All in the Family FAQ
What are the lyrics to 'Those Were the Days'
"sock and a shoe" scene came from real life. Hear Rob Reiner and
Norman Lear explain.
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?
Click for Sounds From "All in the Family"
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'?"
I'm not the first to receive this question. It was asked by thousands of
viewers during the run of the series, so many in-fact, that the theme song
was re-recorded by Jean Stapleton and Carroll O'Connor. The line that
gives everyone so much trouble is: "Gee, our old LaSalle ran
great." You'll notice that after the second season, Jean sings it much
clearer. This was to help those of you that didn't catch it the first two
The problem wasn't as much with diction, as it was with the dated reference.
Many people thought it referred to the LaSalle University track team, it
doesn't. LaSalle was a division of Cadillac that produced autos from 1927
1940 LaSalle by
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
"Those Were The Days"
by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse
Boy, the way Glen Miller played.
Songs that made the hit parade.
Guys like us, we had it made. Those
were the days.
Didn't need no welfare state.
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days.
And you know who you were then,
girls were girls and men were men.
Mister, we could use a man like
Herbert Hoover again.
People seemed to be content. Fifty
dollars paid the rent.
Freaks were in a circus tent. Those
were the days.
Take a little Sunday spin, go to
watch the Dodgers win.
Have yourself a dandy day that cost
you under a fin.
Hair was short and skirts were
long. Kate Smith really sold a song.
I don't know just what went wrong.
Those Were The Days.
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.
And tomorrow I'll be lonesome, Remembering You.
Got a feelin' the sun will be gone - The day will be long and blue.
And tommorrow I'll be cryin', Remembering You.
There'a a far away look in your eye when you try to pretend to me,
That everything is the same as it used to be.
I see it's all over now - All over now, we're through.
And tomorrow I'll be startin' Remembering You.
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.
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
Now here's where
stories are starting to get distorted as to what really happened. I want
to set the record straight here before the truth is forgotten. After
playing the dingbat for nine years, this seemed like the right time to move
on, but she had no intention of leaving the show permanently, she agreed
to make appearances from time-to-time. O'Connor felt that
episodes without Edith, would be compared to those with, leading
the audience to be disappointed with any episode without Stapleton. During
the summer of 1980 Carroll called Norman Lear and told him he wanted Edith
written out of the show, in a way that would provide closure, Edith would
die. Norman Lear didn't feel that O'Connor's show, "Archie Bunker's
Place," was his and gave the creative control to O'Connor to do as he pleased. O'Connor
called Stapleton and asked how she felt about his proposed plot. She was
shocked, but since she only intended to appear on the show out of
obligation, she told O'Connor it was fine with her. When
"Archie Bunker's Place" returned in the fall of 1980, the
curtain opened on a family grieving over the loss of their beloved
Carroll O'Connor tested for the role of
Skipper on "Gilligan's Island"
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
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.
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.
Also in 1973, "Mad Magazine" "honored" the show with a
special "Gall in the Family" issue that included Mad's first parody
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.
Which brings us to the question: "How much is my 'All in the
Family' memorabilia worth?"
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:
The "Archie Bunker's Grandson" doll is a nice item. Expect to
pay about $75 for one in mint condition, in the box, with diapers and bottle,
never played with.
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.
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.
On June 21 2001, Carroll O'Connor died of a heart attack, brought on by complications from
diabetes, in the Brotman Medical Center, Culver City, California at
3:20pm. Many people feel O'Connor died not of a heart attack, but rather
by a broken heart. On March 28, 1995, Hugh O'Connor, 32, called his father
to tell him he was going to end his life because he could not face another drug
rehabilitation program. When O'Connor and his wife reached their son's Los
Angeles home, Hugh O'Connor had shot himself in the head. Police later
determined that cocaine was in Hugh O'Connor's blood at the time he committed
suicide. Hugh O'Connor left a note that said "I leave all my worldly
possessions to my son Sean. Angela (O'Connor's wife) I can't believe you. Mom
and Pops so long. Love Hugh."
Hugh & Carroll
O'Connor on the set of "In the Heat of the Night"
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
Carroll's wife, Nancy
O'Connor. Carroll died just months before celebrating 50
years of marriage.
The next day, police arrested Perzigian after a
search of his apartment turned up cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Perzigian was
tried and convicted of cocaine possession and furnishing cocaine to Hugh
O'Connor. Perzigian was sentenced to a year in prison, three years probation. He
was also ordered to pay a fine and perform community service.
Carroll O'Connor is a trained
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
O'Connor was victorious in court, but he never
got over the loss of his son.