The Hilarious Gift Married...With Children Producers Gave David Garrison On His Last Day Of Filming

"Married...With Children" was one of the most iconic sitcoms to grace American television, and also one of the longest on air, per TV Insider. Kicking off its first season in the spring of 1987 as Fox's premiere primetime show, audiences were caught off guard by its candor–some delightfully so, and others, not so much. 

We can list plenty of reasons why we still love "Married...With Children," not least of which is its superstar cast. Featuring talent such as Ed O'Neill as Al Bundy, Katey Sagal as Peggy, Christina Applegate as Kelly, and David Faustino as Bud, the sitcom had a winning core crew. But with a show crafted to shake up the masses, its characters would certainly be prone to shake things up, too. 

One such example is the case of David Garrison, who played the Bundys' next-door neighbor, Steve Rhoades. Garrison's seemingly sudden departure from the show meant that his character would also abruptly leave his on-screen wife, Marcy D'Arcy (Amanda Bearse), per ScreenRant.

Garrison earned prestigious Broadway credits

On the show, Rhoades left Marcy to become a forest ranger, per Ended TV Series. But why did David Garrison Leave "Married...With Children?" Fans of Garrison might have been surprised to learn that he bought out his contract with the sitcom to pursue work in live theater, per ScreenRant. But before he joined the cast, Garrison earned prestigious Broadway and Off-Broadway credits playing roles in "Wicked" and "Titanic," among others, per Broadway World. His performance as Groucho Marx in "A Day in Hollywood / A Night in Ukraine" even earned him a Tony nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical in 1980, though the Tony would ultimately be awarded to Mandy Patinkin his role as Che for "Evita," per Broadway World.

Garrison then began his tenure with "Married...With Children" in 1987, where he was the first actor to be signed to the show, per getTV. He told the site of the show and its creators, Ron Leavitt and Michael Moye, "None of us had any notion Married would become such a hit."

David Garrison's parting gift

After four seasons, David Garrison decided to leave "Married...With Children" to return to theater. Citing a difficult commute to Los Angeles from New York, and a savvy "leave them wanting more" attitude, he said, Garrison left the show on good terms, per getTV. But of his beginnings in Broadway, Garrison noted that show creators Ron Leavitt and Michael Moye "liked to tease me about that." Garrison's departure was a chance to tease him once more.

Per CheatSheet, as a parting gift, Garrison was given a blown-up mugshot photo of Rhoades from Season 4, Episode 10, "At The Zoo," captioned: "Gotta sing, gotta dance, gotta f****** starve to death." 

Garrison returned to the sitcom from time to time, per ScreenRant. The Fox show was then canceled in 1997 after 11 seasons, per the Los Angeles Times. Garrison continued to pick up roles in television and has also worked with the Merola Opera Program to stage their production of Dominick Argento's "Postcard from Morocco." Hopefully, Garrison is still singing, dancing, and enjoying many wonderful meals in Manhattan.