My top five TV dads
With Fathers Day fast approaching, I saw something which was asking for the top five TV dads. Avoiding all jokes about what TV could stand for, I thought I’d stop to think about who my top five would be.
5) Del Boy Trotter
Possibly not the first name you’d think of for a list of dads, Del Boy is better known as the wheeler-dealer of Peckham. Like the TV comedy equivalent of Harry Redknapp, he’s funny, a little dim, and good for a one-liner here and there.
When his son, Damien, came along, it felt as though life had finally levelled out for the eldest of the Trotter boys, and though he often refers to the words his poor old mum said on her deathbed (and judging by the volume of quotes attributed to that scenario, it’s safe to say she rattled off a lot of advice in her dying hours), Del Boy now had the chance to be a dad.
The way he spoilt his son, often at the slight detriment to his brother, Rodney, and the way he obviously loved Damien’s mum, Raquel, Del Boy makes it in to the top five. Let’s not forget the way he punched the abusive alcoholic in the hospital while waiting for Damien to be born – He deserves a mention for that alone, if nothing else.
4) Hal – Malcolm In The Middle.
Possibly better known for his starring role in Breaking Bad, I’ll always associate Bryan Cranston for his role of the father in this American comedy.
From the moment we see him in the opening credits, stood in the kitchen reading a paper while his wife, Lois, uses a hair trimmer to rid him of his back hair (a gross image, perhaps, but one that I can well imagine me embracing sometime soon), I liked Hal.
As scared of his wife as his sons are, he somehow majestically traverses life offering advice to his kids, doing his best to keep the grind of working class suburbia from dragging him under.
With one gifted son, and three… well, less-gifted sons, he still manages to keep the family unit running, at times showing the rage and anger of a dad who finds his kids have done something completely horrible, through to at times bargaining with them to take the fall for one of his own misdoings.
He also had a unique perspective on things:
Lois: [shocked] You want me to lie to you?
Hal: It’s not lying if what you say *would* be true if the facts were different.
3) Charles Bing (aka Helena Handbasket)
If you don’t recognise the name, you may pick it up from the surname. Charles – father of Chandler Bing in Friends – gets a mention on the list not for the amazing parental skills shown, but simply because he’s the only dad I’ve seen on TV and fancied a little bit.
2) Marty Crane
To be the dad of two uppity brothers like Niles and Frasier Crane takes some doing. To be so down-to-earth as well shows a remarkably well-written character, and it’s brought to life fantastically by John Mahoney in Frasier.
Whilst his sons may outshine him intellectually, it’s fair to say that the senior Crane has far more street savvy about him, and though he may differ vastly to both Niles and Frasier, his love for them both shines through. It has to – Can you imagine living with your parents again at the age Frasier does?
Witty, with a pithy delivery, Marty skirts the line of grumpy old man without ever falling completely under that heading.
Frasier: Coffee, Dad?
Martin: Why not? I’m up six times a night anyway, I might as well be alert!
What’s more, as well as offering advice to his sons, he’s always happy to spend time with them, even if it’s not necessarily at an event they’ve chosen.
Martin Crane: What do you say to a beer?
Dr. Frasier Crane: Well, I’d love to have a beer with you, Dad.
Martin Crane: Well, then you’d better haul ass. The store closes in ten minutes.
1) Homer Simpson
The top TV dad of all time should come as no surprise. Sometimes humble, often daft and occasionally a danger to himself and those around him. Step forward, Homer Simpson!
Married to Marge for less than half of the time the TV show itself has been running (ah, the eternal youth of cartoons), Homer shows time and again that he wants to do well for his family.
From taking the job at the nuclear power plant to support his pregnant partner, through to taking an extra job at the Kwik-E-Mart to buy Lisa a pony, Homer is the dad that we all secretly want. Well, without the “strangling his son” bit, of course.
Homer: Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.
I’d like to follow Homer’s lead and stay the same age for 25 years with my family around me. I’m not sure that my kids could take 25 years of me being a loveable idiot – though my eldest has managed to put up with that for the past 14 years!
Who would YOU choose for your top TV dad?