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August 20, 2014

The Five: Best TV dads

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 17th 2006 1:32PM

Mike BradyAll right everybody, get those crappy ties and self-made cards ready. It's time once again for the forgotten holiday known as Father's Day. Yes, the bastard cousin to the extremely popular Mother's Day. The one that people forget is the third Sunday in the month of June, not the second. The holiday where your loving family wants to fill your day with special events when all you really want to do is have some privacy to write your damn TV Squad articles!

Ahem. So, in the fine tradition of tomorrow's holiday, where you usually pay for your own dinner out, we present the five television dads who would be grateful if they received a wallet made out of dried macaroni.


Mike Brady (The Brady Bunch):  When his family literally doubled overnight, after his marriage to Carol Martin, Mr. Brady went into parenting head first. There were never any favorites between his three sons and her three girls. Heck, he even spent a whole day with the girls doing things their Mom would do in a typical day. He was firm, yet he kept his anger in check. And, when all of the kids scared Alice to death, causing her to inadvertently destroy Carol's prize mask (or was it sculpture) he evenly dealt the punishment out amongst all of the guilty parties. In addition to all of that he was extremely brave. How could he not be and have that hairstyle and wardrobe that he did towards the end of the series?

Cliff Huxtable (The Cosby Show):  Remember what I said about these dads being happy with a wallet of macaroni? Well, Cliff is the exception. However, he deserved great gifts from his four daughters and one son. You could tell from the first episode that he ruled the house (although Claire would probably deny that) and he didn't take guff from any of his children. Remember what he said to son Theo in the pilot episode after the boy gave a speech on how he may not be a great doctor like his dad or a lawyer like his mom? He said 'Theo. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life!! No wonder you're getting D's in everything.' It was a great turn on a sitcom staple (the father and son heart-to-heart) and probably made plenty of dads nod their heads in agreement.

Eric Camden (7th Heaven):  I actually talked to my wife about this one because I wasn't too sure if Reverend Camden should be put on this list. Sure, he pushed strong family values to his children and, even though they all strayed a bit as they got older, they tended to come back to those values in the end. However, it always seemed to me that he was behind the eight ball on some of the things his kids were pulling. My beautiful wife agreed, then added that Eric always had some feeling of what was going on around him and made sure to nip it in the bud as quickly as possible.

Andy Taylor (The Andy Griffith Show):  Where the first three dads raised their children in a more cosmopolitan environment, Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry raised his son with good ol' homespun country flavor. Andy never raised his voice to Opie as far as I could remember, and he never laid down a punishment that wasn't rightly deserved. There would always be time for he and his son to play catch or to go fishing. Some of us dads probably wish we had the time to spend with our children that Andy had with Opie.

Howard Cunningham (Happy Days):  Any dad that doesn't punish you after you come home from your first drunken binge (because, after talking on the porcelain phone for several hours you've pretty much punished yourself) is okay in my book. Howard also had the unique ability to extend his parenting skills outside of his family. For, you see, not only was he a dad to Richie and Joanie, but he was also an honored father-figure to one Arthur Fonzarelli as well (even though Fonzie thought Mr. C. was a bit of a dud in the beginning). 

Honorable Mentions:

Charles Ingles Ingalls(Little House on the Prairie):  If you can build a house with your own hands, and still have time to climb trees with your daughters, you have my vote for Father of the Year.

John Walton (The Waltons):  Built in the same hard-working mold as Charles Ingles, this is a father who held his family together through some tough times (The Depression, World War II). He also let his sons and daughters be who they wanted to be. When John-Boy decided to become a writer his father didn't discourage him and force him to work at the lumber mill. He encouraged his son to fulfill his dreams.

Vick Mackey (The Shield)Yes, he killed a cop, and tried to hide Lem from the authorities, and slept around while married, but he really loved and was dedicated to his kids. He even went so far as to steal drug money so he could send both of his children to private school. Now THAT's dedication!

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Bmf07

Eric Camden is a great dad who listens to his children and helps when needed. Just because he doesn't ask his kids if they want help? Should he have asked Mary if she needed help when she trashed the Gym? Or Ruthie when she was helping their Muslim friend? Or Simon when he killed a guy? What about Matt when he was smoking? We need more dad's who are willing to help their children no matter what.

June 18 2007 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Griff

Those are pretty good, but we're forgetting one of the all time greats......Brian Keith in Family Affair (the original single dad)

June 17 2007 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

Eric Camden? Are you serious? The guy who badmouths his daughter Mary, spies on his kids regularly, specializes in emotional blackmail, and seems barely aware that his twin youngests are even alive? One of TV's best dads? Man o man o man. We are working on some seriously different criteria.

I third (or fourth?) the Keith Mars nomination. He's a dream dad.

June 19 2006 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CJ

I definitely think that Keith Mars deserves a spot here. But my biggest qualm is Dan Conner from "Roseanne" missing. He, to me anyways, is one of the most realistic dads on TV... a protective man's man who can just as easily kill his kids as kill for them. Maybe cuz he reminds me of my dad.

June 19 2006 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
linda

keith mars!!!!he is the best if not him who else?????he is the one!the one who can kick the ass of the boyfriend of his doughter and make here feel safe!!!!!i love keith mars!(sorry for the errors but i am italian)

June 19 2006 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Erika

Charles Ingalls was THE BEST! Definitely more than an honorable mention.

June 19 2006 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lynn

You chose Rev. Camden (ugh) but left off the wonderful Keith Mars??? For shame!

June 19 2006 at 12:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rich Keller

I did not dishonor that person's name. If they feel so then her estate can sue me. The Ingalls name was corrected.

June 18 2006 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jeff stiefer

No Homer, no list...
Homer is the perfect father for Bart and no TV dad list is complete without him. Shame, TV Squad...shame. : )

June 18 2006 at 6:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Urbey

You may have put the father from the show into the category of Honorable Mention, but you've dishonored the author of the Little House on the Prairie books, Laura Ingalls-Wilder, by misspelling her name so badly.

June 18 2006 at 2:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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