Archibald "Archie" Bunker is a fictional character in the long-running and top-rated American television sitcom All in the Family and its spin-off Archie Bunker's Place. He is a veteran of World War II, reactionary, bigoted, conservative blue-collar worker and family man, played to acclaim by Carroll O'Connor. The Bunker character was first seen by the American public when All in the Family premiered in January 1971. In 1979, the show was retooled and re-named Archie Bunker’s Place, finally going off the air in 1983. Bunker lived in the borough of Queens in New York City. TV Guide named Archie the greatest television character of all time.
When first introduced on All in the Family in 1971, Archie was the head of a family consisting of his wife Edith (Jean Stapleton), his adult daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers), and his son-in-law, college student Michael "Mike" Stivic (Rob Reiner), (with whom Archie disagreed on virtually everything; he frequently characterized Mike as a "dumb Polack", and usually addressed him as "Meathead"). During the show's first five seasons, Mike and Gloria were living with Archie and Edith, so that Mike could put himself through college. (They later moved to their own home, though it turned out to be next-door, allowing Archie and Mike to interact nearly as much as the had when they were living in the same house.)
All in the Family got many of its laughs by playing on Archie's bigotry, although the dynamic tension between Archie and liberal Mike provided an ongoing political and social sounding board for a variety of topics.
The inspiration for Archie Bunker was Alf Garnett, the character from the BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part, on which All in the Family was based. Archie, in turn, was an inspiration for Eric Cartman of South Park.
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