How Anthrax's cameo on Married With Children was inspired by real life chaos

Anthrax on Married With Children
(Image credit: Married with Children/YouTube)

On February 23 1992, the Fox Network broadcast the 18th episode of the sixth series of the long-running comedy series Married With Children. The title of the episode? Dinner With Anthrax.

Yep. That Anthrax. In the episode, Bud Bundy (played by David Faustino) and sister Kelly (Christina Applegate) have won a house party with Anthrax, but a snowstorm prevents other guests from attending. The band aren't happy, but they're obliged to perform, which they do after consuming Peggy Bundy's "mystery pack", a foil-wrapped parcel of ancient food which sends the musicians on a psychedelic trip that's as wild as its onset is rapid.  

The band perform In My World, and chaos ensues. Bottles are smashed. Chairs are broken, guitars are used to viciously scythe a lamp and a flower pot into oblivion. And all the action was inspired by an 1989 episode of MTV's Headbangers Ball, in which a real-life competition winner won a real-life visit to her real-life home. From real-life Anthrax, who caused real-life havoc.    

The competition winner was Lori Gutman, a resident of Kinnelon, New Jersey. Anthrax showed up to hand over the prize (a brand new Jeep and $1000), but they also spray-painted the vehicle and took a two-man saw to the frame of her home.

"Thank god I don't win an MTV contest every day," said an exhausted Lori at the end of the segment, but her family's delight at having the band wreck their property was real.

"They were pretty much up for anything," Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian told the MTV Uncensored documentary. "I think we probably literally could have burned their house down - they wouldn't have cared."

Shortly after the Dinner With Anthrax episode of Married With Children was broadcast, frontman Joel Belladonna was fired, bringing an end to the classic Ian/Benante/Bello/Spitz/Belladonna line-up. But as far as final acts go (let's ignore the 2005-07 reunion) the cameo was more memorable than most. 

"We finished and went to the after-show dinner," drummer Charlie Benante recalled in 2021. "We all sat together with Ed O'Neill [Al Bundy] at the head telling stories, it was so great. At one point Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman were sitting across from us and we were all freaking out. This is where it got crazy. Ed said to us, 'hey guys, wanna go meet Clint?' He brought us to meet Dirty Harry himself and it was awesome. 

"Many many drinks later we were shitfaced with Al Bundy. I don’t remember what happened after that... what a week!"

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.