All in the Family was massively popular in its early All in the family 49th anniversary 1971-2020 thank you for the memories shirt 1970s heyday. It was popular in a way that no TV show today is; its popularity was in part a function of the fact that there were only three commercial networks in the US then (and also because it was a very funny show). As has been mentioned, it was number 1 in the Nielsen ratings for five years — and at the time, to be #1 in the Nielsen ratings meant that about or over a third of the televisions in the United States were tuned in to your show. No regular weekly series on the air today comes even remotely close to matching that figure. A few AitF episodes in early 1972 had over 40% of TVs tuned in. With that popularity came constant media references, countless water-cooler, and dinner-table and schoolyard discussions, and even a not insubstantial satirical “Archie Bunker for President” campaign in 1972.
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In short, in the early 1970s, it was massively All in the family 49th anniversary 1971-2020 thank you for the memories shirt Times about Mad Men or The Sopranos, a comparison to the breadth and scope of its reach is of course laughable. And most importantly why that show wouldn’t make it past the censors today is because it was before everybody was so damned thin-skinned and PC. Nowhere on today’s network TV will you find a sitcom that liberally uses terms such as nigger, kyke, or faggot. It just couldn’t happen. And you know what the best part of All In The Family was? We laughed. We identified with a lovable bigot because deep inside, there was a little Archie Bunker in all of us so, in essence, we were laughing at ourselves and our shortcomings.