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Memorable Lessons From 5 of Our Favorite TV Dads

As long as there have been families on television, there have been fathers on television. And over the years, we've learned a lot of different lessons from a lot of different TV dads. So in honor of Father's Day, let's take a moment to salute some of TV's finest fathers and their well-meaning, if not always helpful, advice.


The Cosby Show's Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby)

Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable had an admirable sense of humor. And he cared for his flock with grace, style, and patience... most of the time. Here he is in one of the best Cosby Show clips ever; he may be losing his patience, but you can't deny he gets his point across.


Arrested Development's Tobias Funke (David Cross)

Not all parents are cut out to be role models. On Arrested Development, Tobias Funke regularly embarrassed his daughter Maeby (and himself) with some of the most thoughtful idiocy a TV father (or any TV character, for that matter) has ever mustered. Though this doesn't quite qualify as advice, here's Tobias doing his ironic best to get close to his kid.


The Wonder Years' Jack Arnold (Dan Lauria)

Some dads are so imposingly stoic that it only takes a single glance or grunt to hush their kids up, spur them on, or straighten their spines. Few TV dads have laid claim to the throne of their households with the same grim austerity as Jack Arnold of The Wonder Years. In the following scene, Kevin Arnold asks his dad to do a bit of reflection, and Jack, in classic Jack style, doesn't pull any punches.


The Brady Bunch's Mike Brady (Robert Reed)

Though he famously already had three boys of his own, Mike Brady fearlessly took on three more youngsters when he married Carol and adopted her daughters. The resulting child army experienced just about every growing pain known to man, and Mike always seemed to have the perfect bit of wisdom to guide them through it. Here he is giving Jan a piece of advice we've all heard at some point, delivered so sincerely that you can't help but smile.


Freaks and Geeks' Harold Weir, (Joe Flaherty)

Once in a while, a father's love can just plain miss the mark. But, hey—sometimes obstacles on the path to adulthood are just what children need in order to grow! Freaks and Geeks' Harold Weir did his duty by making life awkward for his kids on a far-too-frequent basis. Here he taking a rather morbid approach to ensuring Lindsay and Sam would live to see adulthood.


Happy Father's Day! Who are your favorite TV dads?

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Keith Mars is the awesomest TV dad ever! Not to mention Jack Bristow.
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Richard Castle is a great father figure.. awesome by all means.. then comes the daddy from the Full House.. Blue Blood's Tom Selleck's moustache by itself is enough to make him a good old classical great father.. yet of course the most memorable father is mentioned in the article: Cliff Huxtable..
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In no particular order: Hal (Malcolm in the Middle), Alan Matthews (Boy Meets World) Walter Bishop (Fringe), John Winchester (Supernatural), Al Bundy (Married with Children), and Homer Simpson (Simpsons).
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John Winchester !!
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My. fav would be: Mitch Leery (Dawson's Creek), Jonathan Kent(Smallville), Sandy Cohen (The O.C.), John Winchester (Supernatural), Liam "Angel" Claddagh - the vampire with a soul (ANGEL), Homer Simpson(The Simpsons)



And though not "real fathers", strong father figures: Bobby Singer(Supernatural), Rupert Giles(Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
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Harold Weir lol



Other great and fav TV dads would be Jack Bristow, Keith Mars, Coach Eric Taylor, Sandy Cohen, Andy Brown (Everwood) , and Ned Stark.
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Red Foreman. Dumbass.
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Ray Campbell from Sister, Sister!
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Keith Mars FTW!
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Sandy Cohen of the OC.
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Homer Simpson is and always will be my favorite TV dad. Cliff Huxtable is second.
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Dick Solomon from 3rd rock... just because of how outrageous he was. Anyone who says they can;t imagine john lithgow playing anything but a serial killer needs to watch them some 3rd rock.

Alan Matthews - because he always seemed like what a dad should be; he was goofy, he made mistakes, and he was always there for his kids. yes i realize how incredibly corny that sounds but i love me some boy meets world.

and burt hummel... for obvious reasons. especially given going from the dad mike o malley played on yes dear to the one he played on glee
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Ken Titus is my favorite TV dad.
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I haven't been able to see the headlines pictures for a while, even though I've sued Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome. Anybody else has had that problem?
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Taking legal action is never the answer.
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Richard Castle- I love the relationship between he and his daugther. They balance each other out.



