Al Bundy is a fictional character and protagonist from the American television show Married…with Children. He’s played by Ed O’Neil. Recognized as a distinctly comedic and tragic figure, Bundy is more of an anti-hero than sitcom characters like Full House’s Danny Tanner. He’s indebted, cheap, frequently unhappy, lustful, a father of two, and often pissed off at his wife. To be fair to him, though, he’s always there for his family when it counts, often showing a great deal of self-sacrifice, compassion, and strength.
Al Bundy is a man who constantly feels regret. Regret about the turn his life has taken and regret that his football career ended after high school. Al only married his wife because he was drunk and he’s embarrassed by his two kids: a promiscuous, unintelligent daughter, and an intelligent, but horny son. Bundy lives in Chicago and works as a shoe salesman for women. Because he only makes minimum wage, he hates his job and often harasses his customers. As a result, he loses his job multiple times throughout the series. A running gag in the show is Bundy’s frequent dismissals of his wife Peggy. He never wants to sleep with her or spend time with her.
However, despite his long, long list of flaws, Bundy has a definite love for his family. Whenever he comes into sudden wealth, he spends it on his wife and kids, showing them a positive side of himself for once. In another episode, Bundy goes frantic when his car goes missing not because he loves his car, but because a picture of him with his family was left in the car’s trunk. These simple gestures of love set Bundy up as a more tragic character, one that would be more loving and kind if he wasn’t so disappointed in his own personal failures.