All in the Family (1971–1979)
8.9/10
141
2 user 1 critic

The Draft Dodger 

It's Christmas again and the Bunker's are preparing for their holiday meal with Archie's buddy Pinky. Mike's old friend David Brewster drops by unexpectedly and Mike is concerned because he... See full summary »

Director:

Paul Bogart

Writers:

Norman Lear (developed by), Jay Moriarty | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Carroll O'Connor ... Archie Bunker
Jean Stapleton ... Edith Bunker
Rob Reiner ... Michael 'Meathead' Stivic
Sally Struthers ... Gloria Bunker-Stivic
Liz Torres ... Teresa Betancourt
Eugene Roche ... Pinky Peterson
Renny Temple ... David Brewster
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Storyline

It's Christmas again and the Bunker's are preparing for their holiday meal with Archie's buddy Pinky. Mike's old friend David Brewster drops by unexpectedly and Mike is concerned because he is a draft dodger who has been living in Canada and is wanted by the FBI. Pinky comes by and Archie warns the family not to let him move the conversation toward his son Steven since Pinky is still in shock over his tragic death in Vietnam. During dinner Archie won't stop quizzing him about why he lives in Canada. David is so put out that he admits that he is a draft dodger, which insights a furious rage from Archie. He assumes that since Pinky, the "gold star father", has lost his son in Vietnam that he will join him in his outrage, but to Archie's shock, Pinky sides with David and wishes him a Merry Christmas. Dealing with the shock of this turn of events, Archie tells the family that he needs time to work this out. He goes to the door and tells a group of carolers that he doesn't want to have to ... Written by Jerry Roberts <armchairoscars@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1976 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tandem Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

President Carter would pardon all Vietnam draft dodgers less than a month after the show airing. On 1/21/77 Carter issued an executive pardon to all those the evaded the draft or deserted from the military. See more »

Quotes

Pinky Peterson: Anyway, little Stevie scribbled a note to Santa. And he said, "Please Santa, I'd like a punching bag for Christmas. And if I can't have one, I'll take a little sister."
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Connections

Referenced in Archie Bunker's Place: Thanksgiving Reunion: Part 2 (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Feliz Navidad
(uncredited)
Written by José Feliciano
Portion sung by Liz Torres
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User Reviews

 
A Classic
16 June 2019 | by frankjosephsaracenoSee all my reviews

Quite simply, this is one of the ten best episodes of All In The Family. The show had tackled the Vietnam War in past episode discussions, but nothing like this and nothing like one of the most heated debates of this or any era. Mike's friend David (Renny Temple) drops in for a surprise visit during the Christmas holidays. Originally from Chicago, he's been living in Canada. The nervous audience reaction upon this reveal is chilling over 40 years later. Archie's announcement that his old friend, and sometime foil, Pinky Peterson (Eugene Roche) will be joining them too, adds another layer of tension. Pinky's son Steve was killed in Vietnam. The way shows like AITF, and to a greater extent M*A*S*H, blended comedy and dramatic commentary together, was incredible. It created powerful television. Carroll O'Connor gives a riveting, heart wrenching, performance. Archie's anger, frustration, and outright contempt for David mirrors so many men of a certain age. David's firm, strident objections represented so many young men who chose the path he took. In one of the shows' most devastating scenes, O'Connor delivers a line that literally had to be censored prior to air. Roche's counter point to Archie's tirade, which was classic Archie, so much so, you can tell the audience was almost feeling guilty laughing at times, gets to the heart of the divisiveness that was the Vietnam War. The way the episode ends, with Edith trying to talk Archie back to the dinner table, is one full of emotion and a touch of sadness. An episode not to be missed, and when you're finished watching, study up on why this topic was and remains so volatile to this day.


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