President Archie Bunker
Last night I had a strange but vivid dream that Archie Bunker had just been elected president. He had brought along all of his racist, misogynistic, antisemitic, and homophobic thoughts and mannerisms. In this alternative dream world, the influence of his liberal son-in-law Mike was nowhere to be found.
Now, keep in mind that Archie Bunker, the main character of the TV show All in The Family, was popular when I was a newborn baby – I was born in 1972 – and that the opinions expressed by the title character were laughably old-fashioned at the time. And yet, I think my dream makes sense.
Why do I say that? When I woke up, I was intrigued and looked up Archie Bunker on wikipedia. Did you know:
- Show creator Norman Lear originally intended that Bunker be strongly disliked by audiences
- It didn’t work: Archie Bunker was hugely beloved by viewers and was even voted TV’s #1 character in 2005
- Rather than being motivated by malice, he is portrayed as hardworking, a loving father and husband, as well as a basically decent man whose views are merely a product of the era and working-class environment in which he has been raised
- There was something called the “Archie Bunker voting bloc” in the 1972 presidential elections
- as well as a parody “Archie Bunker for president” campaign
I guess my question is, how much of a parody is this really?
As a child, I didn’t get why people liked Archie Bunker. But I did love the opening song.