4 TV Dads We Love

It’s been a trend for quite some time to make TV dads, well…dumb. They are typically clumsy and childish where the mom is the strict disciplinarian and the only one paying attention. There’s nothing wrong with being a little goofy or having a fun-filled relationship with your child, but we can’t help but feel that this creates a poor standard for IRL (in real life) dads.

Dads have a very real, very important job in a child’s life. They are the balance to the mom’s more nurturing nature, and should be the yardstick against which all other men are measured in our lives. They are, of course, allowed to have flaws, allowed to fumble and make mistakes, but a man’s character and principles should be enough to make them a model for and leader of their family in all seasons of life.

In that vein, we have put together a list of our 4 favorite TV dads who we can’t help but love!

Marty Crane

Martin Crane is the beloved father of Doctor Frasier Crane in the popular 90s and ‘00s show Frasier. A little bit of a curmudgeon, as the show goes on, you really can’t help but love Martin Crane. Definitely a man who knows how to have a great time, take a joke, and be a little silly, Marty is also a pretty serious guy. He was a cop, he was shot, he lost his wife, became estranged from his sons, and is the classic man’s man. He’s tough on the outside and a little less tough on the inside. But his boys adore him. The boys, Frasier and Niles, hold their father up as the standard of decorum, ethics, love, and so much more in their life. They respect him deeply even if they don’t always agree or get along with him.

Philip Banks

Philip Banks is the uncle-turned-adoptive-father of Will in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Full of quiet dignity, Uncle Phil holds his kids, including his nephew Will, to a high standard in life. He might have a sense of humor, but he is the reason, stability, and common sense in their lives. In his career, marriage, and example of fatherhood Uncle Phil fills a hole in Will’s life and leads his family through everything, acting as the guiding light despite any shortcomings and mistakes. His role as leader does not go unnoticed throughout the series, either.

Ward Cleaver

Probably one of the most classic examples of a fantastic TV dad, Ward Cleaver is the father of Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver and his older brother Wally in the show Leave It To Beaver. As the boys get into scrapes, make poor decisions, grow into young men, and navigate things like peer pressure, bullying, and more, Ward is there to pull them back to safety and teach them valuable life lessons. Acting as the perfect teammate and partner to his wife, June, Ward doles out both punishment and reward to his children, while always being a reliable, honest, and hardworking man. Not only does he set an example for his sons, but he is staunch in his beliefs and is clearly the guide in their lives.

Herman Munster

It may seem silly to list a Frankenstein’s monster man as one of our most loved TV fathers, but maybe we should let his words tell you exactly how he made the cut:

“The lesson I want you to learn is: It doesn’t matter what you look like. You can be tall or short or fat or thin, or ugly or handsome, like your father, or you can be black or yellow or white. It doesn’t matter. But what does matter is the size of your heart and the strength of your character.”

Honestly, classic TV shows like The Munsters had such amazing life lessons built into fun episodes that it’s hard not to love them. Herman Munster is the same great example as the others in this list, proving that a strong father figure who knows his mind and has a mature command of himself is the best kind of dad to have around. Not only does Herman impart great wisdom to those in his household, but he also has a great sense of devotion, fun, and spooky antics.

TV dads are not what they used to be, and we are hard-pressed to find a worthy contemporary comparison to these classic TV fathers. However, we hold out hope that one day TV dads will be great again!

Which TV dad do you love? Let us know on Instagram (@weareamericanmom) or in the comments below!