Archie Bunker Chair - Amidst the millions of
objects at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. are two chairs that
once belonged to the blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor) and his
"Dingbat" wife Edith (Jean Stapleton) from the sitcom ALL IN THE
Archie and Edith's Chairs
The Bunker chairs were, in a way, ersatz thrones where Archie reigned as the
King of his Castle, and Edith to his right served as his Queen and housewife.
Archie's rickety, high-back wing chair was the bigger of the two and was a bone
of contention between Archie and Mike Stivic, Archie's "Meathead" son-in-law
(Rob Reiner) who competed to sit on it. But, in the end, Archie won the battle
and nestled his butt into the well-worn cushion of his favorite easy chair.
his regal roost Archie issued such commands as "Edith, get me a beer" and "Shut
up, Meathead!" On occasion, Archie offered up his chair to a special guest like
a old WWII buddy or a visiting celebrity like Sammy Davis, Jr.
On the episode
"Archie's Chair" (aired January 15, 1977) Mike Stivic accidentally broke
Archie's chair. Frantic to fix it, Mike sent the chair to Kressler's furniture
repair but it was mistakenly sold to artist/sculptor Elvin Lichtenrausch, who
incorporated the American Gothic chair into a modern art display replete with
table and swirled rainbow backdrop.
was on this episode that viewers learned that the stain's on the chair were made
by Schlitz Beer. Of course, the chair (with loose stuffing and shot springs) was
retrieved for the price or $400. The chair was being sold for $2500-3000.
TRIVIA NOTE: When the show's
producer Norman Lear thought ALL IN THE FAMILY was ending after the eighth
season, he donated the chair to the Smithsonian (National Museum of American
History Behring Center) on September 18, 1978 through the efforts of Indiana
Democratic Representative John Brademas, an ALL IN THE FAMILY devotee.
discovered the show was renewed for a ninth season, he had to spend thousands of
dollars to have replicas made for the next season. The original chairs had been
purchased from a Goodwill Store for about $8 by the prop department.
No. 111 "Et Tu Dante" of the syndicated action adventure TEAM KNIGHT RIDER/SYN/1997
F.L.A.G. agent Kyle Stewart (Brixton Karnes) destroys Archie Bunker's chair
while searching for a bomb planted by a madman who is destroying Washington
If you see a chair or piece of furnishing on a TV show that looks enticing
and you just have to have one, try contacting "Props
for Today," a 100,000 square foot Manhattan furniture warehouse
which rents furniture to TV set designers for such shows as COSBY, GUIDING
LIGHT, LAW & ORDER and SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and sells duplicates (and sometimes
the original) of such items to the public.
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