Archie Bunker manages to make us laugh even through dark times. This clip shows him giving a eulogy at Stretch’s funeral. He managed to pay respect and celebrate someone he clearly loved with awkward and uncomfortable humor.
As Archie enters the funeral, he is confused because it is clearly a Jewish ceremony. He had no idea that his friend was Jewish. The clip shows how Archie repeatedly puts his foot in his mouth in the most lovable ways.
Given very little time to recoup from learning this new fact about Stretch, Archie is called up to give his eulogy. His face shows he struggles – not only processing the death but also remembering the Jewish jokes he made around Stretch. On top of all this, he realizes the written eulogy is no longer appropriate, and Archie is forced to improvise.
The clip showcases humor that many would not dare to include on TV today. Viewers commented on this fact, yet many noted they were Jewish and did not find the material offensive.
Archie Bunker was a character who simply lived life in the context of not knowing anything different or better. Perhaps characters like him allowed society to analyze issues and grow together.
Archie’s eulogy shows that love can transcend differences. It was not about having the “right” jokes or material; this was an opportunity to simply showcase the love shared between friends.
There are many moments in life that provide an opportunity to learn and grow. As Archie eulogized his best friend, he was given this opportunity and seized it whole-heartedly. His words brought the audience to tears from both laughing and crying.