All in the Family is a sitcom that originally ran for nine seasons. The ground-breaking show revolved around a working-class family, the Bunkers. All in the Family brought up important topics like racism, the Vietnam war, and women’s rights.
The sitcom, though full of laughs, brought up these issues often showing Archie, the patriarch of the family, behaving badly and learning from his foibles.
In this clip, Archie introduces his family to Sammy Davis Jr. Davis Jr was a big star for many decades, certainly a household name in the 1970s when All in the Family aired.
Archie’s wife, Edith, is nervous when introduced to the star, giggling and very starstruck. Then Archie introduces Davis Jr to his daughter, Gloria. He then says, here’s her husband, Mike.
Davis Jr shakes the hand of the Black man next to Gloria, which draws a lot of laughs since the audience knows Archie’s daughter is married to the man on the other side of her. Archie takes Davis Jr’s hand away from Lionel, his neighbor.
Archie goes on to make sure Davis Jr knows Gloria is married to a white man. The character of Archie is often thought of as a lovable bigot who struggles to adapt to changing times.
Because of this, when one of Archie’s friends asks Sammy Davis Jr for a photo, Davis Jr agrees, only if he can be in the photo with Archie. When the friend snaps the picture, Davis Jr kisses Archie on the cheek and runs out of the house. A shocked Archie stands frozen, not sure of what to do. The audience howls with laughter, knowing that Archie, who was so excited to meet a movie star had a problem with being kissed by one.