World's greatest dads? No, but pretty good
The 80s seems a bit like the Lost Generation when it comes to truly great TV dads. We can't have Mike Brady ("The Brady Bunch"), Charles Ingalls ("Little House on the Prairie") or Howard Cunningham ("Happy Days"). Even Homer Simpson gave us just one good year in the 80s.
But we're also not totally bankrupt in the paternal department either. As we continue to build out our list of top TV shows of the 80s, here are some of the "honorable mentions" from TV-Land.
My top 3 dads from 80s television:
Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby, "The Cosby Show"): Not so much a role as Cosby himself. He even took one of his most memorable stand-up comedy routine zingers -- "I brought you kids into this world, and I can take you out!" -- into the show during a square-off with Theo.
Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill, "Married ... With Children"): He's going to lose any battle for parenting skills, but America's favorite shoe salesman was perhaps its funniest dad. And he somehow fathered Christina Applegate. So he's got that going for him. Which is nice. "Your happiness... sickens me. Everybody but me is looking at good times. But for me it's been one long continuous year since I got married. Actually, one long month. Helluary."
Steven Keaton (Michael Gross, "Family Ties"): My dad was an easy-going, bearded old softie too, but he wasn't a liberal hippie who could tolerate a smarmy Reagan-loving son like the one played by Michael J. Fox. "Alex, parents are conditioned to put up with a few minor accidents when they leave their children home alone. A broken vase, spilt milk on the rug... There was a kangaroo... in my living room."
OK, who are we forgetting to honor here? Leave a comment with your favorite TV dad, and I'll add to the list.