When Married with Children began, Bundy neighbor Marcy was married to Steve Rhoades, but he was later replaced with new husband Jefferson D’Arcy. One of the most beloved sitcoms ever, and the show that truly launched the fledgling FOX network in 1987, Married with Children is also probably a show that couldn’t be made today. Much like character Al Bundy, Married with Children had no time for political correctness and worrying about hurt feelings, which likely wouldn’t fly in today’s “cancel culture” environment.
Funnily enough though, Married with Children was already controversial when it was originally on the air, with an infamous attempt by a detractor to get it thrown off the air just drawing in more viewers to find out what the fuss was all about. Whether it would fly today or not, the entire run of Married with Children is at least currently available on Hulu, enabling both longtime fans and new viewers to see how well the show holds up to modern times.
During its 11-season run, Married with Children only ever had one major cast change, that being the exit of Marcy’s first husband Steve Rhoades (David Garrison) after season 4, and subsequent entrance of Jefferson D’Arcy (Ted McGinley) in his place. Here’s why that alteration was made.
Why Married With Children Replaced Steve With Jefferson
When Married with Children began, Steve Rhoades clearly looked down his nose at Al Bundy and his family, as he and Marcy were much more well-to-do. He and Al became friends over the course of the series, but they still always had a bit of antagonistic relationship, due to being such different people. While actor David Garrison enjoyed his years working on Married with Children, his first passion was live theatre, and he also lived in New York City, and was tired of traveling back and forth to Los Angeles. So after four seasons as a regular, Garrison wanted to leave, and arranged a deal to buyout the remainder of his contract.
Jefferson D’Arcy (Ted McGinley) was subsequently brought in to replace Steve as Marcy’s husband, and in some ways freshened up the show, since Jefferson was much more like Al in mindset and often willing to go along with his wacky schemes. Instead of a foil, Jefferson was more of Al’s sidekick at times. Garrison didn’t part on bad terms though, and made several guest appearances as Steve in further Married with Children seasons, which often found Marcy torn between her two husbands. Naturally, Steve and Jefferson never got along, as in addition to their Marcy connection, they had absolutely nothing in common.