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Katey Sagal starred in Married... with Children from 1987 to 1997 alongside Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate and David Faustino

By Eric Todisco
April 08, 2021 09:26 AM
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It's been over three decades since Married... with Children premiered, but Katey Sagal is still in disbelief that the sitcom achieved the success it did.

Appearing virtually on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wednesday, Sagal — who stars in the new ABC drama series Rebel — looked back on her role as Peggy Bundy in Married... with Children and shared when she realized that the show was a big-time hit for Fox.

"I think the first time we knew is when they bought me a wig," said Sagal, 67. "Because the first three years I would just do my own hair, and then all of a sudden they started dishing out money, like wigs are not cheap. They got me a wig."

Married... with Children aired for 11 seasons from 1987 to 1997 and followed the life of a suburban Chicago family, including Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill), his wife Peggy (Sagal), their daughter Kelly (Christina Applegate) and son Bud (David Faustino).

Katey Sagal
Katey Sagal
| Credit: Jimmy Kimmel Live
Ed O'Neill, Katey Sagal Married With Children
Ed O'Neill and Katey Sagal in Married with Children
| Credit: Columbia Pictures/Embassy Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

Speaking to Jimmy Kimmel, Sagal also recalled once attending a parade during a promo tour with her TV husband O'Neill, now 74, where they realized how many fans the Fox sitcom had attracted.

"I'll never forget Ed and I went on a promo tour and we went into some parade and there we are dressed as Peg and Al. It was wild," she explained. "We were waving and there were so many people there and we thought no one was going to really watch it because it was so irreverent and it was so not like anything else on TV. Which is why I thought I got the job, because I wasn't like anything else on TV."

"Yeah, it really took off," she said of the series. "Of course Fox played it three times a night right in a row. You couldn't miss it."

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Sagal previously reflected on Married... with Children for the show's 30th anniversary in 2017 during an interview with ABC News, reiterating that she did not think many people would tune into the sitcom at the start.

"I remember reading the script and thinking, 'This is hysterically funny, but no one will watch it because it's just too outside the box. We'll get cancelled immediately,'" she said. "It was on a network nobody had heard of."

Katey Sagal, Ed O'Neill Married With Children
Katey Sagal, Ed O'Neill in Married...with Children
| Credit: Columbia Pictures/Embassy Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

After Married... with Children, Sagal landed starring roles on Futurama and 8 Simple Rules. She went on to appear as Gemma Teller Morrow in FX's Sons of Anarchy, which earned her a Golden Globe back in 2011.

For her latest role, Sagal stars in Rebel as Annie Bello, whose life is loosely based on iconic legal clerk Erin Brockovich. The series also stars John Corbett, James Lesure, Tamala Jones and Andy Garcia.

"I'm playing a consumer advocate who fights for social justice at any cost in sort of a loud and rude kind of way," Sagal told Kimmel. "So it's loosely based and she has a family life that is sort of loosely based on her family life. It's broad strokes, but it's definitely inspired by Erin Brockovich who is amazing."

Rebel premieres Thursday (10 p.m. EST) on ABC.