Here at Grizzly Bomb we wanted to do a little something for Father’s Day, and we’ve decided to share our favorite TV Dads, and what makes them great.
Brian Kronner – Dan Conner
Can you get more of a All-American Man’s Man of a father than Dan Conner? For more than 200 episodes John Goodman portrayed the father of 3 and husband to a wife, that at times was completely insufferable. This beer-swilling, football watching, handyman was more than just a comedic opposite to Roseanne, but the emotional anchor that grounded the show in reality. You know, at least until they won to lotto and killed him off and all. But he wasn’t the pansy-ass modern dads we see now, where every episode ends with him talking things out and teaching a valuable life lesson. Sure, we got that stuff too, but Dan also yelled and disciplined his kids. He fought with his wife and worked on his car. They went through the recession in the 80’s with the rest of us, and Dan even had to deal with real world problems. But he so passionately felt for, and defended his kids, he just felt real to me. And I grew up watching him. They say that The Godfather is the dream of the Mafia, while Goodfellas is the truer representation. So for me, if Ward Clever was the dream, Dan Conner was the truth.
Stephen Sanchez – Archie Bunker
Womanizer? Check. Racist? Check. A little dumb? Check. Archie Bunker was all of those, but he was one hell of a father! He defended his wife when it called for it, sheltered his daughter and the meat-head when they didn’t have money to do so themselves. He was an all American you could be proud of when he wasn’t bashing equality for women, calling England a ‘fag country’ and ranking the world’s minorities by numbers.
Watch below to see a rare moment where Archie and his uber-liberal son in law have the slightest agreement. Seriously, a woman managing a baseball team? Blasphemy!
Mark Kaiser – Al Bundy
The greatest television dad of all time has to be the one and only Al Bundy. Week to week we were able to escape for 30 minutes to watch and laugh at lowly, cynical shoe salesman from Chicago try to survive a miserable existence far worse than our very own. Al’s life consisted of going to a crappy minimum wage job at shoe store whose clientèle only consisted of the thing he hated most – fat women.
Then going home to deal with an equally crappy family life. His wife Peggy preferred a life of couch sitting, Oprah watching, and Bon-Bon eating, and only contributed to the family debt with her shopping habits. His kids were equally as bad. Kelly a hot, promiscuous blonde who is as dumb as the day is long, and Bud – an unpopular loser, desperate to be cool but only destined to be a failure.
The only real bright spot for Al is reliving his high school football days at Polk High where he score 4 TOUCHDOWNS IN A SINGLE GAME!!! The man embodied everything a true low-class, all American man should: a Do-it-Yourself mentality, love for his nudie magazine Big’uns, beer, bowling, strip clubs, and a white trash tv show named “Psycho Dad.” Al was even an activist leading his group NO’MAM to fight the increasing power women of the 90’s were gaining over society.
Watching this man struggle and survive his way through this miserable life he created for himself, made waking up and dealing with our lives just a little bit easier.
For that, Happy Father’s Day Al Bundy!
Michelle Lynn – Dexter Morgan
Dexter Morgan is a complex character. He is a great blood spatter analyst, a great brother, and he’s great at… taking out the trash. I would like to take the opportunity to make note of something a little less talked about. Dexter Morgan is a great father. Not only a father, but also a stepfather. At a very young age, Dexter was witness to a most horrific event… his mother’s murder. It is only natural that Dex would want to get back at the world by catching his victims in his saran-wrap spiderweb. He tries to maintain relationships, and find ways to maintain his sanity. DEXTER SPOILERS AHEAD>>>
Fortunately, upon meeting Rita, he became the father-figure to her two adorable children Astor and Cody. As an example of how great a father Dexter makes, he follows ‘the code of Harry‘, which is a set of rules his father put in place for him as a child to keep him in check. One of those rules was to never kill anyone who wasn’t a proven killer themselves. Dexter broke his life-long code to kill a man who was stalking Astor.
Another point I must make is when Dexter’s sponsor in ‘Narcotics Anonymous’, Lila Tournay, kidnaps Astor and Cody. Not only does Dexter save the children from a burning building, but he kills Lila after following her to Paris.
In season three, we learned that Rita was pregnant. Dexter proposes to her, after making sure that Astor and Cody are okay with the idea, and they are married. I thought that was one of the sweetest moments of the show. In season four, Rita gives birth to Harrison, Dexter’s first child. Sadly, at the end of the season, Dex finds Harrison in a pool of Rita’s blood on the bathroom floor. Rita had been murdered by the Trinity Killer. A turning point in Dexter’s personality, I feel, was when Rita was murdered. He not only blamed himself for her death, but his main concern immediately became the children. He realized that Harrison was put into the same situation as he himself had been born into (born in blood). And though Astor and Cody go to live with their grandparents, Dexter still remains in touch, and looks out for the 2 of them.
