Bulgarian married, with Bulgarian children, in Bulgarian

Even though I don't speak Bulgarian, I can tell that the Bulgarian version of Married With Children is awfully faithful to the dreadful American original. It really seems like the cast spent a long time studying the mannerisms and schtick of the US actors. And though I wouldn't swear to it, I'm pretty sure that's the same laugh-track.

женени с деца България ep1:married with children Bulgaria ep1 (via Super Punch)


    1.  I haven’t watched the other versions, but our local (Argentina) one is awful. The characters are only loosely based on the originals (which I really enjoyed) and the stories are different and so boring. I’ve never watched an entire episode *yawn*

  1. Laugh tracks put me off TV forever. The original laughers are dead and gone yet live on like cancer cells in a petri dish. The logic behind an audience laughing at lines like “Hello” rivals the mystery of virgin birth.

      1. It doesn’t bother me in actual multicamera sitcoms like I Love Lucy, Will & Grace, Seinfeld, All in the Family, or Married With Children.  Those were actually shot in front of a live audience, and the laughs are mostly real (with occasional “fake” laughs added to cover sound edits and such, but as often as not the “canned” laughs were recorded from the same audience and just moved during the editorial process).

        Where it gets weird is in shows like M*A*S*H, or in old 70s cartoons like Scooby-Doo or The Groovie Goolies, where there was very obviously no live audience in attendance.

        1. Even as a little kid the Scooby-Doo laugh track bugged me. I think I’ve become more tolerant to that show as I’ve gotten older.

        2. Where it gets weird is in shows like M*A*S*H

          I grew up with M*A*S*H in the UK, and never heard it with a laugh track till I went to the States.  Now, that was weird.

          1. It’s a fact little-known outside the Pentagon that during the Korean conflict, the Yanks deployed an entire battalion of morale-boosting Laugh Specialists, Rib Ticklers, and Knee Slappers.  My Uncle Horace served with distinction in the 81st Gigglers, until he took an arrow to the head.

    1. NPR did a segment on the laugh track earlier this year: http://www.onthemedia.org/2012/jan/06/laugh-track/

    1.  When I was visiting Belarus a couple years ago, I turned the channel from the Winter Olympics and caught some of this show. Now, I don’t know Russian, but within 30 seconds I was jumping out of my chair shouting “this is Married with Children!” My relatives looked at me funny.

      1. yeah they did a shot by shot remake of the entire show and when they ran out of episodes… well, they hired the original writers and had them write a new season of it.

          1.  If Kelly looked like her Russian double then the American version might have run that long too!

  2. This version does nothing for me and it’s true, the guy is nothing like Ed O’Neil. Seriously though, I had no idea they had adapted this sitcom in so many countries. The downfall of international network conglomerates is that they dilute culture like nobody’s business…if you can call cable tv culture that is. Dan, I don’t understand Russian but I agree, the Russian one is a much better imitation of Ed

  3. I’ve seen the Russian version.  What’s even scarier than the Russian version of Married With Children is the Russian version of Jerry Springer.

      1. WOW.  Any minute I expected someone to start breaking out WWF/WWE moves on people….  Makes Jerry look kind of amateur.

      2.  Wow! That clip is AWESOME! Only a minute long and you get karate kicks, apparently broken noses and the total destruction of the stage set! Jerry could take lessons here.

    1. Yeah. In the US version, she physically dominates Al because she’s taller with her heels and hair on.

  4. “Exporting Raymond” is a great documentary about some of the original production team going to Russia to set up the first foreign version of “Everyone Loves Raymond.” Interesting to see the changes required to make it fit local tastes (or lack thereof).

  5. In the late 90’s they did a german version too. The trademark/copyright/whatever on that series is very strict: you have to use the same script (only translated), the same set, etc…
    The german version was a big flop, because you can’t just use the original stories and only give the characters german names and because the spectators already knew the stories having watched the original series.

      1.  I don’t think german laws had anything to do with that. The american rights holders wanted to enforce these rules. It’s the same with other TV products, like Who Wants To Be The Millionaire. You are forced to use the same set deco, the same soundtrack, the same rules, etc. if you’re licensing the rights.

        1. That seems odd to me that they would contractually require this level of adherence to the source material. If you pay me for the rights to the show, is it any skin off my nose if you don’t use the whole thing?

    1. As far as I recall they changed baseball references to soccer ( Fußball) to approach the audience better …     but the pilot already was a big miss … I am not sure how many more eps they produced …. on the other hand ‘The Viersteins”, that was a similar approach to family life and always felt to me more like the German version of MwC 

    1.  Agreed – “dreadful” is hardly the right word to use, it was a ground-breaking series when it started in the late 80’s.  Back then Fox was an upstart network and was willing to take some risks, like cartoons in prime-time.

  6. It’s a shame Sony wouldn’t pay for the rights to use Frank Sinatra’s song as the intro on the DVD’s and streaming….  In a way it kind of ruins the whole opening to the show.

  7. The actors were spot-on clones, the laugh track, not so much. 
    It’s been a while since the show was on, but do a little YouToubeing and you’ll soon recall that one of the things that REALLY stood out about Married With Children was that the “Live Audience” was totally over the top with cat calls, hollering and rounds of applause that lingered a little too long for comfort. It seemed to be getting more intense for each new season, too. 

  8. I find it so very surreal to watch all of these weird reproductions of a terrible show. It’s… there’s a word for this…. 

  9. I am Bulgarian-American and it feels surreall to watch something very American.. with Bulgarian words coming out. Almost schizophrenic.

    it’s just double funny to watch in Bulgarian ( have never seen the original.. do not own or watch tv )

  10. Their American script advisor for the show was John Vorhaus. His books on writing — Creativity Rules and The Comic Toolbox — are truly excellent guides to story structure.

    Even when Vorhaus is talking specifically about comedy writing, his advice applies to novels, short stories — whatever. I found the books really helpful for getting me to dig deeper and answer important questions about my characters, scenes, theme, and plot when writing my novels, so I highly recommend them.

    I guess the come-down for a comedy writer/script doctor is doing a job like “Married with Children in Bulgarian”. Or maybe that’s snooty of me.

  11. I watched the Bulgarian pilot next to the US pilot and they literally are the same episode. Well, I don’t speak Bulgarian, so the details probably differ a lot. But the storyline is i-freakin-dentical.

  12. Are there other shows that have been remade everywhere?  Is there a Dukes of Targovishte?

  13. The reason the laugh track sounds familiar is because practically all shows not filmed in front of a live audience use laugh tracks from Red Skeleton. It’s also why people who don’t watch TV laugh differently from those who do. Social parroting, etc.

  14. “Bud” is wearing a Duff Beer shirt.  FOX out the ass v Bulgarii!  At least they changed the dog’s name to Elmo.

  15. I recall an episode of the original US version, where Kelly calls in sick to work or school with a “bad case of Bulgaria.”

  16. And now I’m wondering if they only do this with sitcoms, or if there’s a bunch of foreign CSI clones out there, yet.

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