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Top 10 Memorable TV Dads

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Whether he's going on tirades, whether he's grumbling disapprovingly or calling for "serenity now", there are a lot of things that make a TV Dad memorable. Some are sweet and loving; others are cunning schemers who always get caught in a bizarre ploy. Regardless, they always ensure the safety and happiness of their families. Shows like "All in the Family," "The Cosby Show" and "Home Improvement " showcased only some of the most unforgettable dads to ever to grace the small screen. In this video, takes a look at ten of TV’s most memorable fathers.

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Top 10 Memorable TV Dads

These are the men who raised us from the comfort of the boob tube. Welcome to, and today we’ll be taking a look at a few of the most memorable TV dads.

Top Meathead Dad: Archie Bunker – “All in the Family” (1968 – 1979)

Archie was one of history’s top TV characters, thanks to his opinionated and ignorant quips, racial stereotypes and cigar smoking. As a dad, Archie was tough when it counted: you’d be annoyed too if your liberal daughter and son-in-law disagreed with you that often. Ultimately, Archie was a softie, and he kept a special place in his heart for the people who mattered… like Sammy Davis Jr.

Top Foolish Dad: Fred G. Sanford – “Sanford and Son” (1972 – 1977)

We loved Archie for his flaws, and it was the same with Fred Sanford. This “old fool” lived with his aging “big dummy” of a son Lamont after his wife Elizabeth passed away. Lamont stuck around to make sure his drunken dad didn’t get into too much trouble with one of his get-rich-quick schemes. Fred might have been a sarcastic and hot-tempered old man, but you know the two shared a close connection.

Top Professional Dad: Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable – “The Cosby Show” (1984 – 1992)

This groundbreaking sitcom introduced a black family that was both affluent and functional. Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable was the head of this traditional family, and the show revolved around Cosby’s sense of humor. Fortunately for the Huxtable family, Cliff’s pediatric practice was at home, so he had plenty of time to advise and lecture his kids. Special nod to the Cosby sweaters!

Top Stay-At-Home Dad: Dr. Jason Seaver – “Growing Pains” (1985 – 1992)

Taking cues from “The Cosby Show,” psychiatrist Dr. Jason Seaver set up shop at home so he could do his fair share of the childrearing while Maggie worked as a journalist. He spent time with the kids – each of whom was a handful in their own way – and guided them all through their interpersonal problems, while cleverly dodging chore duty!

Top Bitter Dad: Al Bundy – “Married… with Children” (1987 – 1997)

Al represented every father whose dreams were dashed when he had a family. Also, every father who sits on the couch with his hand in his pants. He was chained to a money-hungry wife who refused to cook and clean, and their two hormone-driven kids. Yes he hated life, but the Bundy family was a surprisingly tight-knit bunch.

Top Cartoon Dad: Homer Simpson – “The Simpsons” (1989–)

If Marge was the Simpson family rock, Homer was the heart. TV’s top animated dad didn’t always set the best example for his kids, but when he wasn’t choking Bart, watching TV in his underwear, drinking at Moe’s or drooling over food, he was surprising everyone – including himself – by playing the role of caring husband and father.

Top Eccentric Dad: Frank Costanza – “Seinfeld” (1989 – 1998)

George’s father wore his emotions on his sleeve, and used shouting as his preferred method of communication. This former Army cook was fluent in Korean and was vocal about removing his shoes in other people’s homes. Frank was quite the inventor, with the Manssiere and Festivus credited to him. He also had a unique way of lowering his blood pressure. We’re still not convinced that works, btw.

Top Clumsy Dad: Tim Taylor – “Home Improvement” (1991 – 1999)

Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor had his own handyman show, signature sound, sidekick, hidden neighbor, loving wife and three boys. While he made a lot of mistakes – and we mean a lot – he was always able to learn from them, with a little help. For every hot rod he built or injury he sustained, Tim learned a valuable life lesson that he passed on to his kids. More power!

Top Tough Dad: Red Forman – “That 70s Show” (1998 – 2006)

Most dads put on their tough guy act – but not this tough-as-nails war vet! Sure, he loved his wife Kitty and treated his daughter like a princess, but Eric never got any of the affection. Instead, he got the constant threat of a foot up his ass! Red had a short fuse, was insensitive, strict and hated pretty much everyone – especially his hippie neighbors.

Top Gay Dads: Cameron Tucker and Mitchell Pritchett – “Modern Family” (2009–)

This duo paved the way for equality, while raising their adopted daughter Lily to be a little brat. The flamboyant Cam is the stay-at-home dad with unusual hobbies, like sports, drumming and clowning around. Mitchell on the other hand is a mild-mannered lawyer who worries too much, is overprotective, loves Costco and preaches against homophobia. Plus, his dad is Al Bundy. Sorta. Sounds like a “Modern Family” to us!

These are just a few of the most memorable dads from television: who were your favorite TV patriarchs?

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