How Ed O'Neill Helped Christina Applegate Snag Her Role In Married... With Children

Like many sitcoms of the time, "Married... With Children" took a while to find the perfect actors to play the Bundy family. According to Vulture, comedians Sam Kinison and Roseanne Barr were initially considered for the roles of Al and Peggy. However, despite not having to audition, both turned the opportunity down. Kinison would go on to guest star in the series in 1989 as Al's guardian angel (via YouTube), while Barr fronted her own successful sitcom with John Goodman on ABC.

The creators of "Married... With Children" eventually found their Al and Peggy through Ed O'Neill and Katey Sagal. O'Neill only had to walk through the door for them to realize they'd found their patriarch (via YouTube), while Sagal already had Peggy's iconic look in mind while reading the script, so she attended the audition "all dolled up," as she told ABC News.

As for the Bundy kids, it's hard to think of them not being portrayed by Christina Applegate and David Faustino. But it wasn't until O'Neill intervened in the show's early days that they landed their parts.

Tina Caspary and Hunter Carson were originally cast as Kelly and Bud Bundy

When Fox had found their Al and Peggy Bundy, they decided to cast Tina Caspary and Hunter Carson as Kelly and Bud Bundy (via Vulture). Before Caspary got the role, she starred in "Annie" as a dancer, "Growing Pains" as Jamie, and the TV movie "News at Eleven" (via IMDb). She also played Barbara in the teen rom-com "Can't Buy Me Love" with Patrick Dempsey and Amanda Peterson. As for Carson, he'd had roles in "Paris, Texas," "Invaders from Mars," and "Faerie Tale Theatre" (via IMDb).

Like the unaired "Full House" pilot with John Posey, there's also an unaired pilot of Caspary and Carson as the Bundy kids (via YouTube). For those familiar with the actual pilot of "Married... With Children," the initial one plays out exactly the same – Bud sneaking up behind Kelly and pretending to kill her (via YouTube). Comparing the two side by side, you can really see a difference in chemistry – not only between Kelly and Bud but with Peggy, too.

Christina Applegate still adores her Married... with Children family

Despite filming an entire pilot, Ed O'Neill felt that Tina Caspary and Hunter Carson just weren't working as Kelly and Bud on "Married... With Children." According to Direct Expose, the actor asked the show's producers for them to be recast, which is how Christina Applegate and David Faustino ended up playing the Bundy kids.

But Applegate wasn't so sure about portraying Kelly at first. "I was a dark kid," she told the Los Angeles Times. "I always thought serious projects were going to be my jam. But the show really helped me to let go of being so serious all the time." She's also proud of how "Married... with Children" managed to turn "the table of the traditional sitcom," as Fox didn't initially view the show as a success. "We were left alone to our own accord to do what we wanted to do and I think that's why we were able to get away with as much as we could."

As for revisiting the Bundy family, Applegate is all for it. "I would love to hang out with my family – that's my original family," the actress told the Daily Beast. "Whenever we're together we pick up where we left off, and it's a really special bond that I don't have with anyone else."