TV Moms and Dads - Old School Dads Round 1


TV Moms and Dads

They raised us! These are the moms and dads that we've all looked to over the years for advice, mentorship, and love. They've been our models for how to parent (and some of them have been our models for how NOT to parent). We've laughed, cried, and loved with them. But who's the greatest? There's only one way to find out. VOTE!

Old School Dads

(1) Andy Taylor v (16) Fred Flintstone

The dad we all wanted. Andy Taylor was the perfect father for Opie - he always had the right answers and he always knew just what to say. And even when Opie wasn’t around, Andy had something to teach Barney, Gomer, Goober, and the rest.

Fred was the first! Around for centuries before any of the other dads, Fred set the standard for dozens of dads to come. He worked hard at the quarry, brought up Pebbles, and got locked out of his house every night for his trouble!

(8) Howard Cunningham v (9) Danny Tanner

Maybe the nicest guy in the whole bracket - Howard’s influence went well beyond just Richie and Joanie. His kindness and calm affect kept the whole gang afloat. Were Howard and Marion the perfect Dad and Mom? No, but they’re darn close.

What do you do when you’re all alone and raising three young girls? Well, you call in your brother-in-law and your best friend to help. So while Danny is the dad, he certainly had help evening the odds.

(5) Al Bundy v (12) Steven Keaton

Did you know that Al Bundy scored four touchdowns in a single game? Well he did, and he’ll gladly tell you about it. But Al isn’t just a football legend. He’s the man that raised Kelly and Bud Bundy, which should be good for a Nobel Prize or something.

Steven and Elyse are like relics from another time. What happens when you bring peace, joy, and happiness to the Reagan era? Hijinks ensue. There may have been conflict between Steven and ultra-conservative Alex, but there was no doubt that they loved each other deeply.

(4) Charles Ingalls v (13) Jason Seaver

Compared to Charles Ingalls, the other dads on this bracket had it easy. The Ingalls family was making it work on the frontier while most of the rest of them were languishing in suburbia. Add in his daughter’s blindness and Nellie Oleson, and life (and being a dad) was hard.

You’d think being a successful psychologist would help you raise a family… but no school prepares you for what to do when your son’s best friend’s name is Boner. Jason was often in over his head with Mike, Carol, and Ben, but he always brought them through. But hey.. as long as they’ve got each other, right?

(6) Fred Sanford v (11) Ozzie Nelson

Fred was a widowed junk dealer in his 60s, still trying to raise his 30-something song Lamont, and even though Fred was partial to some pretty big histrionics (“this time it's real, I'm a-comin' 'Lizabeth!"), but he always wanted Lamont to stay.

One of the OG Dads on this list, Ozzie showed us how to parent like a pro for over 430 episodes. He and Harriet raised Rick and Dave, and he managed to make us laugh every time.

(3) Ward Cleaver v (14) Ben Cartwright

In many ways, Ward Cleaver created the notion of a TV Dad. As the father of Wally and the Beaver, Ward and June were the perfect pair. Ward had the discernment and sage judgment for any situation. And he looked great in a cardigan.

When we use the word “patriarch” in this bracket, it’s never more appropriate than here. Ben Cartwright oversaw the grandiose Ponderosa Ranch along with his three sons Hoss, Adam, and Little Joe.

(7) Archie Bunker v (10) Gomez Addams

Nobody was gonna convince Archie Bunker that he was wrong. Not Edith, not Meathead, nobody. Unfortunately for Archie, the world was changing around him, and that meant that he’d have to change too. All in the Family isn’t just a story about a mom and dad - it’s a story about how we cope with a changing world.

Gomez and the rest of the Addams family may look like weirdos, but they’re the most functional family on this whole bracket. Bound by extreme love and affection for each other, the Addams family, led by Gomez, takes on all challenges together.

(2) Mike Brady v (15) Tony Micelli

It’s hard enough parenting three boys, but when you add in three girls, a wife, and a housekeeper, well… being a father is kind of like a house of cards when there’s a big dog nearby. Mike Brady was always ready with a tender answer, a wise word, or a funny quip.

Who’s the boss? Well, it’s probably not Tony. But, he’s still a heck of a dad. Moving to the suburbs with his daughter to be a live-in housekeeper, Tony’s daughter Samantha gets exposed to the finer things in life, all of which make her value her loving dad even more.


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