With Father’s Day right around the corner, it’s time to honor Dads across the country with a DISH TV tribute blog to the greatest TV dads. Though these honored, well-respected fathers are fictional, TV viewers invite them into their home each week. When you sign up for DISH and choose one of the many DISH packages, you can enjoy current hit shows with great TV dads and also watch re-runs of classics now in syndication.
If you enjoy this blog, be sure to read “Best and Worst TV Moms” published in early May.
Greatest TV Dads
Phil Dunphy played by Ty Burrell (Modern Family currently on ABC)—While Phil tries desperately to be the “cool dad,” it just ain’t happenin’. He’s awkward and goofy and seems to have the same maturity level as his offbeat young son, Luke (who admires his Dad and wants to be just like him some day). His teenage daughters, Haley and Alex, who put on the act that they really just can’t be bothered with their nerdy dad, but just like most teens suffering from the pangs of teen angst, at heart they love their goofy dad to pieces.
Dr. Cliff Huxtable played by Bill Cosby (The Cosby Show 1984-1992)—Doctor, father of five, married to an attorney, Dr. Huxtable did it all, but when your office is in your own home, it kind of makes balancing family and work a bit easier. This great TV dad handled his children’s antics with humor and usually a sense of calm disappointment. Remember Theo’s ear piercing and the missing dry cleaning money from the kitchen counter? When Raven Symone came along as Olivia (his step granddaughter), Dr. Huxtable was really put to the test, as this little ball of energy and precociousness challenged him at every turn.
Dan Conner played by John Goodman (Roseanne 1988-1997)—Mr. Conner was the blue-collar father everyone adored. Often the target of wife, Roseanne’s, biting sarcasm, and referee to family fights, this great TV dad rarely lost his cool (but when he did, watch out!). He was a big man with a booming voice, so when you were in trouble with this big teddy bear of a dad, you knew it! Even with the rougher edges, Dan Conner grew to be a favorite of many fans as the patriarch of the Conner clan and one of the big reasons Roseanne was such an enormous hit.
Howard Cunningham played by Tom Bosley (Happy Days 1974-1984)—Who can forget Mr. C, father to Richie and Joanie Cunningham and father figure to everyone’s favorite cool guy, The Fonz? Mr. C. was home promptly at dinnertime every night and always had words of wisdom for his young, impressionable teenage son. Joanie’s antics drove Mr. C batty, but he was almost always calm, cool and collected along the way. Mrs. C. inadvertently pushed his buttons, but this great TV dad handled it all with grace, kindness and with fatherly guidance.
Walter White played by Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad 2008-present)— If you watch the show, renewed for its fifth and final season to premiere this July, you know WHY this mild-mannered, as-timid-as-they-come high school Chemistry teacher turned to a life of crime—he was diagnosed with cancer and wanted to be able to provide for his family when he passed away. What started out as small time drug manufacturing and a few deals here and there quickly snowballed into a multi-billion, international drug ring in which this hard-working, humble TV dad became a major player. Yes, being hunted down by drug kingpins can affect the quality of time you spend with the kids, but somehow Walter manages to be there for birthday parties, driver’s license exams, and general teen angst his physically challenged teenage son often feels. Let’s hope this great TV dad leaves TV viewers the same way he came in—in front of the chalkboard discussing the periodic table with less-than-enthusiastic teenagers.
Charles Ingalls played by Michael Landon (Little House on the Prairie 1974-1982)—Do dads get any more wholesome than Charles Ingalls? Yes, it was the 1800’s but still, did the man ever lose his temper, punish his kids too harshly, or mistreat or neglect his wife? Half-pint Laura Ingalls misbehaved, but this great TV dad couldn’t be kinder when it came to doling out the “punishment.” Charles Ingalls was known as simply, “Pa,” father to four of his own children and three adopted in later years to make the Ingalls clan comprise most of the population of Walnut Grove.
Ward Cleaver played by Hugh Beaumont (Leave it to Beaver 1957-1963)—Talk about wholesome—Ward Cleaver makes Charles Ingalls seem a bit rough around the edges. Leave it to Beaver was one of the first TV shows told from the kid’s point of view, and it was fun to watch the Cleaver parents deal with “The Beav” and his shenanigans as they often disagreed on how to handle their young son and his older brother, Wally. Still, Mr. Cleaver was definitely one of the greatest TV dads of all time!
Mike Brady played by Robert Reed (The Brady Bunch 1969-1974)—“But Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaad….” How many times did we hear this from the Brady children when they wanted to stay out a little bit later, go on a trip, play ball indoors, or want a sibling to be punished. Mike Brady was an architect, husband, father and one really nice guy. He actually made step-parents the “good guys” for a few years.
Just like these great TV dads, the DISH TV blog knows there are plenty of real-life awesome dads out there too! Feel free to honor your dad in the comment section below!
This list could go on and on, but here are just a few of the greatest TV dads ever! If you love good ole’ fashioned, classic TV shows but also enjoy sports and movies, there’s no better time than now to sign up for DISH. With the DISH Summer Sales Event, new customers can save more than ever. The Hopper from DISH is now FREE when you sign up for DISH’s America’s Top 120 package (DISH’s best value package) and above (America’s Top 120 Plus, America’s Top 200, America’s Top 250 and America’s “Everything” Pak).