Best TV Dads of All Time

June 1, 2011 5:00 AM

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In the world of television sitcoms, fathers often stand out as memorable and unforgettable and we thought we would pay tribute to some of them in our list of Best TV Dads of all-time.

By Danny Deraney

mike brady 11 Best TV Dads of All Time

credit: AP

Mike Brady – Robert Reed – The Brady Bunch

Before railing against bullies was trendy, there was Mike Brady. Till this day, his words of Calm, Cool Reasoning resonate in many a Brady Bunch fans mind. This was of course his belief that reason was the best way to deal with strife instead of violence.

cosby1 Best TV Dads of All Time

credit: AP

Heathcliff Huxtable – Bill Cosby – The Cosby Show

Up until 1985, how many Dad’s were considered rad? Yes, we said rad.
Learning life’s lessons through Monopoly? Performing a Gold Fish Funeral?
Plus, he had some cool friends that taught kids of that generation stories of Civil Rights, Equality and Jazz. Who else remembers the legendary Joe Williams singing about the infamous March to Washington?

homer simpson Best TV Dads of All Time

credit: AP

Homer Jay Simpson – The Simpsons

Did you know early that Homer was based on Walter Matthau? As time evolved, so did the character of Homer, which in turn made him the most beloved cartoon Dad of all-time.

peter griffin Best TV Dads of All Time

credit: AP

Peter Griffin – Family Guy

You may not want to trust him with your life, possessions, bank account, watching the children, playing with children, driving, etc. But Peter’s antics are what keep the hilarity of this popular show running.

drummond 11 Best TV Dads of All Time

credit: AP

Phillip Drummond – Conrad Bain (Diff’rent Strokes)

Phillip Drummond, although he never seemed to do any work, was loaded. So much so, he bought Arnold and Willis a pony when they first came to stay. How did they get that animal to a roof-top penthouse? Phillip was a widower and took in his dying maid’s kids. Awesome all around. The character set an example of class, equality and the beauty of being a good father and person. He never let one child get away with anything.

jerry stiller Best TV Dads of All Time

AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano

Frank Costanza – Jerry Stiller (Seinfeld)

Why Frank? Besides Jerry Stiller’s brilliant acting, you all know somebody who has quirks like Frank Costanza. Granted, they may have not poisoned an entire fleet of soldiers in the Korean War, worn a man-bra or feeling undisturbed by hearing of his sons death from George Steinbrenner. But everyone has a family that they can relate to with Frank.

steven keaton1 Best TV Dads of All Time

credit: AP

Steven Keaton – Michael Gross (Family Ties)

What would we do baby, without Steven?
Steven Keaton, the patriarch of the Keatons raised three unique children with his wife Elyse in an Ohio town. Both former hippies and staunch liberals, the positive values of Steven and Elyse always seem to drive their kids to their own success. Steven worked at the local public television station in town. Although he kept a calm, yet fun disposition throughout the series, he was never afraid to lay down the law when it came to disciplining the children.

Danny Deraney is the proud father of a two-year-old girl and Publicist and PR Executive for Deraney Public Relations. He also prides himself on being a television sitcom historian. Please follow on twitter @dannyderaney or visit

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  • Tom L

    So Homer, Peter Griffin and Frank Costanza are among this Danny Deraney guy’s best TV Dads???

    Ward Cleaver
    Charles Ingalls
    etc, etc didnt make the cut, eh? Some televison sitcom historian. To claim that usually involves a bit more investigative work digging a little deeper than finding shows that are currently showing. TV dads of today are nothing like they were 25+ years ago. The standards have dropped to nothing on TV since then.

    Bar is pretty low to hold dysfunction in such high regard. This is whats wrong with the families of the country today…folks like this writer advertising that its OK to act like these three characters in front of impressionable kids so the cycle of their behavior continues.

    I would hope his two year old daughter finds better role models in time. Its unfortunate though it sounds like it will need to be on her own.

    • Michael F

      Wow Tom. Amazing what a random list can turn you really into.

      These are actors/caricatures who portray characters on TV. The list is not gospel. Yet you found a way to get personal into this mans life. Really classy.

      He actually states the reason why Homer and Peter are funny, is because they buffoons and mentions the acting of Stiller as a reason why we watch.

      Seriously, fight the good fight. It’s a blog for chrissakes.

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