All in the Family
It's Thursday, September 18, 2014
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Did Carroll O'Connor write the closing theme for the series?
I remember an "All in the Family" album, was there one?
On what episode of 'All in the Family' did Edith die?
What happened to Frank Lorenzo?
What happened to Mike and Gloria, did they stay together?
How much is my 'All in the Family' memorabilia worth?
How did Carroll O'Connor die?
the recent death of Carroll O'Connor, I've received more questions about "All in
the Family" than ever before. I think the most asked question is regarding the lyrics to the
theme song: "What are the lyrics to 'Those Were the Days'?"
There are also other verses of the "Those Were the Days" that are only heard on the "All in the Family" albums. Here are the lyrics:
"Those Were The Days"
Boy, the way Glen Miller played.
Songs that made the hit parade.
Staying on the subject of music, I get asked: "Did Carroll O'Connor write the closing theme for the series?" No, he did not. After the show had been on for a year, Carroll O'Connor went to Roger Kellaway, the composer of the tune, and asked if he could write lyrics to it. Kellaway agreed, O'Connor wrote the lyrics, and the two shared credit and royalties ever after. It became the title song to O'Connor's second album. If you lost your copy of "Remembering You," and didn't tape it when O'Connor performed it on "The Flip Wilson Show," here are the words so you can sing along:
by Roger Kellaway and Carroll O'Connor
Got a feelin' it's
all over now - All over now, we're through.
So who would buy an album of Carroll O'Connor singing? Well it's better than Jean Stapleton singing. Jean Stapleton and Carroll O'Connor teamed up for the album "Side by Side, an Evening and Songs and Fun with the Bunkers" The album featured such toe-tapping tunes as: “Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?” “I’m Sitting on Top of the World,” “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby,” “Hey, Look Me Over,” “Ain’t We Got Fun,” “I Remember It Well,” “Button Up Your Overcoat,” “You’re the Cream in My Coffee,” and “Side by Side,” The record, issued on the RCA Victor label, featured 24 songs in all.
I remember an "All in the Family" album, was there one? The first "All in the Family" LP released was in 1972, also available on 8-track. It was a collection of some of the funniest moments from the series. It was a big hit and was followed in 1973 with "All in the Family 2nd Album". In addition to the LPs, a 45 of the theme song was recorded by the cast. This was not a success. Meanwhile, instrumental arrangements by Henry Mancini and Ray Conniff were cropping up on easy listening radio stations. Click here for SOUNDS FROM ALL IN THE FAMILY
Another top question is "On what episode of 'All in the Family' did Edith die?" No one remembers this episode, because it never happened. After Archie bought Kelsey's, a lot of the storylines centered around the bar. Edith was no longer the center of the family. Jean Stapleton had won three Emmys for her work on "All in the Family," but it was Carroll O'Connor who had the power. Stapleton stayed on "All in the Family" for it's entire eight year run, and even went on to play Edith on "Archie Bunker's Place," but it was obvious that her role was diminished.
So there you have it, Edith never died on "All in the Family." Part of the confusion seems to center around an episode titled "Too Good Edith" (sometimes incorrectly listed as "Too Good Faith" on TV Land) where Edith collapses after making the food for a Saint Patrick's bash at Archie's bar. This was aired on April 8, 1979, it was the last episode of "All in the Family". But Edith must have gotten better over the Summer, because she was back in the Fall in "Archie Bunker's Place" and even gets hired at the bar in the fourth episode.
Another departure that causes confusion is "What happened to Frank Lorenzo?" Vincent Gardenia was an experienced stage and film actor. He didn't adjust well to the way TV shows were made. He grew impatient sitting around all week waiting to make an entrance, deliver a joke and out again. He asked to be written out. Because his role was so small, they intended to just have him be the unseen husband of Irene Lorenzo (Betty Garrett). To explain his absence, Irene said things like "Frank's on the road selling plumbing supplies." However, with all the laughs, the shows always ran a little longer than expected. Irene's explanations often ended up on the cutting room floor. Most people didn't miss Frank and it didn't become an issue until Irene starting getting chummy with Stretch Cunningham. After a couple nights out on the town, people started asking, "Isn't Irene a married women?" So the writers dropped the Irene and Stretch storyline. After a while the stories involving Irene were running out and in 1975 Betty Garrett left the show. As you must know, she went on to play Edna Babish on "Laverne & Shirley." She found a unique difference between the two shows. Both had her in a contract where she would be paid, regardless of whether she appeared on screen. Unlike "All in the Family," Tony Marshall, producer of "Laverne & Shirley" would have her pop in on every episode to earn her pay, if only to ask for the rent, or deliver a quick joke. On "All in the Family" she only appeared when it would move the plot along or provide grist for Archie's tirades.
