A few years back, David Spade made Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, a movie about a former child actor who’s struggling with adulthood. David Faustino (who grew up in front of our eyes as Bud Bundy on Married with Children) is doing something similar, but is making it far more personal. He stars in a web comedy series called Star-ving, a parodied version of his own life. One of the recent episodes provides a special treat for fans of the Bundys — the first cast reunion in six years.
Back in 1987, the little-known FOX network had big aspirations, to compete with ABC, CBS, and NBC. A few nights each week, FOX filled their schedule with very different shows than people could find on “the big three” networks. Because they weren’t a “real” network yet, they could take more chances with their programming. One of the network’s most successful shows was Married with Children.
Ed O’Neill, Katey Sagal, Christina Applegate, and Faustino starred as the members of the unique sitcom family known as the Bundys. Al (O’Neill) is a dad/husband with a caustic wit and a penchant for attending strip clubs. Peg (Sagal) is his sex-starved, lazy wife who always wears high heels, spandex pants, and teased hair. Daughter Kelly (Applegate) is even more dim-witted than her mother while son Bud (Faustino) seems to have picked up the worst features of both of his parents. Other regular performers include Amanda Bearse, Ted McGinley, David Garrison, Harold Sylvester, E.E. Bell, Dan Tullis Jr., Kevin Curran, and Tom McCleister.
When the show closed after 259 episodes in 1997, Faustino’s career seemed to end with it. While the other castmembers went on to leading roles in their own shows, he landed occasional guest star roles. This inspired him and Corin Nemec, a close friend and fellow former child star (Parker Lewis Can’t Lose), to develop a web series based on Faustino’s frustrating, post-sitcom life. The Sony-owned site, Crackle, is committed to 13 episodes of Star-ving that run less than 10 minutes each.
In Star-ving, Faustino parodies himself as an out-of-work, freakishly-short, financially-broke, and perennially suicidal actor. He owns a porn shop that was left to him by a deranged fan. On top of all that, his wife has left him for his neighbor, rap star Coolio.
Aside from Nemic, the web-series is littered with appearances by friends of the duo who seem to enjoy the opportunity to let loose and shed their TV-clean personas. Guest stars include Gilbert Gottfried (Aladdin), Ed Asner (Lou Grant), and Growing Pains’ Alan Thicke, Jeremy Miller, and Tracey Gold.
For those who don’t mind vulgar comedy, the fourth episode features a reunion of the former Bundy family. It seems that the studio is making a big-screen version of Married with Children with the original cast, including “Buck the Dog.” Faustino reads about it and is elated, believing this is his big chance for his big comeback. But, when he attends the table read, he learns that actor Seth Green (Four Kings) is now playing Bud and Faustino has only the minor role of “pizza guy.” In real life, Faustino and Green are frequently mistaken for each other.
While Married with Children pushed the boundaries of acceptable network humor, Star-ving is meant to be an “anti-Entourage” series, showing a raw Hollywood life. Though more than 10 years have passed, Faustino hasn’t strayed very far from the style of humor that he grew up with.
While the reunion was being filmed, Entertainment Tonight visited the set to get the TV family’s thoughts on being back together. Then, if you don’t mind a bit of strong language, be sure to check out the actual Bundy reunion in episode four of Star-ving.
Image courtesy Crackle.com