Sunday, June 21, 2009

TV Dads

Happy Father's Day

As a child, television provided me with countless and diverse images of fatherhood; stern but loving family men, widowers, bachelor uncles, hapless but lovable dads etc. So many role models to chose from, and all as far removed from real life as my little house in the suburbs of Long Island was to the Hollywood sound stages where these shows were filmed. My father wasn't quite like any of these men; quiet by nature, he wasn't an overflowing font of fatherly advice and I don't recall having many heart to heart talks with him. This is not to say he wasn't a good and loving father; he definitely was. He just wasn't particularly good at expressing emotions. Also, unlike most TV dads, who seemed to lounge around the house in a tie (except on weekends when cardigan sweaters were the norm), my Dad was a blue collar worker and the only time he wore a suit was to attend a wedding or funeral.

Still, unrealistic representations of fatherhood aside, these two-dimensional (in more ways than one) men present us with iconic images that are hard to forget. Today is Father's Day and in celebration thereof, I present some of my favorite TV Dads...

Being a dad is the single greatest joy in my life. It is also the most nerve-wracking, stress inducing and ulcer-forming part of my life (and I wouldn't trade it for anything). Happy Father's Day!


  1. people let me tell ya
    bout my BESSSSSST friend !
    He's a one boy
    cuddly toy
    my ups and downs
    my pride and joy ....

    Used to love that stupid show. It was mandatory watching in my home becuase Myoshi Umeki ( Who played the concubine/housecleaner/inscrutable font of wisdom/ charwoman was in Flower Drumj Song and we had a family connection to her ( a LOOOOng story ) but my father had met her so we watched this every week

  2. I think I should turn this blog over to you for a week so you can share your family stories (my favorite is the one about the legendary photo of Patton pissing in a river - at least that's how I remember it).

    I too loved The Courtship of Eddie's Father and am a fan of Bill Bixby in general. And please don't disparage Mrs Livingston(I've often thought that should anything happen to Kim, I'd get my own Mrs Livingston to help raise Connor).

    Speaking of Eddie's Father - the 1963 movie on which it was based (Starring Glenn Ford and Ron Howard) was on this past weekend. I hadn't seen it in years and forgot that the ever adorable Shirley Jones was in it (a decade prior to starring as the hottest of TV Moms -Shirley Partridge).

  3. Sad but true - - My grandmother ( who also was the only person on Earth to know that the people in Canaan who run the farmstand were the ones behind the Kennedy killings ... ) was convinced that my brother in law stole the picture from her " because, you know, he IS jewish " - - apparently his grandparents religious views ( Dave is as Goy as anyone I know ) compelled him to seek out pictures of Patton for some reason.

    Sadly, she was one of the few SANE members of the family, so go figure ...