Another popular question is: "What happened to Mike and Gloria, did they stay together?" As you may recall, Archie and Edith go out to California to see Gloria, Mike and Joey for Christmas ("California Here We Are" episodes 195 & 196 December 1978). At this point Mike and Gloria are living apart. They pretend to be together for the Holiday visit, but a 2am argument brings out the truth. The two-part episode ends with them agreeing to try it again. But then what? Well, we can assume things were OK for a while, but a few years later, after Edith's death, Gloria shows up at "Archie Bunker's Place," single and ready to start a new life. Mike left her to live in a commune. With Sally Struthers back in her role as Gloria Bunker-Stivic, on September 26, 1982 the series "Gloria" debut. In the series, Gloria worked as a veterinary assistant in up-state New York. "Gloria" was cancelled after the first season. Christian Jacobs played Joey Stivic. Jacobs is still acting, in addition to being the lead singer of California based band "The Aquabats."
1973 the series was in full merchandising. You could get an official
"Mr American Beer Mug" There was a complete line of "Archie
Bunker for President" campaign merchandise including beer mugs (Archie was
running under the "beer party" banner), posters, t-shirts,
buttons. The best item was the life-size posters of Archie holding up a
copy of "Time" magazine honoring him as the man of the year. My Archie
for president poster is still hanging in my laundry room.
1976 Ideal toys made the first anatomically correct male doll from a TV
series. The 14" Joey Stivic doll was sold as "Archie
Bunker's Grandson" and came with a bottle and two diapers.
is a question I don't like to answer. I'm not really qualified to appraise
collectibles, however I'll give you some reference prices:
A set of six "Archie for President" buttons should run about $10. A ceramic "Mr. American" mug is worth about $30. A green or amber glass goblet with a gold "Archie Bunker for President" logo can be yours for about $25. A life-size "Archie for President" poster is worth about $25, in mint condition, $15 for the "Foist Family" poster. "Archie for President" t-shirts, in good condition, are a rare find. Expect to pay as much as $75 for this two color silk-screened shirt. The Archie patch (shown at left) is worth about $8, same for the one that reads "I'm a dingbat for Archie Bunker". The "All in the Family, Archie Bunker Card Game" by Milton Bradley is about $50. There were also drinking glasses of the cast members, not very attractive, single color printing, you can find these for about $3 each. A nice rare find is the Archie Bunker candle, it was a white rectangle with blue lettering that reads: "It Might as Well be a Bunker," worth about $30.
Autographed photos range in price from $45 to $150. Be very careful before you buy any photo from a dealer. There are lots of counterfeits that come with COAs (Certificate of Authenticity). The certificates are as easy to forge as the signatures. Your best bet is to buy from the estate sales of collectors that could have personally met the cast member. If bidding in an on-line auction, do not be shy, ask where the photo came from. It the seller does not know the history, shop elsewhere.
Within hours of the suicide, O'Connor told reporters that an alleged drug dealer named Harry Perzigian was responsible for his son's death. "Now we have to get rid of the Harry Perzigians," he said.
Perzigian alleged that O'Connor slandered him by publicly blaming him for Hugh O'Connor's death. Perzigian also alleged that O'Connor intentionally caused him emotional distress by calling him a "sleaze ball" and threatening him during press interviews. Perzigian said that O'Connor's accusations invaded his privacy and made him an object of ridicule in his community.
Perzigian asked for general damages for the mental distress caused by being branded as the man who "murdered" Hugh O'Connor. Perzigian claimed he gets hate mail, crank calls and lives in fear for his life. He also requested punitive damages.
O'Connor was instrumental in the passage of the Drug Dealers Civil Liability Act in California. The Act states that citizens can sue drug dealers whom they feel are responsible for the drug-related deaths of family members.
O'Connor was victorious in court, but he never got over the loss of his son.