker|
Although Stephanie Mills referred to Archie and Edith as her aunt and uncle, she was actually the daughter of Edith's step cousin Floyd Mills (from her aunt's second marriage). Floyd, an alcoholic, had abandoned her, His wife, Marilyn, had been killed in a car accident.
Stephanie was portrayed by Danielle Brisbois. Brisebois is now 44 years old. In the 1990s she began to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter and became a member of the New Radicals, an alternative rock band. The New Radicals, who had a hit single called "You Get What You Give," were active between 1997 and 1999. In 2012, Danielle achieved success with a song she co-wrote for the female-fronted band Halestrom. The song, "Here's to Us," was highlighted on the television series Glee.
* The Jefferson family proved so popular that Norman Lear decided to spin the characters into their own television series. When George Jefferson's dry cleaning business flourished, the family left Queens and moved on up to a luxury apartment on Manhattan's East Side. In 1975, The Jeffersons premiered on CBS and was so successful that it remained on the air for 11 seasons, until 1985.
Sherman Hemsley died of lung cancer on July 24, 2012 in El Paso Tesas. He was 74. His television wife, Isabel Sanford, passed away on July 9, 2004 in Los Angeles at the age of 86. Below is a photo of Hemley and Sanford as the Jeffersons with their television son Lionel Jefferson, played by Mike Evans.
* On September 12, 2012, Sally Struthers was arrested in Ogunquit, Maine where she was appearing in a local production of 9 to 5: The Musical. She was charge with driving under the influence and jury selection for her trial was scheduled for September 23, 2013. According to the Portland Press Harold, the drunk driving charge was dropped when Struthers, now 66, pleaded no contest to the lesser charge of driving to endanger. She was fined $1,218, which she has paid, and her driver's licence was suspended for 30 days.
* In the fall of 1979, All in the Family was retooled and retitled Archie Bunker's Place. It centred around the bar that Archie now owned. When Jean Stapleton decided to leave the show, her character, Edith, died of a stroke in 1980. Archie Bunker's Place ran for four years, until 1983.
* Archie often referred to Edith as a "dingbat" and told her to "stifle herself." The father of Norman Lear, the creator of All in Family, treated Lear's mother in the same manner.
* In 1976 the Ideal Toy Company produced a "Joey Stivic doll" (called "Archie Bunker's Grandson"), which was advertised as the "first anatomically correct male doll." Although slightly controversial then, the doll is a collector's item now. It is available on ebay for $69.99 U.S.
* Caroll O'Connor died in Culver City, California on June 21, 2001. He was 76. Jean Stapleton passed away at the age of 90 in New York City on May 31, 2013.