Here’s To The TV Dads Who Real Kids Wouldn’t Mind Adopting

Let’s face it. Despite the 3,281 self-help books out there that insist you should always be a parent to your children and not their buddy, it’s very tough to stick to that plan. You want them to see you as someone cool, somebody they’ll hang out with after school or send a text to every once and a while. Recently I tried to impress my son, taking him with me to a TV event I had to attend and letting him meet all his favorite actors and score a bunch of show swag. And my reward for this generosity? We stopped for hamburgers on the way home and I told him he couldn’t order the extra-large french fries, at which point he told me, “Dad, you’re so mean to me! You’re ruining my life!”

In that moment, I realized that ultimately it’s pretty much impossible for real-life dads to be the type of pal our kids would want to hang out with. At least we have television fathers, though. They may not be perfect either, but many do seem like guys any kid would love to go for a burger with (maybe because there’s no chance a child will ever have to show them that C on his or her math test). With that in mind, here is a Father’s Day tribute to five current TV dads who definitely fit the bill.

Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell)
“Modern Family”

So he can’t dance, his jokes are terrible and he can’t fix a damn thing around the house. Those are three prerequisites for being a normal dad anyway. Besides, he tries so hard to be cool, you want to befriend him before he hurts himself.

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Mike Heck (Neil Flynn)
“The Middle”

He loves watching sports, eating junk food and complaining about going on family outings. In other words, he’s like a big kid already, so what child (or child at heart) wouldn’t want to spend time with him?

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Joe Tranelli (Ray Romano)
“Men Of A Certain Age”

As a result of his divorce, Joe always seems to be completely confused about how life is supposed to proceed now. Which means a) it’s easy to talk him into paying for everything and b) he’s going to be extra-sensitive to the concerns of his kids because of all the post-split trauma in their lives.


Walter Bishop (John Noble)

C’mon! Walter actually crossed into an alternate universe to bring his son (or at least a reasonable facsimile) back. How can you not want to spend time with somebody who’s that devoted? Plus, there’s all that stuff in his lab that he’s always willing to share….

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Homer Simpson
“The Simpsons”

I’m not saying it’s right that he’s constantly trying to strangle his own son, but you can’t deny that he means well. Besides, you know that at some point he’ll fall off a cliff or drink a year-old carton of milk or some other dumb thing that will make you laugh for hours.

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