Of the most popular ’80s and ’90s sitcoms, Married…with Children is probably the least likely to ever get re-made. The show took a very non-politically correct tone that likely wouldn’t go over well with a new generation of viewers.
About a lower-to-middle-class family dealing with their day-to-day issues, the surly and sarcastic dad Al Bundy loved to insult people, particularly overweight women. The wife Peggy was a stereotypically lazy housewife, the eldest daughter Kelly was a stereotypical blonde girl, and the younger son Bud was often made fun of for actually being smart.
Nonetheless, if there was a way to bring the Bundys into the 21st Century, there are legions of loyal fans of the original sitcom that would probably tune in to see new interpretations of these iconic characters.
9 Griff: Martin Lawrence
Lawrence was a sitcom superstar around the same time that Married…With Children was originally on the air, with his own sitcom called Martin. And he recently reprised his role in the Bad Boys movie franchise, showing that he still has his comedic chops.
While the role of Griff was a small one, Lawrence would be a shoo-in (pun intended) for it. Griff, originally played by Harold Sylvester, was Al’s co-worker at the shoe store. Divorced and working in retail to make ends meet, he was just as dejected as Aly and had a similar love of activities like bowling and fishing.
8 Bob Rooney: Gabriel Iglesias
Bob, played by E.E. Bell, also wasn’t a main character on the show, but he was one of Al’s oldest and dearest friends from way back in high school. Working as a butcher, he was married to Peggy’s friend Louise and was the “fix it” guy among his friends.
Iglesias could bring some life to this role, and some comic relief to various scenes. With him taking on the character, Rooney could be involved in more scenes in a remake.
7 Marcy D’Arcy: Jennifer Garner
The interactions between Al and his neighbor and wife’s friend Marcy (Amanda Bearse) were among the funniest on the show. They loved trading insults and never held anything back. Marcy was an uptight, sexually adventurous though somewhat conservative woman who constantly barged in to get advice from Peggy or brag about how amazing her marriage was.
Jennifer Garner would be great in this role, thanks to her flair for both drama and comedy. She has the air of the sweet girl next door about her but could also pull off Marcy’s frantic behavior and desire to constantly one-up Al.
6 Steve Rhoades: Todd Grinnell
Todd Grinnell broke onto the scene playing Schneider in the Netflix (now Pop) reboot of One Day at a Time. But he would probably do well as a new version of Steve Rhoades, Marcy’s first husband.
He was pretty nerdy, and Grinnell pulls off a similarly nerdy role well on One Day at a Time. As he spent more time with the Bundys, he started becoming more like them, and he and Al even reluctantly became friends. In a similar storyline, on One Day at a Time, Grinnell plays the wealthy but lonely landlord who befriends the Alvarez family, eventually becoming close enough with them to be considered family.
5 Jefferson D’Arcy: Milo Ventimiglia
Ted McGinley originally played the role of Marcy’s second husband, a much younger man who married her for her money. He was effectively the male version of Peggy who thought a lot of himself and didn’t want to do anything. Though he was sometimes a good husband to her.
While Ventimiglia now plays the personification of the almost perfect dad on This Is Us, he could flip the script and take on this role of the pretty boy husband who has found his “sugar mama.”
4 Bud Bundy: Joe Keery
Keery and his impeccable hair garnered tons of fans after appearing as Steve Harrington on Stranger Things. On that show, he played one of the cool high school kids in the first season, though he went on to graduate and work in an ice cream shop while trying to figure out his life.
He’s smart and logical, just like Bud (originally played by David Faustino). And while Steve always got the girls (well, almost always), Keery is talented enough to play a young man who isn’t as lucky in love. Bud was also a complex character who started out really nerdy and eventually took on a confident rapper persona that completely changed his look and character.
3 Kelly Bundy: Anya Taylor-Joy
There’s something mesmerizing about Taylor-Joy, the star of the hit Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit. Just like there was something so captivating about Christina Applegate as Kelly. Applegate has said that she viewed Kelly as a young woman who only wanted to play dumb when she was actually quite intelligent, and she played the character as such, making her far more layered than viewers realized.
Taylor-Joy could easily play an aloof yet secretly intelligent teenager who loves boys, constantly insults her younger brother, and is a total daddy’s girl. Applegate perfected the role but Taylor-Joy could bring it into the 21st Century.
2 Peggy Bundy: Zooey Deschanel
Deschanel has proven comedic talents, especially with her leading role in the long-running sitcom New Girl. She could easily play a modern version of Peggy, the role that was originated by Katey Sagal.
There are a lot of things about the stereotyped character that haven’t aged well. Deschanel could dress, look, and act the part of a housewife while making Peggy a quirkier and more nuanced character.
1 Al Bundy: Jamie Dornan
Ed O’Neil, of course, originated the role of Al, complete with the constant look of disgust, the regaling of old football stories, and signature hand-down-the-pants look while watching the game on TV. There’s a lot of things about the character that would never fly today.
Jamie Dornan is a pretty versatile actor who might just be able to pull it off. He has the ability to play both the charming and handsome leading man and a less desirable individual. He’d be able to bring a new level of charm combined with abject defeat to the character.
NEXT: 10 Guest Stars We Forgot Were On Married With Children
What if The Walking Dead Was Made In The UK? (Recasting The Characters)
About The Author