Most of what I've learned about being a dad I've learned from TV.  It's not that I had a bad dad, it's just that his time traveling due to his job in the Air Force meant there wasn't a lot of quality time father-to-son.


Turning to TV for fatherly advice or for a fatherly example is probably not the best of ideas, but it's as much about what NOT to do as it is about what TO DO.  In honor of Fathers Day, here is my list of the five best TV dads:



5.  Andy Taylor- Andy Griffith's signature role playing sheriff/single dad on his self-titled show gave me the "good ol' boy" approach to raising a kid in a wholesome atmosphere.  In addition to Opie, dealing with Deputy Barney Fife was almost as if he had two kids to raise.

4.  Cliff Huxtable- Bill Cosby was as much a no-nonsense dad on television as he seems to be in real life.  The Cosby Show was always in reruns, and that meant I had a whole lot of chances to see a father dealing with life and kids.  Of course, being a doctor and having a lawyer wife meant there was never too much stress about how to pay for the kids' school lunches, so he got off pretty easy.

3.  Howard Cunningham- Mr. Cunningham Of "Happy Days" was the ultimate in great dads.  Not only did he deal with the trials of dealing with children with grace & class, he also dealt with an obnoxious family friend (The Fonz), which is something every father has to deal with throughout their child's early years.  If your kid doesn't have an obnoxious friend that you hate... chances are high that your kid is the obnoxious kid the other dads hate.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we're dads... we're used to dealing with bad news.


2.  Homer Simpson- The original neglectful cartoon dad, Homer is the ultimate is fatherly buffoonery.  Just like most dads, he's overweight, he's bald, he chugs beer, he slacks off at work and he lays around doing nothing at home.  He set a great example for blossoming Gen-X fathers everywhere on exactly what NOT to do as a dad & husband.



1.  Peter Griffin- If only I had a talking dog, my life as Peter Griffin would be complete.  Peter Griffin IS ME.  I'm a fat guy with a smart mouth, I wear the same clothes a lot, and I'm married to a way-too-hot-for-me red head wife.  Peter is actually a great example for fathers-to-be.  He may be worthless in most areas, but in the end he loves his family and WANTS to do the right thing, even if it rarely happens.