Who they are: Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor) is the grouchy, right-wing World War II vet, his lovely wife Edith (Jean Stapleton) often acts as his mediator in arguments and their daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers) disappointed pops by marrying the hippie Michael Stivic (Rob Reiner), often referred to as "Meathead" by Archie. What the kids like: Gloria shared the hippie beliefs of her husband Michael, and spent much of her time working in retail while Michael attended college and grad school. Gloria did her best to break up fights between Michael and Archie, and ultimately became a stay-at-home mom. Yet Michael relished his arguments with Archie as well, often hoping to challenge Archie's beliefs with some '60s idealism. When the kids live at home while Michael goes to college, the barbs fly fast, with the women eventually coming to the rescue. Archie is something of a bigot, often calling Michael a "Meathead" or a "Polark." Yet for all the comedic tension, Michael and Archie simply couldn't resit sharing their opinions on current events, be it Nixon or draft-dodging. What the parents can't get enough of: For Archie, it's simply engaging in arguments with anyone who doesn't share his beliefs. It's what gets him through the day.
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