Thirty-five years ago, the then fledgling American station Fox took a risk and premiered the series Married with Obligations in prime time. The Incorrect sitcom aired until 1997, when it ended for good after seven Emmy nominations, 11 seasons, 259 episodes and plenty of controversy. How have the main characters changed since then and what are they doing today?
No TV series has ever featured a character as controversial as Al Bunda. Ed O’Neill played a grumpy and chauvinistic shoe salesman who misbehaved with women, was a regular at the local strip club and even founded the anti-feminist group NO MA’AM. And precisely because his character was not portrayed as a perfect father or husband, Married with Obligations was a huge success with viewers.
After the show’s cancellation, O’Neill received a number of offers, but his biggest role was as another family patriarch, the uncool Jay Pritchett, in the wildly popular sitcom That Modern Family, which aired from 2009 to 2020. For his work on the comedy, he earned three an Emmy nomination as well as four Screen Actors Guild Awards. He also starred in the films The Bone Collector, Vincent’s World and The Last Shift and provided voices for the Disney films Ralf the Robber and Finding Dory.
Katey Sagal played Al Bundy’s wife, Peggy Bundy, a character rarely seen in 1990s television series. After all, few series depicted the wife as a couch potato who watches TV, doesn’t take care of the kids, eats sweets and steals her husband’s money so she can buy whatever she likes. On the occasion of the show’s 30th anniversary in 2017, Sagal confided to ABC News that she never believed that Married by Commitment would become such a hit: “I remember reading the script and thinking, ‘It’s hysterically funny, but nobody’s going to watch it because it’s so off.’ They will cancel us immediately.” But the series on the screens finally lasted for eleven seasons.
Most recently, Sagal appeared in the 2021 series Rebel as the lead character Annie ‘Rebel’ Bello. Her notable roles include Cate Hennessy on 8 Simple Rules… for Dating My Teenage Daughter, Leela on the animated series Futurama, and Gemma Teller Morrow on FX’s Gang Law, for which she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. Sagal has been married since 2004 to her third husband, Kurt Sutter, who is the creator of the series Gang Law.
Unlike the rest of the family, Bud in the series was smart and even excelled in school, but even his “all A’s” didn’t help him with women. Thanks to the sitcom, Faustino made his mark and won several roles in the series The X-Files, Vincent’s World and Bad Samaritans. In 2009, he created the web series Star-ving, in which he portrayed himself as an actor striving for success. Faustino has also dabbled in dubbing and is best known as the voice of the animated character Mako in The Legend of Korra and Helia in the Winx Club reboot.
Faustino was also involved in the effort to renew Married with Commitment and in 2016 for E! stated that all the actors are in favor but there are some legal difficulties standing in the way. After that, all efforts to restart the series failed. In 2015, Faustino and his fiancee Lindsay Bronson welcomed a daughter, Ava Maria.
Applegate played Kelly Bundy, a promiscuous and stupid blonde who was often mocked by her family. The actress has one of the best acting careers compared to her colleagues from the series Married with Obligations. Among her most notable roles are appearances in the series Friends, where she portrayed Rachel Green’s sister, Amy, and in the series Jesse, Samantha Who? and her most recent starring role is in Netflix’s Death Do Us Usher, playing Jen Harding. Among her most recognized film roles are the films The Book of Life, Crazy Vacation, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Mothers on the Move.
Applegate married musician Martyn LeNoble in 2013, with whom she has a daughter, Sadie Grace. Unlike her co-star David Faustino, when asked about a possible Married by Commitment reboot in 2020, she told Variety: “No one wants to see us do it again. Look, no, I’m twenty kilos heavier and forty years older than I was in the series. I’m not going to put on that crazy tight dress right now. No, that won’t happen.” In 2021, Applegate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and often shared her experiences with the disease with her fans on Twitter.
Sources: People, TVInsider, Variety