AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The formula for a TV sitcom dad includes goofy one-liners that make their kids cringe, actions filled with good intentions yet cause a major uproar, and surprisingly helpful advice when quirky nonsense is expected.
With the Fall TV lineup just announced, let’s take a look at some of the most prominent dads in TV sitcom history:
Danny Tanner from “Full House”
Bob Saget will forever be remembered as the iconic TV dad Danny Tanner on the popular sitcom “Full House.” Saget’s character was the ultimate dad as he raised his three girls, after the death of his wife, in San Francisco along with his brother-in-law (John Stamos) and his childhood friend (Dave Coulier). Saget’s portrayal was relatable and heartfelt as he constantly gave helpful advice to his children as they grew up.
Al Bundy from “Married With Children”
Ed O’Neill was perfect as the grumpy and disdainful father Al Bundy in the 1987 sitcom “Married With Children.” His “can’t be bothered” attitude often ruled the episode as his kids’ bad behavior proved to be a difficult task to take on.
Phil Dunphy from “Modern Family”
Phil Dunphy from the show “Modern Family” was the definition of a “Dorky Dad,” with his overenthusiastic energy and naive nature. For 11 seasons, Dunphy was the embarrassing dad with sincere intentions who often let the point of a conversation go straight over his head, but he always created a safe space for his kids.
Carl Winslow from “Family Matters”
Reginald VelJohnson brought Chicago police officer Carl Winslow from the 1989 sitcom ” Family Matters” to life. He was stern with his kids and often got into disputes with his wife, however, his behavior made the character relatable as VelJohnson brought reality into the role. In addition, comedy ensued when he had to deal with his pesky neighbor Steve Urkel (Jaleel White).
Hank Hill from “King of the Hill”
The animated sitcom “King of the Hill” created multiple popular characters, but the dad Hank Hill was the main protagonist who had many quotable angry one-liners. Hill showcased his hard-working nature and his love for his dog Lady Bird. His conservative personality correlated to the fictional small town of Arlene, Texas where the family lived.
Hal from “Malcolm in the Middle”
Before Bryan Cranston became the hardcore character in “Breaking Bad,” he played Hal the immature father to three sons on the TV sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle.” Hal’s well-meaning intentions never went according to plan and his wife, Lois (Jane Kaczmarek), let him know of his failed attempts. Hal found himself in many situational comedy moments that made him a unique sitcom dad.
Louis Huang from “Fresh Off the Boat”
Randall Park plays jokester dad Louis Huang in the sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat.” Huang has a relaxed demeanor which is apparent in his parenting style. His wife Jessica Huang (Constance Wu) stated in an episode “My husband is a good man. He believes in the good of people.”
Ray Campbell from “Sister, Sister”
Ray Campbell was the 90s overprotective dad we didn’t know we needed. Portrayed by Tim Reid, Campbell made his feeling known to his adopted daughter Tamera, along with her twin sister Tia, throughout the show’s five-year run. His tough love approach yielded growth among the girls while allowing them to learn life’s many lessons.
George Lopez from “George Lopez”
George Lopez knew how to create a balanced dad who made deprecating jokes to everyone around him while teaching his kids valuable lessons. Lopez’s skills as a stand-up comic were clearly utilized in this character along with both English and Spanish catchphrases that left a mark in the sitcom world.
Mike Brady from “The Brady Bunch”
A unique situation created the foundation for the character of Mike Brady (Robert Reed) who came together with his wife Carol (Florence Henderson) to raise six children. From 1969 to 1974, Mike was the dad that kids ran from school to their TV sets to witness. In one episode he was named “Father of the Year” by a local newspaper, establishing one reason why he made the list of favorite sitcom dads.
Maxwell Sheffield from “The Nanny”
Mr. Sheffield! The Nanny presented laughs and entertainment in the 90s with the character of Maxwell Sheffield showing major growth as a father. Once Mr. Sheffield meets and falls in love with his Nanny (Fran Drescher) his fun-loving and quirky side came out with his kids.