My 12 Pop Culture Dads

A few years ago, I had an amazing idea for a documentary. Someone should interview all of the TV dads from 80s sitcoms, the guys who helped shepherd all of us 80s children into adulthood, and find out where they are now and how they coped with being pop culture patriarchs (and also why all the moms were always dead before the show started. WTF?). Another angle could be more of a reality TV show, in which the dads live together in a house and compete in challenges like “talk to your teenager about the dangers of drunk driving while wearing a hideous sweater,” and “chaperone your adolescent daughter’s middle school dance with embarrassing and/or hilarious results.”

Anyway, here are my top 12 casting choices, in no particular order:

Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable from "The Cosby Show," aka Bill Cosby

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The grand poobah of sitcom dads! Who didn't want to be a stow away in the Huxtable's Brooklyn brownstone? Cosby's Cliff remains one of the most lovable, drily hilarious fictional dads of all time. Although to interview Cosby himself might be depressing, as his real life seems, um, darker than Cliff's (see also: his sexual harassment suit).


Some dads didn’t make this list, either because they’re probably dead almost dead (oh, oops, Conrad Bain and Bob Uecker are still alive, so sayeth Wikipedia. My bad.), originated in 1990 or later (I’m looking at you Nick Russo, Jim Walsh, Graham Chase, and Philip Banks), or appeared on shows I didn’t really watch (Silver Spoons, Just the Ten of Us, Gimme A Break, and, despite what my first grade class picture may lead you to believe, Punky Brewster). Did I forget anyone? Remind me in the comments!

Aiming Low is hosting the Non-Conference at Callaway Gardens, October 12-13, 2012. The conversation will be hot and the drinks will be cold. Can’t wait to see you!

About Una LaMarche

Una LaMarche blogs at The Sassy Curmudgeon, and writes for The New York Observer, The Huffington Post, and NickMom. She dominates at mini golf, especially after a few drinks, and it is a fact that Tim Gunn once complimented her on her sandals. You can find her hawking blog posts and fetishizing candy on Twitter, and if you really want to feed her ego (which took a major hit thanks to an adolescent unibrow and a penchant for Troll doll earrings), you can become her fan on Facebook.


  1. Colleen says:

    I had a solid love for Jason Seaver but your right. How did It never occur to me that he was a dick?

    I wanted Mr. Keaton( and Mr. Stratton) to be my dad. I love this.

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  2. Lady Jennie says:

    I loved em all. Except My 2 Dads and Full House, which I barely ever watched. Was I already getting too old? Am I inadvertently revealing my age?

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  3. Kelly says:

    Thank you for this. I haven’t thought about Alf or the Wonder Years in forever & loved them. I am totally new to blogging. I’m so glad I went to BlogHer & found out about Aiming Low. It was a good party, & this is a great site :-) Oh, & there’s definitely something about no moms in these shows… it’s like Disney movies.. Mom’s always dead or MIA. Now that I have kids, I realize that the moms are absent because clearly kids can raise themselves. Oh wait… or maybe it’s because the kids drove the moms off the deep end….

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  4. Maggie S. says:

    I guess I was a freshman in college when you were in first grade. I appreciate your evaluations they seem to be spot on. Excellent memory. Stamos was prolly the only reason the mommies let the kids watch that stupid stupid show. I was always embarrassed for Thicke…as a human being. Every line. Every episode.

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  5. Lauren Plouffe says:

    I looked, and I still think Greg Evigan is hot.

  6. List fails with Willie Tanner.

    Sorry – he sucked. :)

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