Rolling Stone

21 All in the Family

CBS 1971-79


Norman Lear’s generation-gap comedy had such a finger on the pulse of an increasing­ly divided nation that President Nixon was caught on tape in the Oval Office complainin­g about an early episode. And the show — in which racist, sexist, reactionar­y blue-collar slob Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor) and his liberal son-in-law Michael “Meathead” Stivic (Rob Reiner) fought constantly as their respective spouses Edith (Jean Stapleton) and Gloria (Sally Struthers) tried to calm things down — could create a divide of its own, between viewers who took Archie for their hero and the ones who understood that Lear considered him a fool. In many ways, the original antihero series, and the inspiratio­n for a brief halcyon age of network sitcoms — many of them spinoffs of this show, such as The Jeffersons, Maude, and Good Times — that managed to weave thoughtful discussion of the issues of the day around a lot of bawdy humor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States