May 2017


Married With Children Turns 30
Why Peg Bundy (Katey Sagal)
is Our Hero
Article By: Samantha Byrne Leyte

I'm sure that 95% of the guys out there have been stuck on,in their fantasy mind when they were 11 or 12,that woman of about 45 or 50 years old at your Mom and Dad's Bridge Club,Church Socials or The American Legion. She always seemed to have the coolest clothes and hairstyles. Every time you saw her she had on at least 300 dollars worth of clothes and cosmetics. We all remember Mrs.Vernon Wurmer in Animal House for example. That kind of woman would be tall,with teardrop frame sunglasses and earrings,a London Fog Coat and all kinds of Beauty Parlor touches with big hair,long nails and makeup. Peg Bundy on The "Married With Children"TV series is that kind of woman. You wonder where Peg gets the glitzy gowns and lingerie and the 100 dollar big shirts and blouses on husband Al's Dagwood Bumstead salary. And what about Peg's 1966 B-52 hairstyle? I own 5 wigs in that basic style. The Ronettes, Dusty Springfield, Cher, Cyndi Lauper, Amy Winehouse, Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson and Marianne Faithfull all wore hairstyles and clothes something like Peg Bundy. Married with Children isn't on the air anymore. It aired from 1987 to 1997. Logo has been showing reruns of the show from time to time and TBS still shows morning reruns. There is You Tube and also a couple of websites where you can download all of the Married With Children shows. You can get 'em in DVD.

All the starring characters in Married With Children are interesting(Ed O'Neil, David Faustino, Amanda Bearse, Christina Appelgate, Ted Mckinley, Katey Sagal). And there are 10-15 basic support players who come in and out of the scripts from 1987 to 1997. They were all hilarious. I'm a firm believer that both TV and Rock n Roll should be fun. I'll say a few words about Katey Sagal who played Peg Bundy in Married With Children. Katey's Dad was a big time TV producer and director. Katey did some voice overs for a Twilight Zone episode circa 1960. Katey has experienced a shitload of bad luck. Her father died when she was in her late teens and it seems she didn't get along with her Dad's second wife. Katey went on the road and I think she was confident all the while that she had picked up plenty of knowledge and advice about acting so she could get work without too much hassle. That was in the late 60s and the early 70s. Days of hitchhiking and day-glo painted buses and vans. Katey is a great singer and she worked with Bob Dylan, Etta James, Bette Midler and The Band With No Name. Katey Sagal has doubtless slept on park benches and waited tables for years. She got a part as a regular cast member in a 1985 sitcom starring Mary Tyler Moore. The show only lasted for a few episodes. I saw Katey in the show and no bullshit,I had a feeling she'd be back. Then I forgot about it. Married With Children had been in syndication for a month or two in 1987. I finally sat down to an episode and it was that same actress as in 1985. Katey Sagal. Her sisters Jean and Liz Sagal also appeared on the television show Double Trouble....

Sons of Anarchy and The Bastard Executioner are exceptional TV shows. It's plain to see Katey can do drama. That,of course,doesn't mean the cast,the entire production staff, the writers,etc. didn't go to a lot of sweat and bother to jam pack each and every portion of Married With Children with all of the unashamed lowbrow yuks they could conjure up. And it was a time of high fashion. Who else but Peg Bundy gets a Japanese pedicure and foot bath,gets her hair done,buys herself some hoop earrings,and a gold watch all on a 1989 Sears Credit Card Al was dumb enough to give to her? I ask you. I'm a drag queen. I like Men and Women. My interests in women are pretty much platonic. Even though Married With Children hasn't been on the air since 1997,I am very fascinated with Peg Bundy's eccentric look I am always interested in seeing what she's wearing. She looks almost exactly the way I always wanted to look in my mind's eye when I was about 8 or 9 years old. In each new episode of the show Peg is wearing about $300 to $500 worth of high end "bad girl in the parking lot and under the bleachers at the football game" stuff. That's the way I always wanted to look.

Peg would wear the most interesting formal wear with glitter or sequins in many of the episodes, This formal wear I'm talking about is top notch but it's not overtly revealing. Then again,you wonder where did she get all that stuff on Al's salary? It can't be the 1989 Sears Credit Card and it can't be the 1995 TJ Maxx Coupons. So then,who knows? Burlington Coat Factory? An interesting thing about the Peg Bundy character is that she simply doesn't let anything about herself or her life sink below a certain woman's standard. She's incredibly nice to her kids and both Peg and Al always supported Kelly and Bud in all of their battles. My parents were that way with us and people were jealous. As if it was any of those people's business. Peg and Al also give Kelly and Bud the go ahead for outlandish projects and schemes. The shows featured incredible guest stars from Larry Storch to Spencer Davis. Katey Sagal will have a recurring role in The "Big Bang Theory" as the Mom of the young woman who plays the waitress across the hallway who's tight with Johnny Galecki. BTW, many call the Bundy's dysfunctional. There's people who say things like that about the Bundy's and those same people ain't so fucking successful themselves.

