The time Archie Bunker gave mouth-to-mouth to a trans woman (video)

I posted a video the other night of Archie Bunker, from the hit 1970s TV show, coming to terms with gay marriage. Tonight, Archie meets his first transgender woman, Beverly LaSalle (played by Lori Shannon, an openly-gay female impersonator).

Archie met Beverly earlier in the day when she passed out in front of him, and he saved her life by performing CPR.

Beverly drops by the house to thank Archie in person.

Beverly LaSalle, whose life Archie Bunker saved by performing CPR on her.

Beverly LaSalle, whose life Archie Bunker saved by performing CPR on her.

BEVERLY LASALLE: I’m a female impersonator.

EDITH: Ain’t that interesting. You know, that’s smart too. I mean, who can imitate a female better than a lady!

BEVERLY LASALLE: I’m afraid you don’t understand, Mrs. Bunker, I’m a transvestite.

EDITH: Well you sure fooled me. I mean, you ain’t got no accent at all.

Then Archie shows up, and Beverly offers him $50 for saving her life.

ARCHIE: You know that this is a fifty?


ARCHIE: Well, okay, I never say no to a lady (Archie touches Beverly’s hand affectionately).

BEVERLY LASALLE: I was telling your wife, Mr. Bunker, I’m not a lady.

ARCHIE: Well… hey listen, how you earn this fifty is no business of mine.

(I’m told that in order to actually see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me – so say the experts.)

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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15 Responses to “The time Archie Bunker gave mouth-to-mouth to a trans woman (video)”

  1. HarpoSnarx says:

    Damn. I remember seeing the first run of this episode. It was notable in many ways but foremost it showed the Archie character’s ongoing personal evolution. The Beverly LaSalle character is eventually killed warding off thugs (and saving Mike) causing Edith to doubt her faith. This slice of reality with its humor and pathos illustrated how difficult (and dangerous) it is to be different in this “evolved civilization.” This brilliant show would never have made it to teevee without the bravery and talent of the great Norman Lear. Thanks for posting it.

  2. jared says:

    Hilarious episode, but beverly isn’t trans.

  3. Dean says:

    I knew Beverly LaSalle aka Don. We hung out together in San Francisco in the late 1970’s
    He was as funny in person as he was performing.

  4. karmanot says:

    But in spite of it you turned out strong, perceptive and genuine.

  5. David says:

    The Beverly character returned in two subsequent seasons, in the episodes “Beverly Rides Again” and “Edith’s Crisis of Faith.” See and

  6. Thom Allen says:

    I always wondered why Archie wore that wedding band on his middle finger in the show. That was about the time that gays were staarting to wear rings, sometimes lots of rings, on various fingers and toes. I always wondered if it was some kind of statement about gays but could never get any information on it.

  7. Thom Allen says:

    My dad coached Carrol O’Connor to get him into the “Archie” character to perfection.

  8. How ironic, I just had a brief stop of electricity, so I could not continue. The surge stopped the comment. so: “There’s now coming out of the closet.” Ironically, he had two kids with my aunt before marrying her because he wouldn’t pay for her divorce from her first husband.

  9. That was Christmas 1977 (All in the Family was on Sunday nights) and the following Sunday. I was so intensely into that episode, from Edith’s viewpoint all the way. My Archie Bunker uncle said, “

  10. AnitaMann says:

    That show must have been a hell of a lot of fun to work on. That clip was funnier than anything I’ve seen on a sitcom these days.

  11. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    The membership committee has met and welcome to the club. Be certain to stay for the social hour after the blog.

  12. Max_1 says:

    I have a difficult time with All in the Family…
    … My dad was an Archie Bunker to me.

  13. Ripley_rules says:

    Those episodes were groundbreaking, and I also remember being shocked when Beverly met a tragic end-killed by muggers while walking with Mike. Her death caused Edith to have a crisis of faith- and showing someone openly questioning the existence of G-d and the value of religion was also groundbreaking at the time.

  14. devlzadvocate says:

    I am amazed how relevant Archie Bunker still is today. I often hear a TPer speak and think that it was taken from a script. Some things never change.

  15. cole3244 says:

    boy i had forgotten how great a program that was, the acting and writing were beyond compare and it made a social statement to boot, thanks for the reminder.

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