The Return of Ed O’Neill in Another Great Dad-on-the-Couch Sitcom
You know him as Al, former high-school football player* turned women’s shoe salesman, one-time scorer of four touchdowns in a single game, and reluctant head of the Bundy household for eleven years on the hit sitcom Married with Children.
After Married ended, O’Neill receded from the pop-culture spotlight, but he kept right on working, popping up in a few notable roles — like the criminally underappreciated John Hughes movieDutch and his cameo as Glen, the crazy guy who works behind the counter at Stan Mikita’s Donuts inWayne’s World. There were a few forgettable roles in there too: remember Dragnet? Me neither.
But this fall, O’Neill has returned to television on the new ABC comedyModern Family, and he’s back to doing what he does best — playing a wiseass and seemingly miserable patriarch. Shot in a mockumentary format similar to The Office, the show follows three generations of the dysfunctional Pritchett family — O’Neill’s Jay and his young Latina wife, Jay’s son and his partner, Jay’s daughter and her husband and a bunch of grandkids. It sounds like every other beleaguered-dad sitcom. But it’s not. It’s goddamn hysterical.