All in the Family

Season 4 Episode 10

Archie in the Cellar

Aired Unknown Nov 17, 1973 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • Archie has the house to himself for the weekend as Michael and Gloria leave for a vacation and Edith leaves for a baby shower. Right after they leave Archie accidentally locks himself in the basement. Archie finds a bottle of vodka and....

    "Archie in the Cellar" is the funniest episode of the entire series. The classic episode "Sammy's Visit" is a very close second. The late Carrol O'Connor carries this episode for all intents and purposes and does an excellent job. The scenes of Archie recording his last will and testament are very well done. You will be laughing and you might find your heart bleeding for Archie. This episode concludes with definitely the most hilarious scene of the whole series. When the man from the oil company enters, Archie's reaction to him will have you laughing long after the episode ends.
  • This episode revolves around Archie being locked in the cellar of his house for a weekend while the family is away. Confronted with the cold of the cellar Archie indulges in a bottle of Gin he finds and hilarity ensues.

    This episode of All in the Family ranks as one of the funniest things I have ever seen on television or in the movies. The humor of the episode rests in its subtle and somewhat silly exploration of Archie’s character when he is confronted with the prospect of death. While Archie only imagines the prospect of death in his drunken state, the writers allow us to get a sense of Archie’s true character in a purely amusing way. As with all great AITF episodes the humor is very tongue in cheek.

    I have shown it to many of my friends and those who are not familiar with AITF are a bit confused as to what I find so amusing about this episode. Those who are familiar with the show however laugh in hysterics along with me. A great deal of the humor is tied up in the closing gags and to give them away would take away greatly from the effectivness of the episode. So watch this one, and I guarantee that if you love all in the Family, you will be utterly thrilled with this episode.
  • Funniest episode EVER!

    This All in the Family episode is the BEST ONE EVER! Archie was so funny this time. He gives a good point, too. Nobody wants to be locked in the cellar with only a vodka bottle for survival. It was really funny when he was drunk, too. He believed that the workman was God. Carroll O' Connor sure is a great actor for Archie Bunker. He can yell like a Bunker, act like a Bunker, hurt like a Bunker, and just BE a Bunker. His work will be remembered for years to come...especially after his acting on All in the Family. Rest in peace, Carroll.
  • A seminal episode in establishing the strengths and weaknesses of Archie Bunker.

    A series of mishaps results in Archie being trapped in his own basement.

    Having watched almost all episodes of "All in the Family" when they first aired, this one struck me as most memorable and real, it has a lot of the sitcom schtick setting up the situation and at the same time it drives straight into the thinking of the main protagonist.

    It's probably a good idea that Archie becomes drunk as part of the plotline, it allows the writers to investigate a "stream of conscience" that makes Archie Bunker more than "America's favorite bigot". What results are solitary musings that range across the board - from anger and fear to wise and practical - and all paving new ground for the character's thoughts while not negating anything the viewer has seen before. At this relatively early stage in the program, people can still hate Archie but realize there is something underneath, before the later pressures by O'Connor himself to make the character TOO complex and nuanced.

    The staging works here, Archie is well set-up barking into a tape recorder, and of course, his resolve to accept his demise dovetails perfectly into the series as a whole.