Last night, while I was taking a shower before bed, something my cousin mentioned on Twitter came to mind. He had been talking about Alan Thicke, and during the course of the day I attempted to find Alan Thicke on Twitter. I found an account (which is most likely not his) that referred to him as “America’s Favorite Dad”.
And so it happened that last night, while in the shower, I decided to create a list of The 5 Greatest Father Figures in Television History. The only problem, of course, that I haven’t seen every television show in history. As a result, I will accept contentions so long as valid reasoning is included.
So without further ado, my list:
- Jason Seaver – played by Alan Thicke, “Growing Pains” – Any child of the 80s remembers Mr. Seaver. He’s the father we all wished we had—unless you liked your dad, as I did. He was cooler than most, he had a deep, imposing “dad” voice, and he had excellent hair. It’s safe to say he trumps all other father figures on television.
- Rupert Giles – played by Anthony Stewart Head, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” – While not a father on the show, Giles was the closest thing that Buffy ever had to a father during the course of the show’s 7-year run (despite her own dad making an appearance a few times). Best of all, he was the kind of father that could kick serious demon ass, when necessary (though like Bruce Banner into Hulk, rage was a necessary factor).
- Cliff Huxtable – played by Bill Cosby, “The Cosby Show” – I spent a great deal of time with Dr. Huxtable during the years, probably more than any other TV dad. My father loved “The Cosby Show”, which meant we all watched it and loved it as well. He helped me prepare for my time as a father immensely. He taught me that sometimes your children will say and do something that leaves you utterly speechless, and your best response is to simply laugh, inwardly if necessary.
- Ward Cleaver – played by Hugh Beaumont, “Leave It to Beaver” – The first televised father figure for most of us, and a favored memory even if he isn’t. Stern, yet fair, Mr. Cleaver is a paragon of fatherhood in the ’50s and as strong an example of a patriarchal society you will ever find on television.
- Andy Taylor – played by Andy Griffith, “The Andy Griffith Show” – Andy Griffith has been a part of television for many years and is the quintessential “small-town father”. Despite some strong similarities to Ward Cleaver, Mr. Taylor was a far more jovial fellow and a much more rounded character. Instead of being a stereotype, Griffith portrayed a well-rounded character seen in a great many situations (likely due to the fact that he was the titular character).