But sometimes we lose sight of the truth about what The Bundy's and the heartfelt message everybody who worked with the show was trying to reveal for all to see-Married with Children is about as serious as Freddie and The Dreamers! I'm not in love with Katey Sagal. She is my favorite actress and Peg Bundy is my favorite TV sitcom character years after Married With Children went off the air. Katey and Peg are among my heroes. And when you're a sissy you very often have women heroes. I had a platonic relationship with a girl who would definitely remind you of the late Gemma Teller Morrow who was brilliantly portrayed by Ms. Sagal on "Sons of Anarchy" for at least five years. She died in 2005. I first met her in 1969. This girl was a mentor and friend for years.

Okay,I'll cut out the violins! BTW, Peg Bundy and Katey Sagal takes the world at her own rate and she seems to shirk and cut corners on a lot of shit that she's supposed to be doing. Like housework,etc. You don't mind watching it on TV,because it's Peg Bundy and you wish you could get away with that kind of bullshit yourself! Peg is very honorable and she stands by Al always. Al is very low energy and most of the time he's unresponsive to Peg's advances. She still sticks by him. I don't know why Al got written into the scripts that way,but that's the show. If the ride wasn't bumpy once in awhile and if the 62 Chevy had air conditioning then maybe there's be no plot and no story.

As I mentioned,Peg is sometimes shown as coming in from a day's shopping with all kinds of clothes and stuff that you wonder how in the hell can she ever afford it? I mean,it's hundreds of dollars worth of stuff each time! One thing I like about the TV portrayal of The Bundys is they're working class. They've got a nice "suburban" type of house and you wonder how can they afford it? In spite of some of their excesses and indulgances,Bundys aren't effete. They are very intelligent but not exactly academic. Getting down to it,I was always very facsinated with the fantastic Peg Bundy 1966 B-52 hairstyle. I had a bunch of cosmetology equipment and supplies in 1975 to 1978 and I used to give my own natural 18 inch long hair kind of a Gloria Stienem or a Ronnie Spector with Rollers,teasing and lots of Aqua Net. I was forced to start doing wigs because I was burning my hair with too much frost and tip and miss clairol. There were several different variations on the Peg Bundy bug hair with the "hump". They had differing amounts of body wave and some of the variations included various wiglets and extensions. I think a couple of them were actually 100% wigs. All of these Peg Bundy big hair B-52s were with only minor variations,a flaming red in color.

When I go out in public to clubs and bars where any shmoe can see me walking around in drag,I tend to go for sort of a Cousin Serena or a Peg Bundy motif. I have other looks,too. Delta Burke. I sometimes wear very dominatrix styles such as faux fur artificial fur coats and womens size 12 cowboy boots. Of all the looks in my arsenal,the Peg Bundy look gets the best responses and the most questions. Such as "excuse me,my freind and I were wondering where do you buy your wigs". I tell them the truth that most of them come from Fifi Mahony's on Royal Street in the quarter in New Orleans. I've also bought wigs from Empress Bianca in Las Vegas and from a couple of storefronts. For several years I have enjoyed a family styled relationship with the people at Fifi Mahony's. I have been a Fifi's customer since 2008. Boy,that 1966 B-52 Peg Bundy job. If I could've had hair like that back then I would've been on cloud nine. But it wasn't to be,at least for awhile yet. 1966 was a cool year but it was also cold war era. It's kind of a myth that there were such large numbers of hippies in those days. There were a few but not that many,actually,until the 70s.

I play music in drag. I play my own style and I use some stolen riffs,borrowed chords and note clusters but I don't like to copy records. I play a 1952 Les Paul through a small Marshall. I like Garage Rock,Heavy Rock,Blues,Punk Rock,Soul Music,British Invasion, Rockabilly, Surf Music, Girl Groups, Country Music, FreeJazz. I don't move around much when I'm onstage. I like it if people like my clothes and stuff but I try to keep on playing when I'm up there. I dress often and not just for guitar playing. My music isn't exactly Punk Rock but I have borrowed the 60's Top 40/Punk Rock thing of trying to keep the songs down to 2 or 3 minutes. 9 out of 10 players(including some of the best)aren't good at extended 15 minute solos. Period. My stuff has been played on SIRIUSXM and I'll have a new CD out next year. I saw a special video with sounds of Katey Sagal with a couple of guys from her band about a month ago on Facebook. Normally,I'm not that crazy about the mellow folks from the superstar pool. I mean,I like heavy rock and the blues yet I've always admired people like Jayne County and people like The New York Dolls and David Bowie. But Katey,along with these two guys from her band,Dave and Bob,didn't come on like they were better than the people in the audience and they sounded great. Katey's singing reflected everything from Koko Taylor to The Carter Family to Islamic Chants. Katey .... If you're thinking that you'd enjoy "going outside in a dress"(as RuPaul puts it)and you know who you are out there and that's the kind of stuff you'd like to try doing,it's not as scary as you might otherwise believe. If you take the time to get ready properly with all the necessary nipping, tucking, makeup, clothes, jewelry and hair and if you can do a fairly good job of walking and talking like a woman,you'd be amazed. People aren't that inquisitive or observant. If you're dolled up like a female they'll assume you are one! So if you want to break into it slowly,maybe go for a quick walk down the block in drag. Maybe you'll find a woman with big hair and a big 80s brocade coat right around the corner by some bushes smoking a cigarette. When she notices you she'll say "I'm Peg and I'm married to Al. We live down the block. Don't tell Al and my kids you saw me smoking.Okay,Doll? Good boy." That's our Peggy!

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