All in the Family: Season 1, Episode 5

Judging Books by Covers (9 Feb. 1971)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 130 users  
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Archie is irritated at Mike's offbeat friend, who dresses and behaves in a way that leads him to mistakenly conclude he is a homosexual. But Archie soon learns that one of his best friends is gay.



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Title: Judging Books by Covers (09 Feb 1971)

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Episode cast overview:
Roger (as Tony Geary)
Billy Halop ...
Barney (as Bill Halop)
Nick (as Billie Sands)
Linn Patrick ...


Archie takes an instant dislike to Roger, a friend of Mike and Gloria, who he thinks is gay due to his effeminate manners and his love of the arts. However, Archie finds out something very interesting about a former pro-football player friend of his that causes him to re-think his ideas of who might be gay and who might be straight. Written by Brian Washington <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

9 February 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is from the expression "never judge a book by its cover." See more »


Archie Bunker: His pal Roger is as queer as a $4 bill and he knows it.
Gloria Bunker-Stivic: That's not only cruel Daddy, that's an outright lie.
Mike Stivic: You know something Archie, just because a guy is sensitive, and he's an intellectual and he wears glasses, you make him out a queer.
Archie Bunker: I never said a guy who wears glasses is a queer. A guy who wears glasses is a four-eyes. A guy who is a fag is a queer.
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User Reviews

Great mix
12 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The subject matter and acting performances are what sets this show apart from most other shows, and there's usually a great mix of comedy and drama, as is the case in this solid episode. Anthony Geary, of General Hospital fame, makes one of his first acting appearances as Roger, a friend of Mike's who Archie believes to be gay; according to Archie's logic, since Roger is thin and likes to travel, he must be gay. An interesting sidebar, and not exactly relevant, is Gloria's chair trick, in which she says only woman can do and men can't, but I'm too lazy to explain, so look it up yourself and try it. During Roger's visit with Mike, Archie heads to Kelsey's and meets up with an old friend named Steve(Philip Carey), a former pro football player, a guy I haven't seen since this episode, but his performance was solid. Back at home, Archie and Mike disagree yet again about Roger, and this time Mike threatens to tell the stubborn Archie something that will surprise him; soon after, he tells him that his friend Steve is gay(Mike was told this by Kelsey(Bob Hastings)), even though Archie doesn't believe it. The next scene has Archie arm wrestling with Steve, who's friends with Roger, and as Archie makes a rude comment to Steve about Roger, he(Steve)gets slightly defensive. Archie then begrudgingly tells Steve what Mike said about him being gay, to which he replies, "he's right" to a stunned Archie; Steve mentions that in all the years that Archie's known him, has he ever brought up a woman once? Archie thinks that Steve being a bachelor gives him access to all kinds of women, to which Steve replies being gay is the reason he's still single, to which Archie's still in denial, as Steve leaves the bar. A weird irony is that Anthony Geary is gay in real life, and the late Philip Carey was straight, and married 2 times and had 5 children. Edith wasn't very noticeable, but Archie more than made up for it.

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