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Woodford Times - Peoria, IL
  • Best of the TV dads

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  • When it comes to paternal role models, some pretty memorable ones have been seen on our TV screens since the 1950s. Here’s a list of 10 all-time favorites:
    (Spoiler alert: Walter White of “Breaking Bad” does NOT make the list. Nor do any of the psychopaths from “Game of Thrones.”)
    10. Danny Tanner, with assist from uncles Joey and Jesse - “Full House”
    A lot of folks will say gentle Papa Tanner should rank higher, but he’s graded down a few points because of all the help he got from Uncle Joey (who was really no kin at all to the kids, but he was funny) and Uncle Jesse (who taught everyone the importance of having great hair).
    9. Eric Taylor - “Friday Night Lights”
    Again, a lot of folks will believe this TV dad should rate higher because of the way he dished out the tough love and motivation to not only his own family, but all the kids who played on his football teams. True, he did all that, but, honestly, he could be sort of a jerk sometimes. Remember when his wife was offered that fantastic job and he acted straight-up like a baby? Not cool.
    8. Steven Keaton - “Family Ties”
    Able to put up with the full-blown Reagan-era conservatism from his son Alex on one side and the Valley Girl-esque bubbleheadeness from daughter Mallory on the other, and never once snapped. (Notice I make no mention of youngest daughter Jennifer. The show writers never knew quite what to make of her, and neither do I.)
    7. Jim Bob Duggar - “19 Kids and Counting”
    Sure, people might question whether the dormitory-style living arrangements and ultra-rigid rules of social conduct are healthy for the children, but what cannot be questioned is his prodigiousness. The man can flat-out reproduce. If a comet came and wiped all men except one, he’s the guy you’d want left to repopulate the planet.
    6. Lucas McCain - “The Rifleman”
    I really can’t remember anything at all about his style of parenting, but remember how he looked working that lever-action rifle in the opening sequence? That was awesome. I wish my dad could do that.
    5. Mike Brady - “The Brady Bunch”
    An argument could be made that an architect like himself should know that a four-bedroom, two-bath house really isn’t sufficient for a household of nine, but he made up for that little fault by having the neighborhood’s sweetest artificial turf yard. No lawn-mowing chores for the Brady boys.
    4. Howard Cunningham - “Happy Days”
    One of the gentlest fathers on this list, he would have ranked higher if it were not for the disturbing way eldest son Chuck was shipped off and never spoken of again.
    Page 2 of 2 - 3. Ward Cleaver - “Leave it to Beaver”
    Always quick to dispense some kind words of wisdom or consolation, Ward was an ideal dad for when a young man was troubled. He did, however, seem to have trouble relaxing. A business suit or a cardigan, those were pretty much his only outfits. A few days spent in shorts and t-shirt would have probably done him some good.
    2. Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable - “The Cosby Show”
    The funniest of all the fathers on this list, Dr. Huxtable was the very best at handling a house full of kids — some his own, some who just drifted through. But there is one thing that bothers: He never did explain why he named his youngest daughter “Rudy.” Was he under some sort of delusion when she was born that she was a boy? I mean, he was an obstetrician. You wouldn’t expect something like that to slip by him.
    1. Andy Taylor - “The Andy Griffith Show”
    He could play the guitar, he would take his son fishing, he had a relaxed attitude toward work-life balance … ol’ Andy was darned near perfect as a pop. He did such a good job raising Opie, in fact, that the boy grew up to be Richie Cunningham. That’s some fine parenting, Sheriff Taylor.

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