When I was growing up in the 1980s, summer smelled like coconuts, sweet tea and chlorine. I watched a TON of TV, especially on summer break. About 95% of my TV viewing occurred mostly in my swimsuit because I migrated back and forth between the public pool and tv. I would stay at the pool with my best friends from noon to 6:00 p.m. when the pool closed. I even reasoned that it was a waste of time to shower because everybody knows the chemicals in the pool water completely sanitize both the water and everybody in it. Also, I would like to point out that sunscreen was not even invented, and I’m here to tell you that even if it WAS invented nobody would have used it back then because everyone wanted to be TAN. Nothing signifies the beginning of summer quite like a second degree sunburn. Who would have predicted that 30 years later I would have developed a vitamin D deficiency?
Anyway, after 6 hours at the pool, I’d come home, have dinner, and park myself in front of the television until I passed out.
Periodically, my mom would come in and say, “Turn that thing off! It’s been on TOO long!” So I would turn it off, wait a few minutes and turn it BACK on. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that part of what we base our expectations of fatherhood on the approximately 3000 hours of input into our tiny little psyches.
Nothing says Happy Father’s Day like a list of the best TV Dads.
10. Dan Conner from “Roseanne” would have been much higher in the lineup except for the unfortunate last season he cheated on Roseanne. Good dads cannot be cheaters! Before that happened, though, Dan was an awesome Dad who loved his kids and worked hard to support the family. He was real, too…a bit overweight which didn’t matter so much because come on, so is Roseanne. Those two were a match made in TV Land heaven. This clip is the one where Dan gets bailed out by Darlene. Yes, he’s in jail–for beating up Jackie’s boyfriend for beating her up. Because justice.
9. Mr. Krabbs from “Spongebob.” This was Mancub’s vote so I had to include it. Although he’s depicted as a penny-pinching stinge, nothing helps him open up that rusty wallet like his whale of a daughter, Pearl. He’s a single dad, too. Way to go Mr. Krabbs.
8.Ray Barone from “Everyone Loves Raymond.” Also a writer, Ray’s whining sometimes gets irritating but my favorite episode? When Ray drives to Jersey to get Allie the special trading card she wants, not knowing that it’s a super expensive collector’s card. And he gets it for her anyway. Also, when Ray encouraged his boys to be the best fairies in the school play. Love it.
7.Richard Gilmore from “Gilmore Girls.” I know he can be a bit snobby and pretensious, but come on! He made mistakes when raising Lorelai, but then he more than made up for it with Rory.
6.Jim Halpert from “The Office.” Even though Dwight tries to guilt trip Jim for working late when his daughter CeCe is at home, he’s actually seen changing a diaper in one of the episodes. Score!
5.Adam Braverman from Parenthood. One of the most patient and tolerant dads of TVdom, he manages to be firm yet kind with his unruly brood, even when his wife has cancer, his son’s autistic, he has a new baby and he’s managing a new business.
4.Stephen Keaton from Family Ties. Father of future superstar Michael J. Fox, Mr. Keaton could do no wrong. Even though he was a bit of a (gasp!) hippy…Mr. Keaton really was the “cool” dad.
3. Andy Griffith from the Andy Griffith Show.
I had such a crush on Andy! I would love to know the total amount of hair gel he used in his TV career. Also a single dad, Andy managed to keep the sleepy town of Mayberry safe while also taking time out to take little Opie fishing. Aww!
2.Paul Hennessy from 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. Paul is a writer so right away you know he’s just good people. Ok this is not always true but Paul is the real deal. Even though he managed to be kind of bullied by his teenagers, you know deep down that he’s just a giant softie and that if any of his kids were threatened, CRAP WILL GET REAL.
1. Charles Ingalls from Little House in the Prairie. A perfect mix of brawn, hard-working ethic and prayer, Pa was awesome. Did I mention he could also kick some prairie butt if necessary?
Don’t like my list? Think I skipped someone? Put it in the comments section below! 🙂