Al Bundy may have had the misfortune of being a poor shoe salesman, but Ed O’Neill scored a giant payday—including a sexy Porsche—for portraying him.
In an exclusive interview with Page Six, the Modern Family actor looks back at his 10-year run on the hit FOX series Married…with Children and reveals that he didn’t earn the big bucks until after the eighth season.
O’Neill tells the outlet that he and his manager at the time, Bernie Brillstein, had the upper hand going into contract negotiations with Columbia TV (the show’s producers). The rest of the cast had already signed on to return to the series, and the pair knew that O’Neill was irreplaceable as Al.
According to Page Six, Columbia exec Gary Lieberthal had offered O’Neill a huge amount to re-sign his contract with the show, however, it wasn’t quite what he and Brillstein had in mind. When they initially turned down the initial offer, Lieberthal freaked out and repeatedly yelled: “What the f—k are you talking about?”
One week later, O’Neill was informed that Brillstein had worked out a new salary for the actor—and that he could expect a little something extra as well.
O’Neill recalled the exchanged quite well. He remembered Brillstein telling Lieberthal: “You know the kid drives a Mustang, it’s not even a convertible…The number one guy on your number one show in a f–king Mustang in your parking lot? Looks bad.”
Lieberthal asked if O’Neill wanted a Corvette, but Brillstein proposed something different: a black Porsche Carrera 4, which was $95,000 at the time. “It’s on the showroom floor,” Brillstein reportedly told Lieberthal. “Hey, take him over there on Monday. Have him come in early, drive him over, get him that car. Be that guy Gary, be that f–king guy.”
That Monday, O’Neill drove his new ride off the lot. (Perhaps when rumors swirled about his future fate on Modern Family, he was looking to upgrade to a Cayenne?)