I think that for all of these reasons and more, Dexter is a great father.
It is one thing to be a good dad born with the ability to love and care unconditionally for someone. It is quite another to have to work that hard on relationships, and end with such an amazing result as his current relationships with Rita’s children and his own.
Garrett Odzark – Randy Marsh
If I wrote my own dictionary I would have Randy Marsh’s name as the definition of two phrases, “Alpha Male” and “Family Man.” Randy Marsh is always there to add a little bit of intensity and bad attitude to any situation he sees it fit. While most parents go to little league games to watch their child’s poor attempt at swinging a baseball bat, Randy does not. Marsh goes with a beer in hand and with intentions of kicking the ass of any parent who is overly obnoxious. Randy is a take action kind of guy, and one who isn’t afraid to be a bit of an extremist at any time, whether its necessary or not. Whether he is rioting after Obama’s election, getting third degree served by a dance instructor in a purple jumpsuit, or rocking out to the newest “tween wave” music, Randy Marsh does it like a true family man.
W. Adams – Homer Simpson
Homer Simpson is one of my favorite television dads. He may not be a good dad all the time, whether he’s being neglectful of, or downright abusive towards his children, but the ends that he goes to provide a good life for his kids and his drive to ensure their happiness is unrivaled.
Homer has long ago thrown away his personal ambitions, to instead be the dad that the Simpson clan needs, giving up his dream job as a “pin monkey” to work in the nuclear power plant.
He also embodies the traditional American dad, taking cues from many of the other great TV dad’s on this list. Homer is as dumb as a brick, and a bit bipolar in his relationship with his family, but usually his overarching love for them wins out at the end of the day.
“You can’t depend on me all your life. You have to learn that there’s a little Homer Simpson in all of us”
Eric Austria – James Evans, Sr.
James Evans from the 70s black sitcom “Good Times” fathered three kids – JJ, Thelma, Michael. Living in the ghetto of Chicago, James embodied the hardworking, protective, no-nonsense, earn your way father figure.
He commanded authority since he sounded like he was always pissed yet you knew he had the best intentions. Although he rarely showed affection this man was family first and foremost. Sometimes he’d crack a smile – every 5 or so episodes though.
Scott Fraser – Phil Dunphy
When Doc asked us to pick our favorite TV Dad I immediately thought of some of the classic TV dads who taught us morals, values, comedic timing..all that crap – incredibly useful information. Dads like Dr. Jason Seaver from Growing Pains, or what about the Dad from Blossom? Does Mr. Cooper from Hanging with Mr. Cooper count? But no, I couldn’t choose from the classics, despite all they have may have taught me throughout life. I have to give it to a relative newcomer, Mr. Phil Dunphy, from Modern Family.
Played to perfection by Ty Burrell, Dunphy is the Dad who is desperately trying to be the ‘Cool Dad’, and more often than not he feels pretty successful at it. Despite thinking WTF stands for ‘Why the Face’. He is a good husband, knowing how to fix almost any problem HE creates with his wife or children, except when he makes grandstanding promises, like promising to take the kids to Disneyland because he messed up on Christmas.
But it’s the moments he lets it all go and brings out the kid deep inside of him, like when he spends some Father-Son time with his boy Luke, and they hunt for treasure. Facing a few crippling fears and inspiring moments with his son later, and your left feeling like with Phil Dunphy as your Dad. You can get through anything in your life with him in it, because he is most likely going through the same thing at the same time.
“My boy was in trouble. So I put my fears aside and came to his rescue. Does that make me a hero? Yes, it does.”
B. Kronner – Red Forman
And just because we can’t leave him off the list, I’d be remiss not to mention Red. He was, for me, the best part of That 70’s Show. I mean come on, he was Clarence J. Boddicker for crying out loud! This man is how I imagine my Grandfather being (Though I doubt Ed Kronner was ever a little bitch like Eric Forman) back in the 70’s and I love it. But he wasn’t just great because he called Eric a dumbass all the time, but because when they needed him, he was a father to the whole crew. He was stern and scary, but he wasn’t about to let anything happen to those kids that he didn’t initiate. When Hyde was in trouble, Red took him in. When Kelso and Fez needed a kick in the ass, Red delivered it. And when the gang needed some to look out for them, to stick their neck out, even though he didn’t have to, Red was there. He was the strongest part of a show that ran its course and held on too long, and I think it was allowed to do so because of Red.
“Son. You don’t have bad luck. Bad things happen to you because you’re a dumbass.”
^^^ Pretty sure that’s my Dad’s philosophy too.^^^
And there you have it, some of our favorite TV Dads. Who is yours?