There was no way I was going to not make that joke. After 11 years playing put upon, low wage slave Al Bundy, Ed O' Neill plays Jay Pritchett who is a very similar character, a mans man who played football, watches westerns and works hard and got married to a hot wife but Jay is a success. Jay isn't quite so sexist and Gloria isn't a gold digger, or a coal digger for that matter. Both Jay and Al are both sarcastic bastards too.
I think what I like about Jay is that there is so much of Al in there, or rather, it's what Al might have been like if he was a satisfied and happy man. He has a great house, great car, great job and Jay is just a more pleasant guy to be around. He has two kids who went on to be a success and in relation to significant others, Jay learned to put up with Phil's idiocy and the fact that Cameron is gay, and Jay's own son Mitchell by extension, which gets touched on from time to time in the show. Jay is happy that Michell is happy and can even bond with Cam thanks to Cam's love of sports but that doesn't mean that he enjoys hearing every nuance of Mitchell's relationship.
His relationship with Manny can be fun and pretty harsh. Manny knows just how Gloria acts and can behave and has that inside track as to what to do but as much as Jay cares for Manny, Manny is the thing that keeps Jay and Gloria's personal time, not so personal. One episode has Manny going on and on about how great his real dad is, a dad who Jay thinks is an irresponsible jerk and it all reaches a boiling point when Manny says that he hates living with Jay, and Jay remarks that theres a reason his car only has two seats. Oooh......in the end, things are mended but it's a feeling that still exists from time to time. In the end, Jay cares for Manny, but you know he'd be happier if Manny wasn't around, even in the opening credits where each family is holding the picture frame, just look at Jay as he puts his hands on Manny's shoulders.
Jay is certainly a faulty man. Successful yes and a good caregiver but his sharp tongue and manner at times put off the others. In the episode where Jay flies his model plane into Phil, Jay has to be nearly strong armed by Claire to admit that he might have been at fault and that he does like Phil. Jay is stubborn but he isn't a bad guy.
The center of the show arguably, Jay gets my favorite lines and moments in the show, even with instances where he falls on his face or has to man up and know when he's wrong, at least he's involved. One thing I don't think they have explained is what Jay DOES that made him so much money. I really hope it isn't a company head of a shoe making plant.
Gets some of the best lines in the show as the rich business man. My favorite character in the show. The fact he's played by Ed O'Neill who played Al Bundy, one of my all time favorite characters helps too.
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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The role of Jay Pritchett is played by actor Ed O'Neill.
Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill), is the patriarch of the family and father of Claire and Mitchell, who is on the south side of middle age. He is married to Gloria and a stepfather to Manny, he is much older than Gloria and was once mistaken for her father. At times there is a cultural clash between him and his wife and step son because of their strong Colombian heritage. Most of the time Jay manages to tolerate Manny's sensitivity and Gloria's attitude. Although he usually acts tough, he values all of his extended family members. On occasion Jay enjoys traditionally maanly hobbies such as watching football (Jay used to be a quarterback in college) and constructing model airplanes.