September 11, 2015 | Posted in Famous TV & Movie Dogs
The Bundy family was a fixture on the television series “Married with Children” for 10 years, and for most of those years, one of the main characters was Buck – the wise-cracking dog who provided sarcastic commentary on the family’s antics. His voice was provided by three separate people over the course of the show – comedian Cheech Marin, writer/producer Kevin Curran, and finally Kim Weiskopf, also a producer on the show.
Buck was a Briard sheep-herding dog whose real name was Michael or Mike. But by Season 4 of the show, he’d become so well known that his trainer/owner Steven Ritt re-named him Buck in real life as well. Ritt originally found Buck through an ad in the Los Angeles Times newspaper. The dog started appearing on the show when he was 3 ½ years old. Several episodes were actually focused on Buck’s life experiences, such as Buck getting neutered, Buck going missing, and Buck having a bellyache. And he was often in search of a girlfriend…or two.
The character of Buck was much like the other Bundy family members – lazy, insulting and sarcastic. In spite of that, though, Peg Bundy loved him very much and often cooked special treats for him.
When Buck the acting dog started getting older (he was 12 ½), it became clear that he deserved to retire. His retirement was actually written into the show as his death, for an episode of the show titled “Requiem for a Dead Briard”. At the end of the show, a message appeared that read: “This episode begins a well-earned retirement and hopefully a nice gig at stud. We’ll miss you, buddy – lift a leg.” It was signed, “The Producers.” Sadly, Buck only lived a few months after retiring, passing away in 1996 at the age of 13. It was written into the show that he reincarnated into the body of the next dog the Bundys brought into the family – a dog they named Lucky.
“Married with Children” was Buck’s longest-running acting “gig”, though he did appear in the 1988 film “Scrooged” and in a Janet Jackson music video, “When I Think of You.”