Favorite TV Fathers

So I know we’re about a week away from Father’s Day, but a little game I’m playing (hey fellow Secret Keepers), plus having the coolest dad EVER, has prompted me to jump full on into a post celebrating dads.  It wouldn’t be a My Take On TV blog without celebrating all of the TV dads that we know and love (and miss now that their shows are gone) so here are some favorites!

Coach Eric Taylor, played by Kyle Chandler – FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

As if I would start a favorite TV dads list with anyone but my current favorite person on TV, let alone favorite dad!  He approaches everything he does in such a dad like fashion – he wants to do everything for everyone and constantly ends up being the father figure that people need.  Plus he loves his Julie and Gracie Bell so darn much, that it makes me cry!  If I had to pick a TV dad that was most like mine, I’m going Coach Eric Taylor, without question!

Keith Mars, played by Enrico Colantoni – VERONICA MARS

Keith would do anything for his girl Veronica, but that’s not without saying that he totally put his foot down when he needed to.  When Ronnie got herself stuck in a freezer, who was there to save her?  Remember when that helicopter exploded and she thought Keith was on it?  Heartbreaking.  Their father-daughter relationship was absolutely one of the best that was ever on TV!

Bobby Cobb, played by Brian Van Holt – COUGARTOWN

He’s a newer TV dad, but he quickly stood out as one of my favorites almost immediately.  He’s so incredibly bad at everything – he lives on a boat in a parking lot.  He named his dog Travis, Jr. because he reminded him of his son, Travis.  He’s always drinking beer down at Grayson’s bar, and not paying, and he gets around town on a golf cart.  But he wants so much for Trav, and their relationship is so funny.  Hilarious.

Phil Dunphy, played by Ty Burrell – MODERN FAMILY

Phil’s on the list because he just tries so hard to be the coolest dad that there is, and he’s woefully wrong most of the time.  Who remembers his amazing dance performance during HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL and his graceful fall down the steps that ended up with his daughter’s boyfriend carrying him to the couch?  I think he wants to be an awesome dad SO MUCH that I have to put him on the list for trying!

Arthur Spooner, played by Jerry Stiller – KING OF QUEENS

Hysterical.  That about sums up Jerry Stiller’s Arthur.  Do I think he was the best dad?  No, he probably worried a little bit too much about himself to be the best dad there is, but he is hysterical.  The things that he put Doug and Carrie through throughout the life of KING OF QUEENS, when I think of TV dads, he immediately sticks out!

William Adama, played by Edward James Olmos – BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

Sure, Lee may not agree with us, but when I think of Adama, I think “Dad” because he was absolutely the father of the rag tag bunch of survivors traveling through space with the Galactica.  His inspirational speeches, his genuine love for all of his crew, the pain he felt when they crossed him or betrayed him.  Makes him one of the absolute best in all of the worlds.

Jack Bristow, played by Victor Garber – ALIAS

I kind of think that Jack Bristow was a horrible father because he wasn’t exactly sure how to be amazing at it.  He thought he was doing the right thing by keeping Sydney out of his spy life, but as soon as she figured out that he was a part of the world that he was, he did everything he could to keep her protected, even if it meant having her fiance killed or beating up her best friend, so that he would be safe.  Plus, Victor Garber is just awesome, so it makes me love Jack even more!

Cliff Huxtable, played by Bill Cosby – THE COSBY SHOW

I think my favorite thing about Dr Huxtable is the sarcastic way that he had about himself.  Hysterical.  He was such an amazing father – supporting the kids when they needed it, punishing the kids when they needed it, and always making them laugh.  I love to watch old COSBY SHOW episodes, especially to see him interacting with little Olivia because he just had such a genuine fatherly approach.

Hank Hill, voiced by Mike Judge – KING OF THE HILL

Even if Bobby was taking dance classes and dancing with the dog in the garage, Hank was always an incredibly supportive dad.  When Bobby accidentally made the football team, Hank was there.  Even though he got the kid he didn’t necessarily expect, he was always there when he was needed!

Jed Bartlet, played by Martin Sheen – THE WEST WING

Sure, he had to have his daughter’s wedding at the White House with hundreds of people she didn’t know, and he was at odds with his oldest daughter’s husband and wouldn’t support his run for House of Representatives, but come on people!  When his youngest was kidnapped he GAVE UP THE PRESIDENCY!  If that’s not a sign of an awesome father just trying to help out his daughters, I don’t know what it!

Other dads that got mentioned on Twitter – Burt Hummel (GLEE), Ray Barone (Ray Romano), Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion), Mike Heck (THE MIDDLE), Mr Walsh (BEVERLY HILLS 90210)

Who else is missing? Chime in with your favorites!!


  • Tom Wilson

    Jack Bauer, Cameron (Modern Family) & Ted Mosby are some more

  • I was always partial to Danny Tanner on Full House for some reason. I love all the dad’s you’ve listed above though I might give a shout out to Sheriff Valenti on Roswell and Baze on Life Unexpected.

  • Ya. Jack Bristow. I just started watching Alias again… for the third time. I’d also add Keith Mars to the list – ’cause I’m a die hard Veronica Mars fan, and Enrico Colantoni was fabulous in that show.