Burt Hummel- I love how wonderfully blue collar he is. He's a guy's guy with a gay son, and he doesn't pretend to understand it all, and he doesn't try to change himself or Kurt. They just let each other be, and it works. I love that about him. Most supportive father on tv presently.



Cliff Huxtable-Bill Cosby is the epitome of amazing.



Alan Matthews- I always loved that he took his parenting seriously but had fun too. He had a special bond with each of his own kids and managed to parent his kids' friends as well. He was as pivotal to their lives as Mr.Feeny.



Keith Mars- Like Richard Castle, he has a relatively unorthodox and cool relationship with his daughter. More friends and partners in crime than parent...but they parent when necessary too.



Zeek Braverman-The man has no filter. He's like a modern day Archie Bunker in sense...love it.
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Coach Eric Taylor (Friday Night Lights)... a great father for his daughters and a great father figure for his players...
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Cliff Huxtable (The Cosby Show), Richard Castle (Castle), Danny Williams (Hawaii Five-0), Michael Taylor and Joey Harris (My Two Dads), Dr. Mark Sloan (Diagnosis Murder), Johnny Smith and Walt Bannerman (The Dead Zone), Ed Lane and Greg Parker and Wordy (Flashpoint), Jack Carter (Eureka), etc...
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Carl Winslow from Family Matters with Kitty from That 70's Show, still pondering TV siblings...
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Burt Hummel is the sweetest dad ever, and Richard Castle is the coolest, but the greatest dad character on tv has to be Walter Bishop
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Hal (Malcolm In The Middle), Dick (Third Rock From The Sun), Homer Simpson (The Simpsons), Gomez (The Addam's Family), Mike Heck (The Middle), Willie Tanner (ALF), Jason Seaver (Growing Pains) and Jack Gallow (Just Shoot Me!) are just some of my favorite TV dads.
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Richard Castle, Burt Hummel, Michael Bluth, Jack Bristow, John Winchester & Jules dad on Cougar Town.
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Even though he was Penny's (The Big Bang Theory) father, I loved his advice to Leonard about how to get back with Penny. Hilarious!
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I see people already beat me to the punch; I was totally looking for Al Bundy to be a part of this.



Alan Matthews (Boy Meets World), Danny Tanner (Full House), Floyd Henderson (Smart Guy) Philip Banks (Fresh Prince), Frank Costanza (Seinfeld), and Homer Simpson (The Simpsons) also immediately come to mind for me.
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Red Forman!!!
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Can't belive you'd do this and NOT mention Al Bundy?
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Alan Harper from "two and a half men"? :-)
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Carl Winslow, Red Forman, Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin, Randy Marsh, Danny Tanner, Chaz Finster, Eric Camden, Dan Connor, and Martin Bohm aka Kiefer Sutherland from touch there are prob some others im missing there are just so many good tv dads
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John Winchester , favorite dad of all time!
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What wheres Al Bundy cant forget the guy who taught us how to put our hands in our pants.
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Al Bundy, Homer Simpson, Richard Castle,Keith Mars and Walter Bishop
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Every time i think of My top favorite Tv Dad. The Name Homer Simpson. From the Simpsons also i would have to say Howard Cunningham. Because out of all the TV dad's i'v seen on tv. Howard is the one dad on Tv that i wish i had in Real Life.
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Need Al Bundy.
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Richard Castle does some pretty good stuff for a famous guy-dad type. I know Price disagrees, but I think Keith Mars is still one of the best TV dads of all time. Richard Gilmore was also great... just from a different part of society from his daughter, but he loved her and you could not deny that.
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Growing Pains also had wonderful advice! It totally falls into the category of the "five minute moral talk" every show like that builds in.
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Richard Castle, Burt Hummel, Malachy Doyle, Walter Bishop
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Also, can someone do a TV's worst dad's piece? I would submit Dan Scott (OTH), Mr Saracen (FNL) and Buffy's dad.
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I used to love Mr Weir's 'He died!' comments. I always loved Eric Taylor as a dad. He always wanted what was best, sometimes he didn't understand, but it never took away from his love for his daughter.
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No love for Walter White? Some of the best conversations have been between Walt Jr. and his father.
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Why doesn't anyone mention the greatness that was Alan Matthews from Boy Meets World? EW didn't even give him any love either and he was, in my opinion, one of television's best fathers to grace our screen.
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I just clicked on this article to mention him. So glad the first comment did.
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