Favorite TV Dads - Happy Father's Day!

This hub is dedicated to all the daddies out there! In honor of Father's Day I thought I would do the same thing I did for Mother's Day and make a hub of my favorite TV dads. It was a little tougher making these choices and I really had a hard time choosing who to cut to get the list down to only ten. So if you think Steven Keaton, Fred Flintstone, Al Bundy, Dan Conner or any other of the great television fathers should have made the list, I probably agree with you. But I wanted to choose just ten to include and these were my choices. I hope you like them all!

Fred G. Sanford, cantankerous father of Lamont Sanford, may seem an odd choice for the top of my list, but Fred was always able to make me laugh no matter how bad of a mood I was in before watching his show, Sanford and Son. Some people may not know that Redd Foxx, who played Fred, was born John Elroy Sanford and the character of Fred was based on his brother who was actually named Fred. The TV Fred ran a junk shop out of his home with his son and the two were constantly at odds with one another over everything from how to run the business to how to treat a lady, but beneath it all, the love they felt for each other was clearly very strong.

Tom Bosley played Howard Cunningham, the dad on Happy Days and the father of Richie, Joanie and the often forgotten eldest son, Chuck. Even dear ol' dad occasionally forgot Chuck, stating he was proud of his "two kids" in the series finale. Despite this apparent slip, Howard was a great dad. He was always there when his kids needed him, guiding them, consoling them, and, when needed, punishing them. but he was really just a big softly and mostly raised his kids using love and understanding. And don't think the image above means we caught him cheating on Mrs. C! That is Tom's real life wife with him during a break on the set of an episode she was co-starring in.

You have to wonder if Mike Brady, portrayed by actor Robert Reed, really knew what he was getting into when he brought not just one woman into his home by getting married, but four women when you counted his new wife's three daughters. Added to his three boys, Mike and his wife Carol ended up with The Brady Bunch and we got one of the best shows of the 70s. Mike and Carol were modern parents at the time the show was on and parented not so much by laying down the rules as by communicating with the kids. Of course, in the sitcom world, this was a perfect formula for chaos and hilarity.

Hugh Beaumont, more commonly known as Ward Cleaver, was the family disciplinarian. Whenever Wally or, more often, the Beaver, would get into trouble, June would send Ward to have a talk with the boys. The show Leave It to Beaver was one of the most popular during its time with the young Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver discovering new ways to get in trouble every week. Older brother Wally would try to steer him straight, but often his inexperience would lead them down the wrong path, occasionally at the misdirection of Wally's best friend Eddie Haskell.

in my opinion, one of the best sitcoms ever was Step By Step which starred Patrick Duffy as Frank Lambert and Suzanne Somers as his new wife Carol. The two had six children between the two of them and comparisons to The Brady Bunch are inescapable. Not only was the family structure basically the same, but Frank built houses while Mike Brady designed houses, the kids started out more or less opposed to the marriage but more or less came around in the end, and both moms were even named Carol. But what is wrong with a Brady Bunch for the 90s? I loved the show and I loved Patrick Duffy as Frank. I grew up with it and it will always hold a special spot in my heart.

Besides hyping the yummiest frozen treat in the history of the world, Bill Cosby gave us the lovable if sometimes a bit cranky Cliff Huxtable, the dad on The Cosby Show. Cliff was often a little irritated that his kids would not do things his way and his more patient wife would have to gently direct him in the direction of letting the kids grow without smothering them. Cliff was a doctor and his wife Clair was a lawyer. Their five kids were a handful and though they often tested Cliff's patience, his love for them was always what shined through.

Okay, I will be the first to admit that Homer, star of The Simpsons, is probably not the best dad in the world. He can be loud, crass and downright rude. He is definitely not the smartest guy around. All those donuts have certainly left him overweight. He is incompetent, lazy and prone to accidents. It could probably be argued that he is an alcoholic. And yes, he occasionally strangles his son. But he also loves his family more than anything and is deeply devoted to them. His son Bart is often his closest co-conspirator and his adoration of his daughter Lisa is undeniable. Homer is the TV dad that shows no matter what else, a father's love is really all that matters.

For people my age, watching That '70s Show in the new millennium was like experiencing nostalgia for a time you never knew. Red Forman, Eric's father on the show, was the perfect grumpy old man, though he was really more middle aged than old. Though many times, as seems common with many TV dads, he would be a little rough on his son and have to backtrack a bit to get things back on track, he always had his child's best interest at heart. If it took a "foot in the ass" to straighten Eric up, well, that's what a father has to do! This was a great show and Red was a great dad.

Life was simple in the little country town of Mayberry, NC and Sheriff Andy Taylor, portrayed by Andy Griffith, was known for not even carrying a gun. Of course his deputy, the ever vigilant Barney Fife, had a gun and even carried a bullet with him just in case extreme measures were ever called for. Andy's son Opie, played by future Hollywood powerhouse Ron Howard, rarely got in trouble but instead learned most of his life lessons by observing his father uphold justice and straighten out all the wacky situations caused by Barney. Once Andy got everything settled down, he and Opie would head out and do a little fishing.

Hank Hill -- father, propane and propane accessories salesman, and Texan. Hank Hill, star of King of the Hill, has his work cut out for him trying to keep his son Bobby on the straight and narrow. If the boy isn't wanting to become a prop comic or play with dolls, he's avoiding sports or catching up on the world of fashion! "That boy ain't right, I tell you what!" But when all is said and done, Hank's world revolves around Bobby. And he may not end up being a football star like his dad, but you can bet whatever he ends doing will make his father proud!

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4 comments

Macon 5 years ago

Something tells me you made your daddy's Fathers Day extra enjoyable! ;-) Hope all the dad's out there were just as lucky!


Daddy's Princess profile image

Daddy's Princess 5 years ago from Texas Author

Hi Macon! Yes, Daddy's day was extra special as always. But I think I am the lucky one!


iTommyGuns profile image

iTommyGuns 4 years ago from Blakeslee, PA

Hank hill over al buddy? I dunno...I loved al. Pretty solid choices though


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 5 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

I have to tell you, iTommyGuns has it right. Al Bundy. But it's your list, not mine, so I'll stop grinding my ax. You've put together a solid lineup of TV dads and I certainly like Redd Foxx at the top. Thanks for the fun.

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