Dad Knows Best... Sometimes
The TV dad is one of the most iconic roles on television.
From the earliest days of radio and television, the focus of shows and programming has often been the family unit. Over the decades, we’ve seen similar tropes and stereotypes introduced, recycled, exhausted, and renewed. And while TV dads used to be the ‘father knows best’ Atticus Finch types like Ward Cleaver, these days, we’re more familiar with the buffoonish Homer Simpsons and Peter Griffins of fiction.
Of course, the changing role of TV dads reflects our changing social mores and family units in the real world—a breaking down of the nuclear family and outdated gender roles.
Which famous TV dad was your favorite when you were growing up? How did your own father compare if he was around?
In honor of the recent passing of legendary actor and personality Alan Thicke, we’ve compiled a list of the best TV dads of the ’80s and ’90s.